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Discussion Starter #1
are specialized tools for installing/removing brake shoe & return springs really any better than a good assortment of locking pliers? i expect brute force ends up being the primary tool used in either case; however, if there is in fact a significant benefit what drum brake tools should i be using? i already own an adjusting tool to turn the star wheel because i learned a screwdriver just wont cut it. it's already pretty damn easy to get the brake spring washers on & off with locking pliers so i'm not gonna need a seperate tool for that. as for the return springs i'm not sure what tool should be used. i've seen a bendix drum brake spring tool; i've also seen brake spring pliers which appear to incorporate the bendix tool in the handles. what tools should i or should i not be using? thanks
 

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They are much easier to use . Slip once witrh the locking pliers and rash you hand(s) with the suspension of the car and you will wish the locking pliers had never been made .
The spring tool also tends to not slip off the springs like the vise-grips can .
 

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All I've ever used are channel locks and a flathead screwdriver. . .


Robert
 

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The speciality one for the round retaining springs is a must.
 

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I would not do with out two tools - the spoon type to slip the springs over the top pin and the one to install the hold down spring fastener (not sure what they are called). The spoon save skinned knuckles -or worst - when the vise grips slips and the other one saves a lot of frustration – and just maybe a dent from a flying tool. ::
 

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I have the tool for removing/installing the longer springs, the tool that looks like a nut driver for removing/installing the shoe retaining springs, and a brake adjusting spring. I wouldn't be without any of them.
 

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Three Tools: Spring installing/removing tool that looks like a bent rod in the form of a lazy S, the one end has a divit on the tip for centering on the spring post and the other end has round piece with a small tongue that grabs the spring for removal by twisting. Also the red handled nut driver for removing & installing the hold down springs. And of course the Adjusting tool. I think they're all KD Tool. I couldn't live without them!
 

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I have the set of tools for drum brakes and love them. I almost sold them along time ago and I am glad I didn't.
 

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I have the drum brake tool kit as well, and while it may not be a necessity, it sure makes life a lot easier. ::
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for your input all. the concensus seems to be overwhelmingly in favor of using the specialized tools so i'll pick up a set for my next job
 
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