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#552487 - 06/23/04 06:34 PM What's the min. thickness for rear brake shoes?
Ken4 Offline


Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 917
Loc: Singapore
I opened up my 53,000km 2000 suzuki grand vitara V6 rear brake drum to inspect the brake shoe lining. It still has 4mm brake shoe material thickness left. Is it safe to keep on going without replacement? I would really like to replace the brake shoes myself if necessary, but it looks pretty darn complicated. The center hub seems to be blocking most access to the springs & assembly. And I dont have any suzuki service manual. The front brake pads are 5mm thick and looks pretty easy to replace, so I will be doing that myself.

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#552488 - 06/23/04 06:52 PM Re: What's the min. thickness for rear brake shoes?
Matt_S Offline


Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 3094
Loc: Metro Detroit
While I don't have a ruler in front of me, 4 mm doesn't sound too bad for rear shoes. Drum brake shoes are typically thinner than pads and don't wear as fast, typically speaking. Basically, it doesn't sound like you're going to start grinding anytime soon, but you might want to check again in 6 - 12 months.

That being said, the first time you do a drum brake job, it's best to have someone there who's done it before. Failing that, a service manual, like a Chiltons or Haynes would be helpful. Even some digital pictures could go a long way toward helping you put it back together properly. It can get complicated trying to remember what part goes where. If and when you do the job, you'll want to have a hardware kit with all new springs, pins, caps, etc.

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#552489 - 06/23/04 11:13 PM Re: What's the min. thickness for rear brake shoes?
labman Offline


Registered: 03/14/03
Posts: 8711
Loc: Nothern USA
With riveted lining, the big thing is to replace it before you hit the rivet heads. When you see you are getting close, replace them. With bonded I would replace before getting to one mm. The harder you drive, the sooner. You need a little lining to insulate the bonding adhesive from the heat.

Linings typically start at 3/16''. That is less than 5 mm. You still have a long ways to go. Even with all my short trip, stop sign happy hick town, I still get over 100K on rear linings. Where you drive and how has a dramatic effect on lining life.

Matt had some good advice. A digital picture beats the sketches I have made in the past. Replace all the hardware you can find. If it is the years it looks like it may be before you have to change them, consider rebuilding the cylinders. Rubber doesn't last forever, especially if it is rubbing on cast iron. Rebuilding is the only way to get rid of the last of the old brake fluid that changing fluid never touches. I expect you have humid salt air attacking your car.

If you have never done a rear brake job, you need a better book than a Chilton or Haynes. Try to find a shop manual. Even with them, they assume you have every specialized tool in existence. They do not point out you can stretch springs by gripping the end with Vice-Grips.

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#552490 - 06/24/04 04:45 AM Re: What's the min. thickness for rear brake shoes?
TC Offline


Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 1638
Loc: California
Good question. Does your owner's manual say? Also look for a spec possibly stamped directly on the steel brake shoe. I did a quick search and found the following, which are probably good rules of thumb:

BRAKE SHOES
"Inspect the lining for wear or contamination from oil or grease. If the lining is worn to within 1/32" of the rivet or to a minimum thickness of 1/16" on bonded linings, shows irregular wear, or contamination from a foreign substance, the shoes should be replaced with original parts." http://www.metrotrailers.com/servmain.html

-AMC Alliance: Rear lining thickness: 1/32 in (0.5 mm) minimum above rivet head or shoe.
-Renault 12: Shoe lining thickness: 5 mm new, 1 mm min. used or flush with rivet heads
-Dodge Pick-ups: 1/16" min. lining

BRAKE PADS
-General Repair: 1/8" min. (TireRack.com)
-Jaguar: 2 mm min.
-Porsche: 2 mm min.
-Volvo: 3 mm min.

[ June 24, 2004, 07:49 PM: Message edited by: TC ]

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#552491 - 06/24/04 01:43 PM Re: What's the min. thickness for rear brake shoes?
cousincletus Offline


Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 2513
Loc: Richmond, VA
I always do one side at a time and use the other for a reference. Not really that hard to do once you start tearing into it. Good advice to get the book. [Cheers!]

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#552492 - 06/24/04 03:11 PM Re: What's the min. thickness for rear brake shoes?
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 26867
Loc: a prison island
quote:
Originally posted by cousincletus:
I always do one side at a time and use the other for a reference.

amen !!

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