Our wagon has been making some squealing noises from the brakes – especially when you apply them. It sounded like it was coming from the back. So, I changed the rear drums and shoes a couple of weeks ago, only to find out that the squealing noise was from the front brakes :S
So I went and ordered a set of cross-drilled brakes and pads off eBay for $62 USD shipped. Not too shabby. They are also cadmium dipped, which means they have a gold appearance and will not rust – which is an added bonus.
As a side note, try to get cross-drilled rotors because they dissipate heat very well, which minimizes any chance of warping. NEVER EVER get slotted rotors – the slots in the rotors shear off layers of the brake pads every time you apply the pedal. So you’ll end up wasting your brakes pads in no-time – slotted rotors are really meant for racing only.
All in all, replacing the front brakes is easy. I’d say it is about a 2 hour job – maybe more if you hit a snag. Take a look at the brake job I did on my Impala back in 2007, almost an exact repeat.
The wagon brakes very well now, and the noise is gone :D