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shoe installation

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what is the trick to getting the heavy bottom spring installed correctly; besides magic...

mike

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I just used a couple pairs of pliers and some screwdrivers, and just trial and error... trick?

none I know, just get em in there...

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Dont use a pick tool or anything that is sharp and pointy.

I tried using my pick tool to "hook" around the spring, well the first time I used some mussle trying to pull the spring back in place the pick tool slipped off the spring, I hit myself in the face and jabbed the pick tool straight through my bottom lip.

After checking to see what new teeth I was missing, I then went to the tool box and grabbed the pliers.

"work smarter not harder" is what my momma says!

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my knowledge of German swear words is limited. I have found the "easiest" way is to get the two ends in their holes in the brake shoes, then take a big screwdriver (with a wide blade), set the blade at right angles to the retaining lip on the backing plate, and push straight up on the spring with the screwdriver blade. If you're lucky, on the third or fourth try, the spring will pop over the retaining lip and you're set.

I've also had success using a small scissors jack with a dullish cold chisel set vertically on the jack pad with the sharp end positioned like the screwdriver blade above. Then slowly and carefully raise the jack until the spring is above the retainer lip, and pop it in place. Be careful if you try this, 'cause the chisel can pop off the jack head and go flying.

The first way is safer, but requires more muscle (and swear words)

mike

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I've always found that it helps a little if you use a c-clamp (or c-jawed vise grips) on the shoe to hold it in place against the backing plate (not too tight). That way the whole thing doesn't move as you try to insert the spring in the shoe hole. One of those screwdriver-style nail pullers help too but I usually just use pliers. In the end muscle, luck and patience are key.

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I put the top spring together first (behind is technically correct, but it does not matter because there are no clearance issues), wrap the shoes around and use a small pry bar on the bottom spring clip.

Also back off your adjusters so the shoes will slide in as far as they can go. This will of course relax the springs as much as possible.

Patience is a must for replacing rear shoes.

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Just did this last weekend when doing the E21 rear brake upgrade. Bought tools, etc., but was a real pita. I consulted the factory manual and Chilton's, but still couldn't believe how hard it was to do. I finally found a way that's a piece of cake: With both shoes off of the car, I attached the springs to both of them. Then I placed the shoe on the left onto the backing plate with the top onto the cylinder and the bottom into its slot, put my left foot on it to hold it in place, and just pulled the other into place. It sounds crazy, but it works like a charm and takes just seconds. I'll never use another tool for this again. And don't laugh until you try it.

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Just did this last weekend when doing the E21 rear brake upgrade. Bought tools, etc., but was a real pita. I consulted the factory manual and Chilton's, but still couldn't believe how hard it was to do. I finally found a way that's a piece of cake: With both shoes off of the car, I attached the springs to both of them. Then I placed the shoe on the left onto the backing plate with the top onto the cylinder and the bottom into its slot, put my left foot on it to hold it in place, and just pulled the other into place. It sounds crazy, but it works like a charm and takes just seconds. I'll never use another tool for this again. And don't laugh until you try it.

I do it similiarly, and, as stated, it's fairly easy. Done all 3 of my squarelites this way.

Bob Napier

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