The Ultimate Brake Drum Buying Guide

Learn All About Car Brake Drum

The braking system of a vehicle is an important safety aspect that should not be overlooked. A good braking system can prove to be beneficial under unwanted circumstances such as road accidents. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the function and components of a brake system. This article on brake drums will help you in understanding the part in detail and making a wise choice while purchasing quality brake parts for your vehicle.

What Are Brake Drums?

Brake drums and drum brakes might sound similar, but they are different. The brake drum is a component of the drum brake, and a drum brake is a type of braking mechanism. The brake drum is a cylindrical component attached to the wheel of the vehicle and rotates with it. It consists of shoes or pads that are pushed by the hydraulic wheel cylinders against the rotating drum to stop the vehicle.

What Type Of Brake Drum Should I Choose?

Cast Iron Brake Drums


Brake drums are mostly made of solid cast iron because it is resistant to wear and has high heat conductivity. Cast iron brake drums are strong enough to withstand high braking forces and are resistant to distortion and warping. 

Aluminium Brake Drums


Aluminum brake drums are lighter and run cooler than cast iron brake drums. Aluminum brake drums consist of an aluminum casting with a cast-iron liner as a braking surface. This makes the brake drum assembly lighter and allows better heat transfer to the atmosphere.

What Are The Factors I Should Consider Before Buying A Brake Drum?

You should be sure that you are getting the best brake drum for the money you spend because a good quality brake drum can enhance the safety of you and others on the road. Since the brake drum is exposed to a lot of heat and friction, you should always choose a good combination of heat dissipation and durability. A few things to keep in mind before purchasing a brake drum are listed below.

1. Material

Brake drums are generally made of cast iron. They are also made from aluminum with a steel or iron liner that offers good heat dissipation and performance. Brake drums are also provided with cooling fins or ribs that keep the drum cool and reduce brake fade. Always check your manual for the type of brake drum used on your vehicle. Most vehicles are equipped with cast iron brake drums, although you can choose aluminum brake drums for your vehicle if you want to make your vehicle more performance-oriented because they are very light compared to cast iron brake drums. 

2. Balance

Balanced brake drums and even-weight distribution are vital for the proper functioning of the braking system. Imbalanced brake drums can severely damage the suspension and other components. To check whether a brake drum is balanced or not, look for weights attached to the brake drum on the sides. Not all brake drums are balanced by adding weights, because some are balanced by machining. So, if you can't find weights on the drum, there is nothing to worry about but always check the product description for the same.

3. Warranty

Different brands offer varying warranties and you can choose the part according to the brand and the warranty they offer on their parts. Some of them come with a few years and some with a lifetime warranty so you can balance your budget with a warranty that suits your needs.

4. Compatibility

Finding the right fit brake drum for your vehicle is very important. Therefore, it is important to consult the vehicle repair manual or your mechanic to ensure you are getting a part compatible with your vehicle. Check the number of bolts, bolt pattern, and diameter of the drum before purchasing. Or you can simply enter the correct year, make, and model of the vehicle on the PartsAvatar website to find the perfect fitment brake drum.

Which Popular Brand Brake Drum Should I Choose?

Raybestos Brake Drums

Raybestos is a reputed brand when it comes to quality brake drums and it has been raising the bar for automotive brake components for over a century. You can find brake drums by Raybestos on modern machines, passenger cars, and racing vehicles. Brake drums from Raybestos offer optimum performance and better braking power. 

Part Number: 9639R, 9790R, 9801R, 9775R, 9796R, and more.


  • Made from quality materials to match SAE standards for tensile strength.
  • Perfectly balanced brake drums for better braking performance. 
  • Manufactured to OE specifications for perfect fit, form, and function. 
  • Smooth and low noise-free operation.

For more information and a detailed product line, visit the Raybestos Brake Drums section.

RS Parts Brake Drums

RS Parts holds a prestigious place for itself in the automotive industry. Brake drums by RS Parts are manufactured from strong and durable materials to meet strict industry standards and to deliver maximum performance. Brake drums are an essential component of the braking system of the vehicle and RS Parts manufactures quality brake drums to ensure safety and offers them at competitive prices.

Part Number: RS9747, RS9775, RS9801, RS9123, RS9715, and more.


  • Manufactured with precision to match OE form, fit, and function.
  • The high-quality finish provides improved break-in and shoe seating with no machining required.
  • Precision balancing provides quiet and vibration-free performance.
  • Manufactured from high-quality materials to guarantee strength and long-lasting performance.

For more information and a detailed product line, visit the RS Parts Brake Drum section.

Worldparts Brake Drums

Worldparts has set itself apart with its excellent range of quality products designed to meet the needs of the automotive market. Brake drums by Worldparts are manufactured from high-quality materials to ensure maximum safety and performance. 

Part Number: WS1-235113, WS1-235117, WS1-235122, WS1-18021, WS1-18973, and more.


  • Designed to precision from state-of-art equipment to enhance the braking performance of the vehicle.
  • High-quality construction ensures reliability and safety.
  • Manufactured from premium-grade materials for strength and long-lasting performance.
  • Designed according to OE specification for perfect fit and function.
  • Engineered and tested according to industry standards for superior and hassle-free operation.

For more information and a detailed product line, visit the Worldparts Brake Drum section.

Transit Warehouse Brake Drums

When it comes to purchasing brake drum replacement for your vehicle, you can't go wrong with Transit Warehouse because they offer high-quality, tested, and balanced brake drums for reliable and consistent performance. Transit Warehouse is one of the largest auto parts manufacturers and offers superior quality and advanced brake drums to assure complete satisfaction.

Part Number: 8-9734, 8-9749, 8-9724, 8-9756, 8-9728, and more


  • Direct OEM replacement designed to fit perfectly on your vehicle.
  • Tested for quality to ensure long-lasting performance.
  • Manufactured and balanced with precision to ensure a vibration-free operation and eliminate pedal pulsation.
  • Manufactured according to stringent industry standards to provide a perfect balance between safety and durability.
  • Preferred choice by professionals for outstanding quality, performance, and value.

For more information and a detailed product line, visit the Transit Warehouse Brake Drum section.

How Much Does A Brake Drum Replacement Cost Me?

Replacing the brake drum is expensive because it requires a significant amount of labor and parts. The brake drums are available at PartsAvatar from $10 to $240. The full brake drum replacement will cost more, as it includes other parts and hardware. The price of the drum replacement can vary as the front and rear drum replacement involves different parts and labor efforts.

What Are The Symptoms That My Brake Drum Is Bad?

Brake drums undergo a lot of friction and heat, and they can eventually wear out. This can lead to poor braking and affect the overall safety of the vehicle. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on the following symptoms of a failing brake drum. 

Brake Pedal Vibrations

A worn-out brake drum can lead to vibrations, shaking, and trembling as you step on the brake pedal. If you witness any unusual vibration in the pedal, then it could be a worn-out brake drum.

Loose Parking Brake

Another telltale sign of a failing brake drum is a poor parking brake. Parking brakes use brake shoes that are squeezed against the brake drum to hold the vehicle in its place. A worn-out brake drum will cause the parking brake to slip and won't be able to keep the car parked securely. 

Brake Noise

Worn out brake drums can also lead to unusual sounds while operating the brakes. Brake drums are poor in absorbing heat generated from braking. This leads to heat buildup and causes scraping sounds when the shoes push against the rotating drum. 

Raybestos Brake Drums - Part Number Catalog


Part Numbers

Raybestos Brake Drums

9734R, 9764R, 9498R, 9780R, 9776R, 97846R, 2604R, 9779R, 2637R, 2065R, 9784R, 9754R, 9706R

RS Parts Brake Drums - Part Number Catalog


Part Numbers

RS Parts Brake Drums

RS9764, RS9622, RS9780, RS9749, RS9489, RS9776, RS9538, RS9734, RS9721

Worldparts Brake Drums - Part Number Catalog


Part Numbers

Worldparts Brake Drums

WS1-235129, WS1-180127, WS1-135126, WS1-180118, WS1-180132, WS1-335114, WS1-235094

Transit Warehouse Brake Drums - Part Number Catalog


Part Numbers

Transit Warehouse Brake Drums

8-9764. 8-9788, 8-9780, 8-9796, 8-9775, 8-9801, GCR-9775, 8-97865


Articles and Guides that are written with the help of mechanics to ensure you have all the knowledge you need to make the correct purchase here at PartsAvatar.

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The brake drums of a vehicle can last for about 300,000 kilometers. But they can wear out soon due to other factors like driving styles, external conditions, vehicle type, etc. The brake drums of the vehicle are usually replaced in pairs for better performance.

Brake drums have a smooth surface that increases the brake life and provides optimum braking power. The surface can get rough over prolonged usage and can be resurfaced to a good condition.

Excessive noise or shudder while applying brakes can be a sign of out-of-round brake drums. Out-of-round brake drums can also be identified by dark spots or uneven surfaces on the brake lining surface. The uneven braking surface can be repaired by machining until it's smooth again.

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Mike Morrales
Automotive Product Expert
A super dork when it comes to new automotive tech. Part manufacturers are constantly making revolutionary product updates for their aftermarket line up. However, knowing what changes were made and how they could affect your day to day driving adventures is something our automotive product expert will definitely be chiming in on, stay tuned !.