2001 Ford Focus ZX3 Change the Brake Shoes

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Brake shoes push out against the brake drum to slow the 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 to a halt when you step on the brake pedal. As the shoes and drums contact one another, they both wear down, however, the shoes wear down at a much faster rate. Once the brake shoes wear past 3 mm, you should replace them immediately so they don’t damage the brake drums. Anyone with basic auto-repair experience can change the brake shoes on a 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 in about two hours.

Tools Used[edit]

Wheel chocks
Lug wrench
2 jack stands
Drop pan
Brake cleaner
Dead blow hammer (optional)
Mechanic's pick
Torque wrench

Change the Brake Shoes[edit]

  • Place the wheel chocks in the front and back of the front wheels to prevent the Focus from rolling. Loosen the rear lug nuts, using the lug wrench.
  • Lift the rear end with the jack and then lower it onto the jack stands, placed below the rear jack points on both sides. Remove the rear wheels and lug nuts by hand.
  • Place the drop pan under the right-rear brake drum and spray brake cleaner in between the brake drum and backing plate, using the straw provided with the brake cleaner, to remove the built-up brake dust.
  • Pull the brake drum off the hub by hand. If the drum will not move, strike the drum face with the dead blow hammer about 1 inch above the center of the drum face. Rotate the drum and strike it again, 1 inch above the center. Repeat this until you can pull the drum off the hub by hand.
  • Pull the springs off the brake shoes, using the mechanic's pick. Pull the brake shoes off the backing plate by hand and insert the new shoes in their place. Attach the springs to the new shoes in reverse of how you removed them from the old ones.
  • Slide the brake drum over the new shoes and then move the star adjuster counterclockwise until the brake pads are adjusted ¼-inch off the brake drum.
  • Repeat steps three through six on the left-rear brake assembly and then reinstall the wheels and lug nuts by hand.
  • Lower the Focus off the jack stands with the jack. Tighten the lug nuts to 85 ft.-lbs., using the lug wrench. Move the wheel chocks away from the front wheels before driving.

Tips & Warnings[edit]

Consider having the drums machined or replaced during the brake shoe replacement. While it's not absolutely necessary, it does prolong the life of your new brake shoes and will provide better brake performance for your ZX3.