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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Right Rear Drum Brake *unfixable!?*

Hi everyone,

I hope someone on here has an answer to this brake mystery. I have replaced the drums, shoes, cylinders, springs, self adjusters, tires. The drums and shoes several times!!! I have had several mechanics and shops look at this, as well as myself. I have given up. I have been told everything in the book. Everything that I have been told it could be has been replaced! Only my right rear drum brake squeals and grinds when coming to a stop. Not the left side at all! It is for sure my right rear drum, not the fronts, or the left. From 20-0mph, not every time, but, most of the time. If I am on a steep hill it does it the whole time I am stopping until parked. I am lost as to what could be the cause or fix as everything, anyone who knows anything about cars has suggested fails to resolve the issue. Also each time the shoes and drums have been replaced the noise is gone for a week and then starts slowly getting worse over time until it get's back to a full grinding growling when the brakes are applied at slow speeds. I have tried quite sprays, reversing, pulling the e-brake at higher speeds, slamming on the brakes at all speeds, yelling at the car until I am blue in the face, kicking the damn thing, etc. I am fed up and eager for an answer and am tired of throwing money at the problem. I have spent more on replacing parts to resolve this issue than the car is worth, LITERALLY!!! I thank you in advance!!! I will send a case of beer to anyone who provides an answer that leads to the resolve of this issue!!!

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 06:10 PM
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Well we've put a man on the moon. Brakes are no rocket science, could be just as simple as using the wrong type of brake pads.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 06:28 PM
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Is there any weird wear on the shoes you're removing when the growling starts?

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Coby7,

That's what I'm talking about, I am in disbelief at this issue and am truly stumped!!! I WISH!!! Shoes and drums swapped numerous times on both sides!!! Also machined the drums, replaced the shoes again after that and new drums and new shoes after that, etc. I thought hey maybe I just got some defective parts, but, not three times in a row...

money_man,

Not one bit, they look perfect! No groves or weird wearing, nothing.

Thanks for the thoughts guys! I'm hoping that there is someone on this site that has experience this issue and has a resolve. Standard brake repair tactics have been employed with precision by numerous capable individuals and shops. Everyone is stumped I had one guy try to tell me he didn't hear anything (he just didn't have a clue) I'm afraid to drive by a grave yard because that noise could wake the dead, hahaha!!!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 07:04 PM
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Would you be able to simulate it by spinning the tire and pressing the brake? The only thing I can think of is the wheel bearing but if you spin You'd and it's smooth it shouldn't be that. I'll keep thinking about this.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 08:54 PM
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I'm thinking somebody might have bent the backing plate when trying to pry drum off at one point. When this happens and it don't have to be bent by much, the shoe wants to ride sideways a little so it vibrates side to side and can make some pretty horrible sounds, because it will pull away from the backing plate hit the hat of the drum then reset itself onto the backing plate and repeat. Did you notice any scoring on the inside of the hat part of the drum?

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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The wheel is smooth spinning and no bearing noises are present. Also, if it were the bearings it would be a constant when the wheel is spun at all speeds not just when coming to a stop. I had a similar thought on the backing plate as well. I looks bend free and the original drum that was fine for years, had slight normal wear and no real grooves or weird wearing on the point of contact where the shoes meet the drum. Also there were no signs of groves or scarring or scratches on the hat part the would be catching the side of the shoes in the situation I believe you are describing.

The noise didn't start after a bad brake job, it was fine for a couple years then started slightly squeaking then squealing then grinding I ignored it for months until the grinding started then I was like ok time to take a look and thought it was probably just brake dust and buildup or maybe a cylinder gone bad and leaking combined with the dust causing the noise. When it was first pulled apart it looked really good for the time frame since it had been taken apart previously. No leaking, minimal dust, slight wear... I have done both the front and rears several times as I have DRIVEN this car like one would the SS but it's the crappy one hahhahah... I cooked the rotors a few times smashing the brakes at 120mph... No issues with the fronts, rears had been swapped twice years before this issue started... Bought the car new, had 0.3 miles on it when I got it. The literally rolled it on the truck and rolled it off and then I showed up and bought it...

Next stop for me is the rear struts, there was some slight waves in that particular tire when this problem started indicating it was time to take a look at the suspension / struts. It was leaking slightly so the rears are in need of replacement. I have just never had a strut issue affect my brakes on any vehicle in the sense of a grinding noise just the performance and or wheel shakes the cobalt is famous for LOL!!! Going to be doing the struts soon maybe the bouncing is causing them to be out of wack a little!? it just doesn't make sense because then I would expect it to happen at high speeds when the bouncing would be the worst rather than when I am barely moving. I haven't ever heard of this before and all the mechanics I suggested the possibility of this being a culprit to looked at me like I was retarded and that's how I felt suggesting it. I have not being able to figure it out and it haunts my mind and reminds me via the death shrill I hear driving it everyday...
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