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Old 03-12-2004, 06:55 PM   #1
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Question Brake drums

OK I have questions!! I replaced my brakes and was wondering if the drums should be turned or replaced. If they need replacing where do you get them from?? Does anyone know the proper size drums for 12" brakes? Some places have different spindle sizes. What would the spindle size be?? What are suitable bearing replacements??

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Old 03-12-2004, 09:09 PM   #2
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I just recently repacked my wheels when i noticed that one of the drums needed to be changed. I took the drum and the bearings to our local RV dealer and they found the right size. Sometimes it is better to put a new one in place of turning a drum.

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Old 03-12-2004, 09:23 PM   #3
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Brake drums

Lots of questions. Do you know the manufacturer of the drums?

Should the drums be turned or replaced?
This is somewhat subjective. Are they corroded or cracked or scored? If so, have a brake shop check the diameter and turn them if they are under the maximum diameter marked on the drum. Also check the armature (the flat inside surface) that the magnet acts against. If it is warped or scored you may want to replace the drum.
Where do you get them?
Do a web search on the name of the brake manufacturer. I don't have a '75 Overlander, but some of the manufacturers are Dexter ( and Reliable Tool (
You can also order parts from Low Cost Trailer Supplies (
What are the proper size drums and spindles?
Either take the old bearings to an auto or trailer parts supplier, or buy a cheap caliper and measure them. Once you have the dimensions you can find the proper bearing sets at Low Cost Trailer Supplies website listed above.

What are suitable bearing replacements?
Some people will only use Timken bearings. Otherwise you are probably going to get Chinese or Eastern Bloc bearings. Matter of personal preference, cost, and the fact that probably 90% of the trailers on the road today are running on non-Timken bearings.
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Old 03-12-2004, 11:27 PM   #4
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Brake drums

Greetings Airstream 1975!

I replaced my brakes and was wondering if the drums should be turned or replaced. If they need replacing where do you get them from??
While I didn't do the work myself on either my '64 Overlander or '78 Minuet, I had two different shops (both have mechanics that I have trusted for service on my RVs for years - - one Airstream and the other Brand X). Both shops recommended the same procedure - - new fully-loaded backing plates, then turn the drums and shoes to match the surfaces. Even on my '64 Overlander, the original drums were still within tolerances and were resurfaced. The matching of the shoes to the drums certainly made the brakes apply much more uniformly and reduced the noise from the system significantly. According to the mechanic who rebuilt the brake system on my Overlander any automitve machine shop that is familiar with trailer brakes should be able to reference the machining standards for the drums - - replacements should be obtainable by matching your current drums if replacements are needed.

Good luck with your brake project!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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