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Discussion Starter #1
Ive got a 1970 Buick Skylark, all original, with four-wheel drums. It just hit 70k miles, and i had to replace the shoes. The problem is, the front right drum keeps getting extremely hot and warps, causing surging, very loud noise, and makes the steering wheel shudder. Ive had to replace it twice already, and now finally the guy at the brakes shop tells me that its probably because the only pads available are metallic ones, and that they produce a hell of a lot of heat, because its such a heavy car (3,800 lbs). He told me i should get some asbestos ones, but i guess they are illegal. Where can i buy asbestos shoes and import them? Or is there any other way to fix this problem besides switching to disc? (i really dont want to spend the money on a whole new assembly) Thanks for your help!
 

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try replacing your brake hoses. They probably are not letting the fluid return and causing the brakes to stay patrtially applied. If the shoes were causing the issue it would not only be happening on one side
 

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do not go to that mechanic again, he dosn't know what he's talking about. Abspestos brake pads/ shoes are no longer produced for anything in the US, and you can get shoes with organic material ( non metallic ) however, they wear faster, but your shoes are likely semi metallic which is a very good compound, a full metallic pad would never wear out but kill shoes/ rotors, and generate a lot of heat. drum brakes generate a lot of heat anyway, when there hot ( after braking, down a steep hill ) you will notice some of your braking power faded away ( brake fade ), this is at the point in which your drums 'could' warp because the brakes are as hot as you will get them.
 

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I would also look at your spindle, if it has a discoloration it might not be true. A bad bearing might have overheated it in the past and caused some damage to the spindle. If the bearing doesn't ride correctly it could cause the drum to drag on the brake shoe.
 

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Find a shop that will turn your drums, and then arc-grind your new shoes to match. This matches the curvature of the shoes to the curvature of the drum, allowing full contact from the word go. It relieves you of having to baby the brakes until they wear into full contact. If you use the brakes too hard during the time when there's not full contact yet, the part that does contact will get extremely hot, and that's where the warping comes from.

I had semi-metallic shoes (lining looked like ground-up pencil leads) on my '69 Nova before I converted to discs, and they did make something of a grinding noise, but they didn't pulsate and they didn't fade nearly as badly as standard ones. The grinding noise went away partially once I really heated them up a few times.

Might look into some hi-performance drum brakes such as the setup sold by Praise Dyno.

http://www.praisedynobrake.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for all the info, i had the mechanic put on a new drum for now, and it seems to be working ok. I asked the guy at the brake shop about arcing the shoes when i first went to him, but he said that shops nowadays dont do that anymore. Ill try just feathering the brakes for a little while until i break them in. (no pun intended) :D thanks everyone!
 

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You have to find the answer to the question: "Why did only the right front drum get hot and warp and the others are fine?". I suspect the shoes were not returning correctly resulting in a dragging brake. The mechanic reinstalled correctly and you are good to go. I tend to purchase replacement springs and keepers when I do a drum brake job and I have the book in front of me no matter how many times I have done this same vehicle because I don't like to do the job over and I want it right when I call for a big WOAH!!!

Trees
 
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