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Unread 05-13-2013, 11:40 AM   #1
Gone Wild
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Default Not serious - just annoying

I have a '96 48V DS/Regen - all stock drivetrain, but fancy paint finish, rims and some other bits & pieces. Used only for golf (4 times a week in summer). My darn brakes have squealed when applied, for the past 10 years. At first, I took off the drums, cleaned and scuff sanded the shoes & drums (squeal goes away for 2 months or so then comes back).

Bought new (supposedly softer) shoes because one article said stock shoes were too hard - cleaned the drums & installed. The squeal goes away for 2 months, then returns. Then, read another article; and used a file to champfer (sp?) the upper/lower edges of the brake shoe/pads. Clean everything, reassemble and squeal goes away for 2 mos. and then returns. The squeal returns slowly each time....until eventually....it squeals for the last 4 feet of every stop from any speed. Sorta between 5 - 0 mph. I can "feather" the brake pedal and lessen the squeal, but that's just a pain. I'm getting tired of pulling the drums and scuff sanding every 2 months. Anyone ever dealt with this & solved it?
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Unread 05-13-2013, 12:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Not serious - just annoying

is it just one side or both ?
have you replaced drums ?
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Unread 05-13-2013, 01:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Not serious - just annoying

Squeals from either/both sides....no, I haven't replaced the drums - there is no pulsing, or anything that would indicate the drums are defective.....but I've scuffed their interior surface with emery cloth, and cleaned them with acetone or lacquer thinner at least eight times. Very little/no rust inside, or for that matter on the outside.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Not serious - just annoying

then it must be the brake dust building up ... this is a puzzler
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Unread 05-13-2013, 02:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Not serious - just annoying

Usually I'm kinda good at solving things, but I must admit, I'm getting tired of sounding like a transit bus squealing into a bus stop (really, the sound is quite similar....just shorter in duration). Here's a goofy idea. I have a brother-in-law with a metal lathe. Anyone know what would happen if I had him score four or five fairly deep parallel grooves in the drums? I suspect I would get weird/groovy and perhaps rapid shoe wear...and maybe slightly poorer braking. But we're talking golf for heaven sakes, I'm not exactly doing 4x4 off-road trials. Just semi-coasting & gentle braking to a stop every 260 yards (assuming a good drive) or less.

Is this idea too desperate? Would it just give a place for brake dust to collect and squeal worse? My next move is to buy drums anyway, so I'm not worried about wrecking these....but if I just bought new drums and they started squealing I'd be "sad".
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Unread 05-13-2013, 02:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Not serious - just annoying

have him turn the drums first ... do not put groves in drum !!!
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Unread 05-13-2013, 02:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Not serious - just annoying

Grooves would be bad.. You couldn't get the drums off when they wore..

What size rims ? if they are 10" you could go to a disc brake system.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 02:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Not serious - just annoying

Oh, yeah....grooves would potentially grab the worn shoes and make the drum really hard to pull, wouldn't they? Well I told you I was desperate...10 years of squealing can really get to a fella. Yes, I can get him to turn the drums...but I feel like there is some sort of harmonic resonance causing the squeal, and was trying to think of something that would dampen that. Turning them, to my mind would make them thinner and even more resonant.

In case it is brake dust, I wonder if I can use compressed air thru a hole drilled in some strategic place to just blow it out from time to time?

Oh - forgot to answer - the wheels are 8" stock, with polished aluminum rims/gold spokes.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 05:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Not serious - just annoying

Just updating a 2 month old post. After 2 months of silent braking, I can now declare without reservation - the brake squeal is GONE!!! Rather than have the drums turned, I just bought new drums (they were cheap enough). Just to be sure, I scuffed the brake shoes (varnish?) before installing the new drums. Its been silent stopping ever since. Drums...go figure...
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Unread 07-30-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Not serious - just annoying

I had basically the same experience but with an EZGO. Replacing shoes and drums fixed it. Its been about 2 years now and squeak is just starting to return again, however I use my cart much more heavily than you. Additionally mine is a series cart so no regen braking. Brakes get a real workout. You should get more life out of yours. I found that blowing out with high pressure air helps a little bit also.
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