Cars & Vehicles Auto Parts & Maintenance & Repairs

How to the Adjust Rear Brakes on a 1996 Chevrolet 3500

    • 1). Lift the rear of the truck by the rear axle housing. Set jack stands beneath both ends of the axles, just behind the wheels. Remove both rear wheels with a wheel lug wrench by removing the lug nuts, and then the wheels.

    • 2). Remove one brake drum from the hub with your hands. If the brake drum is seized onto the hub, gently tap the front of the drum near each lug stem. Tap the sides of the drum as well. The vibration of the hammer against the drum should loosen any corrosion or rust which may be holding the drum on.

    • 3). Spray the entire drum brake assembly down with aerosol brake cleaner. The cleaner will remove excess brake dust and road debris, as well as clean up parts so you can see them better. Spray the inside of the brake drum one time all the way around to remove excess brake dust and road debris.

    • 4). Use a flat-head screwdriver to push downward on the "star-wheel" adjuster, which is located at the bottom of the brake assembly. The "star-wheel" adjuster is a cylindrical object between the bottom of both brake shoes. When turned downward, the adjuster will expand and push the brake shoes outward.

    • 5). Push the drum back onto the brake assembly. Ideally, the drum should provide some resistance, but not enough that you cannot push the drums on by hand. If the drums are too tight, then remove the drum and push the adjuster back upward about four to five clicks. If the drum slides on with no resistance, then remove the drum and push the adjuster downward four to five clicks. Repeat this step until the drum provides some resistance when installing. Install the drum back onto the rear brake assembly.

    • 6). Repeat Steps 2 through 5 to complete the adjustment process on the second side of the truck.

    • 7). Place the wheels back on and tighten the lug bolts down so that the wheel sits in its fully mounted position.

    • 8). Turn the ignition key to the "2" position, or the accessories position, without starting the truck. Place the gear selector switch in "N" or neutral position. Spin each rear wheel by hand. Each tire should rotate approximately 1 1/2-rotations before stopping. If the wheel spins more than 1 1/2-rotations, then the brakes are under-adjusted. If the wheel and tire do not complete a full rotation, then the rear brakes are over-adjusted. Repeat Step 5 to loosen or tighten the brakes.

    • 9). Tighten the lug nuts using a wheel lug wrench. Lower the vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts between 95 to 110 foot-pounds of torque.

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