Chevrolet Citation/Omega/Phoenix/Skylark 1980-1985 Repair Guide



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Fig. Fig. 1 Location of the drum brake adjustment hole (see arrow)

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Fig. Fig. 2 A special tool is available to turn the brake adjusting star wheel


The front disc brakes are inherently self-adjusting. No adjustments are either necessary or possible.


The drum brakes are designed to self-adjust when applied with the car moving in reverse. However, they can also be adjusted manually. this guide adjustment should also be performed whenever the linings are replaced.

  1. Use a punch to knock out the stamped area on the brake drum. If this is done with the drum installed on the car, the drum must then be removed to clean out all metal pieces. After adjustments are complete, obtain a hole cover from your dealer (Part no. 4874119 or the equivalent) to prevent entry of dirt and water into the brakes.
  3. Use an awl, a screwdriver, or an adjusting tool especially made for the purpose to turn the brake adjusting screw star wheel. Expand the shoes until the drum can just barely be turned by hand.
  5. Back off the adjusting screw 30 notches. If the shoes still are dragging lightly, back off the adjusting screw one or two additional notches. If the brakes still drag, the parking brake adjustment is incorrect or the parking brake is applied. Fix and start over.
  7. Install the hole cover into the drum.
  9. Check the parking brake adjustment.

On some models, no marked area or stamped area is present on the drum. In this case, a hole must be drilled in the backing plate:

  1. All backing plates have two round flat areas in the lower half through which the parking brake cable is installed. Drill a 1 / 2 in. hole into the round flat area on the backing plate opposite the parking brake cable. This will allow access to the star wheel.
  3. After drilling the hole, remove the drum and remove all metal particles. Install a hole plug (Part no. 4874119 or the equivalent) to prevent the entry of water or dirt.