Rear brake issue on a 2000 Cavalier

My rear brakes (drums) have been sounding pretty shitty lately so I figured they were due for a brake job. It sounds like metal on metal with that really annoying nails on a chalkboard squeal whenever I stop. I pulled the car in the garage and took the rear drums off and the pads look fine as all four have over a 1/4" of pad left on them. Nothing looks amiss other than rusty dust. The OUTSIDE of the drums is badly corroded but the inside looks nice and shiny.

What do I do? Should I replace everything? It’s got 107K on it and I’m guessing it’s had a rear brake job at least once in it’s life (bought used with 100K on it).

What can I do to stop the noise coming from these brakes?

Could be that a shoe went out of whack, and that was causing the noise. Since you have it apart, you might as well put a new spring kit in. Slap it back together, and see if all is well.

Dang, no other car dudes have any advice?

Hard sometimes to tell just where the noise is coming from. Check your front brakes.
Without looking at wear patterns it hard to determine what is wrong if it is coming from the rear… Any oil on the brake backing plate?

Using the right terminology helps avoid miscommunication. Allow me to correct:

“I…took the rear drums off and the shoes look fine as all four have over a 1/4” of lining left on them. (Pads are only used on disc brakes, not on drum brakes.)

The first step is locating the source of the noise. Are you absolutely, 100% certain it’s coming from the rear? If it is, then with the symptoms described I would expect it to be readily apparent from a visual inspection. Some component would have to be hitting some part of the drum, and the contact surface should be evident.

While the noises mentioned could happen with drum brakes, they’re more likely with (and very characteristic of) disc brakes. That, coupled with your not seeing anything at the rear, makes me suspect the noise is from the front.