Maintaining your brakes helps to make sure that your car will come to a complete stop when you need it to. Disc brakes are the most common, but drum brakes can still be found on some cars and trucks. It’s important to know when and how to change drum brakes if your car is one of those models. This will help you stay safe and save money.
HOW DO DRUM BRAKES WORK?
There are still a lot of cheap cars on the road that have drum brakes on the back wheels.
When you push on the brake pedal, pressurized pneumatic brake fluid moves quickly through the brake lines and into the brake cylinder, where it can be used to stop the car quickly. These springs move against a piston at each end of the tube. As each piston hits the brake shoes, each shoe is pushed against the drum by the piston. This allows the car to stop.
ASSEMBLE YOUR TOOLS
Changing drum brakes needs jacks or jack stands, chocks, a wire brush, a socket set, and a tool to adjust the drum brakes. Safety glasses and gloves that protect your hands are strongly recommended. You’ll also need a can of aerosol brake cleaner and degreaser. You’ll also need to buy new parts, like brake shoes.
HOW TO REPLACE DRUM BRAKES
Before you remove the brake drum, make sure the parking brake isn’t on. This will make it easier for you to get the drum out. From there, just follow the steps below. In order to get more specific information, look at a maintenance manual. The following steps are just general instructions:
- Take the drum off. To get to the brake shoes, remove the drum. To get the drum off, start by taking the screws or clips that hold it in place. Then, just slide the drum off. If it’s “frozen,” a light tap from a hammer should help it move.
- Take off the brake shoes. Several springs hold the brake shoes in place.
- Clean and get ready. With the drum and shoes removed, look at the rest of the machine. Use the aerosol cleaner to get rid of brake dust. Use a wire brush when it’s necessary to get rid of buildup of dirt. You can use a degreaser when you’re done.
- Install the brake parts. The brake shoe pairs are made up of two shoes: the primary shoe and the secondary. As you can see, the secondary shoes are a little bit thinner than the main shoes. The shoes that are the most important are the ones that are at the back. Both are held in place by springs and other hardware.
- Make sure to put the brake drum back in. In this case, put the brake drum back in. Otherwise, you should change this part. Slide it over the wheel studs, and secure the shoes to the hub by putting them on. Adjust the brakes with a special tool that helps you do it. It’s time to put the wheel on. Use the lug nuts to keep it in place. During this point, the brake shoes will touch the brake drum. Take a look at the wheel next to you and do the same thing.
- Make sure the vehicle is back on the ground before you take it for a ride, though. Lightly push the brake pedal to make sure it doesn’t move or squeal. Make sure there are no squeaks or squeals. It will take some time for the brake shoes to get in place, but your braking should feel normal right now. If not, the brakes may need to be bled or changed.
For even wear and better control, always change out your car’s drum brakes at the same time.