How to Replace the Rear Brakes on a Silverado 1500

by Chris Moore

The Chevy Silverado 1500 uses both brake pads and shoes on the rear wheels. The shoes are much larger than the ones used on other vehicles. Make sure you get the correct type of pads for your model. The rear brakes use a type of horseshoe-style single brake shoe on each wheel that is clipped in place, making replacement slightly simpler than on most other vehicles.


Raise the Silverado's rear end, making sure the truck is parked on a level surface, and support it on jack stands. Remove the rear wheels, block the front ones and release the parking brake.

Compress the two caliper pistons with a C-clamp. You will likely need to remove two-thirds of the brake fluid from its reservoir under the hood prior to this using a suction tool. Watch the fluid level as you compress.

Remove the lower bolt for the brake caliper with a flare-nut wrench, holding the slide pin in place with an open ended wrench. Pivot the caliper upwards.

Remove the brake pads from the caliper mounting bracket.

Clean the mating surface on the caliper bracket with a wire brush and rag, then apply a very thin coating of high temperature grease to the surface.

Install the replacement pads in the mounting bracket.

Lubricate the caliper slide pin with the grease, then pivot the caliper back down and apply the mounting bolt.

Reconnect the wheels and lower the truck after changing all the brake pads.


Raise the truck and remove the rear wheels as described in Section 1, then unbolt and remove the caliper completely from the brake disc. Hang this caliper from somewhere on the chassis with a strong wire.

Remove the caliper mounting bracket from the brake disc, removing its own mounting bolts with your wrench.

Pull the disc off the wheel and hub.

Unbolt and remove the single clip holding the brake shoe in place at the bottom using a small wrench.

Slide the brake shoe off the actuator, then lift, bend and work it around and over the axle flange to remove it.

Install the replacement shoe around the axle and actuator, seating each end into the ends of the adjuster wheel. If they won't fit, turn the star wheel with a screwdriver until the slots run parallel to the backing plate. Bolt the clip into place.

Reconnect the brake disc, caliper mounting bracket and brake caliper.

Reconnect the wheels and lower the truck.


  • There may be pressed washers on the wheel studs preventing you from removing the brake disc. Cut off these washers with cutting pliers; you don't have to replace them.
  • Push down on the brake pedal multiple times to properly seat the brakes. It may take about 20 applications while driveing to completely break the pads in.
  • The clearance between the brake shoes and the braking surface should be about .026 inch, or just enough to avoid the shoes from dragging against the brake disc. Turn the adjuster screw to adjust this position.

Items you will need


About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.

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