The brake drum is an essential part of the vehicle’s braking system. It serves as a reservoir to hold hydraulic fluid and create friction via heat to slow or stop the car.
How it works:
The brake drum has metal bands wrapped around its circumference called “brake shoes.” These come in two types: floating and fixed. A fixed-shoe drum brake has the shoes mounted directly to the inner rim of the drum. A floating shoe is connected to a set of levers. When you press on your brake pedal, fluid inside the brake lines forces pistons in each wheel cylinder to move and push against one or both brake shoes. This pressure pushes them tightly against either side of the drum, creating friction. This brings your car to a stop without wearing down the brake shoes or having them get stuck in the drums.
The brake drum also has holes that allow for ventilation of hot air escaping from the brakes. These vents are located below where the brake shoes touch the drum to ensure they remain free-moving during braking.
When To Replace A Brake Drum
Signs that you need to have your brake drum replaced are noticeable grooves or pitting in the surface. It is rusting quickly due to humidity, when it has developed a bulge in its shape or if it is warped.
A drum replacement can be done in around an hour by a professional mechanic. A paved driveway will do to park your car on. You’ll need an appropriately sized wrench, a jack and the right size replacement brake drum.
Additionally, if you are experiencing any unusual noises or vibrations when your foot is on the brake pedal, it may be time to have your brakes checked by a mechanic.
If done on one’s own, changing brake drums can be dangerous. But if done correctly, it is an excellent way to save money over the cost of labour at an automobile maintenance shop.