Ram Dakota Brake Shoe Replacement Cost
How Much Does a Brake Shoe Replacement Cost?
Brake Shoe Replacement Service and Cost
Many older vehicles use drum brakes on all four wheels, or just the rear wheels. The drum brake uses brake shoes instead of brake pads to slow or stop the vehicle, and have been replaced on most modern passenger vehicles by the disc brake system.
A brake drum is shaped like a bowl, and brake shoes are installed inside the drum. When the brake pedal is pressed, the wheel cylinder presses the brake shoes outward, against the sides of the drum to create braking force. The brake drum is indirectly attached to the wheel, so when the brake shoes are forced against it, the wheel must stop as well.
It is not safe to operate any vehicle with any braking problem. If there is any sign that the brakes are not performing as originally intended, the vehicle should immediately be placed out of service, and repaired. If the brakes are being replaced as part of routine maintenance, with no symptoms noticed, the vehicle can be safely driven to a repair shop.
Brake shoes are typically replaced as part of a standard brake service, so the average serviceable lifespan depends on driving style, and operating conditions. The manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule for each vehicle may be different, and the owner's manual will contain this information. The brake shoes are considered “normal wear and tear” items, and are understood to require replacement multiple times within the useful life of a vehicle.
Brake Shoe Replacement Repair Information
Diagnosis for brake shoe replacement requires removal of the wheel and brake drum, and physically inspecting the brakes. If the brake shoes have passed their wear limit, or show signs of uneven wear, replacement will be recommended.
The brake shoes must be unadjusted to be released from the brake drum. Then, the wheel must be removed, and then the drum can slide off the wheel lug studs and brake shoes. Once the drum is removed, several retaining springs and clips must be removed to free the brake shoes from the backing plate. All springs and clips must be replaced with new hardware, and the replacement drum is installed by sliding onto the wheel studs and brake shoes. The brake shoes can be readjusted before the vehicle is placed on the ground.
When replacing brakes of any kind, it is important to replace the corresponding brakes on the other side of the vehicle. This will ensure braking power is even and predictable.
Brake drums are notorious for being difficult to remove after a long period without regular service. To remove the brake drum in this situation, the brake shoes must be completely unadjusted, and the drum pried off, hammered off, or a combination of the two. Regular cleaning and adjustment services should be performed on all drum brake systems to ensure proper function, and estimate remaining service life of the brake shoes. New brake shoes should be installed any time the brake drum is machined or replaced. Likewise, the brake drum should be machined or replaced any time new brake shoes are installed. Failure to replace these as a set will result in unpredictable braking performance, lack of stopping power, and brake noise.
The braking system can be maintained by a DIYer with a complete knowledge of hydraulically actuated systems. This is important as testing brake operation, and safe installation of braking components rely on this knowledge. If the complete braking system is not understood, damage to the expensive braking components, or injury is likely. Trusting a professional technician with the replacement of any braking component is normally the best course of action.