Question about 1994 GMC Sierra

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Need to replace brakes. Can I do it? Is it hard to do?

I need to replace may brakes on 2500 GMC truck. Can I do it myself? How hard is it?

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If you are just replacing the shoes and drums then it's really not a bad job. Replacement parts are fairly cheap and you can get away with doing most of the job with needle nose pliers instead of buying special tools. I'd recommend you drive with your e-brake on a little just to scuff off any ridges on the drums or shoes before you take off the rear wheels. This makes the drums a lot easier to get off, though you'll still probably need a good sized hammer and a lil elbow grease. Support the rear axle with jack stands and chock the front wheels. Take off the rear wheels. Give the drums liberal love with a good sized hammer, I've even seen sledges used on real bad ones. Once they are free take off the drums. Note the positions of all the hardware, maybe even take a digital camera pic since it's your first time, everything must be hooked up as it came off. Hold the pin on the back side of the backing plate and use the needlenose to twist it out of it's holder to get the shoes off, then clean everything with brake cleaner (get it at the parts store with the parts, 2 cans should be ok). Apply wheel bearing grease wherever the shoes will touch a flat part, should be 2 or 3 on the backing plate. DO NOT GET GREASE ON THE SHOE FRICTION MATERIAL!... brakes will smoke bad and not work so hot if you do... so a little dab will do ya, just enough to keep them from being noisy or binding later. Assemble as you took them off. Don't forget to tighten the lugs again after the truck is on the ground. Adjustments can be made with the adjuster wheel in the middle and a flat head screwdriver by popping out the rubber cap on the backing plate. Match the number of clicks or turns on both sides. Thorough cleaning and lubing of moving parts while you have everything apart will make your brakes work well and keep life easy for you. Inspecting the wheel cylinders (on the top between the pads) while everything is apart is a good idea too. They're cheap and now is the time to replace them if you need to. Look inside the rubber boots for brake fluid and check around them for evidence of leaks, it's not worth doing if you're just gonna ruin the parts you're putting on so do it if you need to, or just for the hell of it. Hope that helps.

Posted on Jun 14, 2009

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