Brake Shoe Rivet Tools

Written by justin cupler Google
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Brake Shoe Rivet Tools
The pad lining sits atop the metal backing on drum brake shoes. (Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from

When purchasing refurbished brake shoes at the parts store, they often charge a core fee that is refunded when you bring back the old shoes. Those old shoes are labelled, stripped, refinished, then the metal backing is lined with new friction material. On rare cars, typically antiques, the brake lining may be easy to find, but the full assembly can be nearly impossible to get. At this point you must rivet the pad lining onto the backing yourself, but you must have the proper tools.

Rivet Gun

Rivets are straight pieces of metal when new. A tool, known as a rivet gun, is needed to properly flare out the rivet. The flaring of the rivet is what holds the brake lining to the brake shoe backing. There are several types of rivet guns: electric, pneumatic and manual.

Locking Pliers

Locking pliers are similar to standard pliers, as they grip an object from both sides. The difference is that locking pliers actually lock onto the object so that your hand can be free. When performing this task, two sets of locking pliers are needed. These hold the lining in place as you rivet it to the backing.

Cut-Off Tool

A cut-off tool, or commonly called a "whizzer" tool, makes use of a small cutting wheel spun at a high rate. This tool is used to cut the head off of the rivets on the old brake shoe so it can be removed. It also comes in handy if you rivet the new lining incorrectly.

Flathead Screwdriver

A flathead screwdriver is typically used to turn a screw. In this case it is used pry the old lining up if it is stuck to the backing, after removing the rivets.

Metal File

A metal file is a long metal object that is cross-hatched, creating a rough surface for filing. This is used on the new brake lining material, as sometimes it has small burrs that can cause brake noise. The file works great to rid the lining of those burrs.

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