XR4Ti Archived Tech Articles

    How to Buy Correct XR4Ti Rear Brake Shoes - A summary, in pictures and text of how to buy rear brake shoes for the XR4Ti without getting the incorrect parts.

Post Date:    Thursday, 08 Jul 2004
Subject:      How to Buy Correct XR4Ti Rear Brake Shoes
List:         imon@lists.merkurowners.org

When I picked up a handful of new/remanufactured XR4Ti rear brake 
shoes I checked them all to be sure that the ones I had were the 
correct ones.  Of course, since the items couldn't be returned, 
one set of four was incorrect.  Since I have heard of others 
having issues with this in the past and people often discover it 
when they are trying to install the parts or trying to put the 
drums back on, I figured I'd compile some pictures of the brake 
shoes comparing the right ones to the wrong ones.

There are a couple important differences.  One, you'll notice that 
on the bad set I have pictured here, the hardware isn't complete 
on the shoes.  The second and most common problem pictured here is 
the lining thickness.  Normally, there is a primary (thick) lining 
and a secondary (thinner) lining.  As you can see from the pictures 
below, it's fairly obvious that one lining is thicker than the 

Both items displayed are the same part number from the same 

bad shoe left, good shoe right
The incorrect set is on the left and the correct set is on the right.
bad shoe left, good shoe right; note the locking mechanism on one of the correct shoes
In the picture above, note the locking mechanism. This mechanism is completely absent on the incorrect set on the left, even though the rivet hole is in place. During remanufacture this part was completely omitted.
lining thickness and closeup of locking mechanism
This is the first image that shows the difference in lining thickness on the correct set. You can also see the locking mechanism closeup (not that there is much to see).
incorrect lining thickness
Even though the appearance of the lining thickness is slightly distorted because of the lens and the proximity of the items being photographed to the camera, you can still get the idea that these incorrect linings are the same thickness. This incorrect thickness will prevent you from installing the drums over the shoes.
correct thickness top, incorrect thickness bottom
The composite image above shows fairly clearly the difference between the linings. The top portion of the picture shows the correct linings with the difference in thickness and the bottom portion of the picture shows the incorrect linings. Hopefully this image makes everything clear.
lining size comparison
I'm not quite sure of the significance of this finding yet, but you'll notice that the linings on the incorrect set (left) cover more of the backing plate than the linings on the correct set (right). One has to assume that the extra lining length on the shoe, in addition to the extra lining thickness, makes it more difficult to install the drum over the incorrect set of shoes.
the correct handed sides
Finally, this image is simply a reminder that there is a left hand and right hand side. Since the manufacturer tends to screw the linings up and occasionally forgets to install the hardware, it's worthwhile to check the shoes to be sure you have one of each.
Hopefully this guide will prevent others from walking out of the parts store with the wrong part.
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Published by Chris Anglin.