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Best way to wake up a TY175 rear brake?

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I suspect the previous owner of my '80 TY fitted el cheapo brake shoes, there's very little going on back there even when it's stone cold (and I can't hit the brakes hard as I have right knee and ankle problems)

So, what shoes should I replace them with, and is there anything else I can do to improve the brake performance?

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First, make sure the pedal and linkage are working correctly.  The pedal should NOT hit the sump plate.  With the pedal fully depressed by hand grab the lever by the adjuster and see if there is still travel before the shoes grab (there should NOT be free travel).   

Check the end of the lever where it mounts on the shaft that goes through the brake plate.  There should be dimples stamped into the lever and the end of the splined shaft and they should align.  Sometimes with worn parts, you need to take up one more tooth on the spline to get full rotation of the shaft. 

If everything looks good externally, then remove the wheel and brake plate from the bike.  Deglaze the shoes and the drum surface with emery cloth (sandpaper).  Check the drum for ribs or grooves.  Any ribs should be ground level with the rest of the drum surface.  If the shoes look oily or greasy, they are trashed.   

Sometimes the drums are worn beyond the maximum ID and the shoes don't expand enough to get full grip.  Usually you can get reasonably good braking even with oversize drums. 

While you have it apart, check your rear wheel bearings.  If they are badly worn it can make it hard to get proper adjustment of the brake system. 

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Thanks for the replies :)


They're (nearly) new pads, along with a new lever and wheel bearings (no worries on the linkage etc) ... however, the previous owner didn't have any mechanical knowledge (beyond a Haynes manual), so I guess I'll check them

Edited by turbofurball

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