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American Friction has unparalleled experience in analyzing and solving the various problem situations listed below. Our solutions have saved countless hours of production time for many rigs and their mechanics. Call us—let us help you too!

Problems with brake blocks, brake bands, and other related questions or issues

  1. Can shearing of brass bolts and/or brake blocks that come off (shuck) or come loose from the bands be prevented?
    Call us—we can tell you why this is happening and what you can do about it.*

  2. Is your drill pipe stuck due to lost circulation, now you’re jarring and shearing your brass bolts?
    Call us—we can supply you with what you need to stop the bolts from shearing.*

  3. What can you do about glazing of your brake blocks and/or associated problems like NO HOLDING POWER?
    Call us—we will explain how you can temporarily fix this and what you need to do to prevent it in the future.*

  4. Are your brake blocks still “thick like new”, but feel and look worn out/not holding well and are loose on the band?
    Call us—we will explain what’s happened and what you need to know to correct the problem.*

  5. Are you using molded/hard plugs and now experiencing problems?
    Call us—we will explain what you need to know and what to look out for.*

  6. What causes brake block hole plugs to fall out of their holes?
    Call us—we will tell you why this is happening and what you can do about it.*

  7. What causes my brake handle to feel “spongy”?
    Call us—we will tell you why this is happening, what you should know, and what you can do about it.*

  8. What is causing my brake handle to kick?
    Call us—we will help you understand what’s causing this and how to fix it.*

  9. Should I “burn in” my blocks like we did years ago?
    Call us—we will help you understand what you need to know before making this decision.*

  10. Is it okay to store blocks or bands outside and “in the elements?”
    Call us—we will tell you what you can do and what you should be concerned about.*

  11. Should I paint (or prime) my bands on the inside? Some OEM’s recommend primer inside—do you?
    Call us—we will help you understand why there is only one instance in which primer is acceptable.*

  12. Bands: welded or riveted ends? What are the differences? Are there benefits of one over the other?
    Call us—we will help you understand the differences.*

  13. OEM band designs: Which are potentially weak? Which are not? What are potential problem areas?
    Call us—we will share with you our findings and experiences.*

  14. Bands: Why do the dead end areas usually crack first and which is the “live end” and which is “dead end”?
    Call us—we will share with you what we know.*

  15. Bands: If one of the ends rip off the band but the band is relatively new and in good condition otherwise, can it be fixed?
    Call us—we will discuss what we can do.*

  16. What causes blocks to wear unevenly? Why are they more worn (thinner) at the top or at the dead end?
    Call us—we will explain what’s happening and what you can do about this.*

  17. Equalizer: How do I adjust the eyebolts and is this adjustment critical?
    Call us—we will share with you what we know.*

  18. Why does my brake handle rise as the blocks get hot or wet?
    Call us—we will explain what causes this and why.*

  19. Where should molded blocks go on the band and why? Which position—live end, top, dead end?
    Call us—we will explain our reasoning on this issue and we’ll tell you what others do and why.*

  20. Do I need to use molded/hard/wiper blocks on my bands?
    Call us—we will explain what we know, when this could help, and when this could hurt your operation.*

  21. Will using all molded/hard blocks and no woven blocks on my bands work well?
    Call us—we will explain what works, what doesn’t, and why.*

  22. Will “wiper blocks” keep my brake rims/drums/flanges “flat, true, and smooth”?
    Call us—we will explain what our experience has taught us and what wiper blocks will and will not do.*

  23. What is the difference between hard blocks, molded blocks, and wiper blocks?
    Call us—we will explain the differences.*

  24. Why do my bolts keep loosening even after they have been previously retightened, and why are the bolt heads pulling through the block?
    Call us—we will explain why this is happening.*

  25. Why are my blocks unraveling, or why is the weave loose (whether thick or thin)?
    Call us—we will explain what has caused this and what you can do about it.*

  26. Is there such a thing as “quiet blocks” and do you make them?
    Call us—we will explain what we can and can’t do.*

  27. Slotting blocks (woven or hard/molded): Does this help?
    Call us—we will explain what purpose slotting serves and what it will and won’t do.*

  28. Does American Friction recommend applying a specific torque value to the bolts?
    Yes, if you are using our blocks. The specific value would be 24 to 26 ft lbs. Anything more than that value might damage the brass bolt. Our blocks will not be damaged by over-torquing the bolts. We do not, however, recommend a specific torque value for any other brand of blocks.

  29. Will bolts pull through American Friction blocks if over-torqued?
    No. You will damage only the bolt if it is tightened too much.

  30. Do you have other questions or problems?
    Call us—we’ve probably seen it or heard about it.*

*You may wonder, "Why do I need to call and why don't you just explain the situation and spell out your reasons above?"

The reason is simple and twofold, (1) we’re not going to give the benefits of our experience away for free to our competitors and (2) there are so many variables on each rig and in each situation that we need to discuss YOUR UNIQUE SITUATION before we can give you accurate solutions!