Best Practices to Keep Your Brakes in Good Condition
Check List ✔
- Air Systems
Ensure your brake system is well-balanced.
Make sure your push rod is even on all chambers. To help, cut the push rod to the appropriate length.
- Slack Adjuster
Ensure your slack is set up properly per the manufacturer's recommendation.
Make sure no grease is on your S-cam head. Aim for free play movement in and out, and up and down. Also, seal your installation.
- Hardware Kits
When performance a brake job, replace the hardware kit completely, not only the springs.
Do a complete replacement, not only one wheel. The minimum should be a complete axle if it's not possible to do an entire unit.
Make sure to use heavy drums for severe applications. Use of lightweight brake drums on any heavy duty application is not recommended - they frequently lead to damaged and cracked drums.
- Lining Wear Patterns
To begin, after removing drums look at the brake shoes and lining before you remove them off the wheel - it will tell you a story.
- Brake Adjustment
Jack up axles and snub up brakes, then back off 1/4 to 1/2 turn on manual slacks and use templates on automatic slack adjusters.
- Brake Lining Burnishings
Heat up the brakes until you are able to smell them. Then, allow them to cool. Do this procedure within 1/4 to 1 mile. Check wheel temperature with a heat gun.