GM Cutlass RWD 1970-1987 Repair Guide

Brake Shoes

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INSPECTION



See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Remove the brake drum as outlined earlier.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Front drum brake assembly

  1. Inspect the shoes for any obvious defects.
  2.  
  3. If there are no obvious defect, measure the remaining lining to see of the shoes are still usable. Generally specking, a lining thickness of around 3 / 32 in. is acceptable for a bonded brake shoe. On a riveted brake shoe, a lining depth of 3 / 32 in. is also acceptable. Measure the riveted shoe at one of the rivets. Don't measure it at the edge. Measure a bonded shoe at the edge.
  4.  
  5. Check to make sure the shoes are wearing evenly all the way around. If they aren't, replace them.
  6.  
  7. Reinstall the brake drum and wheel.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Measure a bonded shoe at the edge

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION




CAUTION
Some 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.

If you have not installed brake shoes before, it is a good idea to leave the brake assembly on one side intact as a reference.

  1. Raise the vehicle, support it with jackstands and remove the wheel.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake drum as outlined earlier.
  4.  
  5. Remove the primary and secondary shoe return springs and the actuating link.
  6.  
  7. Remove the brake shoe return spring, hold-down springs, pins and washers and adjuster assembly.
  8.  

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

  1. Be careful removing the springs, as they are under considerable tension.
  2.  
  3. Remove the shoes from the drum once the springs and pins are removed.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Clean and inspect all brake parts.
  2.  
  3. Check the wheel cylinders for sealing and leaking. If you suspect any leakage, replace the cylinders.
  4.  
  5. Repack the bearings and replace the seals.
  6.  
  7. Inspect the new shoes for cracks and burrs, Lubricate the backing plate contact points and adjusting screws.
  8.  
  9. Reinstall the new brake shoes. Install the anchor pins first to hold them in place. It will then be possible to install the return springs.
  10.  
  11. Install the adjuster, the star wheel should be nearest the secondary shoe.
  12.  
  13. Install the return spring. If you don't remember what went where, refer to the other side, providing the other side is still intact. Once the brake shoes are installed, install the brake drum.
  14.  
  15. Install the wheel bearing and adjust it.
  16.  
  17. Install the wheel and tire and adjust the brakes.
  18.  

 
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