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Mike S.
Mike S., Chevy Mechanic
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 7433
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
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how do you adjust the parking brake on a 1995 p30 step van

Customer Question

how do you adjust the parking brake on a 1995 p30 step van other than inside the cab?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  KMP1171 replied 7 years ago.
Yes there is an adjustment

Drum Brakes


The following procedure requires the use of GM brake adjustment tool J-4735 or its equivalent.

  1. Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jack stands.

  2. Using a punch and a hammer, at the rear of the backing plate, knock out the lanced metal area near the star wheel assembly.

When knocking out the lanced metal area from the backing plate, the wheels must be removed and all of the metal pieces discarded.

  1. Using the GM Brake Adjustment tool No. J-4735 or equivalent, insert it into the slot and engage the lowest possible tooth on the star wheel. Move the end of the brake tool downward to move the star wheel upward and expand the adjusting screw. Repeat this operation until the brakes lock the wheel.

Remove the metal tab from the backing plate. DO NOT allow it to fall into the drum

Remove the metal tab from the backing plate. DO NOT allow it to fall into the drum

Click to Enlarge
Use a brake adjusting spoon to turn the starwheel. A screwdriver just won't work that well

Use a brake adjusting spoon to turn the starwheel. A screwdriver just won't work that well

Click to Enlarge
  1. Insert a'small'screwdriver or piece of firm wire (coat hanger wire) into the adjusting slot and push the automatic adjuster lever out and free of the star wheel on the adjusting screw.

  2. While holding the adjusting lever out of the way, engage the topmost tooth possible on the star wheel (with the brake tool). Move the end of the adjusting tool upward to move the adjusting screw star wheel downward and contact the adjusting screw. Back off the adjusting screw star wheel until the wheel spins freely with a minimum of drag. Keep track of the number of turns the star wheel is backed off.

  3. Repeat this operation for the other side. When backing off the brakes on the other side, the adjusting lever must be backed off the same number of turns to prevent side-to-side brake pull.

Backing off the star wheel 12 notches (clicks) is usually enough to eliminate brake drag.

  1. Repeat this operation on the other side of the rear brake system.

  2. After the brakes are adjusted, install a rubber hole cover into the backing plate slot. To complete the brake adjustment operation, make several stops while backing the vehicle to equalize the wheels.

  3. Road test the vehicle.

Edited by KMP1171 on 9/24/2009 at 1:01 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I am trying to adjust the Parking Drum Brake. Not rear drum brakes. The parking brake on this vehicle surrounds the drive shaft. Your answer is good for adjusting drum brakes on the wheels. Not what I am looking for. Thanks Greg

Expert:  KMP1171 replied 7 years ago.
Unless i am confused you r trying to adjust the parking brake? And what do you mean goes around the D/S? Could you get me a pic and I can get you all info you need but parking brake is adjusted as explained.

Thank you \

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
there is a drum on the drive shaft before the first universal joint. Inside the drum is a parking brake. The parking brake is not on the axle as you had described in your first response. My question is. Have you ever adjusted this type of brake? if so you would be able to answer me properly. I would like to get an answer from somoen who has. Ot is a 1995 chevt p30 step van with a diesel engine. Thanks
Expert:  Mike S. replied 7 years ago.

Maybe this might help. This is the adjustment for the transmission brake drum on a 1994 Chevy C3500. Maybe it is the same.

  • Locate the parking brake drum assembly. Its at the back of the transmission extension housing. Remove the clevis pin from the parking brake lever.

  • Set the parking brake pedal to 4 clicks.

  • Connect a tension gauge to the frame of the truck with a small length of cable and a turn buckle.

  • Connect the tension gauge to the bottom of the parking brake lever and tighten it to 50 lbs. (222N).

  • Loosen the clevis lock nut and turn the clevis until the pin slides freely in the lever. There should be no slack in the cable.

  • Install the clevis pin and a new cotter pin. Tighten the lock nut to 27 ft. lbs. (37 Nm).

  • Remove the gauge and release the parking brake.


    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Adjusting the parking brake on models with rear discs