GM Astro/Safari 1985-1996 Repair Guide

Brake Shoes

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CAUTION
Brake shoes 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.

INSPECTION



Remove the drum and inspect the lining thickness of both brake shoes. The rear brake shoes should be replaced if the lining is less than 1 / 16 in. (1.5mm) at the lowest point (bonded linings) or above the rivet heads (riveted linings) on the brake shoe. However, these lining thickness measurements may disagree with your state inspections laws.

Brake shoes should always be replaced in sets.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14



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Fig. Fig. 1: Drum brake components



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Fig. Fig. 2: The standard GM drum brake



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Fig. Fig. 3: Use proper brake tools when removing parts like the return springs



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Fig. Fig. 4: Note the direction in which each spring and component is installed for ease during installation



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Fig. Fig. 5: Sometimes tools such as needle nosed pliers allow you additionally needed flexibility



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Fig. Fig. 6: Use this tool by placing the socket over the pin and rotating until the tang lifts the spring or linkage off



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Fig. Fig. 7: Do not lose this plate. Nothing holds it in place once the springs are removed



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Fig. Fig. 8: A brake shoe retention pin removal tool makes the job much easier



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Fig. Fig. 9: Press on the back side of the pin while using the tool to allow the pin to be released from the lock



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Fig. Fig. 10: Try to remove most of the parts as entire assemblies. This will ease installation



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Fig. Fig. 11: The shoes can come out together at this point and be disassembled on the bench



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Fig. Fig. 12: Separate the parking brake lever from the shoes to free the shoes from the brake assembly



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Fig. Fig. 13: After the shoes have been removed, this link will be one part left behind



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Fig. Fig. 14: Drum brake components ready for inspection

The following procedure requires the use of the GM Brake Spring Pliers tool No. J-8057 or equivalent.

  1. Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Slacken the parking brake cable.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rear wheels and the brake drum.
  6.  
  7. Using the GM Brake Spring Pliers tool No. J-8057 or equivalent, disconnect the brake shoe return springs, the actuator pullback spring, the hold-down pins/springs and the actuator assembly.
  8.  

Special brake spring tools are available from the auto supply stores, which will ease the replacement of the spring and anchor pin, but the job may still be performed with common hand tools.

  1. Disconnect the adjusting mechanism and spring, then remove the primary shoe. The primary shoe has a shorter lining than the secondary and is mounted at the front of the wheel.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the parking brake lever from the secondary shoe and remove the shoe.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Clean and inspect all of the brake parts.
  2.  
  3. Check the wheel cylinders for seal condition and leaking.
  4.  
  5. If necessary, repack the wheel bearings and replace the oil seals.
  6.  
  7. Inspect the replacement shoes for nicks or burrs, lubricate the backing plate contact points, the brake cable, the levers and adjusting screws, then reassemble them.
  8.  
  9. 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.
  10.  
  11. Using lithium grease or equivalent, lubricate the shoe pads (on the backing plate) and the adjusting screw threads.
  12.  
  13. Install the springs and adjusters. When completed, make an initial adjustment as previously described.
  14.  

 
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