How to Re-line Brake Shoes:
For Improved Stopping Ability
by Craig "Vech" Vechorik of Bench Mark Works LLC
The original molded brake linings of pre-1970 BMW motorcycles are not really up to the stopping requirements of today's traffic. While drum brakes can not be as effective as disk brakes, there is a simple, inexpensive way to make your vintage BMW stop better.
A modern brake lining can be substituted for the original, asbestos, molded brake shoes at a fraction of the cost of the OEM supplied linings. The lining material carries a manufactures, designation of AF 232 and is 5/32 of an inch thick. You need approximately fifteen inches to do the front or rear brake of any BMW motorcycle made from 1955 to 1969 (thirty inches of brake material to do the front and the rear brakes).
To reline brake shoes you have three choices:
1) You can buy the OEM molded shoes and the copper rivets from BMW at a higher cost and fight with setting the rivets (which requires a succession of specially shaped punch dies to obtain a proper seating).
2) You can buy the AF 232, use 1/8 diameter aluminum pop rivets and follow my simple how to instructions, that I supply with the material and do it yourself.
3) You can send your brake shoes to me and I'll do the job for you. (Order information at the bottom of this page.)
AF 232 Brake lining installation instructions:
The AF 232 lining is very easy to apply, cuts easily and has a higher friction coefficient than the original linings. As far as those miserable, expensive copper OEM rivets go, you can substitute long 1/8 inch aluminum pop rivets and use a hand pop riveter to sure the lining to the brake shoes. You also need a countersink tool which I'll tell you how to make.
Making the countersink tool
This is easy to make. Choose a dull, 1/4 inch drill bit. Wear eye protection! Use a bench grinder to grind the pointed tip off the bit. You want to shape the end of the bit like an end mill (as close to flat as you can get it by grinding). Use water to quench the bit during grinding so you don't overheat the bit which will cause the metal to lose tempter. After you have ground the end the bit flat, turn the bit around and grind the sides of the shank into a square shape so your T-handle tap wrench will be able to firmly hold the modified drill bit in its jaws.
Clamp your brake shoe in the jaws of a vise and use a metal scribe to scratch a line at each end of the old lining. These scribe marks will provide a reference point for when you measure how much AF 232 shoe material to cut.
Use an 1/8-inch diameter drill bit and a hand drill to drill out the old copper rivets from the lining side of the brake shoe. Take care that you hold the drill at the correct angle so the bit follows the rivet and doesn't wander off onto the aluminum part of the shoe. When all the rivets are out, the old shoe material falls right off.
Thoroughly clean the aluminum brake shoe and take particular care that the area covered by shoe material has nothing stuck to it that interferes with the new lining.
Lay the AF 232 on the cleaned brake shoe, and line end up with one of the scribe marks that you made on the aluminum shoe before you removed the old liner. Temporarily clamp the material to the shoe, using a pair of vise grip locking pliers. Be sure and hold the material down on the curved surface, and mark the AF 232 at the second mark that is scribed on the brake shoe, so you can make your cut at that point. Remove the vise grips,draw a complete line across the shoe material with an ink pen, and use a hack saw to cut the AF 232 to the desired length.
Lay the cut piece on the curved shoe, and using two pairs of vise grips, (one on each side of the hole in center of the shoe) clamp the material near the center of the shoe. Drill a 1/8-inch hole through the new shoe material, starting from the back side of the aluminum shoe, through the pre-existing hole in the aluminum shoe.
Use a single edge razor blade to trim the "fuzz" from around the edge of the hole, where the bit emerged through the new shoe material. Then, using the modified 1/4 drill bit that you ground off, carefully support the bit with one hand, and center the bit over the 1/8 hole. Use your other hand to turn the tap "T" handle in a clockwise direction, and countersink the AF 232 to a depth approximately 1/2 to 2/3 it's total thickness.
Start pop riveting at the center hole in the middle of the lining and work your way out to each end. This way, you insure the necessary tight fit of the lining to the shoe. After the first rivet is set, move your vise grips further out on the shoe, while holding the shoe material down tight, and reclaim the grips, and repeat the whole drilling, countersinking and riveting operation again.If the shoe material is a bit wide, or you have not riveted it on perfectly straight, don't despair. Clamp the shoe in a vise, on it's side and use a sharp box cutter to trim off the excess shoe material. The lining should be straight and perfectly flat against the brake shoe.Note the beveled edges on the top and bottom of the old shoe material. You must use a bench grinder to duplicate the bevel on the new lining. That is all there is to it, how does that grab you? Don't let your bad brakes stop you from enjoying your old motorcycle.Order material on-line:
You can click either of the following links to order brake lining on line through a secure server with your Visa, Discover, American Express or Master Card.
accessory 005A--AF232 brake shoe lining for improved stopping ability with Instructions you cut to fit all pre-1984 BMW motorcycles 15 inches one wheel 34 11 2 060 235
Or use the pre drilled factory linings-MODEL SPECIFIC, call for pricing
accessory 005B--rivet copper pop 3x10 brake lining one wheel pack of 18 rivets
Or send your brake shoes to Vech and he will reline them for you
Your name: _________________________________________
State:____________________ Postal Code:_______________
Your email address:__________________________________
Enclosed are my brake shoes. Please re-line the brakes and return to me at a cost of $68.00 per wheel for labor, plus parts and return shipping (to be determined). All credit cards accepted.
Name on card:__________________________________
Mail your order to:
Bench Mark Works LLC
3400 Earles Fork Road
Sturgis, MS 39769 USA
Contact me, Craig Vechorik email firstname.lastname@example.org
3400 Earles Fork Road
Sturgis MS 39769 USA
DRILL RIVET CUT BEVEL