Re: how to change rear brake shoes on a 2004 chevy...
The rear brake shoes use a U clip to hold the shoes together. A simple solution to this change job is to change one side at a time.
Slowly unclip the U clip from the top of the shoe and remove the left shoe and spring. Replace the left shoe and reconnect the U clip, then do the same for the other shoe. Clean, adjust,and grease the self adjuster and you're done. Do the same for the other side of the van. If you take both sides of the clip off you're in for some heavy duty stretching with pliers unless you have the right tool.
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get a washer welded in its place but if you dont want to go that way you will need to pull the brake shoes the drive axle just to get to the backing plate so you can remove the old one and install a new one
Parking brake lever on leading shoe (end of retractor spring in its hole on the leading shoe). Make sure the the adjuster screw assembly is engaged properly with the leading shoe (also, engaged with the parking brake lever). Adjuster actuator installed on the trailing shoe (also, engaged with the adjuster screw assembly). After inserting the retractor spring in its hole on the trailing shoe, insert actuator spring in its hole (just below wheel cylinder) in leading shoe and stretch across and connect it to the adjuster actuator. Adjust star wheel to get shoes close to drum. Reinstall drum (shoes close with no rub). Reinstall wheel. Push brake pedal for final adjustment. Test forward. Test Backwards. If everything is in the correct place, nothing should pop off. I hope you have a before picture. Haynes manual has good pictures. I own a 2002 Pontiac Montana, but a family member has taken it out of town. My info is from the Haynes manual. I replaced the brake shoes a couple years ago.
After you remove the tire, the drim should slide off. If it doesn't then try using a rubber mallet and gently tap on the outside edge as you pull on it. Sometimes you also need to tap on the drum in the center part. I have sprayed penetrating lubes like WD-40 or PB Blaster into the seam at the center. You may also have to back off the parking brake cable or even use the adjuster to back off the shoes.
Did you adjust the rear shoes out? If the rear drum brakes are out of adjustment they will give you a lot of pedal travel. If the pads are worn have no fear of that U-CLIP brake spring, just change one shoe at a time. Take the spring off one side, change the shoe, put the spring back on the post and do the same to the other shoe, no problem.
If it's like my 2000 you have to place the clip in the lower holder first, then put the shoes on and put the clip in the shoe holes. The front-facing shoe has to get clipped first, since you'll need use a short pry bar to fit the clip in the back shoe and there's much more clearance for that one.
Once that's done then you can put the hardware on the top, finishing with the spring.
Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
Remove the rear wheels.
Remove the drums.
Remove the automatic adjuster spring and lever.
Remove the hold-down clips and pins.
Rotate the automatic adjuster starwheel enough so both shoes move out far enough to be free of the wheel cylinder boots.
Disconnect the parking brake cable from the actuating lever.
Remove the lower shoe to shoe spring.
With the shoes held together by the upper shoe to shoe spring, remove them from the backing plate.
Kelsey Hayes rear brake assembly (left side shown)Exploded view of the drum brake assembly—2004 model shown
GOODLUCK, shoes for this car ~ 15 bucks at auto zone.