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Unread 11-06-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Cambridge, Ontario
Posts: 3
Rep: 10 church is on a distinguished road
Default Finally solved the rubbing sound from the rear brakes on my Cavalier

I finally solved the rubbing sound from my rear brakes. Anyway I know I have seen others asking for help with this problem so I thought I would share the solution that solved this on my car.

I previously posted about this issue on the Technical Issues section by mistake. We had previously installed 5 different sets of rotors to get a set that were round and this required turning new rotors straight from the box. All the springs, adjusters and shoes were new. The RHS wheel cylinder was leaking into the dust boot and was replaced, the flexible line was replaced and the short brake cable to the RHS drum was also replaced. The noise went away after each of these - for a short time.

then three weeks ago it came back.

I Adjusted the rear brakes took the car for a drive no noise, daughter took car out did 5km came back complaining of a noise.

I borrowed the newly purchased MAC chassis ear from the car club at work. Attached one MAC chassis ear transducer to the bleed valve on each rear cylinder. Took the car for a drive, the passenger switched the receiver to alternate between listening between the right and left wheel. This suggested the noise was from the right rear wheel. The next morning when everything was cold I measured the temperature of both drums using an infra red thermometer then took the car for a drive and went through the brake bedding in procedure remeasured the drum temps and this showed a 50 degree centigrade temp difference between the two drums. Confirmed that the right wheel was dragging.

I talked to daughter she had applied the parking brake when she had stopped at Starbucks - I normally always use the parking brake and have taught the kids to do likewise.

At lest now we had narrowed this down to a dragging brake shoe after the parking brake was applied. Careful inspection of the parking brake cables and mechanism showed that the return spring on the main brake cable ( runs from the lever to the rear axle) was worn (weak) in one section and was missing 0.25 inches of return movement which left the shoe on the RHS just dragging on the drum. You have to look carefully for this while someone operates the lever. Changing the cable for a new GM cable and the problem is solved - the after market cables are not a good fit in this application. We also checked the drums on the lathe to make sure they were still round.

Hope this helps someone else avoid the frustration and time we spent tracking this down.

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