Working With Your Drum Brakes


You need to remove a variety of stuff to arrive at a drum brake. The steps here explain how to examine drum brakes and what to consider when you finally get to them. Follow these steps to examine drum brakes:

Arrange to get this done work in a nicely-ventilated area, wear an inexpensive but protective paper mask, and be very careful to never inhale the dust from the brake drum.

Jack the vehicle and take away a wheel.

Brake drums are considered either hubbed or floating (hubless). Hubbed drums have wheel bearings inside them; floating drums simply slide over the lug nut studs that retain the wheels in the vehicle.

The outer workings of a drum brake.

The outer workings of a drum brake.

Pry the grease cap off the end of the hub using a set of combination slip-joint pliers if you have a hubbed drum.

Skip Steps 3 through 7 and just slide the drum from the hub if you have a floating drum.

You sometimes have to strike floating drums using a hammer to interrupt them loose from the hub.

Look at the cotter pin.

The cotter pin sticks out of the side of your castellated nut or nut-lock-and-nut combination.

Notice its direction, how its legs are bent, how it fits from the nut, and just how tight it can be. Make a sketch if needed.

Straighten the cotter pin and pull it out.

Use needle-nose pliers. Lay it down on a clean rag, pointing in the same direction as in the event it was in place.

Slide the castellated nut or nut-lock-and-nut combination from the spindle.

Wipe it off with a lint-free rag and lay it in the rag next to the cotter pin if it’s greasy.

Grab the brake pull and drum it toward you, but don’t slide the drum off the spindle yet; just push the drum back in place.

What are left on the spindle will be the outer wheel bearings and washer.

Carefully slide the outer bearing, with the washer in front of it, off of the spindle.

You should check them for wear, as long as you’re removing your bearings.

Carefully slide the drum away from the spindle, together with the inner bearings inside it.

Inhaling brake dust can make you seriously ill. Never blow away the dust with compressed air. According to the instructions on the can, instead, put your mask on and saturate the dust completely by spraying the drum with brake parts cleaner. Wipe the drum clean using a rag; then place the rag in a plastic bag and dispose of it immediately.

Check out the inside the drum.

You are able to probably see grooves about the inner walls from wear. If these grooves look unusually deep, or if you see hard spots or burned places, ask your service facility to let you watch whilst they check out the drums with a micrometer.

Checking drum wear having a micrometer.

Checking drum wear with a micrometer.

If the drums aren’t worn past legal tolerances (.060 of an inch), they can be reground (or turned) rather than replaced.

Have got a professional set them up for you because the brake shoes must be adjusted to fit if you need new drums.

Look at the rest of your brakes, that are still coupled to the brake backing plate.

Listed here are the parts you should consider:

The inner workings of a drum brake.

The inner workings of any drum brake.

Wheel cylinders: These should show no signs of leaking brake fluid.

Brake shoes and linings: These must be evenly worn, with no bald spots or thin places. The brake lining needs to be at least 1/16-inch from the steel part of the brake shoe or 1/16-inch from any rivet on brake shoes with rivets, preferably more. The linings should be firmly bonded or riveted to the brake shoes. Most brake shoes and linings are constructed to go on for 20,000 to 40,000 miles; some last even longer. If yours are already on your vehicle for some time, they’ll have grooves in them and could be somewhat glazed.

Examine the self-adjusting devices on the brakes.

Trace the cable from the anchor pin above the wheel cylinder, around the side of the backing plate, to the adjuster at the bottom of the plate.

If your brake pedal activates your brakes before it gets halfway down to the surface, the adjustment is probably perfectly. If the linings, cylinders and shoes etc are okay, the adjusting devices could be out of whack, if not, and. Making several forward and reverse stops should fix them.