Brake shoe thicker lin­ing

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Help! -

After hav­ing rear brake cylin­ders, shoes and pipework fit­ted to my 2001 Ford Fo­cus, one side has devel­oped a squeal on brak­ing. Rather than take it back and lose it for a day, I re­moved the drum with the in­ten­tion of cham­fer­ing off the new shoes and mak­ing sure there was no wear ridge left on the drum. Then I no­ticed that one shoe lin­ing was thicker than the other – the garage I used says this is how they come and that the thicker one goes on the lead­ing shoe. How­ever, the Haynes man­ual makes no men­tion of this and, if you were re­new­ing them your­self, the old ones would be too worn down to be able to tell. Can you tell me if this is true and, if so, how you'd know? M Hop­kins The garage is per­fectly cor­rect. The new brake shoes have a thicker brake lin­ing on the lead­ing shoe. As the ma­jor­ity of brak­ing ac­tion is done by the lead­ing shoe, it is this shoe which wears more quickly. The rea­son for this is that the shoe which throws out against the di­rec­tion of ro­ta­tion will be dragged into the drum by the ro­ta­tional force, caus­ing higher fric­tion, whereas the shoe on the trail­ing side will be pushed back. Old brake shoes will nor­mally be slightly un­bal­anced in terms of fric­tion ma­te­rial, but less so as the wear will bal­ance out by the end of the brake shoe’s life.

A new set of brake shoes show­ing the vari­ance in size between the lead­ing and trail­ing shoe.

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