Chevrolet Full-size Cars 1968-1978 Repair Guide

Brake Drums and Shoes



Brake shoes may contain asbestos, which has been determined to be a cancer causing agent. Never clean the brake surfaces with compressed air! Avoid inhaling any dust from any brake surface! When cleaning brake surfaces, use a commercially available brake cleaning fluid.

For information on the wheel bearing, refer to Wheel Bearings in . Disassemble one side at a time so that you may use the unassembled side for reference during reassembly.

  1. Raise the vehicle and support it on safety stands.
  3. Remove the front tire and wheel assembly. Remove the front drum by removing the spindle nut and cotter pin.
  5. Free the brake shoe return springs, actuator pull-back spring, hold-down pins and springs, and actuator assembly.

Special tools available from auto supply stores will ease removal of the spring and anchor pin, but the job may still be done with common hand tools.

  1. Disconnect the adjusting mechanism and spring, and remove the primary shoe. The primary shoe has a shorter lining than the secondary and is mounted at the front of the wheel.

To install:

  1. Clean and inspect all brake parts.
  3. Check the wheel cylinders for seal condition and leaking.
  5. Repack wheel bearings and replace the seals.
  7. Inspect the replacement shoes for nicks or burrs, lubricate the backing plate contact points, brake cable and levers, and adjusting screws and then assemble using the unassembled side for reference.

Make sure that the right and left-hand adjusting screws are not mixed. You can prevent this by working on one side at a time. This will also provide you with a reference for reassembly. The star wheel should be nearest to the secondary shoe when correctly installed.

When completed, make an initial adjustment as previously described.

Maintenance procedures for the metallic lining option are the same as those for standard linings. Do not substitute these linings in standard drums, unless they have been honed to a 20 micro-inch finish and equipped with special heat resistant springs.


  1. Check the drums for any cracks, scores, grooves, or an out-of-round condition. Replace if cracked. Slight scores can be removed with fine emery cloth while extensive scoring requires turning the drum on a lathe.
  3. Never have a drum turned more than 0.060 inch.