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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and new to the whole Chevy family!
I bought a, new to me, 2010 Impala LT 3.5L and so far I absolutely love it.


I'm looking to do the brake pads and rotors and looking online for some parts. However I've run into a wall, where it's asking me if my vehicle has integrated parking brakes? I'm not familiar with what this is and how I should go about searching to see if my car is equipped with it.


I've called my local Chevy dealers and gave them my VIN, however they have all said they can't tell and I would have to search for it with out telling me what to look for..


Thanks in advance!
 

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I believe they are referring to how the parking brake is actuated. Some have what is called a "top hat" which is a set of small brake shoes inside the rear rotor. The rear rotors resemble a top hat hence the reference. The raised hat portion has a small brake drum cast into it. The integrated type are actuated by an arm mounted on the rear caliper.
A special tool is required to wind the piston back into the caliper, whereas the top hat type piston can be pressed back in.

You can rent or borrow the tool for winding the piston back in from an auto supply store I'm pretty sure. Some guys have success using needle nosed pliers, however the tool will have it done in a fraction of the time.
If you have a look behind a rear wheel and see a lever on the caliper you can tell your parts supplier what you have.
Lever operated E brake or Top Hat type
HTH.

Welcome to the forum as well.
 

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My '10 Fleet LT had normal rear calipers, and I just c-clamped the pistons open as I did the fronts, the E-brakes never came into play during the job.

I never thought there would be a difference in rear brakes for a 2010 civilian Impala.
 

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There was a change from the "top hat" type to the lever operated ones. Not sure why or when they did it but (it's on here somewhere ).
Top hat type brake job is so much easier to do.
 

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Top hat type brake job is so much easier to do.
The only car I have with the new style rear parking brake is my 2007 Pontiac G6 (Epsilon ~1.5 platform). The first (and only) time I did the rear brakes on it, it was a royal PITA. But that's mostly 'cause I had to figure out how to crank the piston back into the caliper.

But reflecting back on it, now knowing what I learned, it may not be so hard. Now owning the cranking tool (the little cube doololly) getting the piston back in may be easier than using a C-clamp on a hydraulic setup - certainly no harder. And adjusting the parking brake is surely easier than with the tophat style shoe setup. I can't count the cuss words I uttered working on my son's 02 Impala parking brakes recently :)

Of course, next time I do the new style, I could find myself coming back here to retract this :)

Doug

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apparently my 2010 LS "GM executive vehicle" has the integrated as i've never messed with the parking brake on the rear through two or three pad/rotor changes. and they've always "just worked."
So you have the top hat style on your 2010 then ?

Must have been after then that they changed to the Lever type
 

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So you have the top hat style on your 2010 then ?

Must have been after then that they changed to the Lever type
Well im not sure. The rotor was a normal looking rotor with no additional pads on the inside of it. I believe the parking brake is done by the caliper itself. Ive never even adjusted it either at 150k almost.

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You say you put new pads on so I must assume you wound the piston back somehow


Oh sorry, correct. Yes I've pressed in the caliper before. I think the rears were not a screw style yet ( i gently start pressing the caliper back in and if it moves i know im good or if it doesn't move i know its a screw style). Haven't done it in 2 summers, my memory is a bit fuzzy.


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if you pressed them back then there is a small set of brake shoes under the caliper, if there is a lever on the back of the caliper then you had to screw them back in.
Pressing in the "screw in type" will damage the parking brake mechanism.

I'm sure it will all come back to you next time you mess with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
So, if it's a "hat", my car should have integrated parking brakes? I mean, the caliper is there so it's a combination of drum and disk brake?

I ordered a rotor and pad on amazon and they sent me the integrated parking kit and what they sent me was completely different, sizing is off and the pad was wrong.

PS: Admin, I tried to upload some photos, drag and drop and the attach file button but it keeps giving me an error.
 

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Actually I believe the caliper with the lever on it is of the "integrated" type.
Pauly's right. The lever is on the caliper on the new type. Yours had the hat, so it's the old style with the parking shoe inside the hat.

(BTW, There is also a lever in this system, but it's near the bottom backside of the vacuum plate.)

Doug

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The mechanism for the integrated parking brake is mounted on the caliper, you won't miss it. You should be able to see it without taking the wheel off. Aside from the first time encounter related confusion, the integrated PB is much better than the shoe in drum setup. You no longer have to to adjust the Ebrake, less parts to worry about, no more shoe being stuck to the rotor from lack of usage, and no more irritating scraping noise after replacing brakes. Rear hub R&R should be easier as well. Trust me, the integrated parking brake is way better. As some have already figured out, don't try to push the piston back in... Get the cheap cube or buy the kit at Harbor Freight for cheap.
 

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If I understand this correctly (based on the pictures above) - his car is equipped with the "separate e-brake shoe" style e-brake, but he purchased rotors for the "integrated" type e-brake. That's why I mentioned that he purchased the wrong rotors and will need to get the correct ones. Unless he plans on somehow "converting" the "separate e-brake shoe" type of system over to the "integrated" type of system (which probably isn't very easy).

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If I understand this correctly (based on the pictures above) - his car is equipped with the "separate e-brake shoe" style e-brake, but he purchased rotors for the "integrated" type e-brake. That's why I mentioned that he purchased the wrong rotors and will need to get the correct ones. Unless he plans on somehow "converting" the "separate e-brake shoe" type of system over to the "integrated" type of system (which probably isn't very easy).

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I think you are correct sir... I looked at all 4 pics and I can't see the actuator on top of the caliper and his original rotor definitely looks like it has the bigger hat for shoe style ebrakes.
 

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Very old thread but thought id help out anybody facing the same problem.

I got an 06 impala ltz with a bad wheel bearing. The bearing/hub got seized together to the knuckle so decided to stop struggling with trying to remove it, and get a new knuckle and hub when a low mile impala came through local junkyard. happened that a 2013 came in and thought itd be straightforward since they are same generation. when i looked it had a integrated ebrake but thought, might as well still take it since im here and will just purchase new caliper along with hub, knuckle and rotor since thered be a discount for entire assembly. Got home and removed the knuckle. all new parts fit perfect with the only fitment issues being ebrake cable length and style alongside soft brake cable not quite the right length or position. Both brake cables can work with a bit of needing to get it done. For the ebrake cable, 2 bolts, one through the opening of the end of the cable through the inner piece of the ebrake actuator where its nearly a complete circle [where the newer style nub type cable slots into] has an opening through it which happens to be in the right position and distance to pop a bolt through it all and hold it in place. while the cable housing can have a bolt go through the plastic retainer pin hole through the other section of the integrated ebrake piece. the position is just right to work right on the side of the 2 pieces to clamp when ebrake is engaged. just be careful with the noodle housing on the ebrake cable getting too close to inner rim. might need to bend it slightly or tie it back to keep it away but still allow smooth actuation and release of cable, mileage will vary a tad. I clipped it back onto a bracket to hold it away while providing smooth actuation. As for soft brake cable, the distance to caliper is about quarter inch off due to connector ending being slightly different. Can bend the connecting bracket that shifts from hard to soft brake line outward. there should be enough slack on both sides to allow for this, at least in my instance it was safe to do so but again be very careful and approach as you see fit. after bending it out about a quarter inch, with the connection portion that hollow brake bolt goes through, i have the hose going straight up towards suspension since that was the way that allowed for safest routing and fitment with new style components without any brake fluid leakage. Did try downward and 90 degrees facing inward but one was too tight and the other not sitting flush so was leakage of brake fluid. the splash guard behind the hub is slightly different, just doesnt have the cutout for drum and hat ebrake, should be able to use the older one without issue but not too sure.

with those 2 hiccups with fitment of both brake/ebrake cables, it fits, no leaks or too much tension anywhere and has been holding good. Really liking the newer style integrated as its much less of a hassle than older style. unintentional upgrade but worth the effort. To properly install or for clients vehicle, id get the proper ebrake integrated rear cables along with a replacement soft brake line to meet with the caliper. Not necessary but recommended, probably going to do it once there is a sale or i come across them for cheap just to have peace of mind. Hardly any info regarding this topic which sucks.

TLDR: swapping from drum and hat to integrated is possible and parts needed are listed below, if swapping one side would recommend doing the same on both sides. -

proper method - new caliper, caliper bracket, soft brake tubing to caliper, ebrake cable to caliper, shallow depth rotor, brake pads, hub and knuckle splash guard

improper - new caliper, caliper bracket, shallow depth rotor, brake pads

EDIT: Also remember to buy proper fitting brake pads and in future when purchasing new ones, tell them both your year and whatever year brake caliper you pulled it from to have proper fitting brake pads and avoid the inconvenience of needing to go back lol. so in my instance its 06 ltz front brake pads and 13 ltz rear brake pads [newer style pads are roughly same size but slight different shape and have only 1 notch on end instead of 2... might be able to cut the old one in place but for about 15-20 bucks a ceramic set at local store its probably not worth the effort]
 
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