Cleaning rear drum brakes is a fairly simple process. First, gather the necessary tools for the job – a lug wrench to remove the wheel, a screwdriver to access the drum brake assembly, a brake cleaner, brake grease, sandpaper, and a wire brush.
Begin by jacking up the vehicle and securing it with jack stands. Use the lug wrench to remove the wheel and set it aside. Next, use the screwdriver to remove the drum from the wheel hub. Clean the drum and the wheel hub with a wire brush and brake cleaner, and inspect the condition of the wheel hub and the drum’s surfaces.
Use sandpaper to smooth down any irregularities and rough spots.
Clean all the components of the rear drum brake assembly, including the wheel cylinder, shoe, strut, and springs. Take care to remove any dust and debris in the wheel cylinder. Replace any faulty or worn components.
Reassemble the wheel cylinder, shoe, strut, and springs, and apply a light coating of brake grease. Finally, put the wheel and drum back onto the wheel hub and tighten all nuts and bolts with the lug wrench.
Once the wheel and drum assembly is complete, test drive the vehicle to check for proper braking. When finished, clean up any leftover grease and brake cleaner on the wheel hub, drum, or other components.
When should you not use brake cleaner?
Brake cleaner should not be used when brakes, rotors, drums, or calipers are still hot from driving or when the brake system is under pressure. Brake cleaner should also not be used on painted, chrome, or plastic surfaces as it can damage or discolor these surfaces.
Finally, brake cleaner should not be used to clean the entire brake system or reservoir as brake fluid should never come in contact with any harsh chemicals.
How do you clean drum brakes without taking off tires?
Cleaning drum brakes without taking off the tires can be done by following these steps:
1. Use a small screwdriver to remove the dust cap, which is located at the center of the wheel.
2. Wipe away any debris that has collected from the inner portion of the wheel.
3. Shine a flashlight inside the wheel and inspect the brake shoes, adjuster and springs for signs of dirt, dust, or corrosion.
4. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the brake shoes, adjuster, and springs.
5. Apply a thin coat of brake cleaner over the entire area.
6. Take a wire brush and scrub the area, paying special attention to any areas with mud or dirt buildup.
7. If necessary, use a rag to wipe away any excess brake cleaning fluid.
8. Once the area is clean, you can replace the dust cap.
9. Finally, test the brakes and adjust them according to the vehicle’s specifications.
Following these steps should allow you to clean your drum brakes without taking off the tires. It is important to take caution, as improper brake adjustments may cause a decrease in your vehicle’s performance.
Can I spray brake cleaner on brake shoes?
No, you should never spray brake cleaner on brake shoes. Although brake cleaner is a powerful solvent intended to strip away grease and oil from brake parts, it is not designed to be used directly on brake linings.
Doing so can cause the topcoat of the brake shoe material to break down and reduce the efficiency of your brakes. Additionally, brake cleaner can cause corrosion if some of it migrates past the shoe and onto other components like drum brakes and disc brakes.
If you need to clean brake shoes, you should use a degreaser or brake cleaner diluted with water. Follow the instructions on the label of the product to achieve the optimal dilution, and be sure to rinse the area with clean water when finished.
This will remove any grease and oil without the risk of damaging the brake shoes.
How do you remove rust from brake discs without removing the wheel?
Removing rust from brake discs without removing the wheel can be done by first spraying a rust remover onto the disc. Allow the rust remover to remain in contact with the disc for at least 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes have passed, use a wire brush to scrub the disc, removing any rust and debris. Make sure that you pay special attention to the rust that is located in the crevices. When the rust has been removed, spray the disc with a brake cleaner, then dry off with a clean rag.
At this point, the rust should be removed from the disc without having to remove the wheel.
What else can you use to clean brakes?
Beside traditional brake cleaners, you can also use rubbing alcohol and mineral spirits for cleaning your brakes. Rubbing alcohol is a powerful cleaner that will easily remove grease and grime from the brakes.
Additionally, if you want to be extra careful, you can use mineral spirits, which is a petroleum-based solvent designed for safe use on brake components. Both of these methods are effective and relatively easy to use.
You will need to apply the solution of your choice to a clean rag and then use it to scrub away the dirt and grease from the brakes. Make sure to wear gloves while doing so, as some of the solvents are caustic and can irritate your skin.
Once you have cleaned the brakes, you can use compressed air to blow away any residual particles that remain.
How do you remove rust from drums?
Removing rust from drums can be a tricky task, but it is possible. The most important thing to remember is to use gentle products, as harsh chemicals or abrasive materials can damage the drums. It is also important to take care not to scratch the surface with tools when removing rust.
For metal drums, begin by scrubbing the rust off with an old toothbrush and a generous amount of dish soap. This should work to loosen any light rust, but if it doesn’t completely remove it, try using a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water.
Apply the mixture with a cloth or brush to the affected area and let it sit for approximately 20 minutes. Once the mixture has had ample time to sit, use the old toothbrush to scrub away the rust.
When all of the rust has been removed, rinse the area with warm water and carefully dry it with a separate cloth. A steel wool pad can be used to polish the surface of the drums after cleaning.
For plastic drums, use the same cleaning mixture of white vinegar and water. This should be enough to remove any light rust, but it may take some extra scrubbing with a stiff cloth. If the rust is still not coming off, try gently rubbing the surface with a lemon juice and salt paste.
Rinse off the paste with warm water and dry with a cloth.
Removing rust from drums can be time-consuming, but with patience and the right techniques, it is possible to restore their surfaces.
Can brake drums be refinished on the vehicle?
Yes, brake drums can be refinished on the vehicle. This typically involves removing the drum, cleaning it and any rust, then refinishing the surface in order to create a smooth, even surface. This process ensures proper brake performance and can result in a much smoother ride.
Furthermore, brake drums can be resurfaced while they are still on the vehicle. This usually involves grinding down the surface of the brake drum in order to remove any imperfections or bumps. After this is done, the drum can be polished and painted, allowing it to look brand new.
However, this process should only be performed by a professional mechanic who has the necessary tools and experience.
How do you know if your rear drum brakes are going bad?
Most commonly, you’ll notice a squealing or grinding sound coming from the brakes while they’re being applied. This sound is caused by worn-out brake pads or shoes that are unable to create enough friction to stop your car.
Another symptom is a higher than normal amount of pedal travel, indicating that the brake pads have worn down and need to be replaced. Other signs of poor brake performance include increased stopping distance and an overall feeling of instability or “sponginess” when applying the brakes.
Finally, your car may shake or vibrate, which is a result of an unevenly worn out brake system. If any of these symptoms are present, it’s important to have your brakes checked out by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
How long do drum brakes last?
The life expectancy of drum brakes can vary greatly depending on driving habits and conditions, as well as the types of brake pads and drums used in the system. Generally, you can expect an average lifespan from 30,000 to 70,000 miles.
However, some cars may not require a brake job until after more than 100,000 miles. Many things can contribute to when you need to replace your drum brakes. Factors such as the type of environment you drive in, the type of road surfaces you drive on and how often you use your brakes can all play a part in how long your brakes last.
It’s important to keep up with routine maintenance to ensure that your brakes last as long as possible. Additionally, ensuring that your wheel bearings and wheel cylinders are properly lubricated and the proper fit of the brake shoes are important if you want to maintain a longer drum brake life.
How can I clean my brakes at home?
Cleaning your brakes at home is a straightforward and affordable process.
Firstly, you’ll need to jack your car up, which can be done via your car’s jack points which sit at the corners of your car near the chassis. Keep all four wheels off the ground and secure the car onto jack stands.
When you’ve got your car securely off the ground, you can start to work on the brakes.
You’ll need a flathead screwdriver, some brake cleaning fluid and a clean cloth. Take off the wheel using the wheel nuts, which can be undone using the socket wrenches.
Now you can examine the state of the brakes. If there is dirt and grime, you can use the brake cleaning fluid and the flathead screwdriver to locate and loosen the grease and dirt. Make sure to clean within the entire brake system, including the brake pads and rotor.
You may choose to take off the drum brakes if applicable to give it a good clean through, but be careful not to scratch any parts within the brake system. Rub off remaining dirt with a cloth and ensure that all parts are put back together where they came from.
Put the wheel back into place and secure with the wheel nuts. Finally, lower your car off the jack and give it a test drive. If everything is in order, then your brakes are now cleaned.