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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Not a lot of people have drum brakes and I had no luck finding a pre-existing DIY so I thought I'd make my own so that I can help others with this seemingly easy yet painstakingly awful task. I've got a 2008 Civic LX Sedan with front discs and rear drums.

Note: Get some beer before you start this job, because you are about to embark on a journey to hell.

Preface: This is the first time I've tried to document a DIY so please forgive me if I left out anything or didn't give enough detail. I'll try and answer questions as best as I can.

Alright let's get it done!

You'll need:
  1. 2x New Brake Drums
  2. 4x New Brake Shoes (Optional - you might not need to replace these, but they're cheap so why not!)
  3. White Grease
  4. Wrenches!
  5. Needle-nose pliers
  6. Locking pliers
  7. Brake cleaner
  8. Brake Hardware Kit (Optional, you can probably re-use the existing springs/clamps, but you will need to get new shoe-horn clamps)
  9. DOT 3/4 Brake Fluid (Optional, you'll only need this if you happen to leak out some brake fluid from the cylinder)
  10. 1/4" Clear Plastic Tubing (Optional, same as above, only needed if you spill brake fluid)

If you have trouble getting the drum off, there's two threaded holes where you can thread in some bolts to essentially force it off the mount.



Filthy! Take note of how everything is arranged before you take it apart! Douse everything with brake cleaner and clean it off. I ran out while doing my passenger side so I just used compressed air to blow away as much crud as I could, not as clean as I would have liked but it's no biggie.



Underside photo showing the bottom spring.



Ok let's take this ***** apart! First you'll need to get two of these clamps off. There's one holding each shoe in place. Grab some pliers and press in and then twist the little bar. It'll slide out the backside when you get the clamp off.



Same thing here, remove the clamp from the front-side.



This spring here is your greatest enemy. It took me about 15 minutes to get mine off. You will shout every curse word known to man while attempting to remove this, it's not easy. You could take the easy way out and just cut it off, assuming you have a replacement hardware kit lol

Word of caution: Pulling on this spring to get it off will slide your brake cylinder piston back and forth, this may or may not result in brake fluid spilling out. Don't worry if that happens, it's a simple process to bleed the brake and refill it.



Once you get that main spring off, most of the rest will just fall apart. There's one spring on the front-side as well as the bottom that also need to come off.

At this point, inspect the inner lining of the mounting plate, if there's a lot of crude build-up, get a wire brush and scrub that **** off. Otherwise it will make mounting the new drum a massive *****.



If you're changing the shoes as well, you'll need to remove the ebrake clamp from the cable. It's relatively easy to push in the spring and pop off.



This is where you'll be bleeding the brake afterwards (if you happened to pop the piston out like I did).



The removed shoe + ebrake clamp. You'll need to rip off that shoe-horn clamp that is holding them together. Get some pliers and tear that ***** off.



Save these parts!



Brake hardware kit, $15 compared to the dealership which would have run me ~$100



Brake hardware kit. I've already used some of the parts on the driver-side replacement I had already done, so these are the remaining parts.



Comparison of worn and brand new shoes.



Putting the e-brake clamp onto the new shoe. Use some pliers to squeeze the new shoe-horn clamp over the little bolt thingy.



Presto!



Grab some white grease and dab the 3 contact points on the mounting plate where each shoe will make contact. This isn't absolutely necessary, but you may encounter undesirable squeaking and noise when you brake afterwards.



Back-side photo of the contact points that need to be greased.



Front-size contact points.



All greased up, yeah baby! Let's put it back together now. First thing is first, reattach the ebrake cable to the clamp.



You'll have to twist it around when you bring up the shoe to mount it back into place. Once you have it in position, slide in the bolt and then the clamp and use some pliers to push it into place. This isn't the easiest thing to do so be prepared to get frustrated.



Next you'll re-attach the bottom spring to the mounted rear shoe, and hook in the front shoe and slide it into place and perform the same bolt and clamp attachment to hold the shoe in place.



This is the bracket for the star adjuster which controls the width of the rod connector.



Make note that the star adjuster should be closest to the front side, and on the rear, the longer part of the u-mount should be on the outside.



This is your main spring remounted. This. This is also the worst part of the shoe replacement. It is a massive ***** to get back on. You may need to use some clamps to push and hold the shoes in while you pull the spring into place. It's an absolute ***** and this is the #1 reason why I hate drum brakes.



Everything put back together! You can see all the scratches I made on the shoe trying to get that ******* spring back on. God damn. It makes my blood boil just looking at it.



Make sure to put the spring back onto the star adjuster clamp, which is on the front-side. Take note of all the scratches from my attempts at remounting that top spring. Rage.



Bottom spring.



You may or may not have trouble getting the drum to fit back on. My driver-side drum would not fit back on and I realized it was because there was tons of crud that was solidified onto the inside of the mounting plate.

So what you can do is get a wire brush and scrub the **** out of it. I highly recommend doing this BEFORE you put the shoes back on.



New drum mounted! Now we just need to bleed the brakes! I won't bother documenting that since it's a whole new DIY, but I'm sure there's one already on here to help with that.
 

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http://i.imgur.com/M6Nd3P9.jpg
This spring here is your greatest enemy. It took me about 15 minutes to get mine off. You will shout every curse word known to man while attempting to remove this, it's not easy. You could take the easy way out and just cut it off, assuming you have a replacement hardware kit lol

Word of caution: Pulling on this spring to get it off will slide your brake cylinder piston back and forth, this may or may not result in brake fluid spilling out. Don't worry if that happens, it's a simple process to bleed the brake and refill it.
I wouldn't recommend cutting any spring under tension: the free pieces can fly off with a lot of energy when you cut, and have the potential to cause injury.

For removing with the top spring, consider following the service manual procedure: deal with it last, not first. Unhook the bottom spring (much less tension) then pull the bottoms of the shoes from the backing plate stop. Take the shoes, pushrod and top spring off together as a unit: you can use the shoes as levers, prying against the parking brake pushrod, to get the shoes off the wheel cylinder. Once they're off, it's an easy matter to relax the upper spring and let it free.

Installing is of course the same thing in reverse. Key is to use the brake shoes to lever the upper spring, rather than trying to pull the spring directly.

Another unrelated tip is to put masking tape on the friction surfaces of the shoes when you take them out of the box, and take the tape off after everything's installed and ready for the drum to go on. Then you don't need to be as careful about avoiding keeping grease off the friction material.
 

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If anything is having trouble removing the drum off, the 2 bolts are 8x1.25 try to get a fairly long bolt (I bought 60s?).

Found 2 of them for a dollar at lowes. Using I believe 12 mm socket will get those bolts screwed in, forcing the drum cap off. Also to stop the spinning, put a jack stand under the right bolt, while tightenign the left bolt, rotate between the two bolts til it pops off!
 

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new drums

Hey man, awesome job! just wondering where you got the new brake drums from? I'm in ottawa as well, trying to find some new but not from the dealer. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wouldn't recommend cutting any spring under tension: the free pieces can fly off with a lot of energy when you cut, and have the potential to cause injury.

For removing with the top spring, consider following the service manual procedure: deal with it last, not first. Unhook the bottom spring (much less tension) then pull the bottoms of the shoes from the backing plate stop. Take the shoes, pushrod and top spring off together as a unit: you can use the shoes as levers, prying against the parking brake pushrod, to get the shoes off the wheel cylinder. Once they're off, it's an easy matter to relax the upper spring and let it free.

Installing is of course the same thing in reverse. Key is to use the brake shoes to lever the upper spring, rather than trying to pull the spring directly.

Another unrelated tip is to put masking tape on the friction surfaces of the shoes when you take them out of the box, and take the tape off after everything's installed and ready for the drum to go on. Then you don't need to be as careful about avoiding keeping grease off the friction material.
The only issue with using the push rod to pry the shoes is you risk popping out the piston from the cylinder and then you have to go and bleed your brakes. Not the end of the world though I guess.

But yeah... not the safest method to cut them lol
 

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Hey man, I thought I would comment to thank you because I couldn't really find a DIY on these. I've done plenty disc brake jobs and figured this wouldn't be much of a task... until I took the drum off LOL. Anyway, thank you for the great write up, I followed it and am almost done, all I have left is that damn final spring (the green one in your pics) and it is definitely a ***** to get in, I'm still trying to figure out how I can do this, especially without another hand.
 

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I've watched youtube video's and this is by far the best writeup on tackling drum brakes on an 08 Honda Civic, your right, this job is a huge pain in the a**, Thank you for the pictures and your choice words.
 

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The springs for me are very ez my problem is when i put everything back to gether the top spring is very loose but if i tighten the slack adjuster i can not put the drum on over the shoes.....
 

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Hey tuffy excellent write-up on rear drum and shoes replacement. I noticed you are from Canada. Which inexpensive but good quality rotors, pads, drums, shoes would you recommand and where is the best place to get them here in Canada? Do you have any experience with Bosch QuietCast pads and rotors? Bosch pads are made in Mexico, but the rotors are made in China, so I wonder about the quality.
 
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