GM Cutlass RWD 1970-1987 Repair Guide

Brake Shoes

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INSPECTION



  1. Raise the vehicle, support it with jackstands and remove the wheel.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake drum as outlined earlier.
  4.  
  5. Inspect the shoes for any obvious defects.
  6.  
  7. If there are no obvious defects, measure the remaining lining to see if the shoes are still usable. Generally speaking, 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 a riveted shoe at one of the rivets. don't measure it at the edge. Measure a bonded shoe at the edge.
  8.  
  9. Check to make sure the shoes are wearing evenly all the way around. If they aren't, replace them.
  10.  
  11. Reinstall the brake drum and wheel and tire.
  12.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1 thru 17

If you have not installed brake shoes before, it is a good idea to leave one set of brake shoes intact as a reference.



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Fig. Fig. 1: Using specialized brake tools can save time and make the job easier

  1. Raise the vehicle and support it with jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Slacken the parking brake cable.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel and tire. Remove the brake drum.
  6.  
  7. Free the brake shoe return springs, and the actuator pull back spring, hold down pins and springs and actuator assembly.
  8.  

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. On the rear wheels, 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.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the parking brake lever from the secondary shoe and remove the shoe. Rear wheel shoes may be removed together.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the brake drum



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Fig. Fig. 3: This tool simplifies return spring removal



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the return spring



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the actuating link



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Fig. Fig. 6: After the return springs have been removed, the shoe guide can be removed from the anchor pin



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Fig. Fig. 7: Remove the parking brake strut and spring



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Fig. Fig. 8: Push and twist the hold down spring to disengage it from the hold down spring



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Fig. Fig. 9: Remove the hold down spring and pin



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Fig. Fig. 10: Remove the pawl and lever return spring



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Fig. Fig. 11: The rear wheel shoes can be removed together



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Fig. Fig. 12: Remove the rear cable from the parking brake lever



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Fig. Fig. 13: A view of the rear drum brake assembly

To install:
  1. Clean and inspect all brake parts.
  2.  
  3. Check the wheel cylinders for seal condition and leaking.
  4.  
  5. Repack wheel bearings and replace the seals.
  6.  
  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.
  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. When completed, make an initial adjustment as previously described.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 14: Drum brake assembly - 1975-77



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Fig. Fig. 15: Drum brake assembly, 1978 and later (1985-87 models have the pawl as part of the actuator)



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Fig. Fig. 16: Exploded view of the adjusting screw assembly



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Fig. Fig. 17: Bleeder hose attachment - rear drum brakes

 
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