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Brake Shoes
Something that’s never occurred to me before because I’ve never done it, but are 1inch and 1 1/4 inch brake shoes interchangeable?
Alan Fairless
No. 1.25" require the later drums and will not fit in the early ones. You can change from narrow to wide if you change the drums as well.
Robert Leigh
However the reverse is possible I think Robert i.e. fitting narrow shoes (somewhat more adundant) in a wide drum.

It may be worth taking a short-cut to the statement that brake friction is fundamentally independent of lining width.
Yes, according to Bill Williams.

"The later type …. will fit into the narrow brake drums provided the outside edge of the lining is chamfered sufficiently to clear the side wall of the brake drum."
If trying to chamfer brake linings, or adjust the lining material in any way make sure you are not working on old type asbestos material. Be quite sure that you are working with modern non-asbestos linings.
Robert Leigh
Bill Williams is right they do fit.

But they are on the edge of surface allowance. 

If you are useing 90 year old drums, they will be worn. So the 1 1/4 will span the 1 inch wear. So unless you scim the drums even thinner to get a flat surface, the 1 1/4 will be worse than 1 inch.

The question you need to ask, with there being so many worn old brake drums out there. Why put 1 1/4 shoes into 1 inch drums in the first place.

There are millions of 1 1/4 inch drums out, I would expect the reson why they are not seen so often. Is because they are worth very little.

“Friction is independent of area”. This is true, Chris. In fact a mutual acquaintance of ours once tried to persuade me to cut away all of the brake lining except for a 1 inch square at the leading edges. I think he knows a thing or two about brakes.

Thanks for replies,all. The question was prompted because my Chummy has the wider shoes and I was considering changing it back.
Alan Fairless
It is indeed Alan, but that might be going a little far!
Citroen Have less lining on the trailing shoe on the back of the old DS. From memory it's about 2/3 the length of a full lining, all at the cam end.
I think this is to ensure that the trailing shoe wears at the same speed as leading. Normally the leading shoe wears faster so limiting braking effort.
I've though about trying something similar on my car but think it might but undue strain on the cast shoes.

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