GUEST BLOG: The Complete Brake Job
Brake system issues are a leading cause of out-of-service violations. When performing brake maintenance, it is important to inspect and maintain the entire braking system to prevent these violations. The goal is not to have more brake jobs, but rather for brake jobs to be more complete, resulting in more uptime. Proper brake maintenance can prevent costly roadside repairs, reduce downtime and decrease the number of fines and enforcement penalties.
So, what related brake components should be inspected during a service? As a recognized leading global supplier of brakes, Meritor has identified an estimated ratio of related service items that fleet operations should service during a preventative maintenance program. The Meritor ratio addresses 4 of the top 5 braking components for the most out-of-service citations. This includes brake shoes, camshafts, camshaft repair kits and slack adjusters.
Automatic slack adjuster inspection
To maintain proper brake adjustment and provide balanced braking, automatic slack adjusters (ASA) must be inspected to confirm an identical ASA is used on both sides of an axle and the adjuster mechanism is functioning properly. Measure and confirm “free-stroke” is correct — the Meritor® Simple Check tool can make this measurement easier. If found to be incorrect, determine the root cause; do not just adjust the brake.
Brake shoe and lining inspection
Check lining thickness and look for cracked linings as well as ones covered with oil, grease or fluid from a failed camshaft seal/bushing or wheel seal. When inspecting Meritor lined shoes, look for the wear indicator. For non-Meritor shoes, use the Meritor brake lining gauge. Rust jacking occurs when harsh chemicals, such as ones used for deicing, get between the table of the shoe and the lining. The shoe coating fails, rust forms and the lining cracks and is lifted off the table.
When inspecting the camshaft look for missing or broken components such as cam rollers, springs, anchor pins and mounting bolts. Check cam bushings and cam tubes. Be on the lookout for excessive wear of the camshaft head and rollers, as these can cause brake stroke fluctuations and result in exceeding the maximum range of the camshaft. Also check to see that the camshaft and camshaft tubes are properly lubricated.
Calculate your ratio
Want to find out if you are conducting a complete brake job? Use the interactive calculator on MeritorPartsXpress.com to determine if your ratio is HIGHER or LOWER and if you could make adjustments to your preventative maintenance practices.