Question about 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt

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I have hit the drum in all directions but it still won't come off.

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On the back of the drum there is a dust plate, with an inspection hole. remove the ruber insert from the inspection hole. inside there is an automatic brake adjuster. you will need two small screw drivers, or something similar. the adjuster has a star wheel on it, with a thin lock bar that is atached to a small spring. with one screw driver push the lock away from the star wheel. with the other turn the star wheel in the direction of the lock bar. the wheel will turn in small increments, so this is kind of a slow process. by turning the adjuster you have pulled the shoes away from the dum. this will alow the drum to come off freely with little efort. !! in order to ensure proper braking once the new shoes are installed this procces must be reversed.!!

Posted on Apr 23, 2010

Testimonial: "thanks that was very helpfull robin"


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Can't get drums off rear

In addition to the above excellent answer, I offer some other problem areas when removing rear drums. Some may pertain to one auto, but not another. This is just general infromation I hope you find useful.
As stated above or below, (not sure where this comment will be placed) find the adjuster for the brake shoes. In my Cavalier, there is an oblong hole on the backside of the drum plate with a rubber insert to prevent debris gaining entrance. Revove if present, and use a wide screwdriver or preferably a brake adjuster tool. With screwdrivers you run a greater risk of stripping the teeth/gear on the adjuster itself leaving no way to adjust the shoes wihout removing the drum, which is what we are attempting to do in the first place. Once the teeth on the adjuster are stripped, and the shoes are stuck in the groove inside the drum, there are only two ways to remove the drum. Brute force, as I was able to do on mine, or use a grinding tool, and cut the drum off. The later solution is a last ditch effort, and one a proffessional shop would likely use instead of brute force muscle. A brake adjustment tool at 5-$10 is a great investment. When adjusting the shoes inward, which is what we want if the shoes are stuck in a groove. This happens a lot when people such as myself wait, and find themselves running metal to metal, creating a groove. On my vehicle you must use two tools. One pushes the brake adjuster arm away from the star wheel so you can turn the gear/starwheel which backs the shoes inward. A good way to ascertain which direction to turn the starwheel would be, insert a scredriver or tool, and turn the starwheel. When you here a click, the shoes are moving outward as the click sound will inform. You now want to use both tools, pushing the arm that rests on the starwheel out so you can insert the brake tool, and move the wheel in the opposite direction, backing the shoes off.
If your problem is a rusted on drum at the point of hub/bearing contact then hit the face of the drum (STAY AWAY FROM THE STUDS) with a good size hammer. Should this not break the rust connection, then spray penetrating lubricating oil around, and inbetween the drum and hub. Let it sit for an hour, then smack with a hammer again. If this doesn't loosen the drum/rust, repeat the above, and try again. Don't use too much force when hitting the drum as you could damage the bearing. However, you can whack it fairly hard, and in fact, I used a medium hit with a 3' sledge hammer/axe combo. Two hits and the drum was off, just don't use excessive force unles required, and know you may damage the bearing, not likely, but possible. The main ingredient here is the penetraing oil, it really does the job for you if with time and patience. This could take a full day of repeated use every hour on the hour until the rust gives way so be prepared. WD-40 may work for some, but you may need something stronger avaiable at your local auto parts store. I don't have the can I used so forget the name, but buy a can that states it is penetrating oil, and you'll be good to go. Hope this helps someone, worked for me, but I hit stud, and had to replace which is why I stated stay away from the studs. I am fairly certain I also read some proffessional advice on this which stated to hit the face only, not the sides. either way, if using a sledge, with a medium hit, you should be fine.
Another option is easier, but more difficult to find as purchasing this tool is expensive. Use a brake drum puller sometimes available for lend at your auto parts store, but I have not located one, and live in a very large city so good luck to you, and hope that drum comes off easier than mine did.


Dec 30, 2011 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Rear brake drums wont come off 2005 chevrolet cobalt I can't get to the drum brakes. the front won't come off.

make sure your parking brake is off first then if you take a hammer and hit the side of the drum while you tug on opposite side and do this all around it pulling evenly it will come off. hope this helps.

Sep 15, 2011 | 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt

1 Answer

Rear brake drum is sticking how do you remove brake drum?

Remove wheel and make sure parking brake is off. Pull on drum. If it won't move take a big hammer and hit the sholder of the drum They will get rust on them and may stick. A quick jar with a hammer usually helps with this.

Sep 11, 2011 | 1995 Pontiac Bonneville

1 Answer

How do you remove the rear brake drums from a volkswagon polo. I have remove the wheel and the hub retaining screw but am not sure how to remove the brake drum

You will need a 2 lb. sledge hammer hit the outer rim of the brake drum alternating from side to side once the brake drum appears to loosen rotate with both hands only in one direction as you pull outward forcefully.

Dec 31, 2009 | 1997 Volkswagen Jetta

1 Answer

How do you 'back-off' the rear brake shoes??

what do you mean frozen? is it cold or old rusted? if it is cold take a hammer and hit the drums until the shoes free up.and stop putting on the emergency brake in the winter.adjust the adjustment wheel until the drum turns,if it will not turn adjust it the oppisite direction.

Jul 23, 2009 | 2004 Pontiac Grand Am

3 Answers

How do i get the rear drums off

block front wheels jack up rear wheels make sure parking brake is off and that the wheel spins freely and waxk it with a big hammer
really just hit the drum top bottom and sides till the rust breaks away
if it breaks away and moves and still wont come off you might need to loosen the adjuster from the slotted hole on the back side

Jul 03, 2009 | 2005 Dodge Caravan

4 Answers


Ok you've some of what I would do, but try this. First AGAIN spray with a good penetating oil, the hub, the lug studs, now a rubber is going to do less than nothing. Take a GOOD size METAL hammer ( would use a 5lb sledge ) and LIGHTLY tap the BACK edges ( edge closest to shock absorber ) True hitting the drum too hard can cause damage. You have to be gentle but strong. If it still didn't move ( you better have removed any clips on the studs :) I would take a BIG flat blade screwdriver between the drum and brake backing plate, and kind of persude that drum with my hammer, while pry it off. Hope this helps

Apr 11, 2009 | 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier

3 Answers

Can't get into the rear drum to replace break pads.

Do what the mechanics do.
BLOCK THE WHEELS. Take off the handbrakes. Make sure the wheel will turn. Take the wheel off.
Strike the face along the edge of the drum with a large hammer. Hit hard. ( You should have safety googles) Maybe even a sledge hammer if you have it. It's just rust holding it.

Mar 22, 2009 | 2000 Ford Focus

3 Answers


I just had a similar problem with 1997 Hardbody.

Cause: The E-brake cable was binding up inside the drum causing the e-brake not to disengage - despite the handle being released inside the cab.

Solution: Look for 2 threaded holes in the drum. Insert two bolts and crank these bolts in. They will eventually work to push the drum off the wheel. Be careful to go slow and evenly (don't snap off the bolts!). Penetrating oil and mallet will help the process.

Sep 29, 2008 | 1999 Nissan Pathfinder

1 Answer

Brake drums

There is no opening to access the rear drum adjuster. Grab a good size hammer and hit the outside of the drum directly on the flat part to loosen it up, then just pull it off. Don't be afraid to hit it hard. And remember... Don't hit the lug studs! Hope this helps.

Jul 31, 2008 | 1991 Buick LeSabre

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