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Drum breaks hopeless??

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Replaced the pads less than three months ago. I can fully pull the lever in and still roll downhill. I can even walk the bike with the break all the way in.

Even with the new pads, I don't get the same stopping power I used to get. It's a relatively new bike and I'm a Sunday trail rider. I thought HONDA would hold out better than this.

The cable sticks all the time, too. Lubing regularly doesn't seem to help. I have to bend over and release the spring every time. Frustrating.

Any suggestions?

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make sure all the springs inside the housing for the pads are lubed and if you adjust the back rod that pulls on the lever they breaks should work just fine. but i had the same problem with my rear drum breaks on my bike sticking. i took the housing apart and made sure the springs and all other moving parts besides the pads were oiled. just my 2 cents :cry:

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The drum may be glazed. Take some 120 grit emery cloth and wet sand the drum and pads, be sure to get out any grit. Make sure all the mrechanism moves freely, and the cables arent pinched or routed too tightly.

Robert :cry:

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I'll bet I'm the only guy in TT to think this - but I prefer drums to discs. If properly maintained, drums can give a more progressive feel. IMHO.

You need to make sure the hub's not glazed. 120-grit sandpaper can fix this, but of it's bad, sandblasting works well. Check to make sure the pivots are lubed and are free of rust. Same with the springs. Make sure your shoes wear evenly. If you replace them, buy the sintered ones. They can handle more dirt and heat. The cable is as important as the shoes and if it's worn and stretched, replace it. :cry:

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Thanks ... when you say glazed, do you mean like it's smoothed over (pardon my ignorance. you're taking to a newbie).

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It will appear smooth but will have the look of a clear finish over it. That has to be removed - sometimes a few times a year if you don't keep the inside clean.

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As mentioned above push out the shaft and clean/grease it. Also hold on the brake while tightening the axle nut as this helps centralise the brake shoe backing plate.

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Replaced the pads less than three months ago. I can fully pull the lever in and still roll downhill. I can even walk the bike with the break all the way in.

Even with the new pads, I don't get the same stopping power I used to get. It's a relatively new bike and I'm a Sunday trail rider. I thought HONDA would hold out better than this.

The cable sticks all the time, too. Lubing regularly doesn't seem to help. I have to bend over and release the spring every time. Frustrating.

Any suggestions?

I usually do not say things like this, but

I am going to suggest you stop working on your

own bike before it is too late. :cry: :cry:

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Before you know what you are doing, there is a stage where you dont know what you are doing. To get to the point where you know what you are doing, there is usually some doing involved. That's why people ask questions. If you already know everything, then that is terrific.

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Bultaco, I also "cut my teeth" on drum brake bikes. After a long layoff from dirtbikes, I got back into it, with a disc brake bike. I miss my drums.....

I have been tempted to put a little air in the lines, a low tech "drum brake emulator"!

The only problem with sandblasting the brake hub is that you need a huge blast cabinet, and that you need to be absolutely sure no dust or abrasive gets into the wheel bearings. While sandblasting would be clearly superior, 120 grit emery wet sanding is more DIY-friendly. You can even find emery cloth sanding drums that fit on an electric drill.

Robert :cry:

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I'll bet I'm the only guy in TT to think this - but I prefer drums to discs. If properly maintained, drums can give a more progressive feel. IMHO.

I agree I loved my drum brakes on my xr I could just slide right through the corners and lightly press them to keep traction but lock up when I needed them. Just keep them cleaned and everything greased and they work great. First couple of times when I rode my first bike with caliper brakes I got launched over the front that would have never happened with my drum brakes

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tbb

I usually do not say things like this, but

I am going to suggest you stop working on your

own bike before it is too late.

mousemeat

Before you know what you are doing, there is a stage where you dont know what you are doing. To get to the point where you know what you are doing, there is usually some doing involved. That's why people ask questions. If you already know everything, then that is terrific.

mousemeat,

This is from someone who doesn't even change his own oil or tires. What would you expect? :cry:

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I would like to add, is the brake arm on the right spline? You can loosen the cable or remove it and then move the arm one spline looser, then retightten everything. This usually works on half worn drum brakes but maybe you had the arm off while cleaning, etc?

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NE14MX,

Good point. I'll check it on Saturday.

I'll try the new cable and the emery cloth.

I have to confess that I haven't been the best mechanic to my bike as far as maintenance goes(other than the basic filter, lube, oil, etc.)

This break problem wouldn't be a problem if I had taken better care of the drums. Especially here in Hawaii. The mud and dust are constant.

I'm definitely snapped out of the honeymoon phase now. Being new to all of this - and yes, even because I'm a girl. I've never tinkered with anything mechanical other than my mountain bike.

I've just been having so much fun discovering riding that I overlooked the work it takes to keep the bike performing well.

Lesson learned ... I'm ordering my owner's manual today.

( :cry: and thanks Mousemeat. If you're ever in the islands let me know. We'll take you to some trails that will blow your mind. We've also got some really nice moto tracks that overlook Pipeline .. the famous surf spot.)

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Also check to see how much of the shoe is shiny. If there is only a little shoe making contact with the drum, you need to bed them in. Does anyone remember how to bed drum brakes? Back in the day, unless you had double leading shoe brakes, new drum brakes shoes would often only touch the drum surface on the pivot ends with just a tiny bit of material. They would not stop for #^*& but would quickly wear that end down and get better as more material came into contact. So what you did was carefully sand down the part that was making contact (it will be shiny) until the entire shoe was making contact. While you were doing that, you also cut three or four diagonal grooves across them for muddy conditions. You do this to drum brakes and they will stop as well as disks - right up until you go through some deep water that is.

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