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Thread: Longer brake shoe, in front or back?

  1. #1
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    Longer brake shoe, in front or back?

    Everything I ever worked on that had shoes you put the shorter toward the front and longer toward the back. The ones I have taken off this jeep are that way too. When I bought my shoes on KW(I usually read all the questions and answers), the guy answering said the long shoe goes in front. Which is it, and for the record I doubt if it makes much difference.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    The froward shoe is longer on some drum brakes. The theory is three fold. Initially the belief was the drum clearance collapsing under the force of the stopping vehicle, would aid in stopping power. Latter it was thought that the added stopping pressure required less shoe up front and more in the back. Then there is the thought that rotation added pressure. So 1940's thought process vs 1960's thought process. I think it's called "Six to one, a half dozen to the other". My 1950 had the long shoe to the front. The Universal Service Manual is of little help as to when or why. It simply states "NOTE: On some vehicles the lining on the front shoe is longer than the lining on the rear shoe".

    This is a great debate question. The early 57' Chevy manual photograph shows clearly the long shoe in the front. The early Ford manuals show the long shoe to the front. The 1965 Chevy service Manual shows the long shoe to the rear, as does the 65' Ford. The Jeep Manuals are vague. There are theories of axle rotational forces. I am certain in the modern era of DRUM brakes, everyone evidentially decided on B.O.B. Big shoe On Back. A little ditty from an automotive class.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 12-25-2019 at 07:10 AM.

  3. #3
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    I also wondered if they changed that theory around the time of self adjusting brakes.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Yes, right around the time of self adjusters.

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