Originally Posted by cerial
It only matters if you have and are using a parking break. In that case the cable is routed in the front or rear of the drum. The cable pulls on the parking brake which piviots on a point increasing leverage.
It has been almost 50 years.
Someone could have installed a diffrent axle or backing plate that requires the smaller one on that side.
Other then interference or some aftermarket thing requiring special pads it does not make a diffrence what way they are mounted.
Sorry, but I have to disagree. The leading shoe is self energizing in the direction of travel. Since MOST of your high speed driving is forward, the front shoe is the one that's self energizing. The reduced lining area on the front shoe is designed to help balance the loads on the two shoes so they wear somewhat evenly. The metal backing part of the shoe is the same on both, so the parking brake is irrelevant. In fact, on 1980s GM cars, the parking brake cable comes in from the front on one side and the rear on the other side so they could save a few pennies per car by only having one backing plate. The shoe with the smaller lining still goes towards the front. And frankly, it lining size didn't matter, manufacturers wouldn't incur the extra cost of having two different shoes in each lining set.