If you haven’t shopped for a new brake lathe lately, you’ll be surprised by the fact that they are probably faster than the model you’re replacing.
These new-age machines are also more accurate and can handle a wider array of vehicle applications. You’ll also be pleased to note that they are more durable than ever, and still quite easy to use. Some of the newest on-car brake lathes come with ergonomically designed handles for ease of use and a built-in computer that controls the flow of information from a sensor inside the body of the lathe. This action instructs a solenoid to make fine adjustments until the lateral run out is at or below .001 inches.
Whether you’re looking for an on-car or off-the-car bench brake lathe, you’ll like the extras that will make your job easier. For example, does the lathe have a disc/drum control lockout and warning indicator light? If it does, this feature eliminates the potential crashing of the lathe, even with first time operators.
Also look for an auto measurement caliper option. It instantly measures drum or rotor dimensions to determine if the drum or rotor should be discarded prior to machining.
One company says its exclusive anti-chatter technology oscillates the machining speed of its lathe and eliminates the building up of vibration (chatter) that can occur when machining at a fixed speed. According to this manufacturer, its lathe provides a smoother finish that prevents pedal pulsation the number one cause of brake service customer comebacks.
Maybe a heavy-duty trolley with an on-car brake lathe is best for your shop. The maker of this unit says it can service rotors in half the time of other on-car lathes by providing variable speed and rotational torque during compensation and machining. Technicians can resurface rotors at the fastest possible speed and change speeds on the floor.
Always be certain to check the featured parts and options on the brake lathe you purchase. A good bench lathe, for example, can be ordered with such accessories as a Toyota rotor back plate, a 4×4 pressed hub rotor adapter, a vacuum brake bleeder, a double chuck kit, D-clamps, a heavy-duty three jaw chuck, a brake fluid tester and many others from which to choose.
Look, too, for the ability to switch from millimeters to inches with the touch of a button, plus a feature that allows your operator to automatically measure the thickness of the rotor, the diameter of the drum and the total indicated runout.