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During the 1970s when front disc brakes became universally popular, engineers were faced with making disc and drum braking systems compatible. Because a disc brake develops no servo action, it usually achieves braking torque by using vacuum booster to increase hydraulic pressure. But, thanks to servo action, drum brakes require much less hydraulic pressure to achieve the same amount of braking torque. Before anti-locking braking systems became popular during the 1990s, brake engineers designed a combination valve that usually contains a metering, proportioning and pressure differential valve. To prevent front wheel skid on slick roads, a metering valve was integrated into the combination valve that delays front disc application until a specific hydraulic pressure is reached in the front hydraulic circuit. And, since servo action would cause the rear brakes to prematurely lock up well before the disc brakes, engineers integrated a proportioning valve that limits the hydraulic pressure delivered to the rear wheel cylinders. Last, engineers integrated a pressure differential warning light feature into some combination valves indicating when a fluid leak is causing a pressure differential to exist between the front and rear brake

hydraulic systems. A suspension height-sensing valve was also added to some light trucks that reduces hydraulic pressure to the rear drum brakes when the truck is driven empty. Most of this hydraulic hardware was eliminated when anti-locking brake systems came into popular use during the 1990s. While most disc/drum hydraulic systems are split between front and rear, the brake hydraulics are split diagonally on some vehicles, meaning that the left front is hydraulically connected to the right rear and the right front to the left rear. In the absence of manufacturers recommendations, the front/rear split systembleeding sequence is generally right rear, left rear, right front and left front. Dual/diagonal is generally bled right rear, left front, left rear and right front.


(1) Brake drum (2) Braking plate (3) Wheel cylinder (4) Brake shoe (5) Shoe clearance adjustment (6) Shoe-hold mechanisms (7) Brake adjuster (8) Shoe return spring (9) Parking brake lever (10)Lower return spring

Backing plate
The backing plate provides a base for the other components. It attaches to the axle sleeve and provides a non-rotating rigid mounting surface for the wheel cylinder, brake shoes, and assorted hardware. Since all braking operations exert pressure on the backing plate, it must be strong and wear-resistant. Levers for emergency or parking brakes, and automatic brake-shoe adjuster were also added in recent years. It rarely causes any problems.

Back plate made in the pressing shop.

Brake drum
The brake drum is generally made of a special type of cast iron that is heat-conductive and wearresistant. It rotates with the wheel and axle. When a driver applies the brakes, the lining pushes radially against the inner surface of the drum, and the ensuing friction slows or stops rotation of the wheel and axle, and thus the vehicle. This friction generates substantial heat. Brake drums are made of iron and have a machined surface on the inside where the shoes make contact. Just as with disk rotors, brake drums will show signs of wear as the brake linings seat themselves against the machined surface of the drum. When new shoes are installed, the brake drum should be machined smooth. Brake drums have a maximum diameter specification that is stamped on the outside of the drum. When a drum is machined, it must never exceed that measurement. If the surface cannot be machined within that limit, the drum must be replaced. Automatic Brake Shoe Automatic clearance adjusting devices may be divided into two types: Clearance Adjustment Reverse Travel Adjuster. Parking Brake Adjuster. Reverse Travel Adjustment effected by braking effort during reverse travel is used Adjuster with duoservo type brakes. Duoservo brake shoes have a single anchor located above the wheel cylinder. When the leading shoe contacts the drum it transfers force to the trailing shoe which is wedged against the anchor. This system uses an: adjusting cable assembly. adjusting lever. shoe adjusting setscrew (star wheel). cable guide. lever return spring. The adjusting cable is fixed at one end to the anchor pin, while the other end is hooked to the adjusting lever via a spring.

The adjusting lever is fitted to the lower end of No. 2 brake shoe, and engages with the shoe adjusting setscrew. Drum brakes are used mainly for the rear wheels of passenger cars and trucks while disc brakes are used exclusively for front brakes because of their greater directional stability. The backing plate is a pressed steel plate, bolted to the rear axle housing. Since the brake shoes are fitted to the backing plate, all of the braking force acts on the backing plate Brake Drum The brake drum is generally made of a special type of cast iron. It is positioned very close to the brake shoe without actually touching it, and rotates with the wheel and axle. As the lining is pushed against the inner surface of the drum, friction heat can reach as high as 600 degrees F. The brake drum must be: 1. Accurately balanced. 2. Sufficiently rigid. 3. Resistant against wear. 4. Highly heatconductive 5. Lightweight.

. drum brakes, fluid is forced into the wheel cylinder, which pushes the brake shoes out so that the friction linings are pressed against the drum, which is attached to the wheel, causing the wheel to stop. In either case, the friction surfaces of the pads on a disk brake system, or the shoes on a drum brake convert the forward motion of the vehicle into heat. Heat is what causes the friction surfaces (linings) of the pads and shoes to eventually wear out and require replacement. Drum brakes consist of a backing plate, brake shoes, brake drum, wheel cylinder, return springs and an automatic or self-adjusting system. When you apply the brakes, brake fluid is forced under pressure into the wheel cylinder, which in turn pushes the brake shoes into contact with the machined surface on the inside of the drum. When the pressure is released, return springs pull the shoes back to their rest position. As the brake linings wear, the shoes must travel a greater distance to reach the drum. When the distance reaches a certain point, a self-adjusting mechanism automatically reacts by adjusting the rest position of the shoes so that they are closer to the drum.

Wheel cylinder
One wheel cylinder operates the brake on each wheel. Two pistons operate the shoes, one at each end of the wheel cylinder. Hydraulic pressure from the master cylinder acts on the piston cup, pushing the pistons toward the shoes, forcing them against the drum. When the driver releases the brakes, the brake shoe springs restore the shoes to their original (disengaged) position. The parts of the wheel cylinder are shown to the right. The wheel cylinder consists of a cylinder that has two pistons, one on each side. Each piston has a rubber seal and a shaft that connects the piston with a brake shoe. When brake pressure is applied, the pistons are forced out pushing the shoes into contact with the drum. Wheel cylinders must be rebuilt or replaced if they show signs of leaking. When the brakes are not being applied, the piston is returned to its original position by the force of the brake shoe return springs

Cut-away section of a wheel cylinder.

Brake shoe
Main article: Brake shoe Brake shoes are typically made of two pieces of sheet steel welded together. The friction material is either riveted to the lining table or attached with adhesive. The crescent-shaped piece is called the Web and contains holes and slots in different shapes for return springs, hold-down hardware, parking brake linkage and self-adjusting components. All the application force of the wheel cylinder is applied through the web to the lining table and brake lining. The edge of the lining table generally has three V" -shaped notches or tabs on each side called nibs. The nibs rest against the support pads of the backing plate to which the shoes are installed. Each brake assembly has two shoes, a primary and secondary. The primary shoe is located toward the front of the vehicle and has the lining positioned differently than the secondary shoe. Quite often the two shoes are interchangeable, so close inspection for any variation is important.

Brake shoe assembly

Linings must be resistant against heat and wear and have a high friction coefficient unaffected by fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Materials that make up the brake shoe include, friction modifiers (which can include graphite and cashew nut shells), powdered metal such as lead, zinc, brass, aluminium and other metals that resist heat fade, binders, curing agents and fillers such as rubber chips to reduce brake noise. In the UK two common grades of brake shoe material used to be used. DON 202 was a high friction material that did not require a brake servo. The disadvantage was that the lining was prone to fading on steep hills (calculate the kilowatts dissipated by a one ton car descending a 15% hill at a constant 60 mph) A harder lining, the famous VG95 was produced but this required a brake servo. The other snag was that the parking brake would often fail the annual MOT test unless the high friction linings were put back just for the test. Like the disk pads, brake shoes consist of a steel shoe with the friction material or lining riveted or bonded to it. Also like disk pads, the linings eventually wear out and must be replaced. If the linings are allowed to wear through to the bare metal shoe, they will cause severe damage to the asker drum. Each brake assembly has two shoes, a primary and secondary. The primary shoe is located toward the front of the vehicle and has the lining positioned differently than the secondary shoe. Quite often the two shoes are interchangeable, so close inspection for any variation is important. Linings must be resistant against heat and wear and have a high friction coefficient. This coefficient must be as unaffected as possible by fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Materials which make up the brake shoe include friction modifiers, powdered metal, binders, fillers and curing agents. Friction modifiers such as graphite and cashew nut shells, alter the friction coefficient. Powdered metals such as lead, zinc, brass, aluminum and other metals increase a materials resistance to heat fade. Binders are the glues that hold the friction material together. Fillers are added to friction material in small quantities to accomplish specific purposes, such as rubber chips to reduce brake noise.

Return Springs
Return springs pull the brake shoes back to their rest position after the pressure is released from the wheel cylinder. If the springs are weak and do not return the shoes all the way, it will cause premature lining wear because the linings will remain in contact with the drum. A good technician will examine the springs during a brake job and recommend their replacement if they show signs of fatigue. On certain

vehicles, the technician may recommend replacing them even if they look good as inexpensive insurance.

Parking Brakes
The parking brake (a.k.a. emergency brake) system controls the rear brakes through a series of steel cables that are connected to either a hand lever or a foot pedal. The idea is that the system is fully mechanical and completely bypasses the hydraulic system so that the vehicle can be brought to a stop even if there is a total brake failure. On drum brakes, the cable pulls on a lever mounted in the rear brake and is directly connected to the brake shoes. this has the effect of bypassing the wheel cylinder and controlling the brakes directly.