DIY Network

Use a Brake Lathe to Smooth Brake Rotors

Automotive repair instructor Claude Whitaker demonstrates the use of a brake lathe to smooth brake rotors.

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  • After the wheel has been removed, an impact wrench is used to loosen lug nuts.

  • Next, brake pliers remove the brake hardware and the drum is measured by a drum micrometer. If the drum doesn't measure up, it has to be replaced. Otherwise, the drum is resurfaced and put back in place.

  • A brake lathe resurfaces the drum — returning it to its original round shape and giving a smooth finish that will allow the shoe to seat properly.

  • A diamond bit removes the least amount of metal possible while giving the drum its shape.