Have you opened it up and looked at the shoes and drum?
Hey guys need some help with my front drum not working. When I bought the bike it had no front brake at all, after adjusting the cable the best I could get was it catching and letting go and catching and letting go, super dangerous. Bought a new cable thinking it had stretched or something but same thing. I tried to adjust the little arm thing the cable is attached to but no luck. Should I just get new shoes or what, hate to spend another $30 on something that doesn’t fix it. Any help is greatly appreciated!!
Have you opened it up and looked at the shoes and drum?
1988 Suzuki Savage
1987 Yamaha TW200
I have not, not sure what to look for in regards to something wrong. It only has like 800 miles on it, do the shoes go bad over time or over use?
Make sure the metal contact points and the brake cam have some anti-seize on them. This will prevent or lesson at least the grab when the brakes are cold or damp. I would lightly sand the shoes and also make sure your return spring is connected and functioning correctly. Take it slow checking them out as you have been doing and be careful. I also do not have mine set real sensitive. I have a 1993 and swapped shoes only once.
Any bike made in 1989 with only 800 miles on it 30 years later has spent most of those 30 years parked. As such a bit of corrosion and build-up of rust from brake shoe backing plate, etc is to be expected. First thing seems it to be to disassemble and inspect. Peeking inside the drum might reveal that a little cleaning, sanding, and lubing of the pivot points can bring things back to life.
2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
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Keep in mind that the brake shoes don’t rotate. They only expand into a hopefully smooth and perfectly round brake drum. If the wheel catches and releases when rotated without movement or operation of the brake shoes, it would seem likely that the inside of the brake drum is out of round or rusted from sitting. A rusty area will catch on the brake shoes as they pass by. If it’s not to bad it can be fixed with elbow grease and Emory cloth.
1972 Yamaha DT 175, 1974 Kawasaki 125, 1976 Suzuki TM 250, 1979 Yamaha 750, 1977 Husquvarna 360, 1979 Husquvarna 250, (2) 1980 Suzuki RM 400’s, 1971 Husquvarna 400, 1983 Honda V65 Magna, 1987 Suzuki 230 Quad, 1987 TW200, 1990 TW200, 1996 Honda XR 650, 1998 Yamaha 300 King Quad, 2000 Harley Davidson Heritage, 2006 Kawasaki KLX 250s, 2007 Arctic Cat 650 Quad, 2010 Polaris Sportsman 850 Quad, 2006 Yamaha Grizzly 660 Quad, 2002 TW200, 1995 TW200, 2008 TW200, 2016 TW200.
You need to remove the front wheel, and then the brake hub from the wheel. Using rough sand paper, lightly (no great pressure) sand the inside of the hub on the wheel (you may opt to use a face mask at this point, some of that dust is nasty stuff). The idea is to remove anything that is not attached, rather than attempting to polish the surface. It’s a bit like using a nylon scouring pad on a plate in the sink. Once done, remove (eg blow rather than wash) the surface clean
Now we move the brake shoes – it’s basically the same thing as above. Scrub with sandpaper to remove any loose gunk. You’re not trying to polish anything, just to remove anything on the surface of the shoes
Check for de-lamination at this point, the brown (friction) stuff should be firmly and evenly attached to the shoes base plate
Having done that, we move onto the brake action itself – eg the cams. By moving the lever up and down, you’ll see how the brake expands against the hub (once it’s all re-assembled). There are two “cams” separating the two brake shoes that when turned, push the shoes out against the hub. To function correctly, both of these cams need some form of lubrication to work effortlessly. As the brakes will heat up in use, you can’t use oil or grease, which would simply heat up and contaminate the surfaces involved. You need to get a small(ish) toothpaste type tube of some called “copper slip” or its equivelant. This is a paste type lube that is more or less impervious to heat, and commonly used on brake parts for that reason. Use it sparingly, you only want to coat both sides on both cams where there is any friction
That’s it – you’re almost done. All that remains is to put the lever back in the original position where you first found it (the lever the brake cable attaches to). In its original position, it will provide the optimal brake action, so it should be returned to that position. If you look closely, you will notice that the splines on that lever have one point where they are missing, and that the corresponding shaft you are trying to fit that lever onto also have a place where the splines are also missing. Line up those two points, and you should find it (fairly) easy to press the lever into place
With the wheel still off the bike, check for correct operation, then put the whole thing (bike) back together
Notes: When attempting to remove the front wheel, first loosen the bolt that holds the cable in place on the forks, and also remove the circlip holding the speedo cable to the wheel. Then loosen off the nut holding the axle, and also remove the brake cable from the lower end. It can make sense to do this before you try jacking the bike up, as you then have a stable platform for the fiddly bits
With the bike on the side stand, it is possible to apply a trolley jack under the front of the skid plate to lift the front wheel off the ground. At this stage, the wheel can be removed easily as the axle nuts have already been loosened
Sounds like a big job, but it’s not – take it one step at a time and you’ll be fine – total job time should be in the region of a couple of hours ……