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#1032415 - 11/21/07 10:16 AM Brake drum balancing?
road_rascal Offline


Registered: 12/09/02
Posts: 736
Loc: Twin Cities, MN
I recently replaced all the rear brake hardware on my Taurus (wheel cylinders, shoes, springs, drum, etc). Since this is my wife's car I rarely drive it, just the occasional test drive to make sure everythings working OK. Well, I took it out on the highway awhile back and I noticed a bit of vibration around 65-70mph. I thought it was a tire/wheel balance problem so off I go to Tires Plus for the free lifetime balance/ rotation bit (bought the tires there). It still didn't solve the problem. It feels like the back end is shaking/ vibrating but I can't confirm it. Is it possible the drums are causing the vibration? I no longer have the old drums so I can't verify that's the problem. Any ideas? BTW- the drums were purchased at Carquest and were made in Argentina.

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#1032426 - 11/21/07 10:34 AM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: road_rascal]
Gary Allan Offline


Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 39806
Loc: Pottstown, PA
I've had rear wheel alignment cause the condition you're describing ..but it reasons that it this wasn't there before and it's there now that the drums may need to be trued.

Here's the thing. This was recommended even back in the 70's. Brand new drums were out of round ..at least according to our drum cutting machine in class ....but SO WAS THE BOLT PATTERN in relation to the center hole. The lug holes would be rotating in a elliptical pattern that matched the out of roundness of the drum.

That is, it appeared to me that there was always some casting shift that was out of spacial relationship with the center hole. We even put dial indicators on the shaft to assure that it wasn't the cause.

So, I pondered if we just made the drums out of round by using the center hole as a point of reference. I guess it would depend on the clearances ..or how much slack each had (center hole vs. lug pattern) in fitment.
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#1032427 - 11/21/07 10:39 AM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: Gary Allan]
moribundman Offline


Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 23591
 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
Brand new drums were out of round ..at least according to our drum cutting machine in class ....but SO WAS THE BOLT PATTERN in relation to the center hole. The lug holes would be rotating in a elliptical pattern that matched the out of roundness of the drum.


Both, my Chevy and my Buick had that problem. Back then I thought it was a fluke, but now I realize it was totally normal. Thanks for clarifying that.

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#1032443 - 11/21/07 11:05 AM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: moribundman]
road_rascal Offline


Registered: 12/09/02
Posts: 736
Loc: Twin Cities, MN
So, would I have to get a new set of drums to solve this? Or could a machine shop fix them? I suppose if the lug pattern were off they couldn't be trued. My wife says she doesn't notice the vibration (OK-OK let's hear the jokes ) so I'm probably just going to leave it.

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#1032460 - 11/21/07 11:37 AM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: road_rascal]
Robert1955 Offline


Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 76
Loc: Baltimore, MD
You could remove the drums rotate them by 1 wheel stud and reinstall them.
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#1032536 - 11/21/07 01:39 PM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: road_rascal]
Gary Allan Offline


Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 39806
Loc: Pottstown, PA
 Originally Posted By: road_rascal
So, would I have to get a new set of drums to solve this? Or could a machine shop fix them? I suppose if the lug pattern were off they couldn't be trued. My wife says she doesn't notice the vibration (OK-OK let's hear the jokes ) so I'm probably just going to leave it.


I dunno. I guess they could assure that the center hole was centered in the casting ..and do an offset enlarging to put it where it belongs. If the lug holes are out of whack ..then I think you would be back to the same situation after wearing in. They could assure that the lug holes are equidistant from the center hole and then offset enlarge the center hole to that point of reference ...but if that's out of whack with the casting ..then you've got another problem. The brakes and drum will wear perfectly ..but the thing may be so off center/eccentric that it creates its own imbalance.

I feel like Tyrell telling Roy Battey the multiple complications in giving him "more life" in Bladerunner.
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#1032704 - 11/21/07 07:05 PM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: Gary Allan]
mechtech2 Offline


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
New factory drums have balance weights welded on, so there is a chance balancing is to blame.
But being so close to the center of rotation, I doubt it.
Out of round drums are more likely.
Even more likely are tires that are imperfect.
Also, front brake rotors could be the problem.
If you haven't driven the car for a while at those speeds, maybe they were bad before the brake job.

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#1032770 - 11/21/07 08:50 PM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: mechtech2]
road_rascal Offline


Registered: 12/09/02
Posts: 736
Loc: Twin Cities, MN
I did the front brakes last year and I did take the car on the highway and it rode just fine, which is why I now suspect there's something (possibly) wrong with the drums. I guess there could be a problem with the tires, but Tires Plus checked everything out twice. Like I said, I'll probably leave it alone unless my wife complains about it. Right now I'll keep an eye on the tires and see if any strange wear patters develop.

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#1032838 - 11/21/07 10:35 PM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: road_rascal]
alreadygone Offline


Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 3161
Loc: North Arkansas
"BTW- the drums were purchased at Carquest and were made in Argentina. "

No warranty? Think the first thing I'd do is pull them and return for replacement.

Bob
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#1032908 - 11/22/07 01:19 AM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: alreadygone]
Towel_Rail Offline


Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 289
Loc: Iowa
How about the wheel bearings? My Outback made a "wobba-wobba" sound from the rear at certain speeds that I thought was either the differential going bad, or an out-of-balance tire. Turned out that one of my wheel bearings had gone bad.
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#1032918 - 11/22/07 01:49 AM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: Towel_Rail]
BarkerMan Offline


Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 739
Loc: California
I've always chuck up my brake drums and disc's in an engine lathe and have had to touch every one up just a little bit. I think it makes a difference. And you're right check the bearings too. Also make sure that the brake shoes make full contact with the drums and arch them in if needed.

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#1032976 - 11/22/07 08:22 AM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: BarkerMan]
Tom_T Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 91
Loc: Jacksonville, Fl
Jack up the back and check the tires for out of roundness, they can be balanced but still not round. Easiest thing to do and IMO most likly.

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#1033036 - 11/22/07 10:09 AM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: Tom_T]
Papa Bear Offline


Registered: 08/11/05
Posts: 6013
Loc: Leamington, ON, Canada ..... r...
Or, have the tires balanced "ON" the car..
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#1033053 - 11/22/07 10:28 AM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: Papa Bear]
alreadygone Offline


Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 3161
Loc: North Arkansas
Only drum I've ever seen that needed balanced was off the park brake assembly mounted at rear of transmission on a large motorhome. These are a mehancally activated drum brake assembly with backing plate secured to transmission tailshaft,drum installed as part of driveshaft, turning at driveshaft speeds. This particular one had been driven with parkbrake ON and wharped. We removed it,resurfaced to elimimnate wharp, then mounted to wheel balanacer (in static mode) and spun up to determine how much balast to weld back to exterior of light spot.

Bob
_________________________
To which version of reality would you like to convert me?

Bob

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#1033070 - 11/22/07 10:47 AM Re: Brake drum balancing? [Re: alreadygone]
Gary Allan Offline


Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 39806
Loc: Pottstown, PA
 Originally Posted By: Tom_T
Jack up the back and check the tires for out of roundness, they can be balanced but still not round. Easiest thing to do and IMO most likly.


I've had this occur. It's hard for some to understand. The tire was just deformed. It was balanced perfectly. We're having the same problem in perception here. The drum can be in perfect balance ..yet be somewhat rotating on an eccentric. It can also be out of balance and spinning just fine.

 Quote:
Or, have the tires balanced "ON" the car..


I haven't seen an on the car balancer in over twenty years. They were great in that you would balance the entire rotating assembly. There appeared to be an evolving campaign against this process in most of the para-trade recommendations. Recommendation after recommendation was always bracketed by "off the car". I think it had more to do with the skill required to operate the machines and the (perhaps) risks involved as opposed to the caged/shielded machines we have now. They too have evolved from high speed rotation to a crawl.


One thing that I know. If ever I have cause to buy drums again, I'm going with a caliper and check to see how everything relates in the casting. I may find out that YMMV between what's on the shelf.
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