Having a hard time with your car’s drum brakes? Here’s how you can fix it

Drum brakes typically were featured in old automobiles plus sometimes in some current ones, and while fixing these may appear to be complex, trust us, it really isn’t.

You will find thousands of discussions on braking systems online, folks are always talking about the vast realm of disc brakes. But, in this post today let’s go into the wicked world of drum brakes. Since a drum brake mechanism has more moving components, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed by all these bothersome cylinders and adjusters. Don’t worry! Taking care of these systems isn’t quite as challenging as it looks.

This goes without saying, though it rarely hurts to be reminded: this one right here is a basic guide, therefore it is generally better to consult your car’s instructions manual before doing something on your car.

Important facts

For starters, please bear in mind that we’ll be discussing the hydraulic drum brakes, not mechanical brakes. Now, let’s have a look at the several components that make up your drum braking system. There’s a brake drum, braking shoes, wheel cylinders, plus brake components to work on. Drum brake components, apart from disc brakes, typically refer to a group of springs as well as spring adjusters. The brake drum supporting plate as well as a brake shoe adjuster are also accessible.

The mechanism functions similarly to rotors plus calipers in terms of functionality: When you stomp on your brake pedal, a pump inside the head cylinder pumps braking oil through pipes as well as pipes towards your wheel cylinder. Disc and drum braking systems work in a different manner at this phase. The braking fluid is pumped into 1 or 2 tire cylinders on automobiles having drum brakes, which forces the brake pads forward against your brake drum. A supporting plate holds everything together, and the brake pads are locked into place through a system of springs. The brake pads are also assisted to revert to their normal position by these springs. The amount and sort of springs can be determined by the layout of your car’s drum brakes mechanism, which might be one of 3 kinds (leading/trailing shoe type, twin leading shoe type, or duo-servo type).

Before you begin, make sure you have the proper brake shoes plus components. The springs literally can get through thermal revolutions and lose their effectiveness as springs with passing time, hence, it is only logical to spend a little more money on a fresh pair. Dealing with drum brakes involves the use of sophisticated equipment to start making your job simpler. A drum brake retaining spring device plus drum brake spring pliers are essential. These are frequently sold in a bundle. To disassemble everything, you will require basic equipment such as a wrench, tweezers, as well as other various hand tools.

Given below are some handy tools that you can buy online easily to get your work started!

Astro Pneumatic Tool 7848 8-Piece Professional Brake Tool Set

Price: $30.00

Astro Pneumatic Tool 7848 8-Piece Professional Brake Tool Set
source:amazon.com

ARES 70191 – Brake Spring Compressor Tool

Price: $8.22

ARES 70191 - Brake Spring Compressor Tool
source:amazon.com

Lisle 11260 Double Ended Brake Spring Pliers

Price: $24.79 – $15.26 (38% off)

Lisle 11260 Double Ended Brake Spring Pliers
source:amazon.com

Precision Instruments 1/2-inch Torque Wrench

Price: $266.64 – $154.02 (42% off)

Precision Instruments 12-inch Torque Wrench
source:amazon.com

Let’s Begin!

To begin, raise and maintain the automobile safely and correctly. Next remove one of the front wheels, as well as the spindle screw and a cotter pin. The washer plus a tire bearing must be placed behind the spindle nuts. Remember, these configurations differ greatly by year as well as maker, so consult your maintenance manual before diving in headfirst. You must be capable of securely detaching the drum now that the bearings are out of the system.

This will reveal precisely what you are up against. Don’t worry, it isn’t as awful as it seems. To ensure that you must have a basis for comparison when moving through this procedure, snap a photograph or simply do 1 area at a time. After that, it’s required to take off your brake shoes. To detach the shoes, initially disconnect the springs utilizing the spring pliers, now, use the retainer spring equipment to release them from its supporting plate by squeezing the retaining spring as well as withdrawing the pin from the rear side of the supporting plate. A self-adjusting wire may be found on some automobiles, and it must be disconnected before your shoes are replaced. A brake regulator will likewise need to be disassembled, washed, and oiled.

When the shoes are removed, all that’s left is a supporting plate featuring a master cylinder attached to it. The wheel cylinder seems to be arguably the greatest sensitive and critical component in the entire system. You should inspect the sealing behind-the-wheel cylinder’s dirt boots to ensure they haven’t yet failed. Folks should change the wheel cylinder whenever they see any signs of it seeping away. Rebuilding your tire cylinder is also an alternative for people who are comfortable with the procedure. (Although, if you are reading this, we’d recommend quickly replacing them.)

Make doubly sure your supporting plate’s in good shape as well. If that is rusty, you’ll have to change it too. If the wheel cylinder is in good working condition, you may begin your reassembly procedure. There seem to be a few elevated places on the supporting plate where the brake pads will fit. Apply the very same braking lubricant to them as you did to your car’s disc brakes. You’ll need to avoid contaminating the brake pads by adding excessive oil.

Although some brake pads are identical, some are built differently depending on whether they are the front-most or rearmost brake shoe. You’ll need to double-check whether your brake pads are positioned at the right place for your braking system or not. This is when the photograph or another frame of reference happens to become handy.

automobiles having FWD drum brakes
source:autodeal.com

Utilizing your tube nut wrench to remove the tire cylinder allows you to have as much grip with the bolt as necessary and simultaneously being allowed to fit it past a pipe or hose.

You may now take a glance at the drum having your shoes properly fastened to the supporting plate. You’ll have to get the brake drum cleaned or changed. It’s worth noting that on most automobiles having FWD drum brakes, each hub is connected to the drum and has tapered rolling bearings. When repairing drum brakes, it’s probably a smart idea to check that your wheel bearings are not wearing out too quickly and are adequately greased. More significantly, keep in mind, there are two types of exterior bearings, not just one.

You’re almost there if the brake drum is all set to get fixed back up, which indicates your supporting plate is completely stocked with fresh shoes plus new components. Mount the external bearing and begin calibrating the brake pads by sliding the drum as well as the hub unit firmly over onto the spindle.

Several brake shafts can work with brake thrusts as well as drums, providing your friction compound with a fresh area to target.

Remember how you previously washed and oiled the adjuster? That tiny adjustment ensures that your brake shoes stretch far enough outward to grip the brake drum. It is possible to modify it through the rear of your supporting plate, but it’s usually quicker to do it directly from the inside of the brake system.

Your brakes will not grab the brake drum properly when they’re not set out far enough. Your brake drum will also not spin if they are excessively far out. A little friction when spinning the drum is all you should be aiming for. The same goes for the rear drum brakes grabbing too. After you’ve calibrated the shoes, screw its spindle nut securely over the spindle and complete the reinstallation of your drum plus hub unit. It’s preferable to consult your maintenance information because there is always a torque standard for this.

You’ve completed the challenge! At least with 1 tire. If you are wondering how to adjust rear drum brakes? Well, the good news is that the procedure is the same for each of the 4 wheels, although still, the back wheels might not possess a hub unit installed. On some more sophisticated FWD cars, enclosed bearings compressed into the wheel or a totally interchangeable hub unit are more common.

You may then buff your brakes, perform your finishing tweaks, and forget about them—until they start wearing out again. Then do it all over again.

Disc vs. Drum brakes – Pros & Cons of both!

Disc vs. Drum brakes
source:autoguide.com

Well, both of these braking systems are available for your car and, frankly, both have their perks and drawbacks. It is up to you to decide which one is better for you. Given below are the advantages and disadvantages of both systems.

Drum brakes

Pros
  • Drum brakes typically are affordable to produce since the components are simple to manufacture. It also maintains the vehicle’s total expenses low.
  • Drum brakes demand minimal effort to hit the brakes owing to their design.
  • Reconditioning a wheel cylinder seems to be simpler than reconditioning calipers found on a disc brake.
  • Parking brakes may be housed inside drum brakes without gobbling up additional room.
Cons
  • Drum brakes feature-poor management of heat, resulting in metal components overheating or minor expansion.
  • Because it is sealed, it can accumulate undesirable substances, which might lead to corrosion and decreased piston efficiency.
  • Such brakes wear down quickly owing to the quantity of temperature they create. The majority of the components do not even have a longer lifespan because of the intense temperatures and significant friction.
  • A large number of parts indicates a high risk of malfunction.

Disc Brakes

Pros
  • Disc brakes, despite their compact size, provide a lot of stopping force and therefore can halt high-speed cars faster than drum brakes.
  • Because the disc brakes seem to be open, these feature excellent heat dispersion and rarely overheat.
  • Because they are open, they do not store any undesirable substance and so do not corrode or degrade in functionality.
  • Disc brakes featuring ABS don’t really lock up when used during high-speed braking. Previously, they experienced problems with the automobile locking up and losing grip. Their worst flaw has now become a strength thanks to ABS
  • king brakes may be housed inside drum brakes without gobbling up additional room.
Cons
  • Disc brakes typically are expensive to install and manufacture, which raises total vehicle expenses.
  • Even a small amount of oxygen inside the master cylinder might cause the brake system to fail altogether, resulting in tragic incidents. That’s why brake draining is required during vehicle maintenance.
  • Brake liquid must be replaced often to avoid becoming less slippery.
  • A disc brake lacking anti-lock brakes (ABS) has a very high risk of sliding and freezing the tires.

We hope that this mini-guide on how to tackle drum brakes malfunction will prove to be helpful for you. Apart from that, the comparison between drum brakes and disc brakes would help you in identifying which type of braking system is optimal for your car.

Recent Posts

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Leave a Comment