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Old 11-15-2007, 03:10 AM   #1
06 Ionised
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Default Rear Brake Drum Question.

I recently tried to check the wear on the rear brake shoes on my 2006 Ion. Try as I might, I just couldn't get the rear brake drums off. I recently bought a Haynes Repair Manual at my local PEP BOYS (just made available).
It then states, "If the brake drum cannot be easily removed, make sure the parking brake is completely released. If the drum still cannot be pulled off, the brake shoes will have to be retracted. This is done by first removing the plug from the backing plate. With the plug removed, push the lever off the adjuster star wheel with a narrow screwdriver while turning the adjuster wheel with another screwdriver, moving the shoes away from the drum. The drum should now come off".
Oh - Come On. There has to be an easier way. First of all, I just cannot find the plug on the backing plate that they mention. Is it a rubber plug or something else?
Second, I don't see how you can get to the adjusting star wheel that way.
Does anyone have a simpler way to get the drums off?
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rear Brake Drum Question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 06 Ionised View Post
Oh - Come On. There has to be an easier way.
Does anyone have a simpler way to get the drums off?
no, there isn't. drum brake technology hasn't changed in the last 100 years. the adjuster is backed off by turning the star fitting.
well, there IS a simpler way. beating it w/ a 10lb sledge IS simpler, but certainly not better.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rear Brake Drum Question.

To add to the "gorilla technique" (it does work in unique situations), a 2x4 butted up against the lip of the drum and pounded on with a 5lb concrete hammer does wonders to removing a stuck drum. Just beat on the 2x4 at two or three points on the brake drum, it'll come off.
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rear Brake Drum Question.

The star wheel is accessible with a brake spoon. On other drum brakes, I was lucky enough to reach it with a flat head. But brake spoons are wonderful to have around. Should be a rubber plug in the backing plate, probably near the bottom. Haven't had my drums off yet so I haven't actually seen how these are set up. Some have the adjusters down toward the bottom, while others have it higher up just below the wheel cylinder.
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rear Brake Drum Question.

Welcome to the Board.

Penetrating fluid of your choice sprayed around the center hub of the drum let it soak for a while. Use a hammer to hit in between the wheel studs to knock the drum loose while at the same time using a flat blade screwdriver between the drum and the backing plate to pry the drum outwards. rotate the drum while doing this. If you live in a heavy road salt area be ready to go at it for a while.

The IONS tend not to build rust ridges on the drums (at least not in my area) so backing off the adjuster wheel should not be neccesary.
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rear Brake Drum Question.

Just remember, there's a pretty thick "W" spring in there...go to your local Saturn parts department and have them print off an illustration of the rear drum brake assembly. This may help significantly.
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