Brake Shoes Leading Vs. Trailing

Written by amy rodriguez
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Vehicles can have different types of brakes, from brake discs to brake drums. Brake drums, consisting of a leading and trailing brake shoe combination, are normally placed on the rear tires of a car.

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A brake drum spins with the wheel of the car. Inside of the drum are two brake shoes that press against the drum when the brake pedal is pressed to create resistance to stop the vehicle.


The function of the leading and trailing brake shoes interact with one another. As the brakes are applied, the leading shoe is pressed harder into the drum due to its rotation. As a result, the rotating motion effectively thrusts the trailing shoe away, creating an action called "self-servo."


This parallel effort between the two shoes creates an intense braking power for the entire brake drum system. In addition, the assembly of the leading and trailing brake shoes within the drum casing prevents the majority of dirt and debris from entering the system, keeping it free to function well over time.

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