Brake Lathe Maintenance
When do you change your Brake Lathe Belt? How soon do you inspect your cones and adapters? What ensures an excellent surface finish on a rotor or drum? Let's face it, we've all had these questions, and the answer lies in proper brake lathe maintenance.
How often do you run maintenance on your lathe? If you run an under-car shop, chances are your lathe is running for several hours every day of the week. In that case, you should be maintaining and inspecting your lathe quite frequently. Regardless of the brand, all brake lathes need proper maintenance performed. What better time than spring to get this done; this ensures your lathes are running smoothly before tire season picks up.
Cleaning the Lathes
Most maintenance starts from the outside, and it's imperative to keep your machine clean. A build-up of brake dust, dirt, and metal will create rust; this can ruin your lathe over time. The best way to clean your lathe is simply by wiping it down with a degreaser or using a brush. Using a brush rather than an air hose ensures debris isn't getting into places it should not be. Once the machine is clean, it's best to check and empty the chip tray and clean the chip shield.
Inspecting & Changing Belts, Adaptors, & Bits
Now that the exterior is clean, it's time to inspect the lathe and see if it works properly. This would be the best time to examine the boots and belts to check for cracks. If you have a serpentine belt, check all the little groves for damages. If you find any issues, replace your belt now. This will prevent you from having to replace them in the future, all-in-all saving you time.
Inspect your cones and adapters for any scratches and damage as well. This might seem like a small problem, but it can cause more significant issues, such as misalignment. Either remove the nicks using a fine stone or replace the part. Also, inspect for dirt and debris; dirty adapters can increase the risk of a rotor being improperly mounted. Simply cleaning and checking your lathe after every use will ensure that your components continue to work properly.
It would be best to inspect silencer bands for rips and tears; over time, oils can cause the bands to break when stretching them over a rotor. Fatigued silencing bands can cause injury to the person operating the lathe as well as damage the machine itself. These bands should be inspected and replaced as needed.
Having a new or proper tool bit will significantly impact the surface finish of a rotor or drum. If there is wear and tear to the bit, it will leave a rough finish, which leads to poor brake performance. By keeping quality tool bits, you can create an excellent finish that will last longer than a cheaper dull bit. It would help if you replaced tool bits as soon as you noticed the surface area deteriorating.
Now it's time to check the oil, which is reasonably straightforward. Most machines have a dipstick that allows you to see the oil level. You're looking to see if the oil comes up to the guideline on the dipstick. Check to see if the oil is dirty; if so, it's recommended that you change out the oil. The other item to note is to find and lubricate the grease fittings. Usually, gearboxes do not require lubricants but double-check your owner's manual for the specifics on your machine. It's recommended to lubricate the cross feed on the Ammco brake lathe machine once each month. However, if your lathe is belt-driven, you must check to see if there's proper tension; otherwise, it's best to have it replaced.
You can browse our website to see our selection of offered products. Two belts we recommend are the Ammco V Belt and Ammco 20" Belt for two steps 2 Spindle pulley. You can replace most of your brake lathe parts here at MT-RSR. We also offer brake lathe repair kits containing boots, belts, silencer bands, bits, and much more. Proper machine maintenance is the key to a well-run shop and happy customers. Our mission is to provide outstanding service and quality products made and manufactured right here in the USA. On top of our quality products, we offer top-notch support. Our team delivers expert support & provides clients with multiple video tutorials and Shop Talk Blogs like this one. We believe in providing customers with products that add value and a relationship that lasts a lifetime. At MT-RSR, we strive to be your #1 under-car equipment parts expert.