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1960 Front Brake Drum Advice


parkertom
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Hoping to get some advice from you more experienced Buick guys.

I pulled the wheels off my 60 LeSabre today. Good news is that brake shoes and wheel cylinders all look good. Bad news is that front drums are not in great shape.

There are "plug" type things in various places along the drum lining and in two cases there are holes. Some places they are raised as if the brakes had worn down before and it had been metal to metal.

Question is...do I need new drums (if so, what is the best source?) or can they be machined...the holes filled? I am just looking for some guidance.

Thanks!

Edited by parkertom
Removed reference to attached photos...can't upload. (see edit history)
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First off you have the prized Finned Aluminum Drums which have rebuildable liners. The aluminum drums are prized and hard to find and costly when you can. Soooo …. just send yours out to be relined. When you put new shoes in when you get them back do not use bonded shoes but rivet shoes. You will have to do a search for the guys who relined these aluminum drums and do a search to find the guy that provides the rivet shoes. Someone should chime in here and give you these contacts as I am do not have their names right off hand. But yes you are on the right track, just do them right and you will have no problems unlike others from time to time trying to do short cuts and/or cut rate solutions.

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  • 7 months later...

So Tom, what did you ever end up doing regarding these aluminum drums. Did you check out Bernie's source or did you find another? I have a pair that needs this but not real clear on how safe the reline process is.

These aluminum drums as I have read, were cast forged at the factory monolithically with the steel liners. Fused as into one as they say. The holes in the liner are the fusion "piers" thereby permanently setting/locking the liners to the aluminum drum. Today if someone was to replace these steel liners it seems one would have to break this cast bond and rely on some kind of applied synthetic bonding system. This of course opens up the fairly good possibility of bond to substrate failure thereby allowing the liner to fissure and run free in the drum lining itself resulting in loss of front braking.

Any thoughts on this or has anyone had their aluminum drums relined and what was the process and the out come ?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry that I haven't come back to this in some time. I looked into the relining and I believe it was close to $300 a piece plus shipping.

In the end I went with steel replacements. Mostly out of cost since I was putting new tires on and doing some other work at the time. I wanted to get the car back on the road to drive before I really dig into to dealing with interior and body issues.

I am keeping the aluminum drums and will consider relining in the future if I want to return it to stock drums.

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Smartin, yes the Buick steel 12 inch front drums are more than adequate. So good that one can easily switch places with their hood ornaments at any time. The aluminums had less fade in continuous 9 % downhill grade driving when towing a 37 foot fully loaded trailer behind your car compared to the steel drums, but you gotta ask yourself, just how often does that occur?

However with that said, one should note that the aluminum drum brakes required a lug bolt that was 1-inch longer than compared to that used on the steel drums due to the outer ring casing profile on the aluminum drums having a beefed up profile. Says so right in the factory lit so don't attempt to reuse your aluminum lug bolts on the steel or visa-versa.

As wise Bernie stated above, yes indeed it appears John Booker is the man to go to for your aluminum brake relining needs. Here is what Don wrote back upon our inquiry:

… quote "On March 17, 2015 at 6:09 AM, "Don Booker" <jgrelining@gmail.com> wrote:

Hey David, We reline about 15 different style of drums from cast iron to aluminum brake drums, each drum originally was made some what different but the process was basically the same. The cast iron liner would have been set down in a mold and the aluminum would have been poured around it. In order to reline these drum you have to use a adhesive that would hold under high temperatures and would bond aluminum and cast iron without coming apart. Also it need to still allow heat to transfer between the two items. After many months we were able to make all of that happen and 6 years later we have over 400 drum being use in drag racing, road racing and street use. The problem with the original way of doing the drum allowed the aluminum & cast iron to be touching and that would start the corrosion process to start and it would never stop until the liner was eating away.

We do have many 45 and 90 Buick & 9 1/2" G-body drum done and ready for shipment, again we do many different size and style of drums for many types of cars.

Hope this helps!

Don …"

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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