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Old 08-12-2005, 04:11 AM
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Exploding Brake Shoes!!

I built a 9" rear out of a bunch of different year parts to put under my 53 Ford car. I used a mid 50's truck housing with the spring pad reversed, a posi center section from a big block Mustang, Currie axles, and big finned 74 LTD wagon drum brakes. It rides on Toyota Van leaf springs with KYB Gas Shocks and uses an Isuzu 4x4 front sway bar. It's been on the road about four years and is a daily driver and sees a lot of miles. The rear shoes had a lot of lining on them when I put it together and I never thought much about how old they were, until yesterday. The wife was down in Seattle, got in heavy traffic on the freeway, went on the surface streets and hit the same. I get a call and she says " It just made a Big Bang that shook the car and then made another about 50' later". All the gages said the engine was ok, it sounded good, tranmission was ok, but the brakes felt funny. Sometimes they were ok, then they were spongy and back to being ok but noisy. She nurses it home and the rear brakes stink and the right drum is HOT! I remove the drum and the linings fall out in small pieces. ??? I figure the auto adjuster malfunctioned, and over tightened the shoes. Then I look in the left side, The shoes are intact but have horizontal and vertical cracks forming 1" squares out of the linings. Iv'e never seen this before but figure they were 31 years old and the heat from lots of stop & go traffic over the last four years caused this. The emergency brake was Off and has always worked good and the brakes have always worked great. I replaced the shoes and it's fine now. Has anyone else ever had this happen???
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:26 PM
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Seen it many times, more so on bonded linings than riveted, but it happens to both. It happens on disc pads too. Usually it's from rust between the lining and backing. Sometimes fluid contamination eats away at them.

I guess not really seen many times, but more than a few. I used to work where I did a whole lot of brake inspections.
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:51 PM
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Didn't happen to use cheapo offshore parts on your last brake job, did you?
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:07 PM
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Just the fact that the shoes were 34 yrs. old would have made me want to replace them when you put it all together. I imagine if they were bonded shoes, which I am sure they were, The bonding adheshive got brittle through the yrs. and let go and the shoes grenaded.
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Old 08-12-2005, 07:32 PM
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Yes they were bonded and best guess the original factory shoes. I used them because they looked really good and the rear end project was eating my wallet up alive. The first rear end was a big block Mustang unit and was too wide, the next was mid 50's truck housing and axles, the spring pads need to be relocated 180*, so I did that, the Good posi (track lock) unit from the Mustang rear wound up needing to be rebuilt $$$, then the truck axles needed to be machined for a passenger car bolt pattern and the brake drum locater stub also required machining, that cost $100 and on installation I discovered that I had two left axles "S#*T". and on and on it went.
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Old 08-12-2005, 07:41 PM
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I know what you mean, I have done things similar to that myself trying to save a buck or two. It will usually come back and kick my butt Though, LOL.
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:01 PM
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I was working on my brother in laws 1970 240z,tune up ,brakes,etc.He brought me the parts,which where the cheapest he could get.I came to stop and thought someone rear ended me,like your wife said loud bang.Just like yours the shoe came apart.
I always try to get the riveted shoes if they are available.
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:12 PM
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When I built my wifes 65 Triumph chopper a few years ago we bought it as a project bike and it had sat since 1975. We got two Invader 5 spoke steel wheels still in unopened boxes. I took the front wheel out and it was the tiny front brake type wheel. I pulled the backing plate out to look at the shoes and the linings fell off the shoes!! What a trip..
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