Properly Reassembling Your Drum Brake


After you finish inspecting your drum brakes, you’re ready to reassemble them. Refer to this diagram of a drum brake to be sure that you get everything back in the proper order and direction. The following steps show you how:

Reassemble your drum brakes.

Reassemble your drum brakes.

Saturate the dirt around the brake backing plate with brake parts cleaner; then wipe it well with a clean, grease-free rag.

Don’t blow the dust around – it can cause serious lung damage.

Wipe the dirt off of the spindle and replace the wheel hub and brake drum on the spindle.

Skip Steps 4 through 8 and slide the drum back across the lug nut studs until it contacts the hub if you have a floating drum.

Be gentle so that you don’t unseat the grease seal.

Clean the inside of the drum.

Spray it with brake cleaner and wipe it all out with a grease-free rag.

Replace the outer wheel bearing (smaller end first) and the washer.

Don’t let any dirt get on these parts!

Replace the adjusting nut.

Screw it on to ensure that it’s “finger tight.”

Another way to complete this step is usually to back the adjusting nut off one full notch (60 degrees) and, in case the notch doesn’t line up together with the hole inside the spindle, back it off only enough until it will. Then spin the wheel by hand to be sure that it turns freely. Whether it doesn’t, loosen the nut a bit more.

Insert the cotter pin in to the hole inside the castellated nut.

The cotter pin should clear the outer grooves and go right through. Make sure that it’s pointing inside the same direction as it was when you took it off.

Bend the legs of the cotter pin back across the top of the nut.

This holds it in place.

Replace the grease cap.

Replace your wheel, lug nuts, and hubcap, and lower your vehicle to the ground.

Don’t try to detoxify the contaminated rags you used on this job by laundering them! Put them in a sealable plastic bag, zip it closed, and dispose of it immediately.””

If your brakes suddenly start to squeal or pull to one side, or if your brake pedal flutters once you step into it, @@@@@@””You should check disc brakes and disc brake linings every 10,000 miles – on a regular basis. Don’t confuse the fluttering with the normal pulsing of ABS brakes when they’re applied in desperate situations stop. Today, most vehicles have four-wheel disc brakes. Others have disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes on the rear wheels.

If you check your disc brakes, measure the thickness of the linings in the pads so that you can tell regardless of if the linings on your brakes are badly worn. If the lining is to the thickness of the steel backing plate, the pads should be replaced.

To check disc brakes, follow these steps:

Jack up your vehicle and take off a front wheel.

Use wheel blocks for safety.

Look at the brake disc (otherwise known as a rotor), but don’t attempt to take it out of the vehicle.

Examine your disc brakes.

Check your disc brakes.

The brake caliper has to be removed before you can remove a brake disc, and the good news is that there’s no requirement to do so. If you’re working alone, just check the visible part of the disc for heavy rust, scoring, and uneven wear. Rust generally is harmless unless the vehicle has been standing idle for a long time and the rust has truly built up. Have a professional decide if it can be reground or needs to be replaced in case your disc is badly scored or worn unevenly.

Inspect your brake caliper (the component blocking your look at the entire brake disc).

Be mindful. If the vehicle has been driven recently, the caliper will be hot. If it’s cool to the touch, grasp it and gently shake it to make sure that it isn’t loosely mounted along with its mounting hardware isn’t worn.

Peek through the inspection hole in the dust shield around the caliper and check out the brake pads inside.

They probably really need to be replaced in case the linings in the brake pads look much thinner than the new ones you saw with the supply store or dealership parts department. If the linings have worn to the metal pads, the disc probably has to be reground or replaced as well.

Replace your wheel, lug nuts, and hubcap, minimizing the vehicle to the floor.

You don’t need to do anything else if the pads and disc are most often in good shape and your brake pedal doesn’t flutter if you step onto it.

Relining, caliper maintenance, and disc grinding should be left to a professional unless you get the job done under supervision at an auto class.

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