GM S-Series Pick-ups and SUV's 1994-1999 Repair Guide



Brake pads 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.


See Figure 1

Normal adjustments of the rear drum brakes are automatic and are made during the reverse applications of the brakes. The following procedure should be used ONLY if the linings have been replaced.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Drum brake adjustment

  1. Raise and support the rear of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  3. Using a punch and a hammer on the rear of the backing plates, knock out the lanced metal areas near the starwheel assemblies on each plate. The metal areas may already have been removed and covered with rubber adjustment plugs, if so remove the plugs by grasping and pulling with a pair of pliers.

After knocking out the lanced metal areas from the backing plate, the wheels must be removed and all of the metal pieces discarded, then the wheels should be reinstalled for adjustment.

  1. Insert a suitable brake adjustment tool such as J-4735 or equivalent, into the breaking plate slots and engage the lowest possible tooth on the starwheel. Move the end of the brake tool downward to move the starwheel upward and expand the adjusting screw. Repeat this operation until the wheels can JUST be turned by hand. This is a position immediately before the brakes lock.

The brake drag should be equal at both wheels.

  1. Back off the adjusting screws 24 notches (clicks). By the time you have backed off the adjustment 12 clicks, the brakes should have no drag. If a heavy drag is still present, the parking brake cable is likely in need of adjustment.
  3. Make sure both sides of the brakes are properly adjusted. When backing off the brakes on the other side, the adjusting lever must be backed off the same number of turns to prevent side-to-side brake pull.
  5. After the brakes are adjusted, install a rubber hole cover into each of the backing plate slots. To complete the brake adjustment operation, make several stops while backing the vehicle to fully equalize the adjustment.
  7. Road test the vehicle.