Question about 2003 Saturn ION

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Rear brake shoes

Im trying to replace my rear shoes on my 03 saturn ion. i took the old shoes off but these ones are different there is no e clip on the shoes to connect to the ebrake cable. i had to remove the e brake cable from the old shoe. now how do i put the e brake cable back on the new one because theres a spring around it. i tried pulling the spring back and connecting the cable to shoe but that didnt work. is there some kind of trick to do this or what?

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  • JCbrownjr Nov 03, 2008

    I am having the same issue as we speak!!! how did you fix it?

  • Anonymous Mar 22, 2014

    trying to put on the back brakes on a Saturn ion 2007

  • Anonymous Mar 22, 2014

    Can't put brake shoe pads on



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Had the same problem and had to pull spring back, using two vise grips in order to do it. Then the brake cable will slip into place if you move the lever until the cable goes into the open part of the attachment on the bottom of the lever. Then turn or twist the brake shoe until the cable end fits properly.
Make sure to examine and think about which way to insert the cable end so that it is in properly to pull the lever.

Posted on Nov 09, 2008


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Replacing brake shoes

Remove the bottom spring.
I suggest you wear gloves, and a dust mask, and I'm not kidding.
You definitely don't want to breath the dust, and it's the pits to get off of your hands. Wear protective goggles, or some sort of protective eyewear. One wrong slip, and you can't replace your eye/s!

Take the wheels off of both sides. Remove both brake drums. ONLY, work on one side at a time, so you have a completed brake setup, to refer back to.

I would suggest getting a large kitchen drain pan, (The plastic kind like grandma used for dishes), and put it under the wheel. (Backing plate and brake mechanism) Use a garden hose set on low, and wash the dust into the pan. Start from the top.

Then buy a can or two of brake cleaner. Get the kind that is non-hazardous to breathe. Spray from the top, and wash the backing plate, brake wheel cylinder, springs, anchor pins, and all.
When you're done remove the dishpan. Keep it for the other side.

At the auto parts store where you bought the brake cleaner, buy a brake spring remover. They're cheap, and you'll thank me for this one.
It's like a large set of pliers, only the jaw tips are for removing that spring. At one of the handle ends, is for removing those brake anchor pin locks, and the other handle end has a tip for helping to slip springs back on. (The brake anchor pin, is that pin that comes through the brake shoe.
Then there is a spring, and the brake anchor pin lock. You turn the anchor pin lock 90 degrees to remove it. (12 O'Clock to 3 O'Clock)

Take the adjusters apart, and clean them. After you put them back together, check how they spin.
They must turn easily.
There MAY be a Leading brake shoe, and a Trailing brake shoe. The leading brake shoe goes in the Front.
Read any directions that come with the shoes. It will tell you if the shoes are different from each other.

Clean the part of the axle, that the brake drum sits on. Hard to explain this one. The brake drum has a small hole in the center. It goes over a round protrusion on the axle. Clean the outside edge, of that axle round protrusion, and the brake drum hole. Makes it so much easier, when you go to put the brake drum on. (And take it off the next time)

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i think your aware of how to change the brakes if im right and your problem is the rusted drum doesnt want to come off the only way to get the old drum off is to remove adjuster plug from behind drum dustshield and adjust the shoes so that there not even close to the braking area of the drum then try and wiggle the drum off of the assembly if it is not coming off then you need to use the old nylon hammer on the drum and i mean you must hit the drum from side to side trying by hand to wiggle the drum off its a tight fit and you need to strike the drum on the face not on the fins not wanting to damage with persistance and care and patience you will eventually be able to remove the drum to service brakes take care and good luck with it

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