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Chevy Cavalier
1995-2005 Chevy Cavaliers

How do you install the rear brakes of a 1998 Chevy Cavalier?


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2011-09-13 04:51:01
2011-09-13 04:51:01
Detailed InstructionsA base model Cav has rear drum brakes.

What you'll need.1. A set of brake shoes.2. A brake kit.3. Pliers.4. Sledge Hammer (maybe)5. Needle nose pliers.6. Spray can of brake cleaner (it's like carburetor cleaner).7. Spray can of brake silencer.7. High-temperature grease.8. Possibly new drums.

The brake kit contains the springs and other stuff for the rear brakes. Change one side at a time. Do the driver's side first.1. Remove the plastic lug caps.2. Slightly loosen the lugs. (Do this before jacking up the car)3. Jack up the car.4. Place car on a jack stand. Safety first.5. Remove the lug nuts.6. Remove the wheel.7. Remove the drum. If it is difficult to remove, get the sledge hammer and give the drum a good whack. Strike the drum with a swing toward the midline of the car, not away from it--as if you're bashing the drum on. The drum should pop back off slightly, and you should be able to slide it off. Don't try to pry it off, you'll chip the edge of the drum and bend the metal backing.8. Look carefully at the way the brake springs are set up. And take note. Also, inspect the wheel cylinder at the top of the brakes for leaks. If leaking you should buy an new one.9. There is a tension spring connecting the tops of the shoes to one another. Remove that spring w/ the needle nose pliers.10. Remove the shoes.11. Remove the two springs facing you. They are each on a brass post that pass through the metal backing. On the opposite side of the metal backing hold the posts with your finger so the posts don't turn. Grasping the small disc with the pliers, push in on the disc and give a 1/4 turn, it'll pop right off the post. (Mechanics have a nifty tool they use for this, suckers like us settle for using the pliers)12. Remove the star wheel post (it think its called the actuator).13. Clean everything you're re-using with the brake cleaner. Throw out the old stuff.14. Clean the actuator and when dry, grease the actuator threads.15. If reusing the drums, dust out the inside of the drum. Careful, do not breathe the dust in!16. Spray the inside of the drum with the brake quiet. It'll fill in the pits and imperfections so your brakes don't squeak.17. To install do these steps in reverse. Just be sure that the brake lever engages the star-wheel on the actuator. This is what keeps your brakes in close contact with the drum as they wear out.

Also, you may find the drum a little difficult to work on over the new shoes, but don't be afraid of using a little force.

TIPIf you have a camera on your mobile phone, take a picture of the brake spring set up once you remove the drum. It is a handy reference. If you don't have one, you always have the passenger side brake setup to refer to.

It is normal to smell the brakes for a few miles after installing new shoes. But if it continues for more than a day, you may have a problem.

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