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Old 03-30-2010, 05:32 PM   #1
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New Brake Shoe Problem

Greetings:

We just had our brake shoes replaced on our 2008 Safari (27fb) by the technician who was repacking the bearings. He said the surface of the shoe had some cracks (it did, although they looked to me to be superficial).

When we pulled out today, we had essentially no braking. The techs came out, could find no problem, all controller adjustments seemed fine (and were tweaked); so, their perspective is that the new shoes needed to be burned in by dragging the brakes a bit, and that they should be fine fairly quickly.

We did drag the trailer around the park for about a mile, and the brakes became quite hot, although they still were not slowing (much). Tomorrow we're off, and hoping that the techs are correct.

Anyone with any opinions or ideas? BTW, they said this had not happened before with other brake jobs. If indeed they did get grease or cleaning fluids on the shoes, then it makes sense that they have to "burn it off".

Thanks for any comments. All the Best... Jeff Cooney
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cooney View Post
Greetings:

We just had our brake shoes replaced on our 2008 Safari (27fb) by the technician who was repacking the bearings. He said the surface of the shoe had some cracks (it did, although they looked to me to be superficial).

When we pulled out today, we had essentially no braking. The techs came out, could find no problem, all controller adjustments seemed fine (and were tweaked); so, their perspective is that the new shoes needed to be burned in by dragging the brakes a bit, and that they should be fine fairly quickly.

We did drag the trailer around the park for about a mile, and the brakes became quite hot, although they still were not slowing (much). Tomorrow we're off, and hoping that the techs are correct.

Anyone with any opinions or ideas? BTW, they said this had not happened before with other brake jobs. If indeed they did get grease or cleaning fluids on the shoes, then it makes sense that they have to "burn it off".

Thanks for any comments. All the Best... Jeff Cooney
When new braking shoes are installed, it's a "MUST" to deglaze the drum face.

That will make the brakes work correctly, immediately.

Some how, the drum face became glazed.

The other part is how were the magnets?

The magnet face, or armature plate, must also me deglazed, to create greater friction.

What the shop didn't do, is a "complete" brake job.

It could take a couple of hundred miles, before your brakes will function correctly again.

Andy
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:03 PM   #3
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Donnnnn't youuuuu believe it

Very odd.

New shoes should not be burned in. New shoes need to break in.

An essential lack of brakes sounds like the new brakes were not properly adjusted by the one who installed them.

In my opinion, of course they will say this has never happened before.

It has happened before, and the shop knows that.

Unless the drums have been glazed by overheating, your Airstream probably only needs a simple brake shoe adjustment.

Tom
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:18 PM   #4
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The brakes should improve with use as they wear in to the drums. Hopefully you did not overheat them enough to glaze them.
According to Dexter a certain amount of superficial cracking on the lining is normal and I can see it on my own brakes.
I deliver new trailers and the brakes are usually pretty poor until we get a few miles on them.
We are of course assuming they are adjusted properly.
If you bought trailer new, it would have been towed to your dealer so the brakes would have had some use before you got it. Normally it takes at least 2 sets of magnets before you are ready for brake shoes so this might have been an un needed replacement
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:16 PM   #5
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Brake shoes should be arc ground to match the drums, otherwise they may only be touching at the "high spot" or on the ends, if the shoes and drums don't match. If this is the case, braking could be significantly reduced until the shoes eventually wear to match the arc of the drums. I'd check with the installer to see if they ground the shoes and perhaps the drums, too, which should part of a normal brake job.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:03 PM   #6
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Brake shoes should be arc ground ... I'd check with the installer to see if they ground the shoes and perhaps the drums, too, which should part of a normal brake job.
Not that I know everything by any stretch, but I have never, ever heard of anyone grinding new shoes as a matter of course. Period.

Please post more (preferably pictures) about an established brake shop actually doing this.

New shoes manufactured to fit a given drum will have a certain amount of roughness, but nothing that will not settle during a reasonable break-in period.

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Old 03-31-2010, 10:44 PM   #7
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Tom - Brake shoe machining is an old practice done to ensure the shoes are fitted to the drums upon initial braking after a brake job. This was very common pre- epa hoopla. Here is a machine that would do this type of machining.
GS 20 Grinding machine for brake shoes

There are several issues.
First the process is prone to operator error that would cause excessive amounts of lining to be removed on a brand new shoe.
Second it generates a lot of dust, which if the dust contained asbestoes, could not be a better way of introducing that material into the lungs of brake technicians.

So asbestoes were removed in favor of other material like walnut shells and such. New shoes are being made to a better standard. It still does not fix shoes that have been relined or damaged n shipping or distorted with changes in atmoshere from where they are assembled to where the shoes are installed at the end user. So some break in period remains to shoes that are installed so they conform to the drum.

This down fall is completely a non-issue with disc brakes, which is another reason disc brakes have found favor in many applications.

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Old 04-01-2010, 12:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
Brake shoes should be arc ground to match the drums, otherwise they may only be touching at the "high spot" or on the ends, if the shoes and drums don't match. If this is the case, braking could be significantly reduced until the shoes eventually wear to match the arc of the drums. I'd check with the installer to see if they ground the shoes and perhaps the drums, too, which should part of a normal brake job.
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Not that I know everything by any stretch, but I have never, ever heard of anyone grinding new shoes as a matter of course. Period.
Tom
Hi, It's so long ago that I don't have a date, but we stopped doing this decades ago.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Action View Post
Tom - Brake shoe machining is an old practice done to ensure the shoes are fitted to the drums upon initial braking after a brake job. This was very common pre- epa hoopla. Here is a machine that would do this type of machining.
GS 20 Grinding machine for brake shoes

There are several issues.
First the process is prone to operator error that would cause excessive amounts of lining to be removed on a brand new shoe.
Second it generates a lot of dust, which if the dust contained asbestoes, could not be a better way of introducing that material into the lungs of brake technicians.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
Hi, arc-ing the new shoes was the best way to have good shoe contact right from the start. But with asbestos, OSHA made the dealers and garages get rid of these machines. Some vehicles still use drums and it's difficult to explain to customers that right after a fresh brake job that it could take from 200 miles to as high as 2,000 miles for the brake shoes to fully seat-in. [make full contact of entire lining surface to the drum] And until then you will have a somewhat soft pedal.
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:00 AM   #9
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Wow, guess I am showing my age... Used to be that only cheap brake jobs got by without grinding both the drums and shoes. Usually, the drums got grooves cut in them from the worn out metal shoes (and rivets, depending of whether the shoes were riveted or bonded) cutting into them after the brake material was all gone; and then the drums got turned to true the inner surface. This changed the drum arc, and the shoes had to be ground to match the new arc. Grinding the shoes wasn't difficult as the brake material is relatively soft, compared to the iron drums.

Disc brakes were developed to reduce brake fade from overheating and in the wet, which was common with drum brakes. Also, disc brakes came after power brakes became more common on cars. The old drum braking systems didn't take as much pressure to actuate, and power brakes were an extra expense and luxury in the old days. However, drum brakes weren't bad systems. The old Corvettes had oversized drum brakes that would pull them down repeatedly from over 100 mph with no fade.

I'm surprised that they no longer arc grind drums and shoes; personally, I'd prefer that be done. Also, not much material is removed during grinding. It was a quick, easy process on the shoes, but it took some time to turn the drums, as the cutter was narrow and only removed a little strip of metal at a time.

Oh, well; guess that's almost a bygone era, except my Airstream...
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:40 AM   #10
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Drums can still be turned, in fact most are marked with a maximum diameter number.

I think I have heard of the shoes being fitted to the drums but can't say i have ever seen it.
I am old enough to remember the mechanic riveting new linings on the shoes from my 49 Mercury. Afterward had almost no brakes at first until they seated in..

On trailers it is unusual to see shoes,magnets etc replaced as the whole loaded backing plate assembly can be bought for little more than the cost of a magnet. Sometimes as low as the low $40. range
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:40 AM   #11
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Great delivery

I just took delivery on a set of assembled brake assemblies for our 2005 International. Rick, you're right on it -- we paid $44 each for the completely assembled sets with magnet, springs, adjuster, shoes, backplate. Everything except new seals and the nuts to attach brakes to the trailer.

Oh, and they're on sale for $34 each now at Eastern Marine/Trailer Parts Superstore. And for the skeptics, yes, these are Dexter. Or grey market.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:25 AM   #12
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My first suggestion would be to get that trailer into a shop that has some idea of what they are doing.

The cracks in the original shoes most likely came from overheating. This could be from excessively hard use, the trailer is working harder than the tow vehicle when stopping.

The fact that you had no brakes as you pulled out of the shop says they did not adjust the shoes when they installed them. Underadjustment of the shoes can result in no brakes. These mechanical brakes only have a small range of movement where they are effective.

The days of grinding shoes to fit the drums is long gone. When we used to hand rivet the lining on the old shoes caused high spots on the shoe that had to be grind off. Besides some people began to get worried about the asbestos dust while grinding the shoes. The new shoes with bonded linings fit fine out of the box.

By towing for a mile or so with the brakes on just after you got out of the shop you may have overheated the new shoes and glazed them or cracked them.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:30 PM   #13
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Old cars had brake drums that would last the life of the car. If they got rutted and chewed up, you could machine them smooth on a brake lathe.

Some Oldsmobile drums from the early 50s could be cut 1/4" oversize. This is the most I know of for a car.

When this was done the new shoes had to be rearched to match or, as others have pointed out, it would take hundreds of miles of wear to break them in.

Since the 70s brake drums are so cheap and flimsy they can't be turned at all. They may say you can turn them some trifling amount, like .030 but if you try it they soon warp again.

So, when you do a brake job today you put on new, standard size brake drums and new, standard size shoes. No problem getting them to match.

Incidentally, if brake drums are not warped or grooved or worn past factory specs they do not need to be replaced. If you replace the shoes before they are worn down to the metal you can wear out 2 or 3 sets of shoes before the drums need to be replaced.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:35 PM   #14
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I learned to arc brake shoes in the shop of my father's Hudson dealership in the early 50s.

Now who's old!
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