Mech over-ride drum brakes

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 20:26
ThreadID: 8041 Views:1510 Replies:2 FollowUps:0
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I have cable operated drum brakes on my camper - just returned from a long trip and suspected that the brake wasn't disengaging properly after stopping. Sure enough, when I removed the wheels after returning home, one of the shoes was heavily and unevenly worn (all others even and in good condition). I'm not really familiar with trailer brakes, can't find any info on-line, and could use some help. I can't seem to replace the drum without the front shoe rubbing on the drum (it seems that the section where the cable & actuating lever is always gets pulled towards the front of the camper, causing this front shoe to rub on the drum. Is this normal? Should this section be free to slide or should it be tightened to stay in one position?
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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 21:45

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 21:45
You should be able to adjust the brake shoes.

Cable brakes are a pain....I was on the road for many years towing a 27ft Viscount van with cable brakes. I had fitted wider wheels and then the cable used to rub on the inside of the tyre. So I adjusted the cable mechanism but then the brakes used to jam on and one had to get out and force the brake lever down to get moving a again. On one memorable day in the wet season in Darwin the brakes jammed on at the traffic lights and would not release. Those friendly northerners used some colourful language on us as they passed us the end I disconnected the brakes and drove carefully using the Landcruisers' gears. Must have done more than 200,000km like that. Never had a problem.


Always going somewhere
AnswerID: 34919

Reply By: Geoff - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 22:45

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 22:45

I had the same problem with mine. Unfortunately, it's normal.

The problem is that while the brakes are released, there is nothing locating the shoes inside the drum. They are free to go wherever they like, which as you noticed, is forward (due to cable pull) and down (gravity and vibration).

This causes constant dragging and premature wear at the bottom of the front shoes.

I managed to solve the problem by welding a piece of steel angle to the backing plate, which stops the shoes dropping and forces them to return to centre when released.

A couple of hours and a but of mucking around with the fit did the trick.
No dragging noise or excessive wear now!

I can send a sketch if you like.

AnswerID: 34925

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