Sealey Tools VS035 Brake Shoe Spring Pliers
Cost: £5 – £20 if your daft enough to pay that.
One of the main jobs on my car is to get the brakes working so I can at least move it in and out of the garage under her own steam as it were. The original steel brake lines had been hacksawed to bits and the drums themselves have been real bad for rust. You can see the Brake Drum rebuild under the Photo Menu, Wheels and brakes, or for the various sections – part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here. You can see the pliers in action within these photo sets. As the vehicle is drums in each corner I needed the proper tool or so I am told from every web site and forum. There are a few that say, “use a decent pair of long-nosed pliers”. My motto on this car is right tool for the right job. So I bought a Sealey set of brake shoe pliers.
In the box:
There was nothing in the box, no book of words, no quick guide no thank you! There was just the pliers wrapped in bubble wrap and that was it.
They are a two piece set with a single non adjustable pivot in the middle. They are a lightweight steel and not very heavy. Each end of the handles has a special design for the task, the jaws are made up of a hook and a point. On one side of the handle is a hollow with a lip. The other a scoop and cut out.
The circular hollowed out part of the handle is to go over the centre pin, the lip goes under the spring and you twist. The twist action forces the spring up over the pin and is the spring is released. There is definitely a knack to it, I got the hang of it and can now do it one-handed. The other handle has a slight scoop and a hollow out. I used this to reassemble the springs, I put the spring up the handle and located the cut out onto the centre pin. This stopped it moving from side to side. Then from the forty-five degree angle I then lifted it to the vertical position, the spring was forced down over the handle onto the centre pin. A twist of the wrist again and the pliers came out. The jaws have a hook which can be latched into the spring and pulled into place. I also managed to use the point and hook to lever out a spring using the brake shoe itself. You basically have three or four tools in one.
They work, I would like to see a set of instructions to see the exact and correct way to use them. I must say that after a few random attempts to remove the springs has paid the price on the tool. The same on problem with Sealey is their metal is soft. The springs had managed to bur the lip at the bottom of the removal section and had to be filed off. Not happy about that. The tool feels cheap and would not stand up to a professional use. If you want a good set pay the extra and get Blue Point or Mac.
Rating: 6 out 10
For what I need them for they were fine, I got them bargain price so it wasn’t so bad. But even so I don’t expect them to bend and burr up after a couple of uses. The other parts seemed OK, it’s just the removal part. Would I buy them again? No, I would buy a much sturdier pair. For an occasional use at a cheap price they are worth the money. They will see me through this rebuild fine, but next time I shall get a quality set.