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Sticking rear brake shoes-

45159 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  kennythewelder
Overheating rear brake shoes- suburban

My brakes have been making a lot of noise recently and when I pulled the left rear drum off I noticed the shoes were cracked and worn unevenly. I had a shop do the shoes several months ago which included a lifetime warranty. They inspected, replaced the shoes and hardware and said I was good to go.
Almost immediately we noticed there was still some noise and confirmed that the shoe is sticking on that side (generating quite a bit of heat). Took it back to the shop, they did another inspection and said they couldn't tell what it was for sure and that it would take up to 2 hours of digging into it to determine what the problem might be.
My question to them was what else could it be besides the wheel cylinders? The manager responded it could be one of many different issues in the hydraulic system.
Well I'm not going to give them the OK to fish around for a couple of hours to tell me what is wrong.
I'm thinking I start with replacing the wheel cylinders (though they appear to be working OK).

Any ideas on what else it could be?
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Just finished replacing wheel cylinders. Adjuster turned freely and was adjusted all the way in the in. When I got in there the contact points had ridges and I thought that was it so I ground those down smooth.
Well, just got back from a test drive and its still dragging the shoes. It doesn't feel like the drum is out of round (no "lopping"). I guess the next step is to start replacing brake line unless anyone has any other suggestions.

I didn't mean to infer the shop was a rip-off or be derogatory. Doing work myself (especially brake shoes!) has given me an appreciation for the people who make a living doing that. I just wasn't willing to settle for "it could be a lot of things". The answer that repairman54 gave makes sense and I might have let them look at it if I heard that.

OK, going to inspect rubber brake lines....
quick update- looked at the brake lines and it looks like there is 1 line that comes from the master cylinder to the rear. There is a section of rubber right before it tees off to the 2 separate drums.

My question- if it was an internal hose collapse wouldn't both shoes be locking up? Also, not sure its actually locking up. lifted the wheel and applied brakes, it spins OK. Ugggh. I'll get back after it tomorrow.
final plea for suggestions

Need help...
Took the drum in to have it turned and found out it was out of round. Good news I think, just replace the drum and I'm good to go. Well I replace the drum and the darn thing is still generating a ton of heat. I'm at a loss.
I think I'm taking it in to the shop on Tuesday unless anyone has any suggestion.

It has new shoes, hardware, wheel cylinder and drum. Not sure what else there is...
The collapsed brake line doesn't make since to me since the only rubber hose is right before a tee to the two metal lines for the rear wheel cylinders and the other side isn't having any problems.
Any suggestions are welcome!
You didn't mention it, but are your axle seals leaking at all? Just a tiny bit of oil in the drum will cause the brakes to start sticking.
Good Luck and God Bless
No axle seals leaking.. Took it in today and the shop looked at it (by the time I got the shop that brake was making so much noise it was scary!). They saw the shoes were glazed (they ground them down a bit) and they said that both of the rear brakes needed to be adjusted (I didn't do this since I thought they adjusted automatically- whoops) but other than that they couldn't find anything. I just drove it a few miles and the driver side is still getting hotter than the right side, but it hasn't started moaning and groaning like before.
When I was at the auto parts store the counter guy mentioned the possibility of the backing plate getting warped from all the heat. I did notice that the drum doesn't seem to set perfectly flush against the shoes. If I push against one side of the drum the opposite side lifts just a little. Has anyone ever heard of a backing plate needing to be replaced (or maybe I could just bang on it with a really big hammer!)
On top of that they said the ticking noise I was hearing was probably a loose chain in the transfer case so that will need to be done at some point in the future! I'm starting to think 180K may be the end of the line for me and the burban!
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Another plea for help!

Any other suggestions???
I'm at my whits end!
Brakes started groaning today again. The weird thing is the wheel is getting hot along with the brake drum.:gasp:
Quick summary:
1- noticed glazed/cracked shoes when inspecting noise from driver side drum
2- took it in to brake place that did the shoes about a year ago- they replaced the shoes on both sides
3- took it back when it was still making noise and heating up- they replaced the hardware and adjusted the brakes but said they didn't know what exactly was wrong
4- Replaced both wheel cylinders, found some fairly good size ridges in the backing plates that I ground down a little, re-applied grease and took the drum in to get it turned
5- When turning the drum found out it was severely out of round. Purchased new drum.
6- Still getting hot, took it to a second shop who ground down glazed spots on new shoes and adjusted shoes on both sides
7- Still having the same problem!!!! Brake drum is getting severely hot- so hot the wheel gets too hot to touch.


I noticed when I put the drum on that when I press it flush against the back of the assembly it "lifts" on the opposite side just a bit, almost like it won't sit flush against the back. Could the backing plate be warped? It almost seems like the shoes aren't sticking but there is something generating heat from the wheel turning, even when the brakes aren't applied.

I've seriously considered driving it down to the dealership and trading it in on an 02 Suburban or Yukon XL (or even an Expedition!- OK maybe not quite that mad, but getting there):confused:
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I FINALLY have no more squealing/chattering brakes!:party:

I ended up taking it back to 2nd repair shop and asked them to test drive and let me know what was going on. The shop called and said they could not believe how loud the brakes were squealing and thought they would find the brakes a complete mess. After looking at it again they recommended replacing the shoes with different ones. They said the shoes the original brake place put on were extremely low quality (glued on friction material) and contained a high percentage of metallic substances and their guess was that's what was causing the problem.

So yesterday I took the shoes off (again, for the 4th time) and replaced them with $18 autozone riveted shoes. Problem solved!

I could not believe that brand new shoes could cause that type of problem, but I'm taking the shoes back to the repair shop (it's a chain called Brakes Plus- I highly recommend you stay away!) and going to ask for a partial refund. I'm a little ticked off, but I'm glad I can drive the vehicle without scaring me and everyone on the road.

I did end up having to grind down the contact points on both backing plates as the shoes had got so hot that they had melted deep ridges in nearly every contact point. Thankfully I had a brand new air grinder I was able to put to good use. Here are a few pictures of the ridges.
Rim Tire Wheel Automotive tire Auto part
Automotive tire Tire Rim Automotive wheel system Auto part
Auto part Tire Automotive wheel system Automotive tire Rim


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When you had them apart, were you able to compare the new shoes against the old/problem ones? If so, were there any noticable differences in width or appearance?
Exact same size/shape but the friction material was noticeably different. The cheap shoes that were overheating were a dark black and were glued on to the shoe. The friction material developed pits and markings in them in a short amount of time and had a baked, hard appearance. They also generated a lot of dust.
The $18 (quality?) shoes were riveted on, gray friction material that had a "softer feel" to them.
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