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Damaged Caused to Travel Trailer Brake Drums and Bearings by High Temperatures  


How hot can a brake drum get before it needs replaced if nothing else is wrong with it? It got hot enough that the paint is gone but bearings and grease was in great shape.


Helpful Expert Reply:

Normal operating temperatures for drum brakes range from 150-400 degrees F. During certain stopping conditions the brake heat can exceed 600 degrees. The effectiveness and stopping power of the brakes is significantly reduced at these higher temperatures and anything above 650 degrees may damage brake components if they stay that warm for an extended period of time.

The bearings themselves can withstand considerable temperature without damage. However the bearing
lubricant cannot. Temperatures in excess of 200 degrees F may indicate a bearing or bearing lubrication problem. Temperatures in the range of 140 -175 degrees F. are considered normal.

I recommend purchasing a digital thermometer the next time you are concerned about brake temps. The TireMinder Infrared Thermometer item # TM48FR is a digital thermometer with a range of -58 degrees to 716 degrees F and allows you to check your brake temps from a safe distance.

expert reply by:
Jerred H

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