How to figure out which brake drum is on car??

I could use a little help figuring out a problem.. this is kinda weird....
I have a 1990 Oldsmobile Silhouette. Did a brake job and wanted to replace the drums, so I ordered them from the parts house.... and turned
the old ones in, figuring that I didn't need them anymore..
So far two sets have come in...both measure 5 1/2 inches from center of bolt hole to center of bolt hole in a 5 bolt pattern.
The physical car bolt pattern measures 4 5/16 from bolt hole center to bolt hole center.
The parts guys from two different chain stores list the 5 1/2 inch size as being the correct one for the car..
Somethings wrong.... is there anyway to find out what the actual wheet bolt pattern is supposed to measure and most important.... I need to obtain a pair of 5 lug 4 5/16" spaced drums..... if these did not come standard on the 1990 olds silhouette, is there a way to find out what cars they are used for ???
Wheels on the car arer 14" rims.
Thanking you in advance !!!
Peter
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This turned into a real horror story...but I finally did locate the proper brake drum at autozone.
It took me about a week just to redo the rear brakes..... 2 hours to replace all pads and hardware and 6 days to find the correct brake drum.
First I tried to have the original drums cut... the store (pep boys) never called to say the drums were finished and when I dropped by the next day... it turns out that they were able to cut one drum...and the turning machine broke before doing the second one.
They had another store, so I asked them to call ahead..as I needed to get the remaining drum cut...and it was raining and I needed to get to work. Drove to the second store where they measured the drum and said it was out of tolerance and could not be cut.
So I asked to buy new drums... this store showed two in stock but only had one on the shelf. At this time I had to get to work....
I returned to Pep Boys that evening and bought a set of. Raybestos Brand.... and they were the wrong size. I returned them and drove across town to Advance Auto Parts...where I ordered a set of Wearever drums. They arrived the following afternoon and were the wrong size also. The store personnel said only one size was listed for the car.
Btw... It seems that the brake drum is sold under the following labels... the box that these drums come in have part numbers for the following brands.
Aimco, Bendix, Napa, Raybestos and Wearever.... which explains why different names from different stores were identically incorrect.
So I went to autozone.... all they had in stock was the cheap brand.... 22.00 per drum. But the drums were the right size. Being desperate, I had to buy them otherwise I'll probably still be trying to find the right size drums. (Do you really think that I enjoy placing my life on 22 dollar brake parts ???)
Out of fairness to Advance Auto..... they consistently have the right part.... good prices and I deal with them alot....so this was just a "quirky" episode.... I'll continue to deal with them whenever possible.
All's well that ends !!!
Peter
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Why did you not try a dealer?

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wrote:

I"m trying to lessen my dependance on dealers. $22.00 per drum is more palatable than 88.79 per drum.
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wrote:

palatable than

But you said you didn't want to buy the cheapo drum - so wouldn't that be more like $35 per drum is more palatable
And the running around which took 6 days - was it worth the $107.58? If so, could I pay you $107.58 and have you come over to my house and weed the garden for a week? It really needs it...
Ted
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The drums you have would be useless, even it they were FREE What good is a cheaper drum if you can't use it? LOL
mike hunt
Peter wrote:

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On Wed, 08 Jun 2005 09:11:38 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

Actually the cheap drums WERE the correct size and fit !! The more expensive name brand Bendix and Raybestos ones were the incorrect ones for the car.
It had me baffled for a while. Why would two auto chains with different drums stock ones that were identically incorrect for the car.
I called a dealer who didn't have the information about what the correct bolt hole measurement was.... AND called a salvage yard.... who DID have the correct measurement.
Once I had the correct measurement... The two set of drums from the chain stores were definitely not for the car.
Purchasing a third set of drums from autozone...which were specified correctly for the car verified this. Maybe I just lucked out because all autozone had in stock were the cheap ones. I wonder if I had asked for another set of Bendix, Raybestos, Napa or Aimco whether I would still be looking for a solution???
After reading the label on one of the incorrect drum boxes it seems that the manufacturer that supplies the incorrect drums distributes the drums under raybestos, bendix, aimco and napa labels has an application data error. I'm speculating totally based on why two separate chains would have identical incorrect drums for the car. Looks like both labels came from the same manufacturer.
It would have been real helpful to have an online source for cross reference manuals so that I could have figured out the problem early on.
Well, the incorrect ones were returned. The car is back together and braking fine... ....Just a lot of time wasted that shouldn't have been...if I gotten the correct parts or even the correct service to begin with. (and yes, the incorrect drums did originate in China.... as does a lot of other things that don't always work correctly.)
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One rule of thumb - In the future, don't cut the rear drums.
My drums on my 91 have never been cut.
Harryface 05 Park Avenue 91 Bonneville LE, 303,555 miles
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Thanks !! What's the reason for this ???
Peter
On Thu, 9 Jun 2005 00:42:21 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Harry Face) wrote:

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There is very little braking on the rear drums on a FWD car. Rear brakes lasted me 119,000 before I replaced them & they still had some material left on them. Next set was installed at 233,000
Harryface 05 Park Avenue 91 Bonneville LE, 303,555 miles
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On Mon, 13 Jun 2005 02:16:30 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Harry Face) wrote:

Thanks for letting me know. My mini-van had 104,000 and these looked like the original drums.. I guess I'm still doing things the old way when most cars were rear-wheel drive and cutting drums was natural during a brake job.
Peter
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Call a salvage yard. They have all kinds of cross reference books.
mike hunt
Peter wrote:

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