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Discussion Starter #1
Iv'e never had a car with drum brakes (at least I don't think so),

and in the future I want to replace the rear drums with discs.

How expensive is this venture? As Ive never done a brake conversion myself. I wouldn't want to do it myself unless it were really really easy.
 

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Very involved.
Very expensive.
Other than pedal feel, no braking performance gain (unless you are going to use it for autocross)

Rob
 

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I'm probably just odd, but I always liked drums in the rear better. They seem to last twice as long as discs in the rear and the car stops ok under normal conditions. Just make sure when it comes time to change the shoes you wear safety glasses. Those springs can slip and fly out when you're removing them.
 

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Maintain your front brakes well. As you probably know they do 70% of the stopping, hence need changing twice as often as the rear brakes. The good news is they're much easier to change than drum brakes/shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Maintain your front brakes well. As you probably know they do 70% of the stopping, hence need changing twice as often as the rear brakes. The good news is they're much easier to change than drum brakes/shoes.
Yeah, thanks. How often do you need to change drum brakes? And change what, exactly? Sorry if stupid question, I don't know anything about them; do they use pads like discs?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm probably just odd, but I always liked drums in the rear better. They seem to last twice as long as discs in the rear and the car stops ok under normal conditions. Just make sure when it comes time to change the shoes you wear safety glasses. Those springs can slip and fly out when you're removing them.
Thank you, thats really good info to know.
 

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Yeah, thanks. How often do you need to change drum brakes? And change what, exactly? Sorry if stupid question, I don't know anything about them; do they use pads like discs?
Might consider googling drum brake to get a general idea of what's in there.....those of us 'old dudes' that come from the all drum brake era, consider the setup rather simple.
There are two shoes in each drum.....depending on the design, there are primary (leading) and secondary (following) shoes.
The Cruze design uses a fixed pivot so the shoes are the same, primary or secondary position.

If cleaned of accumulated brake dust and manually adjusted every other tire rotation, you will likely exceed 100 to 150k miles before replacement is required......so, depending on your driving style, one set of rears to every second or third set of pads.

Drum brakes get a bad rap primarily from folks that don't (won't) purchass and use spring removal/installation tools designed for the job.
Realities are, a serviceman familiar with drums can perform replacement service in about a third of the time it takes to perform a proper disc pad replacement.
Proper, in the case of discs, means, cleaning, lubricating, or replacement of, the various caliper slides and guide pins as opposed to the 'slap em on and ship it' pad replacement process frequently used by the driveway service crowd.

In most cases, fileing or sanding of a rust ridge that develops on the outer edge of a drum is called for but as long as the drum has not experienced metal to metal contact by running the brakes so long the friction material wore off the shoes, there is no machining required.

Bottom line.....drum rear brakes, serviced in a timely manner, will often easily exceed the mileage the first owner, and possibly the second owner, has the car.

Rob
 

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Robby and other drum specialists-

I'm thinking after 4 years I should consider drum removal and inspection of the shoes before the salt of the great north causes problems.

It appears that the drums don't have bolt holes in them to use as a means to thread in a bolt to press the drums off.
I doubt after 50,000 miles that I should have that big of a problem. However, if I do have a rust ridge in the rotor, is the star wheel accessible through the rear backing plate? With a screwdriver, or is a "brake spoon" I think that's the term I seen them called required? If so are there different size brake spoons?

I recently went through my fathers toolbox from the 1970's-80's. I found what appears to be the brake pliers with the long handle and hook on one end. I've yet to find a video on youtube for how to use it, but I haven't looked too hard. That's for spring removal. I found out how the straight ends of the pliers work, I haven't figured out how the pliers end with the "C" hook works, but I'm guessing it must be used for leverage against the shoes when removing the spring somehow.

Googling rear drum removal and watching video's it looks like the star wheel releases the pads if you need clearance to remove the drum. Just wondering if everything is accessible from the back if it's stuck. However, early posters years ago mentioned that the access hole in the backing plate doesn't line up with the star wheel.

Any suggestions for a guy who's been driving for 25 years, but never played with drums? Specifically the Cruze drums..

I know the Torx bolt has to be removed, and I think someone mentioned if it doesn't come out easily to use an impact driver that you strike with a hammer?

I'm very leery of using brute force. I'd rather invest in the right tools, as short cuts always cause me grief.


Thanks- Carbon02
 

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Yeah, thanks. How often do you need to change drum brakes? And change what, exactly? Sorry if stupid question, I don't know anything about them; do they use pads like discs?
Depends on your driving habits. Do you live in the salt belt? When I replace mine I buy the spring kits and replace the springs while I'm at it. You have to remove them anyway and I live in the salt belt so they usually need replacing anyway. There only and extra $10 or so.

Yes they're like pads but half round like a moon crescent.
 

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Carbon the star adjuster is probably rusted to the point where it's not easily adjustable. So drum removal might be difficult. When you get the drum off take a picture of the springs ect so you can put them back in the proper place. As far as the brake tools if you have them fine but pliers and long nose pliers word fine too.
 

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^^^Yes and I always get both drums off at the same time and use the other as a reference. It's important to note the star adjustors are threaded differently for each side, so they can't get mixed up. I don't use the spring tool, just a pair of vice grips and SAFETY GLASSES!!!!! If you lose your grip the springs can go flying. Same with the proper tool for removing the springs. I can't stress this enough.
 
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