How to Properly Install and Replace Drum Brakes

Caring for your drum brakes means caring for your customers, employees, and your machinery.

With improper brake maintenance, you are risking safety and unnecessary expense

Remember, brakes don’t fail on their own. Brake failure is a result of improper maintenance.

Let’s make sure you are properly installing and maintaining your brakes.

Here we go:

Drum Brakes Installation Safety

You will want to have your employees wear an asbestos respirator when installing or changing your brakes. Also, make sure your employees are aware of all hazards before they begin.

You should also provide gloves and eyewear before starting.


  1. You’ll need to follow the directions to remove the tires first before installing or replacing brakes.
  2. Check the brake adjuster and all screws. You may need to remove or adjust.
  3. Pull the brake drum off, holding with two hands and wiggling.
  4. Inspect the brake before replacing or installing.
  5. Encourage your employees to take a digital photo before disassembly.
  6. Use comparable brake shoes. They should be the same width.
  7. Dismantle brake components.
  8. Reassemble after replacing pads and any faulty springs.

Bleed The System

If you replaced any brake cylinders you will need to bleed the system before operations.

Watch The Signs

When brakes are failing, there are a number of common symptoms experts tell us to look out for. These include:

  • Poor performance
  • Squealing or grinding noises
  • Grabbing or pulling to one side
  • Brake pedal loss
  • Pulsation of the brake pedal
  • Clicking noises
  • Drag during acceleration
  • Warning lights on dashboard and system sensors

If any of these issues occurs, don’t wait for scheduled maintenance. Take your equipment offline immediately and perform a diagnostic.

But beyond troubleshooting issues, you should plan regular maintenance as well.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Even if your brakes are showing no sign of failure, it is important to maintain them regularly. Waiting for your brakes to fail before performing maintenance is waiting for disaster.

Plus, for personal users and industrial concerns alike, preventative maintenance is shown to save money. You will be extending the lifecycle of your machines, lowering capital improvement costs, and eliminating unplanned downtime.

With your brakes, performing preventative and predictive maintenance means scheduling work every 6 months.

Include in Your Overall Operations Plan

Your brake maintenance and troubleshooting efforts should be incorporated into standard operations. If your engineers and operators know what to look for you will save on accidents and cost.

But brakes are only a small part of an operations plan. Putting it all together means getting trusted support and advice.

Kor-Pak can help with all the systems and parts that keep your business running.
With knowledge and know how, you will also be keeping your operators, workers, and customers safe.

We serve numerous industries, including steel, rail, energy (wind), mining, and oil. At Kor-Pak, we keep industries productive. 

We understand your business needs.

Our customers are important to us. Don’t wait to see how we can help with every aspect of your operations plan.

Contact us now and discover how Kor-Pak can help bring value to your business today.

Posted in Industrial Brakes and Clutches.