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Old 10-04-2005, 10:42 AM
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Why so tight?

this isnt really a hotrodding question, but i was hoping someone could help me. i just got done putting brakes on my moms 2000 cavalier. it has rear drums. the problem is... the emergency brake is WAY too tight. i called the local GM garage and they said the E brake was self adjusting. which, it may be, but i cant for the life of me figure out how to losen it up, and it needs losened because i had to basically pound the rear drums on. and im afraid to drive it like that for the fact that they'll heat up and catch on fire. can anybody help me with this? how do i losen the e brake?

P.S. i know i got the right size drums and shoes, and they are put together the right way because i went back over and checked everything just in case.

thanks for the help guys... i appreciate it.

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Old 10-04-2005, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97Z28
P.S. i know i got the right size drums and shoes, and they are put together the right way because i went back over and checked everything just in case.

thanks for the help guys... i appreciate it.
What brand of brake shoes, and brake drums did you use? If they are of the cheap brands this may be your problem. Did you turn in the self adjuster when you installed the new shoes? How did the old drums come off? Did they just pull off, or did they come off hard?

Steve
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Old 10-04-2005, 01:37 PM
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I've never seen a Cavalier brake setup, but most drum brakes have a self adjusting mechanism - usually a star wheel on with a adjusting lever.

As the brakes wear, the star wheel rotates and expands the shaft, pushing the shoes farther out.

If you replace the shoes with new, and don't back off the adjuster, you will have exactly the problems you are experiencing.

Some vehicles have an access port through which you can insert a screwdriver or tool and move the star wheel.
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Old 10-04-2005, 01:45 PM
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i have the self adjusting star wheel turned all the way in. it wont go in any further.

i am using the cheaper shoes and drums. the old ones came off pretty easy after i got the middle broke loose. thyey werent even catching on the rim on the inside of the drum like most usually do. and i looked and looked for an adjuster for the emergency brake and i cant find one. if its self adjusting, then there should be a way to back it back off when you put new ones on there... right?
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:55 PM
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I'm not familiar with a self adjusting parking brake on the Cavalier. They used to adjust on the cable across the rear axle.

Self adjusting parking brakes I am familiar with are by Ford. It's possible they are similar. On the Fords, it works with a ratchet in the lever assembly. To add slack when replacing shoes, grab the cable/lever that attaches to the shoes, while the shoes are off, and pull. You'll get quite a bit of slack. The excess slack is removed with a few applications of the parking brake.

You could actually have a stuck cable. Make sure the parking brake bar has some slack in it between the shoes.


Also, and this might sound dumb, but double check that no one came in behind you and applied the p.brake when you weren't looking.
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Old 10-04-2005, 09:08 PM
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well... im embarrassed to say this. but, i checked the brakes, and upon final inspection i realized the auto parts gave me the wrong brakes. they gave me the right size drums (200mm) but the wrong size shoes (225mm) which were a 1/4 inch off... so, thanks for the input, i really appreciate it.
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Old 10-05-2005, 03:44 AM
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I know that you got that problem fixed, but for future reference. On some vehicles, the parking brake adjuster is located on the rear of the handle, under the console or a cover at the rear of the handle. It is usually a 10 MM nut on the cable.
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Old 10-05-2005, 11:24 AM
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ok cool. thanks
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