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Author Topic: How to tell drum brake wear?  (Read 542 times)

Superchuck

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How to tell drum brake wear?
« on: September 18, 2013, 12:55:51 PM »
My AVL just rolled over 7000 miles and I'd like to figure out if my rear drum brake is nearing the end of its life.  Is there a way to tell how far its worn down/ how much pad is left? 

Also, will it cause damage to the drum itself if it wears out entirely? ...like on a disc brake how it scores/damages your rotor if the pads wear off...?

Thanks!

Chuck

singhg5

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Re: How to tell drum brake wear?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2013, 02:51:27 PM »
My AVL just rolled over 7000 miles and I'd like to figure out if my rear drum brake is nearing the end of its life.  Is there a way to tell how far its worn down/ how much pad is left?  

I also was wondering about the same thing and took apart the rear wheel drum on my G5, which is UCE not AVL but I think their brakes are similar for all practical purposes. To my surprise there was a lot of pad left on the shoe even after 27,000 miles on them (picture).

Their braking power however was way less. There were 2 reasons - drum needed good cleaning and secondly the pads got oily over the 4 years I had used them ! So I put in new pair and the whole thing feels like new.

In my case these pads lasted way more than expected, perhaps due to the fact that I did not use rear brake alone or very heavily. I used both brakes - more of the front brake than rear. Now I have started to use rear brake more than before, after seeing that they lasted so well.

The pad thickness is not the only indicator of its braking power, though you do not want it completely gone and scouring the drum.

But before that happens, the brakes do not stop the bike quickly due to other reasons. If that is happening (even after tightening the brake rod nut), it is time to open and clean the drum. If needed, replace shoes.

« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 03:16:42 PM by singhg5 »
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DanB

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Re: How to tell drum brake wear?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2013, 04:26:49 PM »
An excellent question and thanks Singh for the data/insight. Have to say, I'm surprised how little those pads wear...
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Superchuck

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Re: How to tell drum brake wear?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 06:22:43 PM »
Thanks so much for the quick reply!  I've got more nut adjustment I can do, it's just good to know that the shoes should be fine.

Thanks again!

Arizoni

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Re: How to tell drum brake wear?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 09:36:32 PM »
In all likelihood, the amount of brake pad put onto the rear brakes by the Indian designers is sized to accommodate the way many (most?) of the people there ride.

There are many over there who never touch the front brake.  They are so afraid of locking up the front wheel that they rely only on the rear brake for all of their riding.

Explaining how the front brake should be the main brake for all braking in dry conditions has little effect on their belief's but I keep trying. :)

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Machismo

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Re: How to tell drum brake wear?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 12:30:17 PM »
In all likelihood, the amount of brake pad put onto the rear brakes by the Indian designers is sized to accommodate the way many (most?) of the people there ride.

There are many over there who never touch the front brake.  They are so afraid of locking up the front wheel that they rely only on the rear brake for all of their riding.

Explaining how the front brake should be the main brake for all braking in dry conditions has little effect on their belief's but I keep trying. :)


Even 'experienced' riders here got a taboo thing with the front brakes :D
Most would not believe if one said that front brakes contribute to more than 50% of the braking. Some bikes even have the brake lever removed!

Meanwhile, more than one, while changing the rear brake shoes, have noticed that the shoes as such havent worn out badly but its the glazing that reduces the effectiveness. Why does this happen and any way of preventing/advancing the occurrence?

High On Octane

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Re: How to tell drum brake wear?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 01:14:21 PM »
Even 'experienced' riders here got a taboo thing with the front brakes :D
Most would not believe if one said that front brakes contribute to more than 50% of the braking. Some bikes even have the brake lever removed!......

Actually, front braking power is more equivalent to 70-75% of all the braking power.  Which is why it is important that you use both brakes in normal situations.  This is ALSO why in countries where there mostly dirt roads people don't use their front brake.  Too many inexperienced riders don't know how to brake properly in dirt and suddenly the whole country says 'Front brakes are horrible!  Don't use them, they make you crash!"  In all reality, just don't pull the front brake all the way and lock up the front wheel and you'll be fine.

If you don't believe me on the braking power, try this.  Next time you are riding around approaching a stop sign and there is NO OTHER TRAFFIC, TRY stopping abruptly using only your rear brake.  Then at another stop sign, stop abruptly with only your front brake.  Let me know what happens.   If you are still learning to ride, I guarantee you will look at your braking techniques totally differently.   :)

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Machismo

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Re: How to tell drum brake wear?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2013, 03:13:48 PM »
Actually, front braking power is more equivalent to 70-75% of all the braking power.  Which is why it is important that you use both brakes in normal situations.  This is ALSO why in countries where there mostly dirt roads people don't use their front brake.  Too many inexperienced riders don't know how to brake properly in dirt and suddenly the whole country says 'Front brakes are horrible!  Don't use them, they make you crash!"  In all reality, just don't pull the front brake all the way and lock up the front wheel and you'll be fine.

If you don't believe me on the braking power, try this.  Next time you are riding around approaching a stop sign and there is NO OTHER TRAFFIC, TRY stopping abruptly using only your rear brake.  Then at another stop sign, stop abruptly with only your front brake.  Let me know what happens.   If you are still learning to ride, I guarantee you will look at your braking techniques totally differently.   :)

Scottie
Personally, I rely on the front brake for most of the stopping, especially during emergency.
Even on dirt roads, I have found that pumping the front brake helps and evade  a skid.
However, I do have a question to all gentlemen:
Most of us would have gotten that heart attack whist hard braking on wet roads(not rare to find traces of oil as well). Point taken that good soft tires help a long way but just want to know what technique is best to avoid the rear wheel lock/slide, yet give maximum stopping power?

barenekd

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Re: How to tell drum brake wear?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2013, 05:26:08 PM »
The only way to keep from locking up the rear wheel is to lighten up on the pedal (or lever). I know it's easier said than done particularly in emergency situations. You just need to work with your brake applications by braking as hard as you can without locking up the brakes, front or rear, and get to know how much pressure you can use in any situation. IT takes a lot of practice, but will pay great dividends on to long run. I use my front brake 90-95% of the time even braking into turns,but it takes a lot of practice. In my first few days of riding many years ago, I learned about front brakes on a rocky dirt downhill when I grabbed the front brake and went over the bars! I fallen several times from excess front brake use including once in a slightly wet and extremely slick parking lot, when I just barely touched the front brake and instantly went down! That pavement was like ice! Didn't really hurt anything and I picked up the bike and rode off. I sure appreciated those naked bikes that you can drop and not damage much as opposed to these faired modern bikes that'll cost $3000 for knocking it over in the garage! I guess that's why its been almost ten years since I owned a faired bike!
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Machismo

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Re: How to tell drum brake wear?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2013, 06:37:12 PM »
The only way to keep from locking up the rear wheel is to lighten up on the pedal (or lever). I know it's easier said than done particularly in emergency situations. You just need to work with your brake applications by braking as hard as you can without locking up the brakes, front or rear, and get to know how much pressure you can use in any situation. IT takes a lot of practice, but will pay great dividends on to long run. I use my front brake 90-95% of the time even braking into turns,but it takes a lot of practice. In my first few days of riding many years ago, I learned about front brakes on a rocky dirt downhill when I grabbed the front brake and went over the bars! I fallen several times from excess front brake use including once in a slightly wet and extremely slick parking lot, when I just barely touched the front brake and instantly went down! That pavement was like ice! Didn't really hurt anything and I picked up the bike and rode off. I sure appreciated those naked bikes that you can drop and not damage much as opposed to these faired modern bikes that'll cost $3000 for knocking it over in the garage! I guess that's why its been almost ten years since I owned a faired bike!
Bare
One of the positive aspect of owning an Enfield is surely the minimal damage in case of a fall - broken headlamp or clutch yoke assembly at max! The crash guards and panniers do an awesome job of saving the bike.
Relatively, I think am one of the youngest riders here, with about 5years and around 70000kms of touring experience. Come a long way since the initial days but even now, effective wet road braking has been a mirage, especially with the few memories of falls in the past under similar conditions. Guess I just need to practice in safe roads.
Thanks for your inputs Bare.

Buckeroo

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Re: How to tell drum brake wear?
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2013, 08:09:41 PM »
When I was young and inexperienced I used both brakes equally, except in the dirt where I used the rear brake a lot more.  The front brake often resulted in me tasting dirt.  When I transferred to street, I wore out my rear disk in a hurry.  Since then, the front brake has been my friend.  The rear drum on an Enfield seems totally useless to me.  It will not even hold the bike on a slope at a stop sign.  Perhaps I need to adjust it some.  But I depend on the front disk entirely for stopping.
This bike was stored for 3.5 years.  It had fallen on its side for awhile. I claimed it about a year and a half ago. Thus the low miles and inexperienced owner.
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