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Old 07-24-2012, 11:38 AM   #1
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Toasty's Dad's Avatar
2004 16' International CCD
Cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 118
Replace just brake shoes or whole assembly?

So one of my Dexter brake shoes has done what sounds distressingly common these days and released it's lining, which I learned while greasing the wheel bearings.

The cost difference between new shoes and and entire assembly (backing plate, actuator, shoes, springs, etc) is about $25 total for my two wheels.

Is there a good reason to spend the extra 25 beans? I've always just done the shoes on the cars I've worked on, and in spite of the pain of having the springs fly around everywhere it was not a big deal.

Is it easier to replace the whole shebang? Does the actuator wear out, so that it is a good idea to do the whole thing?

Got about 30K on the trailer. The inside surfaces of the drums are as smooth as a baby's butt.


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Old 07-24-2012, 12:01 PM   #2
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1971 29' Ambassador
Leonardtown , Maryland
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Posts: 262
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For that difference you will also get new magnets. The complete plate also has less hassel to install. Put some Anti-Sieze on the bolts when you secure the new plate.


Rebee - WBCCI #1325
2002 Classic Ltd 30'
2007 Dodge 2500, 6.7 Cummins
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:05 PM   #3
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2009 27' FB International
Los Angeles , California
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 731
Do it right and spend the money. For $25.00 more you get all NEW components.
Scott, Becky & Heidi (our standard poodle and travel companion)
WBCCI #1215
Air #54601

Remember... No matter where you go, there you are...

2009 27FB International Ocean Breeze
2010 Toyota Tundra CrewMax, 5.7L V8, 4x4
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:12 PM   #4
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1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,583
After having to replace several of our brake shoes due to leaking oil bath type seals...when the lining actually wears out, I'd sure go with complete backing plate assemblies...!

As you know, removing/installing the FIVE springs can be a sore-finger experience - even with the proper tools;
2 large retractor springs at the top
1 small spring near the adjuster at the bottom
2 coil springs with pins and cup retainers that keep the shoes in position (a real PAIN to deal with?)

I had to replace our shoes because the other parts were like new - but for later relines, I would go with new assemblies EVERY time...

As you have found, there are great deals on complete backing plate assemblies out there - I found a local RV supply store in Sacramento that sells them for $50 each!!!
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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2005 19' Safari
1968 24' Tradewind
Rural , Delaware
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,475
I just had to make the same decision on my 2005 Bambi. I went with the full assemblies for both wheels, and am glad I did. The Bambi has many miles on it, and the magnets have a finite life. Everything works like new.
2005 Bambi
1968 Trade Wind
2007 Ford F250 4x4 Crew
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:49 PM   #6
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2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
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Hi, I would buy the whole kits and save some of the old parts for spares.

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:44 PM   #7
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2004 16' International CCD
Cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 118
End of the story:

Bought the entire assemblies.

One wheel went fast and easy. The curbside was a different animal. Nuts frozen stiff. Got three off, but on the fourth, the stud stripped in the backing plate. It took a couple of hours to drill/chisel/saw/file the head of the stud small enough to get it through the back plate and then the flange on the axle.

Put anti-seize on the new studs, and next time will definitely start spraying the rust penetrant onto the nuts the day before.

Still saved $300 bucks over having it done, though. Thanks as always for all your input, guys.

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Old 07-29-2012, 01:48 PM   #8
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2002 30' Classic
East Central , Alabama
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 68
I think you made the right decision - I replaced all four of mine with complete assemblies six months ago - with everything new, gives me a "peace of mind", that I would always have doubt otherwise.

Curt, Joan and "BonJovi"
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