The Chevrolet S-10 was first introduced in 1983. The 2002 Chevrolet S-10 came equipped with a 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder in the base model. The more popular engine in the 2002 S-10 was the 4.3-liter Vortec V-6, optional in all sub-models. The rear drum brakes on the 2002 S-10 can be quite challenging to replace, depending on how much of the rear drum brakes you are replacing. The rear brake shoes and drums do not wear out as quickly as the front pads most of the time.
Drum Brake Replacement Instructions
Loosen the rear wheel lug nuts on the truck. Raise the rear of the truck with a jack. Place jack stands beneath the rear axle housing, about 6 inches inward from the rear tires. Leave yourself room to access the rear brake backing plate without being hindered by the jack stands. Lower the truck onto the jack stands. Remove the rear lug nuts completely, then remove the rear wheels from the truck.2
Remove the brake drum from one side of the S-10. If the brake drum does not come off easily by hand, remove the rubber stopper on the back of the brake backing plate. Insert a flathead screwdriver into the hole in the backing plate and adjust the self-adjuster wheel in an upward motion. This will release the brake shoe pressure inside the drums. Tap the drums on the forward and rear facing sides with a rubber mallet. Remove the brake drums from the brake assembly.3
Spray the entire brake shoe assembly and spring hardware with brake cleaner to remove excess debris and brake dust. Remove the brake return springs from both brake shoes with a brake shoe spring hook tool. Remove the springs from the upper center post of the brake assembly. Remove the shoe guide from the upper center post by hand.4
Remove the circular hold-down springs from both brake shoes using the cylindrical brake shoe spring tool, or a nut driver. Turn the cap on the hold-down spring, while holding the pin still from behind the backing plate with your thumb. When the cap aligns with the flattened head of the pin, the cap will release and allow you to remove the hold-down spring. Pull the hold-down pin out from the rear of the backing plate.5
Remove the actuator lever and the actuator pivot from the bottom of the brake shoe, using your hands in a twisting motion to free the actuator from the shoe. Remove the lever return springs with a brake spring tool if needed. Spread the brake shoes apart, remove the brake strut and spring assembly from between the two shoes. Remove the parking brake lever from the rear-facing shoe. Remove the self-adjuster wheel and self-adjuster return spring from the shoes.6
Inspect the wheel cylinder on the upper portion of the outboard face on the brake backing plate. If the rubber boots are worn, cracked or torn, then replace the wheel cylinder. If the wheel cylinder is good, skip to Step 8. Replace the wheel cylinder by removing the banjo brake-line bolt from the rear of the cylinder using a line wrench. Remove the two mounting bolts from the rear of the backing plate. Remove the old wheel cylinder.7
Install a new wheel cylinder onto the outboard face of the backing plate. Tighten the mounting bolts snug with a ratchet and socket. Install the rear brake line and banjo bolt onto the new wheel cylinder from behind the backing plate. Tighten the banjo bolt to 33 foot-pounds with a 1/2-inch drive torque wrench and socket. Brake bleeding will be necessary if you replace either or both wheel cylinders.8
Inspect the brake drum for severe pitting or scoring lines on the inboard sides of the drum. If pitting or scoring is present, discard and replace the drums. Measure the inboard opening of the brake drum. If the opening between the two inboard sides is more than 9 9/16 inches across, replace the brake drum. If the drum is within specifications, spray the entire inside of the drum out with aerosol brake cleaner.9
Transfer the parking-brake lever pin from the old rearward brake shoe to the new shoe using a pair of pliers, if needed. Install the new rearward shoe with the longer brake lining onto the outboard face of the backing plate. Install the parking brake lever on the new shoe. Install the second brake shoe and set the self-adjuster lever and spring between the two new shoes. Use a brake spring tool to set the spring if needed.10
Install the adjuster lever and pivot onto the rearward shoe by hand, then install the hold-down pin from behind the backing plate, through the rearward shoe. Install a new hold-down spring and cap over the pin, while holding the pin with your thumb from behind. Turn the cap with a cylindrical brake spring tool, until the cap opening and the flattened head of the pin form a "+" shape. This shape signifies that the cap is locked onto the hold-down pin.11
Install the hold-down pin, spring and cap on the forward facing brake shoe using the directions from the previous step. Install the brake strut and spring assembly between the two brake pads. Install the brake lever return spring between the lever and the rearward brake shoe.12
Install the brake shoe guide onto the upper center post of the brake assembly. Attach the rearward upper return spring to the brake shoe by hand with a twisting motion. Install the spring up and over the upper center post with a spring hook tool. Install the forward facing return spring into the brake shoe. Install the spring onto the upper center post. Lift the brake adjuster lever upward by hand and adjust the brake adjuster screw inward as far as it will go by hand.13
Install the brake drum over the new brake shoe assembly. Install a single lug nut onto one of the wheel studs by hand to hold the drum in place against the wheel hub. Proceed to the bleeding portion of this project at this time if you changed the wheel cylinders. If you did not change the wheel cylinders, proceed to the brake adjusting section.14
Repeat Steps 3 through 12 to complete the brake shoe, hardware, drum and wheel cylinder replacement on the second side of the S-10.
Drum Brake Bleeding Instructions
Ask an assistant to sit in the driver's seat of the truck. Place a drain pan beneath one of the rear brake assemblies with the majority of the pan opening inward from the assembly. Ask your assistant to depress the pedal slowly and hold the pedal to the floor of the truck. Open the bleeder screw, when the pedal is down and being held, using an open-end wrench. Close the bleeder screw snug with the wrench. Repeat this primary bleeding on the truck three times on both sides.16
Ask your assistant to slowly pump the rear brake pedal until the pedal becomes hard to depress. Instruct your assistant to hold the brake pedal with his foot and follow the pedal to the floor and hold it down. Open the bleeder screw when the pedal is being held. Allow the air to escape the screw hole. Close the screw with your open-end wrench. Repeat this pressurized bleeding method three times on each side of the truck, or until no more air escapes the brake line. Double-check that both bleeder screws are snug with your open-end wrench.17
Remove the single lug nut from the face of the brake drum. and proceed to the brake adjusting section of this project.
Brake Adjusting Instructions
Turn the ignition key on the truck to the "II" or accessories position, without starting the truck. Place the gear selector switch into the "N" or neutral position if you have an automatic transmission. If you have a manual transmission, simply depress the clutch and wiggle the transmission shifter into the neutral position. Step out of the truck and proceed to one rear side of the truck.19
Install the rear wheel on one side of the S-10, and tighten the lug nuts snug with a tire iron. Spin the rear wheel using both hands. If the rear wheel makes one complete rotation and stops, the brakes do not need to be adjusted. If the rear wheel spins more than one full rotation, adjust the self-adjuster wheel from the rear of the backing plate with a flathead screwdriver to tighten the brakes. If the wheel does not complete one rotation, turn the self-adjuster wheel upward to loosen the rear shoes slightly.20
Repeat Step 2 to adjust the rear drum brakes on the second side of the truck. Raise the truck off the jack stands when you have completely adjusted the rear brakes. Remove the stands from beneath the truck. Lower the S-10 to the ground. Tighten the rear lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds with a 1/2-inch drive torque wrench and socket.