Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
97' - I had the same thoughts last week before I started my rear brakes.
Turns out, they were a heckuva lot easier than I ever thought they would be. I did it using the Haynes manual, so that helps...
Either way if you have the book you shouldn't have any problems. When you buy the new drum pads, get the $7 brake wrench - well worth it even if you only use it once. Along with that, have some good sized needle nose pliers (2 pair) handy and a screwdriver. Other than that, I don't think I really used much else in the way of tools.
One trick tat everyone has said to use though - either take both wheels and drums off and use one for a reference, or take a picture and print it out BEFORE you start so you know how all the springs go back in.
For a first timer, the first side will cause a lot of cussing, second side is a bit easier. It took me about 2.5hours total for both sides, but I ended up jacking it up again the next day to get the proportioning correct.
Hope this helps.
'97 Forest green. ~6" total lift, 8.8, etc. 36" TSL's, winch. You get the drill.