Parking brake rebuild – pins too short and other notes

I decided to rebuild the right side parking brake on my 2006 Outback XT 5MT with 138k miles since the brake wasn’t holding even after adjustment (both tightening the cable and expanding the shoes) and there was an intermittent scraping noise from the right rear wheel. Took the caliper and rotor off (caliper bracket bolts required a 3 foot pipe on a breaker bar and lots of force!) and found the shoe linings had separated from the shoes and were loose between the rotor/parking brake/hub. Disassembled the parking brake, had some observations:

1) I bought a replacement set of shoes at NAPA (Ultra Premium) – found the pins for the brake lever plates were too short. Saw a warning about that in a review for a different brand online – has anyone found aftermarket shoes with correct pins? I ended up buying a set of OEM Subaru shoes (made by Akebono and 4x the price of aftermarket) which fit correctly. The pin retainer clips with the OEM shoes were also the correct size unlike the clips in the rebuild kit.
2) Be sure to first somewhat loosen the brake cable using the 10mm adjustment nut on the brake handle, that will make the job easier
3) I had to use a torch to separate the lever plate from the shoe – it was rusted solid and wouldn’t budge.
4) Take photos before disassembling – one online video showed the shoe springs in the opposite orientation as my original springs. The few photos I took were crucial.
5) One of the retaining pins kept rotating and popping out during reassembly. Not sure why, and not fully confident they’re both going to stay put although they shouldn’t be able to pop out now that it’s reassembled. I would give those pins a few test fittings first to identify the best procedure/alignment – it should be a simple 90 degree turn of the pin but somehow it wasn’t.
6) The triangle plate is not symmetric, note the orientation when removing. You may need to wiggle it to get both spring ends fully seated during reassembly. Don’t lose the original as there’s no replacement in the rebuild kit.

This job was much more frustrating than I anticipated, at some point I’ll do the left side since I have all the parts., hoping the brake works with one side new and the other worn (haven’t tested it yet). The scariest part was that my hydraulic floor jack failed overnight, it dumped all its fluid onto my garage floor and fully retracted. The jack stand I put under the rear diff supported the car. All those warnings about never getting under a car supported only by a jack are for real.

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