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Old 02-03-2009, 08:36 PM   #1
ahardb0dy
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Question 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

Hello, my stepdaughter has a 2002 SC1, she was complaining about the car not stopping and asked me to look at it, first I jacked up a rear tire planning on adjusting the rear drum brakes only to find there is no access to the adjuster. I than pulled all 4 wheels off, the front pads were down to about a 1/16" and one rotor had visible ridges, the rear shoes were also down to about a 1/16". I had her buy new pads, rotors, shoes and drums all from advance auto, "white box rotors and drums" silver pads and shoes.

I replaced everything with what she bought. When I did the rear drums I left the adjuster a little loose so I would be able to get the drums back on.

The next day she was telling me the pass. rear was making a clicking noise when she stepped on the brake pedal but it doesn't do it as soon as you step on the brake it only makes the noise when you press firmer on the pedal.

I removed the rear tires again and adjusted the adjusters so the brake shoes were very close to the drums, the rear wheels were actually fairly hard to turn by hand but they did turn. I drove the car and now the noise was present all the time, after driving the car and applying the brakes firmly for a few minutes the clicking noise went away. The car also stopped 100% better than it did when I first replaced the brakes. 1 click on the emergency brake handle will hold it firm on a slope. 2 days later on her way home from work she called to tell me the clicking noise was back, I again pulled the wheels and drums and applied grease to all the pivot points and re-adjusted the adjusters. Took it for a ride and the noise is still there.

I don't know what else to do and need help any suggestions? The car stops fine it's just this clicking noise that is present that wasn't, even with the worn brake parts. I'd like to figure this out and do whatever I have to myself without having to take it to someone else, anyone?

Thanks and sorry for such a long post I just wanted to provide all the details.

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

It appears from your post that you haven't determined if it's the right or left side. I would jack it up and try spinning the wheel to figure out which side it is first. Did you use a new brake hardware kit? Maybe a rusted spring?

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

it's definitely the pass. side, No, did not use a hardware kit, just the shoes and drums.

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

Off hand, assuming the drums are round and the shoes are semi-circular (stop laughing!? ) to fit more or less perfectly to mate with the drums, bringing the car to a nice stop and no part of the brake drum contacting the shoes or the brake shoe surfaces have any 'bumps' or depressions to cause this noise, it must be coming from either the inside of the brake drum or the wheel bearing? Any shiny portions inside the two brake drums aside from the braking surfaces that would suggest some part of the brake linkages rubbing against the drum?

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:30 PM   #5
paterson
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

possibally a wheel bearing going bad shoes not in the lower stud what about a also possibally a bat tire did you rotate themspring set ,,after 7 yrs they are weak also poss a bad tire did you rotate them

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

sorry for above my comp goofing up

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

tires are fairly new, plenty of tread, not sure when they were rotated and balanced last. Being the noise started after I did the brakes I would think it has to be brake related, but I'm sure their could be exceptions to that.

I have a question regarding the brake shoes, when I did the rear brakes on my 90 sentra after putting both sides together I couldn't get the drums back on, after showing a neighbor he told me that the brake shoes usually have a forward and rearward shoe, and than showed me how the pad material came down further on 2 of the shoes, so I had to take both sides back apart and switch 2 of the shoes. I had this in mind when I did the brakes on the Saturn and I compared the new shoes against one of the old ones and they appeared to all match, does anyone know if the saturn should have forward and rearward brake shoes or are the 4 shoes the same?

As for the shiny surface inside the drum, I didn't notice any the entire surface looked the same.

If this was possibly a wheel bearing problem I wonder why it would only make the noise under semi-hard braking? The force put on the bearing when doing the firm braking perhaps? would their normally be play in the hub if the bearing was going bad?

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Old 02-03-2009, 10:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

I had this noise the last time I adjusted the drums...I hit the brakes hard a few times in reverse, took it on the highway and did some breaking, then it just went away after a while. Could be the shoes "wearing in" if you will...something isn't quite circular and/or mating up just perfect.

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Old 02-03-2009, 10:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

how long before it went away for good? This car the noise went away for like 2 days and now it is back. thanks

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Old 02-03-2009, 10:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

lol well mine went for a few weeks i think... i just turned up the stereo so i wouldn't hear it.. drove me nuts a little.

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Old 02-08-2009, 05:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

How do I get the F'ing drums off? I have NO room to turn the "adjuster, none at all. Why oh F'ing why did they put it there? Am I supposed to remove the brake hose just to get to the freakin' adjuster that I cannot feel if it is there at all to begin with?

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Old 02-08-2009, 07:34 PM   #12
paterson
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

any chance you bent the backplate and its rubbing on the drum

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Old 02-08-2009, 07:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

What about some rust sitting there like around the outside of the back plate?

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Old 02-09-2009, 12:50 AM   #14
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

Quote:
Originally Posted by myolbug View Post
How do I get the F'ing drums off? I have NO room to turn the "adjuster, none at all. Why oh F'ing why did they put it there? Am I supposed to remove the brake hose just to get to the freakin' adjuster that I cannot feel if it is there at all to begin with?
Well I got the brakes replaced, but what a pain in the ass. I have changed drum brakes before but man, Saturn kinda screwed the pooch on this design. It seems like it would have been cheaper to have just put disks back there.

What the hell were they thinking by putting a hole in the backing plate to be able to adjust the brakes, but put the adjuster on the opposite side?

Ah well, their done and I won't have to do them for a long time!

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Old 02-09-2009, 01:21 AM   #15
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahardb0dy View Post
it's definitely the pass. side, No, did not use a hardware kit, just the shoes and drums.
Had similar issues after I did my brakes. Turns out I put the passenger side adjuster on backwards. Everything was cool immediately after the install, but then started making noise 20-30 miles later. You may want to double check that adjuster. I bet you got it backwards.

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Last edited by bjcart; 02-09-2009 at 01:29 AM..

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Old 02-09-2009, 01:25 AM   #16
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

Quote:
Originally Posted by myolbug View Post
What the hell were they thinking by putting a hole in the backing plate to be able to adjust the brakes, but put the adjuster on the opposite side?
There's actually a tool for it, a little dog-leg shaped gizmo. I suppose the idea of locating the hole opposite provides for a pivot point for the tool. I think the common problem is that, as the brakes are used, the part of the drum surface that the shoes hit gets worn, increasing the inside diameter. This leaves a "lip" on the rim of the drum, and the lip can't get past the shoes. Happened to me the last time I went back to adjust the rears. Once I got the drums off, I ground that lip off before putting them back on. Lesson learned - from now on, the drums come off and that lip gets trimmed once a year. (Also avoids the drums rusting onto the hubs; guess how I know about this....)

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Old 02-09-2009, 01:31 AM   #17
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

Yeah, getting those drums off can be a real pain. The air hammer did wonders for mine though.

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Old 02-09-2009, 01:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

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Originally Posted by bjcart View Post
Had similar issues after I did my brakes. Turns out I put the passenger side adjuster on backwards. Everything was cool immediately after the install, but then started making noise 20-30 miles later. You may want to double check that adjuster. I bet you got it backwards.
I just pulled the pass. side apart (AGAIN), the star adjuster is towards the back of the car, I did notice there is a rubber plug on the back side of the backing plate (on the front side of the backing plate) where you would put a brake adjusting tool thru but the adjuster is on the opposite side (the rear), I don't see any way that the adjuster could be reversed because the thin metal plate the prevents the star adjuster from moving is on the rear shoe which is on top of the emergency brake lever, I don't know, my step daughter is going to take the car to a brake shop to see what they say, I'll let you all know what the find out, thanks for the responses.

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Old 02-09-2009, 08:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

My step daughter took her car to pep boys, they said they adjusted the shoes to match against the drum??? and cleaned everything and greased it, problem is quieter but still present. before she took the car there the noise was louder than it had been. They have no idea where the noise is coming from.

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Old 02-09-2009, 11:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: 2002 SC1 rear drum brake noise, need help please long post

Don't know what the "white box" brake shoes look like, but if the leading & trailing ends of the brake shoe lining aren't given a slight chamfer, they'll frequently do the intermittent grab-release dance, sounding like a clicking in the cab. If the ends of the lining material aren't chamfered or angled down a bit, you can accomplish the same with a file; no need to remove the brake assemblies.

Yes, most(all?) oem Saturn drum brake setups had a leading and trailing shoes of different lengths, but AFAIK most replacement shoes/linings are equal in length. The high-volume replacement parts suppliers work on the KISS principle, as long as it's spelled KI$$ for them.

In these days of global warming, short and expensive energy supplies, and high (true, including environmental) costs of mineral extraction, most of the brake shoe/lining "suppliers" don't even want our old shoes as 'cores'. With their cheap labor supplies, they're making money hand-over-fist, and just hammer us for the cost of new shoes every time. They even made a good profit off that "white box"!

Personally, time permitting, I keep returning to one of the few actual brake re-liners in my area. This business really stays alive by catering to the medium-to-heavy duty truck/forklift/industrial market, but their linings for my cars & 3/4-ton trucks are always better quality than what I can get at any FLAPS, and their prices are competitive, in fact, way better for my trucks. Re-use - recycle - it still works! Unfortunately that direct service-type of business seems "out of style" with today's highly-pimped outlets which do sell some parts, but make much bigger profits hawking trendy 'bling' crap, colored lights, and 87 kinds of air fresheners. OK, OK... end of rant!

If the lining ends are already chamfered, and since you've previously inspected and lubed all the contact points between the metal shoes and the backing plates, you might want to have a shop that still does turn drums, make a very quick pass at the drum surfaces on their lathe. This would be to insure that the drums are still 'round', rather than to remove any significant amounts of material. The Chinese brake drum and rotors are notorious for being warped, even as you remove them new from their (usually white) boxes. A lot of serious garages automatically make a truing pass on a brake lathe, of any new 'low-ball priced' rotors & drums, just to eliminate customer "come-backs".

Other than that, as was mentioned before, it can't hurt to install a new brake spring/hardware kit(North American-made, pardon my prejudice!) at each side.

FWIW some folks unconsciously drive with their parking brakes lightly activated, so that when they do park and firmly pull the handbrake on, the drums are already very hot and can be pushed out of round. Seems like it happens mostly with the foot pedal-actuated parking brakes(stomp that sucker hard!), but it's also not uncommon in smaller cars with their hand-operated parking brake levers and Tonka Toy-sized rear brake drums. It's commonly referred to as "bell-mouthing" of the drum. Sometimes a few lathe cutter passes can remedy that also.

Well, that's it for advice(and my ranting!) at this moment. Sounds like you're being very thorough in checking it all out. Gotta keep our kids safe! Best wishes for a good solution.


J.R.
'01 SC-2
SoCal

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