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View Full Version : Rear Axle: Hub puller: J-1644-B or J-1644-S



NCDave51
06-26-2018, 04:25 PM
Having nightmares about the wedge-type hub puller that my Nash manual wanted me to use on my rear hubs....my 1951 Studebaker manual is also referencing the J-1644-S hub puller in the picture within the Rear Axle section. Trying to get my 1941 Nash rear hubs off became comical and nearly deadly, so I gave up....

Trying to go through my brakes to solve a dragging or stuck brake symptom, starting with cables, etc., but homing in on the rear brakes now (fronts so far see to react and spin fine when the car is raised and the hydraulics tested by my willing 12 year old. The cables are fully slack and the eccentric (adjuster) bolts are backed off.

What types of hub pullers have you all used for pulling Champion drums, assuming Commanders may have been similar? The hub nut came off easily enough and thankfully - unlike my '41 Nash - the axle stub appears to be keyed, so I/m praying these things aren't a taper-fit.....

Oddly, the same manual discusses both the J-1644-B and the J-1644-S puller. While I know the latter is a wedge type that you hammer off, is the -B model a conventional screw-type puller....?

Any suggestions would be most welcome.

David in (rainy) NC

TWChamp
06-26-2018, 04:44 PM
The key helps lock the hub from spinning, but the taper is what is meant to transfer the torque, and that's why the nut is quite tight. When I removed the axle nut on my 50 Land Cruiser, the nut was not tighter than a pliers could have made it. The hub was still very tight to the axle though, and required cranking down hard on the large center bolt of the puller, then hitting it with a hammer. My puller is a Snap On I found at a swap meet. It has 3 legs that get fastened to the wheel studs. The large center bolt also has a slip on cross bar to hammer against. Be sure the nut is run up to the end threads on the axle, so you don't damage them.

mbstude
06-26-2018, 04:46 PM
http://www.studebaker-info.org/Tech/Brakes/reardrum/drumpuller.jpg

r1lark
06-26-2018, 04:57 PM
Dave, I wasn't sure from your post whether you have one of the J-1644-S hub pullers (or something similar that you used on your Nash) and are concerned about using it? They are great pullers and work extremely well. But the 3 legged puller that mbstude posted a pic of will work just about as well........and are much easier to find.

NCDave51
06-26-2018, 06:51 PM
Thanks to you both - I found a reasonable Snap-On unit of the similar "hammer-around" design on local craigslist, so we'll see what happens. I understand not to reassemble with any grease, etc., but I'm crossing my fingers that the hub and drum haven't been slowly galled together over the last 66 years.....

Dave

Bo Markham
06-26-2018, 09:00 PM
Thanks to you both - I found a reasonable Snap-On unit of the similar "hammer-around" design on local craigslist, so we'll see what happens. I understand not to reassemble with any grease, etc., but I'm crossing my fingers that the hub and drum haven't been slowly galled together over the last 66 years.....

Dave

Dave,

After more then 40 years working on these and other makes and models, I still find that the best and easiest way to get the hub/drum to break loose is to take the carter pin out and loosen the Jesus nut a full turn, not more then a 1/4" and drive it around the lot. You will be listening for a loud pop, and you may even feel it. Make sure you've run the brake shoe adjusters in to prevent possible damage to the brake components on the axle your trying to separate. Drive slow.

Jeffry Cassel
06-27-2018, 09:39 AM
You cannot pull the hub with the axle nut on the axle! Remove the nut. Adjust the shoes all the way down - away from the drum. Tighten puller and swat the puller screw smartly with a 2 lb hammer. WD-40 wouldn't hurt. Sometimes it takes a couple days. It is rusty and if it was loose the axle may rusted to the hub. Nice puller- they don't come any better-good find. If all else fails try a heavy duty propane torch. don't use acetylene -it doesn't need to be that hot and you might damage the hub and or axle. Tried the drive around thing on a John Deere. Drove it that way for 2 years before I put clamp back on and tightened the bolts again- didn't move a millimeter!

50pete
06-27-2018, 11:07 AM
do not remove the nut all of the way leave it on loose, so the hub/drum doesn't jump off when the taper breaks!
after the taper breaks, remove the puller, the nut then the drum.

studegary
06-27-2018, 07:37 PM
do not remove the nut all of the way leave it on loose, so the hub/drum doesn't jump off when the taper breaks!
after the taper breaks, remove the puller, the nut then the drum.

I agree. I put the nut on in reverse position with the flat even with the end of the axle. Besides preventing the hub from "flying" off and causing damage to you or something else, it also prevents mushrooming of the axle end.

Jeffry Cassel
06-28-2018, 04:34 PM
Sounds a little goofy. The drums going to jump off?? Understand theory but I am always delighted just to get one off at all . Sure, they go POP and relieve the tension in the puller but I really can't see the drum and puller flying across the room and taking out an innocent bystander. Never damaged axle either.

studegary
06-28-2018, 09:07 PM
Sounds a little goofy. The drums going to jump off?? Understand theory but I am always delighted just to get one off at all . Sure, they go POP and relieve the tension in the puller but I really can't see the drum and puller flying across the room and taking out an innocent bystander. Never damaged axle either.

I don't know how many you have done. I never damaged threads either (with my system). However, in the shop we had a special tool to restore the axle threads that had been damaged by customers.

r1lark
06-29-2018, 06:56 AM
Sounds a little goofy. The drums going to jump off?? Understand theory but I am always delighted just to get one off at all . Sure, they go POP and relieve the tension in the puller but I really can't see the drum and puller flying across the room and taking out an innocent bystander. Never damaged axle either.

The first Studebaker rear drum that I pulled off, on my '64 GT Hawk..............used a borrowed 3 leg puller. The puller's owner said you really have to put a lot of tension on it, then hit the end hard. Kept putting more and more tension on it, an nothing. Was frustrated and got up and started to walk away, and heard a lout POP and then a huge clatter. The drum and puller was laying on the concrete about 3 feet away (well, at least 2 feet). After that, I always leave the nut on to contain the drum. :)

NCDave51
06-29-2018, 11:35 AM
Thanks everyone -always like the various discussions and levity!

When I return from business trip on Monday and get the chance to use the new puller, I’ll update.

And yes, I do remember being told to leave the nut just away (1/8 - 1/4”) from the hub snout when the puller is under tension, even leaving it overnight. The forces released by these ductile iron drums are considerable.

JimKB1MCV
06-29-2018, 11:36 AM
That three-legged puller is capable of exerting the tremendous force necessary to break the taper axle-to-hub bond. When it lets go that energy is released. Thats why I was always told to loosen the nut a few turns or to remove the nut and put it back on a few turns slack to contain the hub and reduce the chances of a boogered up axle thread. The hub and the puller together are pretty heavy and while getting hit by the pair might not be lethal, I suspect most of us wouldn't enjoy it. YMMV.

NCDave51
07-02-2018, 02:24 PM
SUCCESS!

Carefully snugging down on the 3/4" lug nuts to ensure the bolts wouldn't stretch and using positions #1, 3 and 4, the puller was squarely set onto the hub (and into the hub detent with lots of axle grease). I applied several strong blows with a 1 lb maul, applied WD-40 Penetrant thru the key way every once in a while, gave good blows around the circumference with a rubber mallet and then let it sit. I repeated this every 30 minutes this morning and even added a bit of propane torch evenly distributed around the snout of the drum. Nothing for two (2) hours. On my final try repeating all the above, I decided to slacken the puller, just to check I wasn't damaging the lug threads, etc., and with a quiet POP the drum came safely off its taper, resting against the flat of the nut. It happened almost immediately with the first CCW blow of the hammer.

I've posted a few pics from the successful removal of the hub today:
1) the puller shaft did have the small nib that projects out of plane (and nests into the end of our hub), apply grease liberally first to prevent galling
2) I mounted the puller on lugs 1-3-4 and kept the #1 lug at 12:00 to ensure it was the shaft that was turning when struck, not just the entire drum (brakes/cable are obviously slackened off)
3) I kept the castellated nut as close to the end of the hub as possible, giving about a 3/16" gap between it and the drum snout
4) once removed, the brakes appeared in excellent condition, so my dragging problem may be more hydraulic (master) in nature. I'll dig in, freshen things up with lube/etc and go from there.

I was very glad to see the key in its keyway, by the way. I couldn't see it when looking on end (prior to mounting the puller!). I was worried that PO had reefed on the hubnut to get as tight a bond as possible...

Great discussion on this one - thank you all.

http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/1136281/fullsize/puller-nib.jpg
http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/1136282/fullsize/puller-mount.jpg
http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/1136283/fullsize/nut-clearance.jpg
http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/1136284/fullsize/rr-brake-exposed.jpg

studegary
07-02-2018, 09:15 PM
Your brake dragging problem may be a flexible hose that is bad inside and not letting the pressure/brakes release properly.

jackb
07-03-2018, 09:22 AM
nice to see those self adjuster parts installed......

NCDave51
07-04-2018, 07:51 PM
Yes, I definitely had to look in the manual for descriptions on these adjusters. Subtle adjustment would be the operative word - my 41' Nash and '56 Metropolitan both had similar eccentric cams for coarse (initial) adjustment, but I can't say I've ever seen any other marque having these unusual "plug" adjusters....Anybody have an idea if these were unique to Studebaker or more "of-the-era" for this brake manufacturer, etc?

Almost all of the 60s and 70s drum-brake cars I've wrenched on had the Bendix threaded "star-wheel" set-up which worked well, but yes, still not automatic. The '64 C-10 I sold in March was the first year for GM to use a wedge-lever adjuster a bit like my Champion, using forward torque to allow a wedge to force the lever to reach down and yes, turn the star wheel. Elaborate and yet dismal was my opinion of these awful units.

Final comment here on this thread: for the driver's side rear drum the exact scenario played out as with the passenger's: after several blows clockwise, letting it sit, etc, as soon as I struck it counterclockwise the drum popped loose - amazing. There must be some elastic strain that is set up, and when given the chance to return the stiction is overcome and off it comes.

Studegary - I've ordered three new hoses just in case. All hoses look reasonably healthy, but the price is low enough to answer the question for sure.

Thanks everyone.

jackb
07-05-2018, 08:49 AM
An old gear head told me that early auto brake system was used on International trucks...

NCDave51
07-06-2018, 06:40 AM
Well, I received the new brake hoses and all 3 installed just fine; getting the spring clip off the rear upper mount was a bit tricky with the tight access provided. All three appear to have been done in last 10 years or so, but piece of mind is worth the ~$30 for these hoses.

I was shocked at the brake fluid. Unless DOT3/4 was ever the color of orange soda streaked with blood, this fluid was in terrible condition and I’m thankful for digging in further. The original lines were still in the car and externally rusty - it didn’t take long for me to decide that all lines and a new master were next to order.

InlineTube has done several sets for me over the years and for my 51 Champion w/o hillholder you can get a coated mild steel kit for $140 and a stainless kit for $180. I chose the latter. Hopefully an update can be given next weekend when they arrive.

Wheel cyls are fine and essentially new (see pic above).

I assumed with the condition of the car overall and the meticulous engine bay that the brakes were healthy.

“Discoveries when wrenching” are part of the joy of owning a classic. And brakes are the most important assembly on the car so zero hesitation in making it all perfect.

nvonada
07-06-2018, 06:57 AM
Don't be too hard on the PO. Our brake systems are vented to the air so the brake fluid is absorbing moisture all the time. I totally rebuilt the brakes on my Jeep (lines, cylinders, master) and used DOT 5 in it. The Stude is still on DOT3/4 so I just flush out the old fluid every 2 years. BTW my 67 Jeepster has tapered axles in the back too so the puller gets a workout at my house!

Nathan

NCDave51
07-06-2018, 07:33 AM
Absolutely agree - I was hoping I could get by with a flush but the exterior of the lines made me choose otherwise. And I’ve never gone
up to 5 or 5.1, I’ve always stayed with 3 in drums and 4 on disc/drums simply for wet-boiling point.