Make sure your drum brakes are functioning properly. Observe regular maintenance and replace when necessary.
Your ride's ability to stop on a dime is possible, thanks to a part called the brake drum. Usually, this brake part can be found bolted to the rear wheels as opposed to the disc brakes, which can be found at the front. The best way to explain how it works is by imagining a pair of shoes that presses against a rotating floor, wherein the latter is the drum.
The whole drum assembly is composed of two brake shoes, a piston, an adjuster mechanism, an emergency brake, and various springs. When you hit your ride's brake pedals, the piston pushes the brake shoes hard against the inside of the drum and stops the wheel. When you release the brake pedals, the springs recoil and retract the shoes off the drum. This, in turn, lets your drum turn again along with the wheel. But as this process repeats many times every time you drive, your brake drum's inner lining gets worn out. And if the drum's inner diameter reaches the allowable maximum, it's already dangerous to use.
So if you're looking for a replacement, make sure that it's better than your stock brake drums. Get one that's made of high-strength steel and cast iron lining for better friction. Moreover, purchase from a trusted auto parts store that provides excellent customer service, low prices, and first-rate quality. This way, you can have the big breaking power that you've always wanted without the big price tag to match.
Brake Drum Buyer's Guide
- A vehicle’s brake system is important and crucial to your safety while on the road. Vehicle owners must ensure that their brake systems are in good and functioning condition at all times.
- The three important components of a drum brake system are hydraulic wheel cylinders, brake shoes, and a brake drum. Drum brakes use friction between the brake shoes and the brake drum to slow down the vehicle and eventually put it to stop.
- A brake drum is a cylindrical shape made from cast iron material. It rotates along with the vehicle’s wheels.
- A front or rear brake drum usually costs around $50 to $100.
- Symptoms of a failing brake drum include scratching noises, vibrations and a failing parking brake.
A vehicle’s brake system is an important aspect of road safety that any vehicle owner should not take for granted. Having a good brake system installed may make a big difference, especially in unwanted circumstances such as road accidents. For many vehicle owners, the concept of road safety is something they are surely familiar with. In fact, there are even road safety signs on major highways that remind drivers to always check the brakes from time to time.
Aside from being educated with road safety tips, it is also important to understand the components of a brake system and how they function. There are different types of vehicle brake systems depending on your vehicle’s year, make, and model. In this article, we’re going to discuss drum brakes and an important component of this system called a brake drum.
What are brake drums and what do they do?
The term drum brakes and brake drums may sound confusing for some. For starters, drum brakes refer to the brake mechanism installed in the vehicle’s wheel, while a brake drum is a component in that mechanism. A brake drum is a cylindrical shape made from cast iron material. Usually attached to the vehicle’s wheel and axle, it rotates with the wheel itself when in motion.
Drum Brake System
The three important components of a drum brake system are hydraulic wheel cylinders, brake shoes and a brake drum. Mostly found on rear wheels, a drum brake makes use of friction between the brake shoes and the brake drum to put the vehicle to a stop. When the driver steps on the pedal, the hydraulic wheel cylinders push the brake shoes outwards to create friction between the shoes and the brake drum. Since the brake drum attaches to the wheel and axle, it slows them down.
There are three types of drum brake systems: twin leading shoe, single leading shoe and duo-servo. Although each type may function differently, they all make use of similar drum brake components. Before buying a brake drum replacement or any brake component, check your vehicle manual or consult your trusted mechanic.
Drum vs Disc Brakes
Aside from drum brakes, most modern vehicles make use of disc brakes. Be careful not to confuse the two. The main difference between these two mechanisms center on how they create friction. Drum brakes make use of the friction between the brake shoe and drum to slow down the vehicle. Disc brakes, meanwhile, makes use of brake pads. These pads squeeze the rotor or disc that attaches to the wheel hub.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using drum brakes?
Although most modern vehicles make use of disc brakes for their front wheel, you can still find some vehicle models that have drum brakes installed. Usually, modern vehicles use drum brakes only for rear wheels. What are the advantages of having drum brakes installed?
One of the most popular advantages of using brake drums is the fact that it costs less than disc brakes. The main reason for this is low manufacturing cost. You may notice that a new car with brake discs installed will cost more than a car with drum brakes installed. Because of their low manufacturing cost, they are easy to maintain.
However, drum brakes are less effective at dissipating heat. When compared to disc brakes, they overheat more often especially when used repeatedly on rough roads and terrains. In extreme weather conditions, water also pools inside the drum brakes, affecting the performance of the brake system.
Finding the right fit for your vehicle
Before purchasing brake drums, consult your vehicle manual or your trusted mechanic. This will ensure that you are getting the right fit for your vehicle. Check for compatibility in terms of bolt patterns and diameter to avoid purchasing the wrong item. Enter the correct year, make and model of your vehicle in our search engine.
How much does it cost to replace the brake drum?
Most brake drums sell individually or in a 2-wheel set. Typically, the price range for a front or rear brake drum is from $50 to $100. Although there are self-help videos on how to replace your front or rear brake drum, it is advisable to contact your trusted mechanic to do it for you. Although it may incur additional charges, it will ensure that the drums fit properly. Loosely-fitting brake drums will compromise the functionality of your brake system, leaving you and your passengers at risk.
Symptoms of a failing brake drum
Since brake drums frequently experience friction, it can wear out eventually. Here are some tips to help you find out if your brake drums are already failing.
Vibrations in the pedal
Usually, one of the telltale signs that your brake drum is failing is an unusual feel in your brake pedal. A worn out brake drum may cause strong vibrations, shaking or trembling that can be noticeable once you step on your pedal. Watch for these signs while driving.
Failing parking brake
Aside from telltale signs such as vibrations, a failing brake drum usually causes delay in your parking brake. If your vehicle slips a few inches more after the parking brake is engaged, then you must have your vehicle checked. However, problems with brake cables and failing brake shoes can also cause this. Have your vehicle checked to find out which part is exactly the culprit.
Aside from those mentioned above, you should also watch for scraping or scratching noises when you press the brakes. This may mean that your brake drums or your brake shoes have worn out. If you constantly hear abnormal sounds when pressing the brake, it is best to have your vehicle inspected.
Brake drums are a critical component of the braking system. If you suspect that your brake drums or any of your vehicle’s brake components are not working properly, contact your trusted mechanic. Safety should always come first.
Important Facts You Need to Know About the Brake Drum
Despite the popularity of disc brake applications today, you can't discount the usefulness and simplicity of a drum system. The brake drum system uses a drum and brake shoes to provide a stopping force to the wheels. The brake drum, attached to the wheel, houses the pistons and the brake shoes. Once you step on the brake pedal, the piston forces the shoes onto the spinning drum. The force slows down and eventually stops the drum and the wheel attached to it. And did you know that
How to Choose the Right Brake Drum
While everyone knows that your brake system is an important part of your car, few are aware of the different components that make your brakes tick. One of the most abused parts of your brakes is your brake drum. Aside from continuously absorbing and dissipating heat, it is also prone to dents from the other parts of the system. Once you notice deep grooves in your brake, you should start looking for new ones to avoid more damage. Here are a few things you have to remember in choosing the right one for your brake system:
Types of brake drum
Since stopping a 50-ton truck requires more power than braking a typical sedan, most companies have differentiated brake drum types according to their capacities. The two most common brake drums are the value and standard brake drums. These types are your typical brake drums that are made to withstand standard drive and lighter trailer applications. High-performance brake drums, on the other hand, are best used for heavy-duty driving. Their longer brake and lining life allow for lower maintenance costs, especially for vehicles with heavier loads.
Your brake drum buying checklist
After knowing what type of brake drum you need, there are still a few other things to look for when shopping for new ones. There are many brands in the market that offer different kinds of technology to improve your brake drum performance. If you find all of these confusing, you just have to stick to one basic rule when purchasing new brake drums--examine the part yourself using a checklist. Are the brake drums accurately balanced? Are they sufficiently rigid and resistant against wear? Are they lightweight? Are they made of materials that are heat conductive? These are the questions you have to answer to guide you through the buying process. If you answered yes to all these questions, then that particular brake drum is perfect for you.
The warranty can make or break your decision to purchase a particular brake drum. However, it's very difficult to compare the warranty from different manufacturers. When it comes drum brakes, there is no standard warranty coverage. Some sellers provide coverage for one year with unlimited mileage, while some only cover 90 days. So it's best to rely on the company selling you the warranty rather than on the coverage itself. Ask the dealer or seller about the warranty itself. You should know what's covered, the expiration dates or miles, and the necessary paperwork. Make sure your brake drum has a good warranty clause. It helps you get great value for your money, especially when your brake drum doesn't meet reasonable quality.
Replacing the Old Brake Drum: How to Install a New One
If stopping your car feels like stepping on a sponge rather than on a firm brake pedal, you know it's about time for your old brake drums to retire. Replacing them may seem like a tedious task for most DIYers, but with proper tools and this step-by-step guide, you can revive your brakes to their former glory by installing new brake drums.
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
Things you'll need:
- Lug wrench
- Dry paper towel
- New brake drums
Step 1: Preparing your car
Before lifting your car, loosen the lug nuts of your wheels. This gives you an easier hold on your wheels once they are off the ground. Using a hydraulic lift or a jack and jack stands, slowly lift your car.
Step 2: Removing your wheels
Completely remove the lug nuts and pull off the hub from the wheel. Remove your wheels as well.
Step 3: Removing your brake drums
Remove the brake drums using your hands. Make sure that your brake shoes are not holding on to the drums to easily pry them off. If you still can't pull them out, check for bolts that are holding your brake drums.
Step 4: Cleaning your brake system
Once you've removed your brake drums, clean the other parts of your brake system using a dry rag.
Step 5: Installing your brake drums
Install your new brake drums in place. Adjust your brake shoes for the perfect fit of the drums.
Step 6: Testing your new brake drums
Test your new brake drums by stepping on your brake pedals a few times. Make sure that the brake shoes and brake drums are not too tight or too far apart from each other.
Step 7: Finishing touches
Put back your wheels and wheel covers. Secure them tightly with your lug nuts and then lower your car.