Originally Posted by excurion04
Sir "Fire Up" you are correct! my coach (04 Excursion) is diesel with Air breaks and exhaust brakes, approximate mileage (39000). I usually flip the witch on exhaust brakes when going down slope or in city traffic.
Hey, thanks for getting back to me on this. Ok, now that we've settled on that, we can go forward, so to speak. I too was concerned about squeaky brakes when mine started doing it way back a while ago. But, mine don't do it all the time. Primarily, it only happens when I use them, while assisting the exhaust brake, going down steep winding roads.
Yep, they get a bit hot due to that's a serious amount of weight and, on curves the exhaust brake is good but, not that good so, some assistance is needed from the service brakes. So, when I had a chance, I removed the wheels and drums. I did an inspection of all four wheels. To say the least, at approximately 50,000 miles, I still had close to 1" thick of lining, on every shoe. Yep, there was some glazing but, not all that bad.
I put on a face mask and went to work on roughing them up just a tad. I did it with some 150 sand paper. Now, don't get me wrong here, I did not sand them down. All that was done was "de-glaze" the surface, PERIOD! That definitely stopped the squeeling but, for only a few thousand miles. It will still do it, on occasion, based on how hard I need them, in certain circumstances, on certain occasions.
As for general use, and no grades etc. they're quiet as can be. But, using that exhaust brake is a real help in terms of prolonging the brake jobs and, assisting the service brakes on many conditions. Now, based on your report of mileage, I'd just about bet my new home that, your brakes are as good or better than mine, in terms of condition and thickness. Those things just don't wear that fast. The glazing, is what causes the very high frequency vibration which, is conveyed as a "squeal or, squeak".
It primarily depends on how "able bodied" you are or, how much you want to spend on, an inspection. It's not easy to get that big beast up so you can break all 10, 450 lb. torqued, lug nuts loose. Then, you have man-handle those wheels/tires out of the way and finally, get the drum off for a good, clear inspection of all components.
Yes, you can do a basic inspection by using small mirrors and, flash lights and laying under there. It's what we did on an every morning basis, on the fire department for over 30 years. Obviously, we caught quite a few issues, way ahead of time by doing that kind/style of inspection. Most of our fleet was disc braked anyways. But, you can still get a pretty good idea of the condition of your components, by doing that simple inspection.
Don't get all excited if you see small cracks in the drums or, even on the surface of the shoes. (actually you won't be able to see the surface of the shoes due to their close proximity to the drums) but, you may, see some small cracks on the sides of the shoes.
To me, it's kind of fun to get in there and look around. But, I've got just a bit of experience in all of that stuff and, do have a few tons of tools etc. for that kind of work. And of course, it does help to have an area for that kind of work. But, do get under there, make sure it's safe if you've raised it some for clearance for you, and check things out for yourself. You'll appreciate what you learn. If you see something you're not sure of, do PM me and if I can help, I'd be glad to.