Monday, 20 April 2015

Sturmey Archer Drum Brake Service

Sturmey Archer Drum Brake Service - Intro

After 3 years (3000 miles) of maintenance free braking my XL-FDD Drum Brake had developed a small squeak, this happened when applying the brake. It was not a typical brake squeal, more a little squeak when the cam pivot arm (see below pictures for names) was moved.

So reluctantly I decided to open the brake up and see what was going on inside. This procedure could apply to any of the following models:

  • XL-FDD - 90mm Front Drum Brake & Hub Dynamo Combo
  • X-FDD - 70mm Front Drum Brake & Hub Dynamo Combo
  • XL-FD - 90mm Front Drum Brake
  • X-FD - 70mm Front Drum Brake
  • XL-RD3 - 3 Speed Rear Hub with 90mm Drum Brake
  • XL-RD5 - 5 Speed Rear Hub with 90mm Drum Brake
And probably some other models.

Sturmey Archer Drum Brake Service - Open Up

First off I removed the Cam Lever Arm, which I would advise you to leave in place / attached. You will need to wiggle this later on to work in some grease.

The modern Sturmey Archer Drum Brakes have cartridge bearings, so for those of you that are used to bearing cones etc. the procedure is far more simple. Holding on to the "anchor arm" (see below) undo the nut, and remove it from the axle. The brake plate assembly should now slide off.

Sturmey Archer Drum Brake Service - Clean & Lube

In side you will see that the brake pads are firmly attached to the brake plate assembly, the pads do not need to be removed for cleaning, simply use an automotive brake cleaner which you can pick up from your local motor factors (uni part for example) for £4 a can.Whilst I would say it is OK to blast the shoes with cleaner, be careful not to get any on the bearings in the hub drum, instead spray some on a cloth and wipe around the inside of the drum.

Sturmey Archer Drum Brake Service - Lube

Next up we need to lube the cam that spreads the shoes (see below picture), you will need to wiggle the cam lever arm (first picture on page), so you can poke some grease in the the areas where it is needed. Try not to get any grease on the shoes.

Next apply a little light oil to the upper pivot, see below.

Sturmey Archer Drum Brake Service - Put Back Together

This is the reverse of taking apart! The only thing to watch out for on the hub dynamo models is that the power outlet is lined up to where it was before taking apart. This is a little tricky because as you tighten the nut on the brake side the power outlet will rotate on the other side, but after a few goes no doubt you will get it right.

Happy tinkering.

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  1. I have the sturmey archer XL FD front drum brake.I want to move a little the axle in order to put a speedometer plate, so i mast re-center the axle so the free space for the fork at the right and the left side to be the same. How can i do that?

  2. The axle is pressed in to the the bearings do, you would need to use a bearing press of similar to sift the axle over one way or another.

    I presume the central part of the axle where the bearing area is smooth, so how much thread is available each end? Enough?