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Brake Shoes

 

Brake Shoes

Brake Shoes are the friction elements in a drum brake system. Brake shoes are located inside the brake drum and, when engaged, apply braking force onto the inside surface of the brake drums in order to slow the vehicle.

What is a brake pad and what does it do?

How Does it Work?

  • Brake shoes are positioned inside the brake drum and are attached to the backing plate using hold down hardware.
  • Each drum brake assembly consists of a leading and a trailing brake shoe, both actuated at the same time through hydraulic pressure applied by the wheel cylinder.
  • When the vehicle operator applies pressure to the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid is placed under pressure and transfers energy to the wheel cylinder. Blake fluid under pressure pushes the wheel cylinder pistons outward, moving the brake shoes into contact with the inner brake drum surfaces.
  • Brake shoe contact with the drum causes friction, resulting in braking action and reduction of the vehicle speed. The more pressure applied, the greater the braking force and heat generated.

How is it Made?

  • Brake shoes generally utilize a variety of organic and metallic materials to form the friction material. These are combined with a binder material that keeps the friction from shedding or breaking under pressure and heat.
  • The friction material is bonded to a metal shoe. The shoe forms the guides for the friction material to precisely fit into brake drum as well as forming the contact surface for the wheel cylinder pistons.
  • Drum brakes are typically found in the rear braking system and often incorporate a mechanical parking/emergency brake mechanism that operates independently of the hydraulic system.

Why Does it Fail?

  • The material of a brake shoe wears as a normal part of the friction created during the braking process.
  • Brake shoes can wear in an accelerated or asymmetric fashion if there are problems with the brake pressure in the wheel cylinder, with the hold down or retraction springs or with the parking brake mechanism.
  • Contamination of brake shoe friction material is a fairly common failure mode and occurs when an axle seal leaks gear oil into the drum area, permanently contaminating the brake shoe friction material.

What are the Symptoms of Failure?

  • Should the friction material become worn away to such a degree that braking causes contact between the braking shoe and the brake drum, braking efficiency will be greatly reduced.
  • Contaminated shoes typically appear to have abnormally dark friction surfaces and a burned odor. Oil and contamination buildup are typical in this case as opposed to the normal accumulation of brake dust inside the drum assembly.
  • Should the parking brake cable bind in the applied position or the parking brake be accidentally left applied while operating the vehicle, the brake shoes will usually appear to be burnt and worn prematurely.

What are the Implications of Failure?

  • Severe brake shoe wear will reduce braking efficiency and is extremely dangerous because it increases stopping distance and predictability of the stop.
  • Loud squeaking, squealing, or grinding noises during braking.

How Difficult is the Install?

Difficulty Rating:

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