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Rear break drum feels too hot. Ideas?

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Old 06-17-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
james [OP] james is offline
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Rear break drum feels too hot. Ideas?

I'm new at the fixing stuff, but today, when I put together my right rear axle after replacing an inner oil seal, I had to really work to get the drum back on. After a test drive and a break re-bleed, I noticed how hot the inside surface feels. I suspect something is rubbing: break shoes against drum. I didn't do anything to the shoes when trying to put the drum back - I squeezed the shoes together with my open hands, that's about it, but it sure was difficult. Was there an obvious-to-the-rest-of-the-world step I missed when taking the drum off and then putting it back on?
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:50 PM   #2
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There's more to this...My e-brake light has been stuck on-then-off-then-on again for months. And I think the heat build-up can easily explain why my wheel bearings were dry (I repacked them today). Something is definitely rubbing back there, it's crazy hot and I just wish I could disconnect all the right-rear breaking apparatuses and fix it when I get home. Drat.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:45 PM   #3
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Assuming the bearing is good, the shoes must be rubbing against the drum, as you already suggested. Either the shoes need adjusting (back off), or something was inadvertently disturbed causing the shoes to be expanded further than they are supposed to. Remove the drum and look for something out of place.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:35 AM   #4
james [OP] james is offline
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I'm finished. Done. Stick a fork in me. Done, I say!

I had to use every trick in the book to get the drum off the axle. In so doing, the guts underneath, (the brakes) were all akimbo and I figured out a way to take the shoes off and all the concomitant connections, (springs, and cables and what-not), and put it in a box. Tomorrow, I'm headed towards the garage.

This heat build-up has been going on for at least a year (!!!!!!!WTF??????!!!!) and I'm just now able to wrap my head around it. I suspect the heat has caused the grease in my wheel bearings to liquify... sheesh!! I'm paying the penalty for not understanding (and ignoring) the heat I suspected was emanating from the wheel. I'm an idiot...

Time to hit the "reset" button. I'm bushed. It's 11 p.m., and I just finished washing my hands. I'm going to have the garage put in a new set of wheel bearings - just for my own peace of mind.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
I'm finished. Done. Stick a fork in me. Done, I say!

I had to use every trick in the book to get the drum off the axle. In so doing, the guts underneath, (the brakes) were all akimbo and I figured out a way to take the shoes off and all the concomitant connections, (springs, and cables and what-not), and put it in a box. Tomorrow, I'm headed towards the garage.

This heat build-up has been going on for at least a year (!!!!!!!WTF??????!!!!) and I'm just now able to wrap my head around it. I suspect the heat has caused the grease in my wheel bearings to liquify... sheesh!! I'm paying the penalty for not understanding (and ignoring) the heat I suspected was emanating from the wheel. I'm an idiot...

Time to hit the "reset" button. I'm bushed. It's 11 p.m., and I just finished washing my hands. I'm going to have the garage put in a new set of wheel bearings - just for my own peace of mind.
Lets not get panicked and start throwing $$$ at the issue.

Decent bearing grease has a melting temperature of ~450* F
I believe most brake fluid has a metling temperature of 450* F as well. I've been told drums rarely exceed 300*F. There is a good chance if you didnt boil your brake fluid, your bearing grease is fine.

Since you are likely going to need new drums, shoes, adjuster and springs anyway, why not try putting the brake together the right way with new components, and adjust them right and see if that works?

By the sound of things, you're going to replace your brakes anyway, why pay someone to do the bearing when you are not 100% sure it needs to be replaced?

Doing drums on this truck is a good learning experience. Here is a recent thread I got feedback on:
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1st...-drum-off.html
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:38 AM   #6
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If you are not familiar with drum brakes, and doing it for the first time, it can be daunting because of the many small parts, and strong springs to deal with, and every one of them is crucial. The relationship between them all is not intuitive.

It might be too late for this suggestion (thought you were only dealing with one side), but when I do rear brakes, I always jack up the entire rear end, and remove both drums. Then I do only one side at a time. This way the other side can be referenced to see how the parts go together (mirror image, of course). Even the 2 shoes on the same side are different, there is a leading and trailing (more lining) shoe.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tan4x4 View Post
If you are not familiar with drum brakes, and doing it for the first time, it can be daunting because of the many small parts, and strong springs to deal with, and every one of them is crucial. The relationship between them all is not intuitive.

It might be too late for this suggestion (thought you were only dealing with one side), but when I do rear brakes, I always jack up the entire rear end, and remove both drums. Then I do only one side at a time. This way the other side can be referenced to see how the parts go together (mirror image, of course). Even the 2 shoes on the same side are different, there is a leading and trailing (more lining) shoe.
This is a classic good tip, second only to make sure the parking brake is off.

As someone who is new to drum brakes myself, I think that the Tacoma drum brakes are pretty simple in comparison to other designs out there. There really is only 2 springs to worry about - the big retaining spring atop the star adjuster and the little one at the bottom of the shoes. Once you get the big retanining spring loose (use a pair of channel lock pliers after adjusting the star wheel completely.) everything is pretty simple after that and actually sort of intuitive. Once you do it once or twice, its like riding a bike.

The real bitch with these brakes are getting the drum off and adjusting them correctly afterwards.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:38 AM   #8
james [OP] james is offline
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Good advice, and I thank you for it. I'm under time pressure, so my option was limited. I took it to a garage and they replaced a hydraulic cylinder at the wheel, and did the rest, which, under my time constraints, was what I needed. Still, I appreciate the counsel.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
Good advice, and I thank you for it. I'm under time pressure, so my option was limited. I took it to a garage and they replaced a hydraulic cylinder at the wheel, and did the rest, which, under my time constraints, was what I needed. Still, I appreciate the counsel.
Good to go. At least you didnt pay for parts & labor for a wheel bearing you didnt need.
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