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2000 Chevrolet Cavalier Base 4dr Sedan

2000 Chevrolet Cavalier
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4 Door Sedan, Compact
24 mpg city / 34 mpg hwy
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October 30, 2013, 6:51 pm

Jacquie B

Question: How to retract brake shoes to remove drum on 2003 Chevy Cavalier?

I am attempting to change out the rear brakes on my Cavalier. I need to retract the brake shoes in order to get the drum off (it will not turn freely). The manual states that I need to lift the actuator off the adjuster wheel and then turn the adjuster wheel. I removed the red plug on the back, and I can see the adjuster wheel, but I can't seem to locate the actuator to lift it. Where is it and what is the best way to get to it?

Additionally, the teeth on the adjuster wheel seem to be slanted in one direction (which appears to be the direction you would turn it to expand the shoes). Is there a tool or trick to make it easier to turn in the other direction (to retract the shoes)?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


November 7, 2013, 6:34 pm

Richard W
Expert Mechanic

The actuator in on the other side of the adjuster. You will need a 90 degree pick tool to move the actuator off the adjuster. I use a screw driver to back off the shoes and adjust the shoes.

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