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A squealing sound came from the left rear drum brake. I expected the friction material disintegrated off a shoe but instead I found most of the upper return spring out of place and a bit of spring hook or circlip that I can't identify fell out when I wiggled the shoes.





The hook end or whatever it is in the lower picture is made of round cross section metal about half the diameter of the upper return spring, so it can be the missing end of the upper return spring. I've been through the factory manual, Haynes manual and the right side drum but I can't figure out what that small item is (from). It must be the end of one of the smaller positioning springs but I don't see others with the bit of stub. The hardware, shoes and cylinders were replaced about 100K miles ago and inspected every 20K miles or so I doubt it's left over from an improper installation but I'm known for worse.

Sixto
'97 GC SE 3.3 233K miles
 

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It is an anti-rattle clip. The larger diameter clips around the self-adjuster strut and the hook holds onto the shoe return spring above it.
A picture is worth a thousand words. You can see it here located just in front of the starwheel:
hqdefault.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks!! My lucky day if I don't have to tear apart the drum assembly to replace those two parts. I still haven't found the other end of the return spring, though.

Sixto
'97 GC SE 3.3 233K miles
 

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Might I suggest while you are in the rear brake drums, to service the star wheel self adjuster. Take it apart, clean it, and coat it with anti-seize compound. This will keep the self adjusters from seizing up and not functioning.
 

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I have to wonder why the spring broke in the first place.
If the other brake hardware is old. it possibly needs a new hardware kit installed.
Lubing the parking brake and adjuster shoe parts would be prudent while its apart.
 

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I'd suggest you just get two new hardware kits and replace them on both sides. That way you'll have the peace of mind that you did them both and no further problems should arise. Yeah, it's a dirty job, but that's why we have soap and water.
 

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I believe that one hdwr kit should service both rear brakes.
Do one side at a time so you can reference the side that isn't apart yet for reassembly guidance, if needed.
Many times the harder shoe linings will outlast the hardware (and drums).
 

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Try to get a kit made in USA. I used a Chinese kit several years ago, and about 3 months later, the nail for one of the hold-down springs deformed and pulled through the backing plate, causing the shoe to let go. Never had that happen before in 35 years and 700k miles of driving. And the hardware rusted quickly. No problems since replacing it with American-made hardware.
 

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ImperialCrown said:
I believe that one hdwr kit should service both rear brakes.
Do one side at a time so you can reference the side that isn't apart yet for reassembly guidance, if needed.
Many times the harder shoe linings will outlast the hardware (and drums).
The brake hardware kit does both sides. But the self adjuster might come in a separate kit.

When I bought the brake hardware kit from NAPA I also had to buy the self adjusters separately.
 

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If the starwheel teeth are damaged or the adjuster screw is frozen, replace it. There are left and right side threads.
There are p/brake and adjuster actuator lever pivots on the backside of the shoes that commonly rusted and froze up also. These can usually be disassembled and freed up.
 

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If a spring broke, how much longer are the other springs going to last? Go and get a spring kit and replace all of them on both sides.
 
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