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Taurus Needs A Brake

Q. I'm attempting to replace the brakes on a 1989 Ford Taurus. I've replaced the brake shoes, set the adjuster to its lowest point, installed the springs and clips. Now I can't get the drum back on. I can get one side of the brake cylinder to move but not the other.

No, I haven't done anything to the cylinders on either side. Since one side of the cylinder doesn't move do I think that it's locked up? I've loosened the bleeder screw but still get no action. If I can get that one side of the cylinder to move do you think I should be able to get the drum back on?

Thanks for your help.

A. Gee, you got the bleeder open without it breaking? That's a trick in itself.

You're right, both wheel cylinder pistons should move in and out. If one side will not go in, it is frozen and the drum will not go back on because it's holding the brake shoe to far out. You'll need to replace both wheel cylinders. Even if you somehow manage to free it up, there's nothing to say it won't lock up again the first time you step on the brakes.

Another thing to check is the parking brake cable. Sometimes you need to back off the adjustment to allow the shoes to retract enough to get the drum back on. Although in this case, that's not really the problem.

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