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Re-Lining Vintage Bike Brake Shoes

gbyoung2

Member
Member
Anyone tried relining the brake shoes for their vintage (pick on) bike where replacements are no longer available? I just did, and this pretty much covers it.

I bought a set of Vesrah shoes for my ’67 CL77 when my rear OEM linings were almost gone, and they were a perfect fit. Ooorah! Whoops - slight issue – the lining material is as hard as a brick and they tend to squawl (is that a word?? pretty badly upon application. I’ve tried a couple of different tricks to try and quiet them down, but to no avail.

The Vesrahs were the only ones I found that would fit the bike, but if there are others out there, I haven't found them yet. Otherwise, I may try relining my original shoes. Material is out there so it may be my only option to try and quiet down the back end of the bike.

Time moved on and I picked up some lining material of the proper width and thickness from McMaster-Carr, and a can of Pliobond, which can be heat-cured similar to Anabond, a product from India that's been the cat's back side for bonding linings for years, but they seemed to have gone dark over the last few months.

Was waiting to hear back from a company that makes clamping fixtures, as seen below, to get a quote. I suspect they'll be off the scale for a one-off use buy, but figured I'd ask anyway. And as per typical, it's been a couple of days now and I've heard nothing. Frustrates the crap out of me that people/companies have their sites with contact pages to inquire about their products, but they never respond back.

161275-416w.jpg


The company with the elongated band and tightening (turnbuckle) arrangement eventually got back to me after sending them a bunch of measurements, but we've played phone tag for a couple of days to see what their pricing was. Since they're closed for the entire next week, I still don't know, but we've moved on.

I found a rare (ooo-aaah!) Star Machine & Tool clamp on eBay of the perfect size and bit the bullet. McMaster-Carr provided the lining material of the correct width, and a can of Pliobond. Old OEM shoes have been shucked of the worn lining material and cleaned up, the lining material cut to length, so we're ready. Probably do the deed tomorrow. I'm going to bring them up to temp for the curing, so an old gas grill will provide the heat source; not concerned about any stench as some have reported. We shall see how it goes.

Img_6909-L.jpg


I should probably add that all this lining “stuff” may, be a moot point now. I eventually got the Vesrah shoes to stop squalling when the rear brakes were applied. Not the most orthodox approach, but it worked.

First made some slight (< 1/16”) deep cuts in the lining at a 45 deg. angles, spaced about 1 inch apart from one another. Wasn’t expecting much, and didn’t get much. Next I greased the cat and wiped the shoes down with WD-40. The end result was no more squealing, but also not too much braking power, which I also expected. Ran the bike around the neighborhood (carefully) the first day, then out on a local freeway the second, being extremely careful to stay well away from any vehicles in front of me. Modest braking power began to slowly return, but not too confident inspiring. On the third day, and after running around the neighborhood, braking power, again, was improving but still not comfortable with it. Decided to pull the rear shoe holder, cleaned up the shoes (and drum) thoroughly with brakleen and acetone. Also went over the drum and shoes with some fairly aggressive crocus cloth strips to knock off the “sheen.” I’d done this previously before the “oiling,” with no good results; the brakes still squalled.

Presently, after the final treatment the rear brakes are working fine, good braking power with no obnoxious squalling, so we’re a happy camper.

FWIW - No one told me to spritz the shoes with a lube, WD40 in this instance. It was my own idea, I took the chance, was aware of the possible consequences, but did the deed anyway. No one told me to jump out of a perfectly good airplane either, but did that too.

Regardless, the squealing issue seems to be resolved with the Vesrah shoes. I'll reline my old OEM shoes just for grins to see how they turn out.

This will probably be the last post of this re-lining adventure. I coated the 4 surfaces with the Pliobond, allowed it to dry, they clamped the bits together with the "rare" Star tool. Once done, I baked the pieces in a gas grill at 325deg. F for about 30 minutes, removed, and allowed to cool. Once the first set was done, changed over the tool to the second brake shoe and repeated the treatment.

All looks fine from a novice's standpoint. Today, I chamfered the leading and trailing edges of the lining material. Are they perfect? Hell no, but just another adventure I had to try. We'll comment later once I've had a chance to see how they work. After a 150 mile ride yesterday with the "lubed" shoes, still no indication of their wanting to sqeal, and the braking power is still good.

One of the original Vesrah shoes to show their leading/trailing edge treatmen:
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My shoes before chamfering:
Img_6934-L.jpg


After chamfering:
Img_6942-L.jpg


Img_6944-L.jpg


That company (Raloid Tool) did get back with me, and they want a little over $100 for an abbreviated version of the tool. We obviously passed.

Just another fun day of a vintage vehicle owner when parts are scarce.
 
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connie_rider

Member
Member
I've relined lots of brake shoes. Mostly for old dirt bikes. (many years ago)
Used extra coarse lining because of the dirt. Worked VERY well.
Lining and glue used; was bought as scraps from a place that does (18 wheel trailer brake's and clutch linings).
We made the mistake of doing a set of shoes Dad's Antique restoration (1931 Studebaker) with the same lining.
It definitely stopped better, but it turned into a fiasco.
ie; The coarser lining caused more friction / friction caused more heat / more heat caused more brake drum expansion / more drum expansion caused "severe" brake fade. (pedal would "suddenly" go to the floor)

NOTE: The glue we used was cured in the wife's oven.
As I recall; 400*or 450* for an hour or 2. (while wife was away) <grin>
My wife was mad as hell. (multiple times)

To clamp; we installed the aluminum shoes on the brake drum (using tie wire or the the brake springs) and clamped the pads in place with a large screw clamp. We never had a pad come off a shoe.

PS: I think I still have a set of the rebuilt shoes in my garage.

Ride safe, Ted
 
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Mercer

Member
Member
Well done efforts. I applaud you! Thinking or maybe not thinking........Wonder if glue would work for disc brake pads?
 

gbyoung2

Member
Member
I can relate with that, the reason I was using he old gas grill for the heating process.

I was heat treating a piece of 01 tool steel when making a lathe cutting tool. A friend’s dental oven got it up to the critical temp of ~1500F, it soaked for an hour, was quenched in hot (canola) oil, then tempered at about 350deg. F in our toaster oven that I carried to his house. The quenching oil left quite a stink in the oven during the tempering process. I got rid of most of it, but my wife detected that something was “different” and threatened me with life and limb if I ever did anything like that again.

Lesson learned.
 
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connie_rider

Member
Member
Lesson learned.

Yea, I learned too.
The next time she noticed something was wrong with her oven, I blamed it on the kids. 🥴

Ride safe, Ted
 

gbyoung2

Member
Member
1626392350848.png


I may make one of these critters. I have the steel banding material, and can certainly fabricate the other parts. Missing part is a spot welder to close up the banding loop, which Harbor Freight has at a pretty decent price with good reviews. Really don't need it, but still, my lust for tools never ends. :unsure:
 

gbyoung2

Member
Member
I would think that an old brake drum and a few turnbuckles would make an excellent clamp for that.
THAT would be the ideal solution, but you need to realize we’re dealing with a 53 year old bike here. Parts, any parts for these things are becoming as rare as hen’s teeth, and the ones that are out there are gobbled up as soon as they appear on any of the listing sites. I know, as I am one of the “gobblers”and search for bits all o the time. This, and its 250 sibling is a very popular model, so if you ain’t there when it gets posted, you may have lost a golden opportunity to finish that project you started a long time ago.

I was fortunate. The one I found was pretty much complete, in boxes, but complete. Finding the parts to keep it going for as long as I’ll be around is the challenge now. This model was the second bike I ever owned, so I have a soft spot in my heart for the thing.

But, thank you for the suggestion.
 

big0red4224

Guest
Guest
THAT would be the ideal solution, but you need to realize we’re dealing with a 53 year old bike here. Parts, any parts for these things are becoming as rare as hen’s teeth, and the ones that are out there are gobbled up as soon as they appear on any of the listing sites. I know, as I am one of the “gobblers”and search for bits all o the time. This, and its 250 sibling is a very popular model, so if you ain’t there when it gets posted, you may have lost a golden opportunity to finish that project you started a long time ago.

I was fortunate. The one I found was pretty much complete, in boxes, but complete. Finding the parts to keep it going for as long as I’ll be around is the challenge now. This model was the second bike I ever owned, so I have a soft spot in my heart for the thing.

But, thank you for the suggestion.

We could always find an alternative. The ID of the drum likely matches something else.
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
I forgot to mention,, after adding the thicker shoes, (AS I RECALL) only the center of the shoe would touch the drum as the brake cam was turned.
Because of the small contact area,,, we had little brake surface engaging...

To fix the problem we sanded off material (in the initial contact area) until the expanding portion of the new brake shoe just started to touch the drum. (Sorta cam ground the shoes)
ie; We sanded until about 50% of the shoe surface was toughing..
The extra effort gave us better brakes immediately, and it then wore in to give us more contact area.

Somehow,,, I suspect; An "old guy" {with a lot of time / that happens to have a lathe/mill/imagination} should be able to do a better job than we did. (hint/hint)

Ride safe, Ted
 
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