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Better braking.

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Better braking. I remember reading a post where someone was complaining about poor braking. I recently had to fix a brake...with good results. The short answer. Roughing up the brake drum surface seems to work well. The long answer. I recently found a 728 (1970) that I plan to play with for a little while. One of its problems was very poor braking...I had to stand on the brake to get it to slow down. When I took the brake apart, I found that the brake band was being pulled to the side and was not square to the drum. The brake lining material was severely worn and mostly missing on one side of the band. The brass rivets had eaten into the side of the drum. The brake band was contacting the drum and was deeply scored from the drum. The drum was worn about 1/16-inch lower on one side, the other side was as new. Tried to order new parts from local John Deere (Simplicity snowblowers on the side) dealer. Not too helpful. So...what to do? Brake band...worn. Ignore it. Brake lining material...one side worn and mostly missing. Reuse it. I remembered reading on here that someone had suggested fixing the brake lining by using a piece of leather belt and JB Weld. But there was enough of the older brake lining material...so I decided to reuse it (JB Weld), after removing the brass rivets. Brake drum...worn, deeply scored. Fix it. This gave me a chance to try something on my new (to me) Enco 3-in-1 lathe/mill/drill. A 5/8-inch bolt was the correct size to hold the drum in the chuck. A 4-inch piece of angle iron and a couple of worm-gear hose clamps was enough to hold a dremel tool in the tool rest. A wide flat diamond pointed bit was in the dremel tool. I ground the brake drum until it was flat and round again. May have taken it down about 1/16-inch in radius. When finished, the surface of the drum was not smooth...it had a rough texture similar to that of the bit I'd used on it. I put everything back together and tried it. Going slowly down hill on my concrete driveway, I hit the brake...the back wheels locked and the tires left rubber on the driveway. Played with it a little and learned that now only light pressure is required to stop the tractor. Before the fix, I was almost standing on the brake to get it to stop. It is now easy to use too much pressure and lock the wheels. So, if any of you are having trouble stopping your tractors, and the brake lining material is good and not oil-soaked...try this the next time you have your brake apart, rough up the surface of your brake drum. It might help a little. After I wear out this brake lining material, then I'll go back and try the leather idea. /r David

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