97 Bonneville SSE Rear Drum Brakes/ Buildup/ Grind Noise - ? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat
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1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 12-22-2002, 08:44 PM   #1
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Default 97 Bonneville SSE Rear Drum Brakes/ Buildup/ Grind Noise - ?

I am new to your forum and was introduced to it by my friend BusMaster007 who just got a 92 SSE, otherwise I would not have even looked here, great site!
Well I have done some searching but haven't found what I have been looking for so here it is...
On our 97 SSE, 92K miles,we have a "grinding or dragging" sound in the rear drums.
Since I had had the brakes done at a Les Schwab (we were going on a trip and I didn't want to mess with the brakes) . The front rotors were replaced and I was told that the rears had 75% meat on them and drums were fine, so I drove out.
I didn't go far and I noticed that the rears still had the same sound when stopping, so I returned and witnessed the inspection, sure enough there was a lot of shoe left and the drums were in good shape, I would have agreed that there was no reason for alarm, yet the mechanic did drive it with me and agreed that there is a reason for the sound and yet could not explain not seeing any problem.
So we cleaned the smoothed brake shoe surface, which has a hard buildup, with crocus cloth and did the same to the interior surface of the drums, he reassembled and I took off, stopped and there was no further noise as before.
Problem solved I thought, yet only a week later it was back!
Now as a former professional forklift mechanic (Caterpillar) I do know that there are several brake compositions and that the hardest linings will also act like this, and also cause hard braking if it is really hard material.
So I am asking if there are diferences in the brake shoes available from dealers or aftermarket sellers, OR if there are other items to consider, (rear brake adj. not close enough?)
Thanks and will await replies...
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Old 12-22-2002, 10:28 PM   #2
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OK, one by one here.
To our knowlege the rear brakes have never been replaced, nor the fronts until recently...
Boots were pulled back and inspected and there was no sign of fluid on either side (will have them rechecked)...
By the way, when we did the crocus cleaning, we also used brake clean spray.
Chatter? Not really what I would call the sound, more like the highschool days of metal to metal... (skrrrrrrrrrrrh...)
I will go back and be with them to recheck these areas personally, after all, they were the ones I paid do perform the work in the first place so if I go back time and time again, it isn't gonna be on my dime! (too stubborn, they're my pals also and know this to be true).

Proper adjustment is actully my main concern as if all other issues have been addressed and are satifactory, my thinking is that if there is not enough contact (fronts taking far more braking than rears) then they will natuarally build up the dust and harden it into a glaze.

Also, what is this about the master cylinders????
If replaced prior to failure, will the second set also be subject to the same failure versus the OEM

Thanks, Gary[/u]
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Old 01-02-2003, 07:48 PM   #3
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one of the biggest complaints about brakes is the noise that they make. if you have semi metalic rear brake shoes, it is possible that you have an above average amount of metalic material exposed. when they make the friction part of the brake shoes or pads, it is in liquid form. they pour it into molds to get the shape they need for a certain application. the metalic material that they use is softer than the cast drum or rotor. also there is no way of them to control the amount of metalic material that is exposed to the drum or rotor as the shoe wears. if there is an above average amount exposed, it will almost sound like its metal to metal.it will not hurt the drum or rotor. also on disc brakes , it may also cause a high pitched squeal when stopping. the only way to avoid this it to either use organic pads, which wont last as long as the semi metalic pads, or use the ceramic pads if available. most ceramics are for disc pads and not drum brakes.
i would suggest using ceramic pads on the front and organic shoes on the rear.
and another plus using ceramic pads is that the dust is very low and light gray or almost whit in color instead of that nasty black stuff, lol
i hope this helped understand what causes most brake materials to cause that unwanted noise.
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Old 01-02-2003, 08:23 PM   #4
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With my experience with Organic and Ceramics, I'd have to agree completely with Jeffrey. Ceramics on the front were the smartest thing I did to my brakes.
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