How to Replace the Brakes on a 1989 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

The 1989 Cadillac Coupe DeVille is a luxury two-door car. It came standard with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. This mixture of disc and drum brakes was done to reduce costs, compared to having disc brakes on all four wheels, but to increase braking performance over an all-drum system. Changing all of the brakes is a relatively straightforward task, though it can be very time consuming for someone with little mechanical knowledge. The disc or drum brakes can be changed independent of each other, depending on wear, though both sides of the car must be changed at the same time to ensure proper braking.

Tools Used: Tire iron, Floor jack, Jack stands, Wrench and socket set, Flat-headed screwdriver, New brake pads, Brake drum puller, Ball-peen hammer, Needle-nose pliers, New brake shoes

Replace the Brakes

Accessing the Brakes

Park the car on a level, solid surface, such as a garage floor.

Loosen the lug nuts on all of the wheels.

Place the floor jack under the rear differential of the vehicle and lift the car high enough to fit the jack stands under the rear axle.

Place jack stands under the rear axle next to the suspension.

Lower the rear end of the car onto the jack stands.

Move the floor jack to under the front cross member and lift the front end of the vehicle off the ground.

Place a jack stand under the frame next to the front wheel well.

Lower the front end of the car onto the jack stands.

Remove all of the lug nuts and tires.

Changing the Front Brakes

Remove the bolts holding the front disc brakes in place, using the wrench and socket set.

Use the screwdriver to pry the assembly upwards and off the brake rotor.

Use the screwdriver to knock out the brake pads.

Insert the new brake pads and place the assembly back over the brake rotor.

Insert and tighten the bolts holding the disc brakes in place.

Changing the Rear Brakes

Hook the brake drum puller over the rear brake drum. The puller arms should be evenly spaced around the drum.

Tighten the central bolt of the puller by hand until the bolt is in contact with the axle hub.

Place the wrench and socket on the end of the central bolt.

Tighten the bolt by one-half a turn. If the brake drum does not move, gently tap the drum around the edge with the hammer. Turn the bolt one-eighth to one-quarter of a turn and tap the drum again with the hammer. Repeat this turning and tapping until the drum can easily be removed.

Unclip the brake shoes. You probably will need to use the needle-nose pliers to release the shoes from the springs holding them.

Hook the new brake shoes onto the hook and then attach the spring. You will need to use the needle-nose pliers to attach the springs.

Replace the brake drum with the brake puller removed.

Finishing the Brake Job

Place the tires on each axle and tighten on the lug nuts.

Jack up the front of the vehicle and remove the jack stands.

Lower the front of the car to the ground.

Jack up the rear of the car and remove the jack stands.

Lower the rear of the car to the ground.

Tighten the lug nuts on every tire using the tire iron.

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