Monday, October 22, 2012

How to replace a scooter's rear brake shoe

Lately, I've noticed that my rear brakes are not braking as it should. The stopping power has diminished to a point where I rely solely on my front disc brakes and rarely use the ones in the rear.

Safety first! I've already adjusted the brake cable but still had no success in achieving more stopping power. I decided to check my brake shoes' condition next. I had to remove the seats so I could have better access to the muffler.

The muffler prevents me from working freely on the rear wheel - removed these two retaining nuts here TIP: It is advisable to remove and retighten muffler studs once in a while to prevent them from rusting and corrroding.


After all support bolts were removed - I can now take off the muffler.


Time to remove the rear wheel - since I am working on a scooter - the wheels are always free wheeling so I had to be creative to remove the center lugnut. I lodge a big hunk of rock and a box wrench to prevent the wheel from turning - this allowed me to remove the nut easily with my socket wrench. Otherwise, the wheel will just turn when I try to loosen the nut. TIP: The proper way to remove this is through an impact wrench but since I didn't have one - I had to resort to guerilla tactics :) 

After the rear wheel had been removed I can clearly see the problem and just as I suspected - the brake shoes are worn out - time to replace them. They are held in place by just two springs. To remove, just pry them out with a screw driver or a pair of long nosed pliers.


I took the opportunity to clean everything with some kerosene. After removing the dust left behind by the brake shoes - I scuffed up the scooter's brake drum (part of the mag wheels) to make sure the new shoes bind with them properly whenever I press the brake lever.

China made scooters and mainstream MCs (Hondas, Yamahas, etc.) usually share/have the same parts. You just have to be patient in looking for it. I was able to find an exact match fo Max's brakes - the brake shoes of a Honda XRM! Look at the old and the new ones side by side. TIP: Finding an exact match leads to more and better options to choose from. A good example is the CVT belt - China made belts rarely last but I was able to find a Bando Belt for a Suzuki Jog that is a near perfect fit for Max - the belt lasted for 4 years before I decided to replace it although I think it could have lasted for another year or so :)

The new brake shoe came with its own set of springs - I believe they are of the same tension as the old ones so I decided to use them. Just clip them on and we're done! TIP: New brake shoes and pads need to be sanded with a coarse grit sandpaper before installation - this makes it hold better against the drum and disc - saw numerous mechanics do this so I do it whenever I change mine.

Before putting it back together - make sure you don't forget to put back the muffler gasket - replace if needed to prevent leaks - I decided to place some gasket masker but not sure how long it could stand against the heat generated by the exhaust (will let you know if and when it fails - hopefully it holds up)

I felt the improvement in the rear brakes immediately! :) 

Yes! You can change your scooter's own brake shoes!


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  2. Brake shoes are easily obtainable through your nearest Parts Centre, the sets on both wheels need to be replaced, if you don't, this could cause uneven braking and the car to pull to one side. Do not take chances, always fit the best quality brake shoes.