Resurrecting Oily Brake Shoes

fpchief

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I know that there has been some discussion in the past on this and I never really found a solid answer....I have pulled off several brake shoes from both my deuces that are oily and i had several so i just replaced them. I know the common word is to not use them but some have said the oil can be baked out and so forth. Does anyone have a solid experience on truly making them useable again? These that I have are mostly full thickness so i think it is worth trying.

Don't want to throw money I don't have away.
 

Valley Rock

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We used to just burn the oil out with a torch on big trucks, common sense has to be applied of course, too much heat can break down the friction material, especially when it is already soaked in oil, you will typically find however that not the entire shoe is soaked in oil or brake fluid, usually just the outer surface, and if so they should be salvageable .

Heat enough all around to bubble the contamination out w/o destroying the material, done it, it works, there is typically no reason to throw away thick shoes that are mildly contaminated unless you are made of money .
 
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rustystud

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We used to just burn the oil out with a torch on big trucks, common sense has to be applied of course, too much heat can break down the friction material, especially when it is already soaked in oil, you will typically find however that not the entire shoe is soaked in oil or brake fluid, usually just the outer surface .

Heat enough all around to bubble the contamination out w/o destroying the material, done it, it works, there is no reason to throw away thick shoes unless you just don't understand physics or you are made of money .
Yes you can sometimes get away with "burning" out the oil. It all depends on how much oil the shoes have absorbed. If they have had oil leaking on them for a long time then I would replace the shoes. The oil has gone through the whole shoe. Even burning it will not get rid of all the oil.
Having worked in the trucking industry for decades I've seen many "tricks" to try and get rid of oil on brake shoes. Truth be told none of them can ever get rid of all the oil, including the "burning" out with a torch trick. Steam cleaning and degreasers along with torching can help with a new leak, but really never gets all the oil out either.
So since oily brakes is not just a mechanical problem, but a "safety" and "liability" issue I would just bite the bullet and replace them. Of course if your life and the lives of those around you doesn't mean much to you, then by all means run the shoes.
 

fpchief

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Well, for someone like me that tries to prepare for SHTF, having some mostly de-oiled brake shoes might be a good thing to keep around if none more are available...ever.
 

simp5782

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Well, for someone like me that tries to prepare for SHTF, having some mostly de-oiled brake shoes might be a good thing to keep around if none more are available...ever.
I think my local place was $12 a shoe to reline some 5 tons i had.
 

rustystud

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I think my local place was $12 a shoe to reline some 5 tons i had.
That is exactly what I would do. If you don't have a shop that will help you, you can buy "bulk" shoes that are the same size as the original for almost any vehicle. You then must drill them out to fit your holes in the shoes themselves and install the rivets yourself, but at 1/8 the cost of NOS shoes it's worth it for the long run. I bought a really good "used" brake shoe rivet machine for $200.00 . This machine will allow me to make up any brake shoe out there. I just need to buy the shoe material and rivets. You can also just buy "hand" riveters, and using a hammer install the rivets that way. There is really no need to endanger yourself or others trying to reuse bad brake shoes.
I too believe in preparing for SHTF scenarios and have the tools and equipment needed to keep my vehicles running years down the road. Of course I will be dead by then but my son hopefully will be able to take care of his vehicles then with the supplies I have stocked away.
 

Jeepsinker

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Soak them in an acetone bath that covers the entire shoe overnight. Keep the container covered to keep evaporation to a minimum of course. This will in fact remove all of the oil. Some shoes that are really badly soaked may need to soak for several days. It will also remove all of the paint from the steel shoe frames.
 

rustystud

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Soak them in an acetone bath that covers the entire shoe overnight. Keep the container covered to keep evaporation to a minimum of course. This will in fact remove all of the oil. Some shoes that are really badly soaked may need to soak for several days. It will also remove all of the paint from the steel shoe frames.
Yes soaking them in a bath of Acetone will remove the oil, but it also breaks down the brake shoe fibers. We tried that at the transit department and had the shoes fail in 1/8th the normal time.
 

cucvmule

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I thought spraying brake cleaner/wiping off/blowing of the shoes would do a good job.Makes me wonder if it would work on a clutch disk?
Let me ask this question. Is it worth your time and labor to take a chance on if it will work, and for how long? If it does not work then you are doing the job twice.
 

montaillou

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One issue with buying new shoes, unless you have a local source is the shipping. Midwestjeepwillys.com has our shoes, all ready to go and offer free shipping over $50. I was shocked that it applied to brake shoes as these things weigh quite a bit, but a couple years ago I bought several pair and I'm sure they must've lost money on the order. Other places wanted over $100 just for shipping.
 

fpchief

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Let me ask this question. Is it worth your time and labor to take a chance on if it will work, and for how long? If it does not work then you are doing the job twice.
That is not why this thread was started. The question was asked if it was ok to try to remove the oil from them If there is no other choice....as in SHTF.
 

rustystud

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That is not why this thread was started. The question was asked if it was ok to try to remove the oil from them If there is no other choice....as in SHTF.
What's the purpose of surviving a "SHTF" scenario if your going to kill yourself driving a truck with dangerous brakes ?
A real survivalist will have stocked piled parts to fix his rig when the time comes. Not try and "shade tree" repair it.
I want my rig running like "Mad Max's" if the "Cannibal Zombies" are after me. Just my two cents worth.
 

fpchief

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What's the purpose of surviving a "SHTF" scenario if your going to kill yourself driving a truck with dangerous brakes ?
A real survivalist will have stocked piled parts to fix his rig when the time comes. Not try and "shade tree" repair it.
I want my rig running like "Mad Max's" if the "Cannibal Zombies" are after me. Just my two cents worth.
Oh ok.
 

rustystud

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I just reread this last post and it seems like I'm being "snarky" about a "real survivalist" . Could not be further from the truth.
I'm just saying that if your going to be living as a "prepper/survivalist" you need to have parts to keep your rigs going. In a real "SHTF" scenario there will not be an open 'O' Reilly's Auto parts store around the block. You will need to be the parts store and mechanic and everything else.
 
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