You are here:

Cadillac Repair/Rear drum brake replacement


QUESTION: I am attempting to change the rear brake pads on a 1988 Fleetwood Brougham. I am a visual learner and took pictures before and lost pix on my cell phone. I have searched the internet (You tube) to find a repair manual with pictures and step by step instructions.  Any suggestions?


ANSWER: Hello,
Does this have rear disc or drum brakes on this rwd Brougham?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Drum...I replaced the calipers.



There is nothing unique about the rear drum brakes on a GM vehicle. They have been the same for years and years.
They are simple enough, you don't need step by step photos etc.
You did not state where you are located, and yes, it does make a difference!
If you are in the rust belt in the Midwest, parking brake cables seize up and you need to know how to beat back the emergency brake cables.

Other than that, there is not much to brake job and if you take apart one side at a time, you can use the other side to realize how the shoes go back together.

You need to remove both rear tires. Then the drums. The drums can be loosened up by hitting with a hammer in the center on the outside of the studs. If you are in a rust state, you need to put penetrating oil in the center of the drum at the axle hub and let it sit for a day. Also make sure there are not a couple of retaining clips on the studs. If the are, you need to get under them with a screwdriver and bend outward. Take a cutter and cut the clips off. You will not use them again.If the clips are there, you know that the brakes have not ever been apart.
Pay attention to the assembly. You can always look at the other side if you need reference.
You will see the wheel cylinder on the upper portion of the shoes. There willbe a pin sticking out of each side. The pins are slotted on the end and attach to the rididge of the shoe on each shoe.
You need special spring tools for removal and installation that you can get at parts store. 2 tools to be exact. One for the brake shoe hold down springs, the other for the tension springs.
Remove the tension springs first noting which hole they fit in the shoe. Each side gets 2 brake shoes. One shoe has longer brake surface which fits on the rear. The front shoe has less surface.
The brake shoe hold down springs have a cap with a notch, which fits over a pin with a flat. Put your hand on the rear of the pin. Push down on the spring with the tool and rotate quickly to the left. The slot in the cap with meet the flat in the pin, and the spring is removed.
Slide out the parking brake crossbar in between the shoes. Note that spring on crossbar fits only one way.Take the shoe hold down spring of the rear shoe. You will find that the shoe is still attached. This is due to the parking brake arm. Towards the top of the shoe, you will find a stud with an "e" clip. Remove with screwdriver. This arm stays attached to the cable, but the brake shoe is removed. Look at the brake shoe area on the backing plate. You will see six bosses. Put a light coat of white grease on them. This prevents brake squeak.
On the rear shoe (longer lined) take the arm with the cable attached and insert in the appropriate hole in the shoe. Reinstall the e clip through the groove in the stud. Put your wheel cylinder pin and attach slot on shoe. Install your hold down stud through backing plate, spring and retainer. Put your finger on the backing plate holdng the pin in place. Push down on the retainer with your tool by rotating to the right until it seats.
Now, when you pulled the shoes, a star wheel fell out on the ground. Star wheel goes towards rear of shoe, if I remeber right. You can confirm by looking at backing plate and the adjustment hole.
It has been a long time since I have done rear brakes, but I assure you, I have done thousands of brake jobs over my career. Put you other shoe on aligning with wheel cylinder.
Look a the other side and inset the cable guide and that has a lever that fits in a hole in the shoe, Install your tension springs, using your spring stretching tool against the top anchor above the wheel cylinder.
Have the drums machined. Once shoes are attached, take both hands using your palms tapping to center shoes. Crank star wheel downward about 10 times and put drum on. Pull off. Repeat until there is a slight drag pulling drum off. Remove drum, so you can use that side for comparison.
Put drums on and then wheels. You are done.

Cadillac Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Rob Painter


Alarm system questions cannot be answered on this forum. These systems are not what I can answer. Without being physically at the vehicle and not knowing what kind of electrical service has been done on the vehicle, there is no possible way to give an accurate answer over the internet. My expertise is in Ignition/key based anti-theft systems. These issues include GM VATS (resistor chip in key blade) PASSLOCK (MRD)-ignition lock rotation based, no special ignition key and the PKIII Transponder (computer chip in key) systems. These systems are not alarm based and are integral with the starting of the engine. This is why I cannot diagnose alarm problems without physically looking at the vehicle: Alarm systems are a completely different annimal than ignition key/lock based anti-theft system. Many alarm questions come from vehicles 10 years old, and since older, many hands that had been involved over the years.I am an expert in all GM factory (ignition/key based)systems. Alarm system questions pose to many situations beyond my knowledge as to what has been done to the vehicle over the years. Some guy may have actually wired the stereo into the alarm system. Who knows? Over my past 30 years in vehicle wiring repair, I have seen unbelievable wiring disaters done by guys that consider themselves "mechanics." I have seen stereos and alarms intalled using surgical tape. I have seen modules burn up, un-fused circuits, wiring jambed between the doors and even lamp cord used for a starter kill. To answer alarm questions over the internet without examining the vehicle is like asking; What does it take to remove a dent?


Education/Credentials-ASE certified. 11 years with a GM dealer and 17 years with a repair facility dealing with only the repair of theft recovered vehicles.

©2017 All rights reserved.