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VIEW SOLUTIONS TO COMMON PROBLEMSBrake ShoesBrake DrumWheel CylinderBrake Lines and HosesBrake HardwareBearings & SealsThe Parking BrakeFlushing the System
Select a part to view solution for common problems associated with the item.Operation: Brake shoes provide the friction material that when forced against the friction surface of the drum stops the vehicle. Advice: Check the old brake shoes for uneven wear. Uneven wear from one side of the shoe to the other is an indication of loose or worn brake hardware. Uneven wear from the top of the shoe to the bottom is indication that the shoe is not contacting the drum correctly, usually due to a drum that is beyond wear specifications. Recommendations: Brake hardwareOperation: The brake drum provides the rotating friction surface for the brake shoes to interact with in stopping the vehicle. Advice: Check the friction surface for uneven wear, grooves or small stress cracks caused by excess heat. Uneven wear is an indication of lose or worn brake hardware. Grooves in the friction surface are an indication of brake shoes that have worn down to the metal rivets or brake shoe framework, or of debris lodged between the brake shoe and drum, possibly broken brake hardware. As long as the damage is not too severe, uneven wear can be corrected by resurfacing the drum. Check to make sure that the drum is within specifications before and after the resurfacing. A drum with heat stress cracks should be replaced. Recommendations: Resurface or replace the brake drums.Operation: The wheel cylinder converts the hydraulic pressure sent from the master cylinder into the mechanical force that pushes the brake shoes into contact with the brake drum to stop the vehicle. Advice: Check for moisture anywhere around the wheel cylinder. Moisture is an indication of a leaking wheel cylinder. A leaking wheel cylinder should be either rebuilt or replaced. If a wheel cylinder is allowed to leak brake fluid onto the new shoes, it will ruin the new shoes causing the brakes to grab and emit a growling or rumbling noise when applied. Recommendations: Rebuild or replace leaking wheel cylinders.Operation: The brake lines act as a conduit for the brake fluid, supplying each wheel with the hydraulic action necessary for brake operation. The system is made up predominantly with metal brake lines. Flexible hoses are used at the wheels to accomadate the movement of suspension and steering. Advice: Check metal brake lines for signs of corrosion, physical damage or leakage. Check flexible brake hoses for splits, cracking or signs of leakage. The brake lines are connected to the various brake components with hollow fittings called flare nuts or line fittings. Because flare nuts are hollow they are susceptible to damage if a normal open ended wrench is used to remove them. Flare nut wrenches, sometimes called line wrenches are special open ended wrenches designed to slide over the brake line and still provide maximum grip on all sides of the fitting. Apply a generous spray of penetrating oil to the threads of the fittings and allow it to soak in before loosening the fittings. Recommendations: Flare Nut Wrench set Penetrating sprayOperation: Brake hardware is a term used for all of the springs, clips, guide pins and other misc. pieces that hold the brake pads and calipers in place and guide their movement during brake application. Advice: Check for corroded, bent, worn out or broken springs, guide pins or clips. Damaged or worn out brake hardware can cause uneven wear on the new brake pads. To ensure the best results from your brake job, the brake hardware should be replaced with the new brake pads. Recommendations: Replace Brake hardwareOperation: The wheel bearings support the weight of the vehicle and allow the wheels to spin freely. Advice: All wheels will have some sort of bearing and a seal to hold in lubricant and keep out dirt. Some bearings are sealed in a hub assembly or pressed into an axle housing and can only be serviced by replacing them. Others such as tapered roller bearings can be cleaned inspected and repacked with grease. Use a can of spray brake cleaner to remove the old grease. Check the integrity of the cage holding the rollers in place. A loose wobbly cage is an indication of wear. Check the rollers for discoloration. Discoloration is an indication that the bearing has been subjected to excess heat and should be replaced. Always install a new race when replacing a bearing. Always install a new seal whenever servicing or replacing a bearing. Recommendations: Spray Brake cleaner Wheel bearing grease Wheel sealOperation: The parking brake on a drum brake system has a series of cables that when actuated from the driver's compartment moves the parking brake levers on both rear wheels, forcing the rear brake shoes against the friction surface of the drums to hold the vehicle in place. Advice: With the parking brake disengaged and the drum removed, check to ensure that the brake shoes are fully seated at the top and bottom anchors. If not the parking brake cable may be sticking internally and holding the brake shoes partially applied. A sticking parking brake cable should be replaced. Never adjust the parking brake cable until after normal brake shoe adjustment has been made. After normal brake shoe adjustment if the parking brake still does not hold the vehicle stationary, then the parking brake cable can be adjusted.Operation: Flushing the brake fluid removes old or contaminated brake fluid from the system replacing it with fresh brake fluid. Advice: Brake fluid is a hygroscopic fluid, which means that it is in its nature to absorb moisture from the air. Over time the amount of moisture accumulated will decrease the efficiency of the fluid to act hydraulically. Moisture in the brake fluid can also cause corrosion in the system. Brake fluid should be flushed every two years. Recommendations: Brake fluid