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Cavalier Starting in the 1980s. the Cavalier made a name for itself by offering an affordable 2 and 4 door compact.
Platform: J-body

1997 cavalier rear end problem

Old June 14th, 2013, 4:29 PM
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Default 1997 cavalier rear end problem

I just purchased a 97 cavalier and I am having a problem with the rear end and have no idea what it could be hoping someone can give me some starting point.

When I start the car at my house and put it in drive go a little ways then apply the brake the driver side rear end drops almost to the tire but after I get going for awhile it doesn't do it any more, also I can hear a noise while driving that sounds like grinding not sure if it's the bearings going bad or the drum brakes I don't hear the drum brakes when I apply them so I am thinking it might be the bearings... Anyone have any ideas?

Last edited by wis2ohio; June 14th, 2013 at 10:17 PM.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wis2ohio View Post
apply the brake the driver side rear end drops almost to the time
this means what?
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Old June 14th, 2013, 10:16 PM
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Sorry I meant it drops almost to the tire when I apply the brakes.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 6:42 AM
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Do the rear brakes lock up prematurely when braking? This may be more noticeable on loose gravel or slippery road conditions. Contaminated rear brake shoes and weak return springs commonly caused premature rear brake lock up on these cars. When the rear brakes apply that hard and with the fronts applying normally, the rear end drops or squats.

Last edited by tech2; June 15th, 2013 at 6:45 AM.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 2:16 PM
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The first time I noticed the rear end doing this I was on gravel and when I applied the brakes it did lock up in the rear and skidded but that is the only time that has happened otherwise it happens all the time when I first take off and the car has been sitting for awhile.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 2:52 PM
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IMO, i'd change the brake shoes and spring hardware. inspect the wheel cylinders while your in there.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 5:42 PM
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Thanks for the help I will check them out. I was at the auto store today since my check engine light came on and the ETS off light came on and I asked them about what it's doing as far as what I have explained and they said the samething that you have. Thanks again for the help
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Old June 16th, 2013, 7:03 AM
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that will fix one problem. When you are ready to fix the tcs and ses lights, get the dtc read and post the codes here. When the tcs and ses light set at the same time there is a powertrain code set that forces shut down of the traction control system.
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