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Old 08-18-2006, 07:40 AM
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Squealing Wheels

I have had a consistant squeal from my back wheels for the last week. Car is an '88 Pontiac Safari wagon.

The only time I get any relief is when I apply the brakes. Obviously, something needs to be done with the brakes. But what? I have taken apart disc brakes before, but have never even LOOKED at drum brakes.

I plan on tackling this myself. What does the squealing indicate? Does the squealing mean I've messed up the drums? What types of replacement parts should I be getting? Any special tools?

Thanks!

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Old 08-18-2006, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-BodyFan
I have had a consistant squeal from my back wheels for the last week. Car is an '88 Pontiac Safari wagon.

What types of replacement parts should I be getting? Any special tools?

Thanks!
One would not know the answer to that question untill the drums are removed and everything inspected............Remove your drums and take a look.....could be someting as simple as a rock got in there or a return spring or something broke and part of the spring is rubbing. You can do a brake job without these tools but they make it a lot easier......Brake spring pliers, Brake hold down spring button removal tool, adjusting spoon.
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Old 08-18-2006, 08:01 AM
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Thanks, Henry.

Would any of these tools be commonly available at a chain auto parts store?
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:34 AM
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How many miles on the car? It sounds like the rear brakes have been neglected and I will bet the rear shoes are worn out and it needs a brake job... Henry is right and you won't know until you pull a drum.
All of the tools are common at a parts store.
When you do the job only pull one side apart at a time so you can reference the other if needed. Also check the brake adjusters and make sure they are free and operating properly. They usually lock up after a few years.
Mark
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:58 AM
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Mark, I agree with your assessment. I bought the car last fall. The car has 130,000 or so miles on it, and I'm guessing the brakes were neglected by the PO(s), as I am discovering other neglect as I go. Is it possible that the drums themselves can become damaged, or does this not happen very often? I know I won't really know whats going on until I take a look, but I'm just trying to prepare myself...
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:39 AM
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Damage to the drum isn't your problem unless it is simply excess wear. You need to pull a drum to see what is going on. Internal rust can rot the shoe retention pins which can lead to a bunch of other issues. Theorizing isn't going to fix the problem.
Mark
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:39 AM
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The drums can get scored if the pads wear out to the metal. Then, with metal on metal, damage occurs. They can be machined within a certain spec. If the scores are too deep, you will need new drums.
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:44 AM
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Sure it is possible that the drums are damaged. There should be a number stamped on the drum..a decimal number such as .080.....This means that is all that can be removed from the drum.......So if the brake shoes over time have worn the drum say for example .050 and then the drum has grooves in it measuring .035 deep...then you can not have the drum turned because you are already over the .080 limit. In this case you will have to buy new drums........Its the same way with the rotors on disc brakes. You will not know what you need untill you pull your drums off and inspect everything.
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