I promised my son I would replace the rear shoes on his 2000 Dodge Caravan. I removed the rubber plugs but cannot find a star wheel to back off on the shoes. Is a special tool needed? Is there a star wheel. Is there some place on the web I can find help? Any suggestions appreciated.
I had the same problem. I looked for the star adjuster but it's just not there. I decided to remove the whole assembly, service it and replace the shoes myself (it failed its M.O.T on the handbrake - parking brake to you guys) Once the wheel is off the drum/disc should come straight off providing you have released the cable tension beforehand. It was one of those easy jobs that turned in to a real nightmare. I could not remove the drum/disc assembly with anything! I finally gave in and took it to my local chrysler dealer to look at it for me. It turned out that part of the mechanism had seized/collapsed and prevented the drum from being removed ( could have siezed while driving and caused a nasty accident) Anyway, I'm £340 GBP out of pocket (they did both sides at the same time) but my handbrake now works and I feel a whole lot better now the car is safe.
The rear drum is held on with a nut, the wheel bearing is inside the drum.
The studs are part of the drum.
Remove nut, retainer pin, some big fat washers.
Pull drum off spindle.
Do not use a hammer if it is stuck.
Push brake linings up with a flat tool if they are binding inside of drum diameter. Sometimes they wear a grove inside the drum which the linings get stuck in.
Pull drum off and remember where the rubber seals go on the outer bearing in case they pop off when you get drum off.
Getting the drum off is the hardest part, the rest is easy, including reassembling it.
Do not "wash" the drum after you remove it, you do not want to get any water in bearing.
The above could be the case for earlier minivans but not gen. 3. The studs are pressed into the hub, and the drum has holes and sits between the wheel and the hub flange.
The "star wheel" is really more like a knurled nut, and is at some depth away from the opening. A special tool, that looks like a large bent screwdriver, might be needed to turn it. But the important thing is to pull and hold the parking brake cable with locking pliers against the frame rail where it passes through. Simply releasing the brake doesn't create enough slack. I haven't yet had to do rear brakes but have spare shoes and some hardware that I can look at.
The handbrake on the uk models has a self adjusting ratchet which has to be released, otherwise when you install the new shoes you will not be able to get the drum/rotor assembly back on. I think the uk models differ from the U.S. models in quite a few ways.