View Full Version : gonna put brake shoes on the car

Phillip Allen
10-31-2008, 11:50 AM
I have drum brakes on the rear and it is metal to metal now...easy enough to put em on but I'm wondering if I could take a front wheel of (front wheel drive) and reverse the drum over the front lugs and with the thing in gear use a file to clean up the surface...

is it a silly idea?

10-31-2008, 11:53 AM
the worst idea i have ever heard

Phillip Allen
10-31-2008, 11:54 AM
the worst idea i have ever heard

I grew up in a model A family...we do for ourselves when we can

Phillip Allen
10-31-2008, 11:56 AM
I was curious if anyone else ever did such things? My older brother said he did back in the fifties

Phillip Allen
10-31-2008, 11:58 AM
it's what I did in the past...take em to be turned

10-31-2008, 12:06 PM
don't worry phil , i hear ya

what norman said to save a few bucks , take 'em in to get turned , if you was handy i could probably get this done for free

i'm thinking , get yourself some metallic , or semi-metallic pads , once they seat ,you will have essentially done what you described doing with the file

10-31-2008, 12:15 PM
I have drum brakes on the rear and it is metal to metal now...easy enough to put em on but I'm wondering if I could take a front wheel of (front wheel drive) and reverse the drum over the front lugs and with the thing in gear use a file to clean up the surface...

is it a silly idea?

Probably more trouble than its worth, time wise. I would do what Norman says, then your done. Besides your assuming the casting is even on the face that would mate up with the front wheel while using it as a lathe.


10-31-2008, 12:17 PM
norman , there is more to braking than 'grabbing nicely'

over heated brakes will 'fade' badly and are dangerous, warped rotors cause stress on front end components , uneven braking causes tire wear

10-31-2008, 12:19 PM
No, I'm not.It actually does work (I've done it myself, on front brakes). The reason it's usually inadvisable is that the life of the brake pads is drastically shortened... but for as long as they last, they'll grab nicely.

I'm not saying I'd do it, myself, anymore.... I HATE having to service my car, so longevity of components means more to me, these days, than any short term savings.

Your right, as long as it is dry pavement you are driving on. If you are on a wet road then the grooves will have a film of water in the groove allowing the pad to intermitently float off the wheel. That is why state inspection will flag the grooves and fail you. It is intermitent because no wheel is dead flat. Antilock brakes will not be as affected as that is their function by design to compensate.

The only reason I would do it on drum back brakes is they don't have a whole lot of stopping power when they are perfect.


Gary E
10-31-2008, 12:21 PM
And I thought hillbillies were a problem...
Stay far from Sharon Ma and North West Arkansas

10-31-2008, 12:22 PM
somebody must have a drum lathe you could use , they are still fairly common , ask around

10-31-2008, 12:43 PM
Um, if rear or front are badly worn they may need replacement. If just a bit worn by inattention to the shoes they might be salvageable. It becomes a toss up between labor and part costs.

10-31-2008, 12:46 PM
i am certain , buying new drums and liners is by far a much cheaper and safer diy proposition

add up the cost and tell me i'm wrong

10-31-2008, 01:18 PM
turning drums and rotors is cheap. Just take it in.

Its only expensive if you waited too ling and need new ones.

George Roberts
10-31-2008, 01:36 PM
"but the braking power will actually be better, because the grooving of the drum surfaces represents increased surface area."

You should stick with your day job.

10-31-2008, 03:13 PM
So just how long does it take the new pads to wear and conform to the old drums? During the 'wear in' time, there would be reduced contact, right?

10-31-2008, 03:15 PM
You too?

Good one Norm! :D

Phillip Allen
10-31-2008, 03:18 PM
more surface area...more contact. A 2" shoe becomes a 2.5" shoe...I understood that for years. The shortened life comes from the "lands" or high places between the grooves will dig into the new pads deeper and sooner because, until they seat, there is much diminished surface area and a 2" shoe starts out as a 0.5" shoe and wears quickly...later, the high points reach the bottom of the pad the sooner and thence into the metal

you guys KNOW this stuff! so don't go around sounding silly

10-31-2008, 03:20 PM
Hey Phil, take them to a shop to be turned and measured to make sure you've got enough thickness left. Costs very little and might save you an expensive hospital bill when the file catches and flips through your wrist. Also, be careful not to inhale the dust, it's bad doo-doo

10-31-2008, 08:05 PM
is this a silly idea?

What do you think?

I do not know what kind of car you drive, but a replacement brake drum for a car like a Taurus is about $15.00.

The parts are cheap. Put new ones one. An easy job. It makes a cleaner, longer-lasting and safer job.


10-31-2008, 08:29 PM
I agree with that for sure. A so-so job may be OK if no panic stops happen. But even getting the groceries could be a panic !! Brake parts for doing it yourself aren't all that expensive. For the price of having it done at a shop you can buy any brake tools you need plus the parts and cleaning solvent etc.

11-01-2008, 12:53 AM
Phillip?:eek: What am I gonna do about you?.. Silly idea of spinning rear hub on front wheel drive car.. Wha cha gonna do if that thing fl.... aaaaaaah nevermind.... :D Just be careful man...

Phillip Allen
11-01-2008, 03:39 AM
well guys, I doubt I do it. It just occured to me to start this thread because that was common practice back in the fifties amongst the "Rebel without a cause" types like my older brothers...there was little money and lots of time...it also illistrates the ability to sail single handed around this globe, whether on the wqater on the land...being self reliant is what is is all about.

were I to dig out behind the shop I would likely find old tools and willis/kiser parts (the prefered shade tree lived out there)