Car PartsDrum Brake Shoes

Aftermarket & OEM Drum Brake Shoes

How can you tell when your brake shoes need replacing.

The shoe is part of the braking system on cars. The shoe is part of the brake lining of the drum. When you hit the brakes, the shoes are pressed against the drum which leans against the wheel causing the car to slow down. Since friction is used to slow the car down, it is common for the show to wear down and have to be replaced. Most modern cars have disc brakes instead of drums so they use pads instead of shoes. Older cars that use drum brakes however relied on shoes to slow the car down. A chief advantage of discs over drums is that the discs allow heat to dissipate more quickly resulting in less fade. Today a drum and shoe set is still used on cars for the parking brake. It is important that the drum brake shoe is routinely inspected and replaced as they are an important part of braking performance and failure to do so could result in an accident. Any mechanic can easily inspect visually and check for wear and recommend a good time to replace them.

What are drum brake shoes?

New Brake ShoesFor most of the 20th century, cars used drum brakes and needed shoes to slow them down. Disc brakes began appearing in production passenger car form in the 1950s and by the 1990s the drum brake was largely replaced on most cars. The drum brake shoe is a simple but effective design. They are usually made of sheet steel. They are bonded or riveted together. Drum brake shoes often faded the more they were used and trapped water if the car was driven through a puddle. Disc brakes cooled better and shed water, so those are some reasons why they were replaced. Drums are still used today for authentic restorations of original cars.

Brake job, D.I.Y.

Focus on safety when changing the shoes on your car. The car will need to be lifted or jacked up onto a flat surface. Taking digital pictures during the process is a good way to keep track of all the parts, how they look and how they can go back together. Always change the shoes at the same time but do one at a time to make sure you have a complete one to reference.
  • After the car is safely jacked, remove the hubcap and wheel.
  • Loosen the drum with a hammer.
  • Use clippers for the top spring and retaining ring. The shoes pull off.
  • Transfer springs and other parts to the new shoes. Grease the contact points and then connect the shoes back on to the drum.
  • Adjust the adjuster with a screwdriver, most cars will automatically adjuster the new shoes once the shoes are used.
  • Slide the drum on, and replace the wheel.


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We have a great selection of brake shoes from a variety of manufacturers like Raybestos, Dorman, Meyle and Beck Arnley at the lowest prices. Call for more advice on choosing the best part for your vehicle. The brake drum shoe is one of the most important safety parts on a car so make sure that you buy the best brands from Car Parts Discount. We work with all our suppliers to give you the nest selection at the lowest prices. All shoe sets come with our 30 day money back guarantee and manufacturers' warranty.

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