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  1. #1
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Houston, TX

    Question Suggestions on getting rear drums off of 1990 GMC Suburban

    Folks, I gave up after struggling with one side of the drums this afternoon. I was attempting to remove the drum from the driver's side rear, as I hope to take this vehicle on a rather long trip soon, and would like to inspect the brakes before we leave. I'm not sure which way to turn the star wheel, and after messing with it for a couple of hours, just put the wheel back on.
    What am I missing? I had hoped that the drum would rather easily slip off, but no go. I am not sure which way to turn the star adjuster, and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for removing those pesky rear drums.

    Thanks so much in advance!
    1990 GMC Suburban 329,000 miles

  2. #2


    Next time you try moving the adjuster move it just a little and check the drum to see if it still rotates freely. Keep checking for free movement on the drum, if it locks up you are going the wrong way.

    When you figure out the correct direction to turn the adjuster you may find it easier to slip a small flat bladed screwdriver in beside the adjusting tool and pushing against the ebrake lever inside.

    They have a tendency to get caught on the adjuster wheel and you way think you are doing something when in reality you aren’t.

    For the life of me I can never remember which way they go myself and I’ve probably done hundred, or more.

    Oh ya, sometimes its not the brake shoe that is holding the drum in place but rust around the center hub where the drum contacts it. Spray some penetrating oil, PB blaster is my favorite. Then tap the drum around the center hub a few times before trying to remove it again.

    Technology is great, when it Works,
    And one Big Pain in the Ass When it Doesn’t.
    Detroit Iron Rules, All the Rest are Just Toys.
    94 GMC Burban, 5.7L (350), 4X4, Auto
    86 GMC Burban, 350, 2 WD, Auto
    79 GMC pickup plow truck, 400, Full time 4X4, Auto
    86 Pontiac Fiero SE, 2.8L, Auto, only mid engine American car
    See a Pattern yet?

    15 year GM assembly line worker.

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