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Posted: August 1, 2014

The Foundation Brake Analyzer (FBA) from Regina, Saskatchewan’s Hub Tech Systems allows mechanics to establish actual camshaft travel at each wheel end, or to identify the size of a brake drum present in most S-cam brake assemblies, without removing the brake drum. Not altogether new but worth a look, the tool can save both time – 15 to 30 minutes — and money. The system is said to be simple and easy to use. The gauge has three discs that are stacked one on top of the other, with the ever-present stainless steel pointer. The largest disc is the stainless steel degree disc, designed to measure the total amount of S-cam travel evident in a specific S-cam foundation brake assembly. The second largest disc is the non-metallic brake lining disc. It’s used to convert the brake-lining thickness you measure in the specific brake assembly into a number representing the number of degrees of S-cam travel used up by the brake lining wear. The smallest disc is the non-metallic drum disc, which determines the size of the brake drum. The accompanying photo illustrates one actual brake test. The total amount of S-cam travel in this foundation brake assembly is 90 degrees. The remaining brake lining thickness measured half an inch, which means that 60 degrees of S-cam travel is used up by lining wear. Therefore, 90 degrees of total S-cam travel, minus 60 degrees of S-cam travel as used up by the brake lining wear, the remainder is 30 degrees. The remaining 30 degrees of S-Cam travel is brake drum wear and initial lining-to-drum clearance. This 30 degrees has a calibrated measurement beside it of .125. This means that this particular brake drum is worn 125 thousands of an inch. Any brake that tests beyond 120 degrees of rotation is out-of-service. The FBA is equipped with a magnet that’s used to secure the analyzer to the S-cam of the brake assembly being tested. This design allows the gauge to be portable and can be moved from one assembly to another with ease. Cliff Hubick developed the tool, which costs C$185 plus shipping. Hubick’s background includes over 25 years as a heavy-duty technician, vehicle inspector and CVSA inspector.


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