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Old 05-18-2009, 04:11 PM   #1
BigBad2374
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2001 SL1
Default Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Brake pads were a breeze. Went to change the shoes, which have never been changed, and ran into a problem. I can't seem to get the drum off. Any tips on how to do this would be appreciated. Plus I'm a noob at doing the shoes so any info on doing them would also be appreciated. (i.e. watch out for, make sure to, etc...) Or if there is a step by step that has been posted before and I could get a link, that'd be great too. I'm going to keep surfing the site just in case I run across one.

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Old 05-18-2009, 04:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Smack the face of the drum with a hammer in between the studs. It will pop off. Do yourself a favor and start the lugs on all 4 studs before you do it....one glancing blow with the hammer on the stud and you'll be replacing it. Don't be afraid to hit it, it will come off.
As far as the shoes, only disassemble ONE side at a time. When you get stuck and can't figure out where something goes or just need a reference as to how the springs go and where, etc. you will have one side still together to look at. Make sure you adjust the shoes properly before you put the wheels back on. The shoes should just slightly drag on the drum when the wheel is spun. Not a big deal really.....
I assume you haven't bothered to check and see if you need new shoes since you can't get the drums off. Chances are you don't need them unless you have hundreds of thousands of miles on your '01. Shoes last a hell of a long time. Also make sure to peel back the boots on your wheel cylinders-if any fluid comes out, they need to be replaced.

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Old 05-18-2009, 05:12 PM   #3
JerryHughes
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Do you have your emergency hand brake on? If so, make sure the car isn't going to roll and try it without the emergency brake on. Also, Richpin has a great video on the job here----------
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpxQN...e=channel_page

Richpin also has a video on bleeding your brakes by yourself here----
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvyzt...e=channel_page

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Old 05-18-2009, 05:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

If all you're doing is pads/rotors in the front, and adjusting the rears, or even replacing shoes/drums in the rear, DO NOT bleed the brakes. Don't open up the hydraulics unless, well, unless you're opening up the hydraulics.

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Old 05-18-2009, 06:22 PM   #5
BigBad2374
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

You all are just awesome! Thanks for all the advice. The videos by Richpin were exactly what a rookie like me needed.

I just have to say that this community has come to my rescue on more than one occassion in the past and I've learned a lot. It's actually refreshing to know where the oil cap is. LOL Just kidding.

I'll let you all know how it turns out.

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Old 05-18-2009, 08:17 PM   #6
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Default Curious, why no brake bleeding if changing pads?

I guess I'll be the guy to ask the dumb question: if one is just changing let's say front disc pads and rotors, is it actually a bad thing to bleed the brakes once the job is done?

I was planning on doing my 97 SL2 pads and rotors this year sometime, and figured I'd bleed the brake lines once done. If that's bad, of course I'd like to know !

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Old 05-18-2009, 08:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Curious, why no brake bleeding if changing pads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxdude View Post
I guess I'll be the guy to ask the dumb question: if one is just changing let's say front disc pads and rotors, is it actually a bad thing to bleed the brakes once the job is done?

I was planning on doing my 97 SL2 pads and rotors this year sometime, and figured I'd bleed the brake lines once done. If that's bad, of course I'd like to know !
It isn't necessary and isn't going to do anything to help you. If the hydraulic system is opened for any reason the system needs to be bled, otherwise leave the bleeders alone!! Generally a person creates a problem that didn't exist prior when they try to bleed their brakes thinking they are doing something good. Put on your pads and rotors, adjust your rear brakes if they are drum and be done with it.

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Old 05-18-2009, 08:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Curious, why no brake bleeding if changing pads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxdude View Post
I guess I'll be the guy to ask the dumb question: if one is just changing let's say front disc pads and rotors, is it actually a bad thing to bleed the brakes once the job is done?

I was planning on doing my 97 SL2 pads and rotors this year sometime, and figured I'd bleed the brake lines once done. If that's bad, of course I'd like to know !
You don't need to but one good thing about bleeding the brakes (if you plan on refilling the reservoir completely with new, fresh fluid) is that you get rid of all the old fluid you had in the system. After a few years, the fluid loses some of its ability to stop the car efficiently. I guess the worse thing is that it degrades and gathers moisture. But there is also another way to change your brake fluid without bleeding the lines. That's by simply taking the old fluid out of the reservoir by using a turkey baster and filling it back up. That still leaves the old fluid in the lines but I've heard that that mixes with the new and helps. Someone else with more experience will have to ring in here with the disadvantages of bleeding the lines.

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Old 05-18-2009, 10:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Bleeding with ABS = risky.

Bleeding without= easy.

Try a 5/16" 6 point wrench on the little guys in the back wheel cylinders, fits nice and snug.

Had drums rusted on so severely I used a cutoff blade in my angle grinder to cut a notch by the hub. Once the pressure was relieved there they just popped right off!

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Old 05-18-2009, 10:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljefino View Post
Bleeding with ABS = risky.

Bleeding without= easy.

Try a 5/16" 6 point wrench on the little guys in the back wheel cylinders, fits nice and snug.

Had drums rusted on so severely I used a cutoff blade in my angle grinder to cut a notch by the hub. Once the pressure was relieved there they just popped right off!

Ahhhhhhhhhhh! You are still using that hub? It looks like you just pulled it up, off the Titanic!

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Old 05-18-2009, 10:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Wow, eljefino, that drum looked like it spent its summers at the bottom of Casco Bay!!!! Tell your highway dept to go on a low sodium diet!!!!

On the bleed or no bleed question, linuxdude, you might take a close look at the brake fluid in the reservoir. If it's no longer light amber and is getting dark, I'd get the fluid flushed out and bled. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, so it slowly picks up ambient moisture from the air and this can cause problems in the breaking system.

I have ABS on my 1997, so after I replaced my OEM front pads & rotors, I had my local auto shop pressure flush/bleed the system front and rear. Cost me $60, and I should be good for another 5+ years.

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Old 05-19-2009, 10:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Hey, I got down to taking off the C-clip. No problem. However, when I went to install the new shoe on that side there's a brass pin that goes through the shoe that the C-clip attached to. I have to put that pin in the shoe first, but it doesn't seem to fit. Is that par for the course and I just have to whack it till it's through or do I maybe have the wrong size?

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Old 05-19-2009, 05:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBad2374 View Post
Hey, I got down to taking off the C-clip. No problem. However, when I went to install the new shoe on that side there's a brass pin that goes through the shoe that the C-clip attached to. I have to put that pin in the shoe first, but it doesn't seem to fit. Is that par for the course and I just have to whack it till it's through or do I maybe have the wrong size?
Just keep at it. The instructional videos ought to show you how to finagle it.

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Old 05-19-2009, 06:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Okay, shoes are on. No problem. Had to file the hole for the brass pin a bit, but it's in. My problem now is that I have no pedal!

Here's what I did. Replaced the shoes exactly as the video instructed. (It's nice having an ipod with video.) But first I replaced the wheel cylinders after I found one that was leaking. All snug no drips, wipe and checked again and had neighbor check it a third time. It's all good. Then I had my cousin help me bleed the brakes, but still no pedal.

Is there a sequence to the bleeding? Should I be checking something else?

***************Just read the other posts about bleed or no bleed********

The fluid in my resevior is almost BLACK! So if I get rid of that fluid and replace with new, it might help my situation right?

...
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Last edited by BigBad2374; 05-19-2009 at 06:32 PM..

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Old 05-19-2009, 09:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

The color of the fluid has no bearing on your pedal. You haven't adjusted the shoes proplerly. Re-read my very first response to you in this post. The shoes MUST be adjusted properly or you will have what you have now. Just putting the shoes on doesn't do a thing until they are adjusted.

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Old 05-19-2009, 09:38 PM   #16
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Big Bad----I just gotta say that your avatar is one scary mother! Sheeeeeeech!

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Old 05-20-2009, 01:06 AM   #17
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squareback View Post
The color of the fluid has no bearing on your pedal. You haven't adjusted the shoes proplerly. Re-read my very first response to you in this post. The shoes MUST be adjusted properly or you will have what you have now. Just putting the shoes on doesn't do a thing until they are adjusted.
I agree that the fluid being black doesn't relate to the "no pedal" problem. However, for the longevity of your other brake cylinders/caliper pistons, I'd recommend getting that old fluid flushed out as soon as you can so it's back to the original light amber color. Something to do after you get the shoes adjusted properly and you have some pedal back.

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Old 05-20-2009, 08:05 AM   #18
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Just so I'm clear on the proper adjustment for the shoes.

You only open them enough to get a little drag when you spin the drum, correct?

Also, I was noticing that the cap to my resevior doesn't seem like it's tight enough. It locks down but it still doesn't feel secure. Could that effect anything pressure wise?

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Last edited by BigBad2374; 05-20-2009 at 08:14 AM..

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Old 05-20-2009, 08:24 AM   #19
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

The shoes should drag slightly on the drum on both sides when they are properly adjusted. Your cap has nothing to do with the problem either, it's your adjustment.

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Old 05-20-2009, 01:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: Trying to replace brake shoes on 2001 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBad2374 View Post
Just so I'm clear on the proper adjustment for the shoes.

You only open them enough to get a little drag when you spin the drum, correct?

Also, I was noticing that the cap to my resevior doesn't seem like it's tight enough. It locks down but it still doesn't feel secure. Could that effect anything pressure wise?
With the tire on, and with a gentle push, the tire should stop with in 2-3 rotations.

I find this correlates usually to 1/2 a rotation of the drum with the tire off.

Adjust it ONE CLICK at a time. Take longer? Yes. But if you over expand the shoes, the drums will get stuck halfway on.

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