Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Front brake improvements

  1. #1

    Default Front brake improvements

    Took the 37 U out today, and the lack of front brake really makes me nervous with drivers around like my daughter, cell phone in one hand - screaming kids fighting in the back seat.....

    So I have read about putting on thick linings, then turning them down untill the drum will go back on with a .020 shim on the cam....

    I can do the turning myself, but can someone recomend a brake shop I can TRUST with the brake shoes and have them properly install the linings I need.

    Steve C

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Roswell, GA


    Go to
    The website does not say they do bikes, but they have relined and arced in the front and rear shoes for my VLD. They will
    Want they backing plate and drum to get it right.
    1936 VLD in process
    1969 Honda Z50 K1 perfect!
    1985 Yamaha RZ350 resto-mod
    2007 KTM 950 Adventure
    2008 KTM 450 EXC-R

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2001


    capitol clutch and brake in Sacramento does it too. Drum and shoes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    If you're less worried about originality, there is a twin leading shoe front brake conversion made in Europe. Softer linings help too. With a lot of unmade roads in the 1930s the front brake was pretty weedy and the rear one did the hard work, but you can still set up these older Harley front brakes so they are decent enough by modern standards.

  5. #5


    I am going to reline the shoes myself. (Ego thing, I've done everything else: cam bushing,generator bearings & service, valve guides, bla bla bla...)

    So brake linings, my issue is: not enough info. Could'nt tell the difference between hard, soft, metallic, asbestos or any thing else material for linings,

    The brake shop I contacted said they bond all reline jobs unless it is a racing application. I dont know what adhesive is used for bonding, but I'm gonna learn, along with the procedure, and equally important which lining material to use.
    When it's done, I will know exactly what I have.
    Any members here have info or advice to share....?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Contact Jack Jewell at Industrial brake service in Denver. He may be able to supply the material and talk you through the process. I know he can do the work, he lines all my shoes for me. Maybe just send them to him and let him line them, you take it from there. Only problem is he is SLOW! However, he may have some made up for a springer, he has a 39 so he gets it. The bonding process requires gluing, clamping and baking the shoes in an oven. 303-412-1377

    The critical thing is to use a softer material and install a 1/4" lining, NOT a 3/16" lining as original. This will allow you to turn the drum to clean up and then fit the shoes by turning them on the brake plate with small shims on the cam. The goal here is to get FULL contact of the shoes on the drum while the cam is at it's best advantage, which is just barely operating. Using a thinner lining will allow you to fit the shoes to the drum, but the cam will need to be rotated quite a bit to get full contact, thus losing mechanical advantage.


  7. #7


    Heard back from 2 brake shops and they wont sell or share the phenolic adhesive, and pretend nobody can make it work in a non brake/ clutch shop. I feel they have underestimated the depth,skill and capabilities of some people who restore older machinery. -End of short rant.-

    I suppose riviting new material should be straight forward, but I havent found a good website to read up on what type of friction material is best. There seems to be several compositions available on fleebay,sold by the foot, but I am still in the dark about what to get.
    Anyone have good suggestions?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009


    I don't pretend to be a brake expert, but I also have been looking for something better than the aftermarket offerings. I decided to experiment, and purchased lining material from McMaster Carr and glued it to hydra glide shoes with JB Weld. So far, it's been working fine with a sidecar.

  9. #9


    The rivets act as a medium to transfer heat from the braking action to the shoes for dissipating heat generated. So add them along with bonding.

  10. #10


    Industrial Brake & Supply in Walton Kentucky are the guys that can rivit new linings for reasonable cost. Excellent work, quick turn around on my VL front brakes. Even had some spare made for tradin' stock. Check out material Selection list on there web site.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts