Rear brakes - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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 03-29-2006, 11:40 PM   #1
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Default Rear brakes

I changed out my back brakes last week. Pain in the a**. Only time I ever saw brakes with a big ole U-shaped spring like these. That was fun. The trick, I found, was to remove the monster spring first, the leading edge shoe, then the smaller return spring and the adjuster. With all that out of the way, the trailing shoe, clean it up, reverse the process, and you're good to go.

Even more fun was changing out the leaking wheel cylinders. Well, one side was leaking, so I figured to swap them both out. GM threw me a real curve ball, one I'd never seen before on ANY car. RIght side has 10mm hexhead bolts holding the wheel cylinders in place. Left side had E-8 Torx heads. Quick trip to the store to buy an E-8 socket. Home again, home again. E-8 socket will NOT turn and there'* no way to get a socket extension in place to move it without removing the whole assembly. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Of course, the arc joint pliers I wanted to use were nowhere to be found, and my son got sidetracked when I sent him in to look for them. I was ten once. That gave me a chance to check out other options.

Note for future reference: A 12-point 1/4" wrench will fit AND turn an E-8 bolt.

Fairly straightforward process. Bleeding brakes is still a PITA. See the second sentence for explanation.

Had I been able to find our digital camera, I'd have posted pictures for you.

Have a great day. Stay safe, and may God bless. I wish you peace.

Dan
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Old 03-30-2006, 10:06 AM   #2
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I used to do drum brakes all the time (back in the late 70'*, early 80'*). For some reason, back then they didn't seem to be an issue.

But, ever since I learned the "secrets" of disc brakes, I hate to even think about my rear brakes......

But your post, as hard a you tried not to , actually makes it sound like a doable project again....
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Old 03-30-2006, 10:20 AM   #3
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Dan..I think someone previously swapped one of your wheel cylinders. That is the only way to account for the difference in bolts.

GM is not known for using E bolts.(bolts that look like the tip of a torx screwdriver)

Having done by backs recently as well, I noticed there is a newer style set of brake pliers to control that big U spring. Had I not put on ceramic pads, I would probably consider buying one.
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Old 03-30-2006, 11:03 AM   #4
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When I did the rear brake cylinders on my friend'* '93 a few years back they both had the E8 bolts. I had a heck of a time getting at them. I agree that U spring can be a PITA, especially trying to keep from putting too much pressure on the brake cylinder in the process.

As the '93 was sold to get a 2000, I don't have to worry about that anymore.
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Old 03-30-2006, 11:58 AM   #5
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I recently did the rears on my 97 Transport. The wheel cylinder bolts were E-8 also (although it was not a problem to remove them). I hated the big U shaped spring too. It was my first time doing the drums, but I think those round springs that hold the shoes are probably easier to work with. A brake spring tool is of immense help.

For bleeding, get a one-man bleeding kit (I paid only about $3 Cdn for it). Made it really easy to do the bleeding by myself.
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