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Before brake discs became widely used in the braking system industry, brake drums were used in their place. Brake drums, however, are far from being obsolete, because some vehicles still use them on their rear wheels. Just like disc brakes, a brake drum works on the same principle in order to be effective: shoes clamp against a spinning surface to make the wheels stop. Brake drums are usually made from cast iron or aluminum housing. They're bolted to the wheels and work with a few key parts: two brake shoes and one piston with each drum. These parts are essential in making sure that the brakes work properly. The brake drums rotate around the brake shoes. Each time you hit your car's brake pedals, the piston moves the brake shoes toward the brake drum's inner surface. The entire assembly also uses springs, which squeeze the brake shoes against the drums. These springs also enable the shoes to pull out when you release the brake pedals. However, constant usage will eventually wear out the brake drum. As the brake drum's surface thins out, the braking capacity of your vehicle lessens. That's why it's necessary to use only the best brake drums that won't wear out quickly. That way, the shoes are always close to the drum's surface and can slow down and stop the wheels effectively. At Auto Parts Warehouse, we offer high-quality brake drums at affordable prices. So if yours needs to be replaced right away, get one from our online catalog today!
How to Choose the Right Brake Drum
While everyone knows that your brake system is an important part of your car, few are aware of the different components that make your brakes tick. One of the most abused parts of your brakes is your brake drum. Aside from continuously absorbing and dissipating heat, it is also prone to dents from the other parts of the system. Once you notice deep grooves in your brake, you should start looking for new ones to avoid more damage. Here are a few things you have to remember in choosing the right one for your brake system:
Types of brake drum
Since stopping a 50-ton truck requires more power than braking a typical sedan, most companies have differentiated brake drum types according to their capacities. The two most common brake drums are the value and standard brake drums. These types are your typical brake drums that are made to withstand standard drive and lighter trailer applications. High-performance brake drums, on the other hand, are best used for heavy-duty driving. Their longer brake and lining life allow for lower maintenance costs, especially for vehicles with heavier loads.
Your brake drum buying checklist
After knowing what type of brake drum you need, there are still a few other things to look for when shopping for new ones. There are many brands in the market that offer different kinds of technology to improve your brake drum performance. If you find all of these confusing, you just have to stick to one basic rule when purchasing new brake drums--examine the part yourself using a checklist. Are the brake drums accurately balanced? Are they sufficiently rigid and resistant against wear? Are they lightweight? Are they made of materials that are heat conductive? These are the questions you have to answer to guide you through the buying process. If you answered yes to all these questions, then that particular brake drum is perfect for you.
The warranty can make or break your decision to purchase a particular brake drum. However, it's very difficult to compare the warranty from different manufacturers. When it comes drum brakes, there is no standard warranty coverage. Some sellers provide coverage for one year with unlimited mileage, while some only cover 90 days. So it's best to rely on the company selling you the warranty rather than on the coverage itself. Ask the dealer or seller about the warranty itself. You should know what's covered, the expiration dates or miles, and the necessary paperwork. Make sure your brake drum has a good warranty clause. It helps you get great value for your money, especially when your brake drum doesn't meet reasonable quality.
Replacing the Old Brake Drum: How to Install a New One
If stopping your car feels like stepping on a sponge rather than on a firm brake pedal, you know it's about time for your old brake drums to retire. Replacing them may seem like a tedious task for most DIYers, but with proper tools and this step-by-step guide, you can revive your brakes to their former glory by installing new brake drums.
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
Things you'll need:
- Lug wrench
- Dry paper towel
- New brake drums
Step 1: Preparing your car
Before lifting your car, loosen the lug nuts of your wheels. This gives you an easier hold on your wheels once they are off the ground. Using a hydraulic lift or a jack and jack stands, slowly lift your car.
Step 2: Removing your wheels
Completely remove the lug nuts and pull off the hub from the wheel. Remove your wheels as well.
Step 3: Removing your brake drums
Remove the brake drums using your hands. Make sure that your brake shoes are not holding on to the drums to easily pry them off. If you still can't pull them out, check for bolts that are holding your brake drums.
Step 4: Cleaning your brake system
Once you've removed your brake drums, clean the other parts of your brake system using a dry rag.
Step 5: Installing your brake drums
Install your new brake drums in place. Adjust your brake shoes for the perfect fit of the drums.
Step 6: Testing your new brake drums
Test your new brake drums by stepping on your brake pedals a few times. Make sure that the brake shoes and brake drums are not too tight or too far apart from each other.
Step 7: Finishing touches
Put back your wheels and wheel covers. Secure them tightly with your lug nuts and then lower your car.