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Old 02-15-2016, 04:53 PM   #1
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friction/rubbing in brake drum after removing wheels

Not sure that is the best title for my question/thread?
I have a 2014 Int. with Nev-R-Lub and auto adjusting drum brakes. I'm in the process of removing my wheels (one at time) to have the rubber valve stems replaced (for a TPMS) and I'm installing Centramatics as well. I got the first wheel off and noticed the brake drum wouldn't spin freely. It sounds like something is rubbing inside the drum, and the drum will only spin a couple of times before stopping. I decided to proceed with the other wheels and come back to this issue. I still have 1 wheel to go, but so far all three have been the same. Does anybody happen to know if the auto adjusting brakes keep the pads in slight contact with the drums?

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Old 02-16-2016, 12:09 PM   #2
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The friction material is called pads with disc brakes and shoes with drum brakes. Assuming you have drum brakes .... For drum brakes in the scenario you are describing ... it is normal.

The shoe/drum contact isn't perfect. (Life is like that too) The shoe will contact the drum ever so slightly when the drum is spun and the brakes are not applied. This should be the sound you are hearing. If the drum spins for a turn or two after you let go this is about as good as it will get. If the drum spins for many turn the shoe needs adjusting closer to the drum surface. If the drum only spins a half turn it is too tight.

Self adjusting brakes will adjust the shoes closer to the drum surface as the shoe friction material wears.

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Old 02-16-2016, 12:44 PM   #3
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Excellent description for how to judge the adjustment.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:49 PM   #4
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Thanks very much.
I do have drum brakes and I thought it sounded like the brake pads rubbing (it's not a metal grinding sound). I just assumed there would be no contact between pads and drums until the brakes were activated.......I guess that's not the case. The drums will in fact spin about twice before stopping.


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Old 02-16-2016, 03:57 PM   #5
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Your scenario is normal.

The brake shoes (not pads) are supposed to make slight contact with the brake drum when the brakes are NOT applied. In this position the shoes will make proper contact with out excessive travel. If there was no contact at all with the drum in the un-activated mode, complete shoe contact with the drum would NOT be achieved and the trailer would have less than full braking capacity.

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Old 02-17-2016, 01:10 PM   #6
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On some drum brake setups the drum is held on by the wheel and lug nuts. If you can remove the drum after you remove the wheel then that is the setup you have. Remove the wheel and then replace the lug nuts to hold the drum in position and spin it again to see if there any difference in the light drag you hear. Also don't forget that the brake magnets may be the source of the noise.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:11 PM   #7
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The good thing about self adjusting brakes is that they will all apply equally. If one shoe has to move farther to contact the drum, it will apply with more force due to the lever action of the magnet moving further across the face of the drum, and generally will lock up first. Anytime I get a single wheel lock on gravel it is usually adjusted too loose.

As noted some drag is normal. under running conditions there will be a thin layer of air between the drum and shoe to reduce the friction. The bit of friction does help keep the drum warm and dry...good in wet weather.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:31 PM   #8
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What does not sound right to me is the OP says the wheel will rotate about 2 turns then stops. If he means that it locks up vs just coasting to a stop it sounds like something is floating around inside the brake assembly and jamming the drum.

I am dealing with this problem on my 2012 EB, found the problem when we getting the trailer ready to leave on a trip. I will try to post photo, but the flange on the actuating lever where the magnet mounts was broken off and the magnet was just floating around inside the brake assembly.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:44 PM   #9
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A common problem is the spring (see crisen's photo) breaking and being loose in the brake assembly. This can cause the brake to lock up, overheat and possibly a brake fire. More common in older brakes with brittle springs.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:07 PM   #10
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Mine doesn't grab and stop suddenly....it just gradually slows and stops. It sounds like it's normal, but not what I was expecting.


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Old 02-18-2016, 08:57 AM   #11
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Landrum's description is that of a normal wheel. Even without brake shoes grabbing, the bearing grease and drag from the lip seal will not let a drum spin freely for very long. The normal drag of the shoes will shorten that considerably.
With respect to grabbing brakes that won't let go , I can give you my experience. With our new to us '89 Excella, one wheel would lock up and not release until I backed up. I burned the tread getting off the road! To keep going on our short term rally I just disconnected the magnet wire. The problem was a badly corroded pivot on the lever arm actuating the shoes. It stuck in the "on" position, springs couldn't pull the shoes "off" and the self acting design of drum brakes kept jamming the shoe into the drum. Once I lubed the pivot there were no more problems.
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCWDCW View Post
I can give you my experience. With our new to us '89 Excella, one wheel would lock up and not release until I backed up. I burned the tread getting off the road! To keep going on our short term rally I just disconnected the magnet wire.
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To take this thread a little more off course, the above symptom is similar to installing brake shoes in reverse order. Putting primary shoe on the back and the secondary shoe in the front. May be not as severe as stated above.

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Old 02-18-2016, 06:35 PM   #13
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FYI it took Dexter a few days to get back to me but attached is their response. They say the magnets are always in contact with the brake drum armature surface.

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