Left rear brake shoes locking up

On my father in law’s 06 Saturn Vue, we replaced rear shoes, springs and drums. His left rear shoes are now locking up usually after the car sits for about an hour or two. It happens when he backs up and then puts it in drive. He gets about 30 feet and the brakes lock up, and upon test driving it i cannot recreate the condition. I do notice a chatter like war pattern on the shoes, and wheel cylinders are not leaking, although upon braking with the drums off, the wheel cylinders do appear to be a little weak. could this cause the lock up, or could it be a defective drum? I’ve thought about swapping left and right drums. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.

I think you need to look at everything connected to the shoes. Off hand, I’d say something is in backwards. Most likely it is something connected with the self adjusters, like the starwheel or the spacer just above or below it.

Look at both sides, they should be identical but mirror images. If the starwheel on the good side is pointing to the rear, then the starwheel on the left side should do the same. Compare everything on the left wheel to everything on the right. But remember that all parts have to point in the same direction relative to the vehicle. everything that points to the rear on the right side, must also point to the rear on the left side.

Some brake shoes have different length linings on them. The shoe with the shorter lining points to the front of the vehicle while the shoe with the longer lining points to the rear of the vehicle. If the brake shoes are such, and they’re installed in the wrong position it can cause rear brake lock-up.


Remove the drum and check for a seeping wheel cylinder. A small amount of brake fluid on the shoes can cause the brakes to seize.