Curing brake-squeal complaints

When performing brake work, squeal problems are something to try and avoid at any cost.


Reputable brake manufacturers go through costly, painstaking processes to make sure their brake shoes are OK, but there’s always the possibility of shoe damage during shipping and handling. If the lining looks like it has the proper eccentric grind, look down the ends of the shoes while holding something known to be square against the spot where the webbing joins the metal backing for the lining. Check both ends and both sides of each shoe. If the webbing-to-backing junction isn’t square, don’t put the shoes on the car. Use another set.

Missing dampening spring

Some brake drums have a spring wrapped around the outside to dampen some of the vibrations that cause squeal. This spring looks a lot like those used on screen doors. Don’t rely on comparing the other drum to see if its spring is in place. It could be missing from the other side as well. Check a shop manual to be sure.

Keep the Top 10 in mind during all of your brake work. You definitely don’t want these as your favorite hits. Remember, silence is golden.

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