doesn't make sense... but its better (brakes)

From the day I owned this PA50.. the rear brake had this problem... as you applied the R brake... it 'grabbed and released' .. with each wheel revolution... you could hear it go... fwit.. fwit.. fwit.. fwit.. as you rolled along with the brake on.

So I always just let the cable be real slack... so I never got much rear brake action... any tighter and really grabbed during the 'grab' portion.

I figured the drum had a hard spot or something.

Now that I have more speed... I went in there... and found a nice even surface all the way around... nothing to indicate why they 'grab and release' each revolution.

So while I was there I swapped the 2 shoes... (the leading shoe does most of the work and wears faster.. so it is usually thinner... it was).

Put it back together... the old problem is totally gone... I can now adjust the cable tighter and get 3 times the braking force I used to.... great... its nice to have good brakes.

The one unusual thing ?

... the drum construction... it uses a cast iron brake lining cast into the aluminum hub... and instead of the continuous surface... it is C shaped and has a 1/8th split at the ends... it also has a small hole at both ends of the hoop... the split and each hole is filled with aluminum during the casting... never seen that.

But I could not detect a raised edge or anything to 'grab'... smooth as could be... (but the brake shoe could apparently).

And now the problem is gone.... makes no sense to me.. the 'new' shoe is thicker and should grab worse.

But I'm not gonna argue with good luck.

Re: doesn't make sense... but its better (brakes)

flannelman /

was the brake shoe worn evenly

look at it closely are there any little cracks

be cause i know with car that would have been the problem

A Note of Caution

I read my PA 50 manual to see what it had too say about the brakes an an interesting side note was it said not to use compressed air to blow out the drum or brake linings. These things are old enough that they were still made from asbestos.

So be careful out there.

Re: A Note of Caution

Ron Brown /


I never use compressed air, just hold it up to my facse and blow into it.


Re: A Note of Caution

david f martin /

Fred, you said you swapped the 2 brake shoes and the problem went away... I'm thinking that one of the shoes is worn out of round and is shifting around as you brake, or the metal part is worn and doesn't mount as securely as the other one... ?


Re: A Note of Caution

Hey i never thought of that,

I'm afraid to ask how you clean out tail pipes.

Dragging up old memories

At first I was bummed out to read that... cuzz I just blew it out at arms length.. and a cloud of dust formed... and I might have 'hosed' it away with air... but I bet I breathed some.

Then I began remembering stuff about that... back in the 70's... many Jap bike manuals carried that warning... BUT.. it was admitted years later that warning was a carryover from the earlier days when it was discovered that asbestos was a health hazard... and upon investigation... they said it was just a warning in caution.. (since the big asbestos scare)... and that in fact NONE of them had used asbestos in brake shoes.

Thats the way I remember it now... it's one of those rumors that won't die.

Re: Dragging up old memories

Of course that was for Jap bikes from Japan... the PA50 was assembled in Belgium... with (maybe) some Euro moped parts ?

(like that split cast iron brake drum lining.. I never saw a Jap bike with that)

And the French made Michelin tires... (still have the orig. front one on there)

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