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School Bus Brake Job Machining Tools

Machining Brake Shoes

Machining shoes and drums on our fleet of buses was a standard procedure in our shop for many years. The brake job has now evolved into a remove and replace operation changing both drums, shoes and hardware. The reason for this is the time factor ….. the entire machining process on the drums and shoes took the better part of a day and with the lower cost in brake parts we found the savings in labour made this change well worth while.

Maintenance and technology changes forced us to look for ways to save time and even though the brake drums and shoes made 100% contact it wasn’t necessary after comparing that result to the Remove and Replace process. The drum and shoes usually required removal of 15 to 20 thousandths of an inch or more to true it up with an even cut.

Machining Brake Drums

Machining Drums and Shoes Reduce Brake Life. We were losing some wear time off of the drum by cutting the amount of material required for a complete cut on the brake shoe surface. The shoe as well lost some of it’s material after cutting it down and like I said it made more sense for us to refrain from machining the brakes. Today we will use these tools to touch up drums and shoes if there is a chatter or brake squeal. Even then if wear is getting close to the limits replacement parts are used.

Nothing against these shop tools..they are great to have around but times are changing with more complex technology taking up our labour time. This move not to machine brakes was an easy one. The computer age is upon us and troubleshooting electrical problems along with on-board computers has consumed a much higher amount of shop hours compared to the days of old when highway vehicles were all mechanical and hard wired.

OTC Tire Dolly Demo

I had to throw this short video in doing a demonstration on another shop tool that removes tires with ease. At first it was not accepted because of the fussy nature involved in lining it up and balancing the tire as it was moved. It saves your back from the pulling and pushing required for removal. I wouldn’t say it’s a tool you’ve got to have but it’s handy and does work once you get the feel of it.