Brake problem

Tiny
KENWORF
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 176,000 MILES
2001 cavalier when applying the brakes, right rear corner of car tends to grab and the body seems to lower itself. When you release the brakes, the body raises back up, and you hear a small clunk as if the brake shoes were stuck. Pulled the wheels, and everything seems to be in place and functioning. Any ideas?
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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 AT 7:18 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
What you need to do is replace the 2 rear wheel cylinders and brake shoes and resurface the drums. What is happening is that the wheel cylinders are seeping and caking up the brake dust and then embedding it into the brake shoes causing them to grab too much. It's pretty common on small GMs
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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 AT 7:31 PM
Tiny
HARDWON
  • MEMBER
I have had this same problem with my 01 cavalier and did some research about it. I ran across forums that other cavalier owners had replaced entire brake system and problem returned shortly after. Eventually I found a post that went into great detail about gm gave the wrong specs to aftermarket brake manufacturers and the difference is enough that the shoes do not fit the drum properly and the leading edge catches on the drum when applied. This causes the brake to bind and since the front brakes are not stopping hard like the binding rear brakes the rear of the car squats and possibly causes rear tires to skid. The solution is not hard. The top and bottom edge of each brake shoe (ends that ride in the brake drum) needs to be rounded or tapered so the edge no longer catches on drum surface. By the way do not breath the brake shoe dust I've heard it's not good for you. I am about to do this procedure on my own car. With winter coming soon a binding brake is going to be a problem. Will post my results later.
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Sunday, September 28th, 2014 AT 7:49 AM
Tiny
HARDWON
  • MEMBER
I filed down the edges of brake shoes with a small file (it wasn't necessary to remove shoes from car, just the drums). Test drove the car and no longer have the binding problem. This is an easy inexpensive solution for cavalier owners out there. If you have these symptoms try this before you spend one red cent on parts or mechanic labor. Takes about 15 minutes.
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Sunday, September 28th, 2014 AT 6:01 PM

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