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New drum brake noise


Active Member
April 3, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Edmonton, Alberta
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 Ford Explorer XLT
Just redid drum brakes including new pads, new spring kit, new wheel cylinders, new cable guide brackets and had the drums turned. Same work done on both sides. Adjusted as best as I could, took for a test drive and everything appeared to work just great. My sister who drives this primarily is complaining of brake noise, just a little squealing at low speed braking in parking lots. I used cheap pads and I'm ready to tell her it'll just disappear over time as most newer vehicles I've driven do the same thing for the first while. Anything I should double check or any break in procedures I can try to help speed this up? I used disc brake caliper lube for the backing plate where the shoes rest as well as the adjuster and wheel cylinders as it was the closest grease I could find.

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You might have adjusted them too tight & now they have a slight rub when the wheel turns. Maybe back off a notch or two on the adjuster?

Possibly, but wouldn't the self adjuster back it off?

No....the self adjuster is designed to take up the "slack" or extra gap produced between the shoe and drum as the pad wears down, so what it does basically, is adjust the brake shoes tighter.

You'll have to back it off yourself.

I took it for a test drive myself today, didn't hear anything. I'm going to dismiss it for now as new shoes breaking in to freshly turned drums. If it comes back and is worse, I'll be readjusting. Thanks guys.

Phantom noises can be worse then real noises. Glad to hear you got it fixed :)

Phantom noises can be worse then real noises. Glad to hear you got it fixed :)

I'm hoping that's all it is. The truck is getting old and its not worth spending huge dollars on premium parts anymore. It just passed 250,000km and I was hoping it would make it up to that and then be retired. Every day from here on out is a blessing. The drum brake job was a PITA as it was my first time. I got everything together, didn't replace the wheel cylinders and as soon as I was ready to put on the drums guess what started to leak.... Luckily I was able to sneak new ones in without disconnecting too much. Also found out the half-moon cable brackets were shot after the fact, had to sneak those in there as well. Next time I may have to replace the lines to the drums if the wheel cylinders have to come off. The fittings were rusted really bad and started to round off, luckily they had enough left to retighten but took a beating. Lesson learned: Replace everything.

Brake noise

And to make sure it's coming from the back. Take the car to the parking lot and find a straight path that you can get up to about 25-30 . Then slowly push down on the emer. brake(foot off gas) untill it creates a slow drag. The emer. brake only works the back. Repeat, if it doesn't squeal ,probably front.