Problems with the rear brake system of the Ford Focus include worn brake pads, cables and rotors requiring replacement. Problems with rear brake drums, shoes and hold down spring kits have also been reported.
While replacing cables and hold down spring kits are tasks best left to a professional mechanic, replacing brake drums and brake shoes can be completed at home. First, lift the vehicle with a hydraulic jack and take off the wheel cover. Remove the tire, bearing dust cap, axle bearing nut and brake drum. Clean the brake drum to remove debris and allow to dry. Check the brake shoe for cracks.
If the brake shoe shows signs of wear or cracking, use side cutters to remove the springs holding the shoe in place. Release both the clips holding down the brake shoe and the parking brake cable, and remove the shoe. Use the measurements of the old shoe to align the new one, carefully transferring the brake springs and the parking brake adjuster to the new shoe. Reconnect the parking brake cable to the lever and mount the new brake shoe on the backing plate. Fasten the retainer clips, set the brake shoe return spring, and readjust the shoe to complete the installation.
Install the new brake drum, and fasten it in place with the retainer nut. Replace the dust cap, and reattach the tire to the vehicle, making sure to tighten the lug nuts appropriately. Finally, replace the wheel cover.