I have no idea when the rear drum brake shoes were last replaced or how to tell if they need to be replaced again. I bought the car back in Dec2007 and replaced the front disc brake pads in March due to squeaking...haven't had any braking issues since.
In the past 2 weeks, I have begun to notice this weird thumping-like sound when I apply the breaks while only going about 15 mph...(like in a parking lot). There's not much of a vibration/studder, but there is a discernible thumping-like-sound coming from the rear. I thought it may be some of my tools rattling in the trunk, but I've checked/secured everything and the sound persists.
Is this an indication that I need to work on the rear drum breaks?
What are some other common symptoms that the rear drum brakes need a look?
Drum break work looks fairly complex from the drawings in my Haynes Manual. Is this something a novice car mechanic should consider undertaking or should I bite the bullet and out source this work? I like the feeling of pride I get from working on my car, but don't want to do a crappy job and put my life at risk.