How to Change Honda 420 Rancher Rear Brake Shoes

Replacing the rear brake shoes on a Rancher 420 Honda ATV requires some disassembly on the rear wheel in order to get to the brakes. 

Because of the extra work it takes, you might as well do as much as you can while you’re in there, including replacing the O-rings and seals that keep water and dirt out of the housing.  Watch the video above and follow the steps below to learn how to replace the rear brake shoes on a Honda Rancher TRX420 ATV. Use our Honda Rancher 420 rear brake diagram for additional reference.

Honda Rancher TRX420 rear brake shoes change

Tools and Parts Needed - Honda Rancher 420 Rear Brake Shoe Replacement

Tools

  • 8mm, 12mm, 17mm, 30mm sockets
  • Ratchet
  • Torque wrench
  • Large adjustable wrench
  • Flat-blade screwdriver
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Soft-blow hammer
  • Pick tool
  • Breaker bar (optional)
  • Axle nut torque adapter (optional)
  • Axle nut holder (optional)

Honda Rancher 420 Rear Brake Shoes Replacement

Step 1. Put the ATV on a jack and remove the 17mm lug nuts on the right rear wheel, followed by the wheel itself.

Honda Rancher TRX420 rear brake shoes replacement

Step 2. Remove the castle nut and cotter pin that hold the hub in place.

Honda TRX 420 Rancher rear brake shoes change

Step 3. Remove the 30mm castle nut and the hub. 

Honda TRX 420 Rancher rear brake shoes replacement

NOTE: Use something to hold the hub in place. A pry bar can be used, but you’ll need to wrap electrical tape around the studs or replace the lug nuts to protect the threads on the wheel studs.

Step 4. Use a marker to draw a line across the two bolts under the hub. This helps get the bolts back to the same torque when reassembling everything.

Honda Rancher 420 rear brake shoes replacement

Step 5. Remove the pinch bolts. Don’t lose the small washer behind the pinch bolts.

Honda Rancher 420 rear brake shoes change

PRO TIP: Have someone apply the rear brake to keep the axle from turning. These bolts can be tough to loosen, as dirt and moisture in the threads can cause them to almost seize up. Use penetrating oil to help break the bolts free. 

Step 6. Remove the two 12mm bolts holding the plate that protects the brake assembly, followed by the plate itself. The bolts are underneath the plate, in the front and back. 

Honda Rancher 420 ATV rear brake shoes change

Step 7. Remove the large washer in the middle. 

Honda Rancher TRX420 ATV rear brake shoes change

Step 8. Remove the six 8mm bolts holding the outer housing in place. Use a flat-blade screwdriver to pry the housing off. 

Honda Rancher 420 ATV rear brake shoes replacement

Step 9. Back out the brake adjusters by loosening the wingnuts counterclockwise to give yourself more room to work inside the brake drum. 

Honda Rancher ATV rear brake shoes replacement

Step 10. Remove the brake drum. 

Honda Rancher 420 rear brake drum

NOTE: You can pry a little bit at the brake drum, but be very careful, as the aluminum bends easily.

Step 11. Clean up the axle and the inside of the brake drum with contact cleaner. 

Honda TRX 420 rear brake shoes

Step 12. The brake shoes are held in place by a plate that rides on top of two studs. Two cotter pins keep the plate secure on the studs. Remove the cotter pins so you can pull the plate away.

Honda TRX 420 Rancher rear brake shoes

Step 13. Walk the two brake pads off of the studs by leveraging a flat-blade screwdriver behind the plates.

Honda Rancher 420 rear brake pads

Step 14. Use contact cleaner to remove brake residue from the back of the brake drum. 

Honda Rancher ATV rear brake drum

NOTE: Wrap a towel around the axle to avoid getting contact cleaner inside the bearing. The contact cleaner splashes back, so wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.

Step 15. Use a screwdriver to pry loose the dust seal around the axle.

Honda Rancher TRX 420 rear brake dust seal

NOTE: If you just want to replace the brake shoes, skip ahead to Step 17.

Step 16. Replace this dust seal with a new one by re-packing the new seal with grease, then positioning it by hand around the axle. Use a soft-blow hammer to drive the seal into place until it’s flush.

Honda TRX 420 Rancher rear brake change

Step 17. Add a little grease to the studs that the new brake shoes ride on inside the drum. 

Honda TRX 420 ATV brake shoes change

NOTE: Don’t overdo it on the grease, as grease in the wrong place in brakes will inhibit their performance.

Step 18. Install the new brake pads by pulling them apart to get the holes in the pads to line up with the studs. The other side of the pads ride on the dark colored tab on the left between the two semi-circular pads. 

Honda TRX Rancher 420 brake pads change

PRO TIP: A soft-blow hammer might work here to walk the shoes onto the studs.

Step 19. Replace the plate over the two studs, then replace the cotter pins through the studs that hold the plate in place. There is one cotter pin for each stud. Once they’re in place, bend them to secure them. 

Honda Rancher 420 rear brake shoes service

Step 20. Apply a little grease to the inside opening on the brake drum, where the axle passes through. There are splines in this opening, and greasing them now makes it easier to disassemble later on. 

Honda Rancher ATV brake shoe service

Step 21. Pry out the seal on the outside of the drum in order to replace it. 

Honda TRX 420 ATV rear brake drum seal

PRO TIP: This may not be necessary on your unit, but with all the work required to get to it, it’s best to just replace it. 

Step 22. Position the drum by sliding it onto the axle, then slide the seal ring into place. 

Honda ATV rear brake drum

PRO TIP: Use the washer to press the seal into position.

Step 23. Grease the outside of the collar. 

Honda Rancher TRX 420 brake shoes change service

Step 24. Remove and replace the O-ring around the outside of the brake drum. Use a pick tool to lift it out of its groove, then replace it and apply a little grease to the O-ring and the surface on either side of it. 

Honda Rancher 420 rear brake drum seal change

Step 25. Replace the seal in the outer cover. Position the cover face down resting on a couple of blocks to create a gap so you can push out the old seal with a punch. Flip the cover over and seat the new dust seal in with a soft-blow hammer. 

Honda TRX 420 Rancher rear brake dust seal change

Step 26. Grease the outer cover to get it ready to install. Pack grease around the opening where the axle passes through, then apply a light coat of grease around the inside rim of the cover. 

Honda TRX 420 ATV rear brake drum cover

Step 27. Slide the cover into place, then reinstall the six 8mm bolts that hold it in place. 

Honda Rancher rear brake shoes replacement service

Step 28. Slide the large metal washer into place, followed by the smaller washer that sits in the middle of the larger plate.

Honda TRX 420 Rancher brake service

Step 29. Install the pinch bolts. Tighten the inner bolt (the one closest to the cover) to 29 foot-pounds. 

Honda ATV brake shoes replacement axle nut

PRO TIP: Honda makes an axle nut holder wrench and axle nut torque adapter to help you achieve the correct torque settings. See diagram below.

Honda Rancher 420 rear brake shoes axle nut diagram

Step 30. Reinstall the outer pinch bolt and torque it to 94 foot-pounds. You can use the special tool setup above, or reinstall the hub, hand-tighten the castle nut, spin a couple of lugs in place to protect the threads on the studs, and wedge in a prybar to prevent the axle from turning. 

Honda Rancher 420 rear brake hub

Step 31. Tighten the 30mm castle nut to 101 foot-pounds. Leave the prybar wedged in to keep the hub from turning. Next, replace the cotter pin. If the holes don’t line up to insert the cotter pin, give the castle nut a little more torque, then bend the cotter pin to hold it in place. 

Honda Rancher TRX 420 rear brake castle nut cotter pin

Step 32. Reinstall the plate underneath the rear brake housing. It’s held in place by two 12mm bolts. 

Honda Rancher 420 rear brake shoes install

Step 33. Tighten the wingnuts clockwise until you have about a half-inch of play up at the brake lever. Next, adjust the hand brake to match up with that adjustment. 

Honda Rancher 420 rear brake adjustment

NOTE: It’s important to give yourself some play in the brakes. Otherwise, they could be engaged and heat up, which can prematurely wear or seize them up.

Step 34. Replace the wheel, then tighten the lugs to 47 foot-pounds and you’re done.

Honda 420 ATV Rancher brake service

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