View Full Version : Brake Drums again

03-11-2005, 01:45 PM
Hey y'all,

I'm still trying to get the rear brake drums off of my 1950 Champ. I've tried several different pullers. I have borrowed a Stude drum puller tool, too. It has a flange which
matches the bolt circle on the lug studs. You tighten the center bolt until it contacts
the axle end (with the nut on it, reversed!), leaving a bit of space between the puller
flange and the hub face, then put the lug nuts on and slowly tighten them evenly around
in a circle. It's supposed to drive the drum off very nicely. But mine are still stuck.
I'm stumped. I'm using a 1/2" drive ratchet with a long handle to tighten the lug nuts,
then an air impact wrench to keep them going along. Nothing doing. Really stuck.
I've soaked the axle keyway with penetrating oil and all (but that's tough -- it's not like
the stuff really goes far into the axle...)

The adjusting cams are backed off properly, the e-brake cable has been slackened. The
shoes seem to be backed away from the drums, although the drums do not spin freely --
the drums drag slightly on the shoes for part of a revolution. I don't think that the drums
hanging up on the shoes are preventing me from getting it off.

Any advice? Hit it harder? Try, try again? Replace the whole %&*^Q#$ rear end?

03-11-2005, 04:43 PM
One time I had a problem pulling a drum on my Champ truck. So I tightened the puller till I thought something was about to break. Then I let it sit over night. Next morning puller and drum were lying on the floor. ;)

03-12-2005, 08:15 PM
If you've already done all that other stuff, I'd say that you're down to the last resort, ya need to get the torch out. Just heat the hub only! Leave the puller with tension on it and heat the HUB evenly all the way around. Don't get in too much of a hurry, heat it slow and evenly all the way around and you just might be able to save the axle too.


03-13-2005, 10:45 AM
Instead of using a breaker bar on the puller, try an air powered impact wrench. I've had good luck with the last few brakes jobs I did. Make sure the axle nut is on the axle, but loosened a few turns.
Check the condition of the axle nut after you are done, and replace if it looks worn; I had one that was cracked. They are available from Stude vendors.

03-13-2005, 11:07 AM
That puller you're using - you're using it wrong if I read you right.

You put the shaft nut on backwards - that's a good thing. Screw it back on until it's flush with the end of the shaft. THEN - put the lug nuts on the studs and tighten them evenly - so that all five nuts are tightened the same distance on the lug studs. This should have the puller aligned evenly with the plane of the drum face. NOW tighten the big nut in the center of the puller! Tighten it TIGHT! Then give it a solid WHACK - straight on with a big hammer. Maybe a couple of times even. If it doesn't pop the drum loose, tighten the center nut even more and whack it again. Ya can't "*****-foot" around with these things. Ya gotta get tough with 'em![}:)]
Further - (THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT) - however much sense it makes to think about using lubricant or never-sieze to prevent having the same trouble at a later date, DO NOT put ANYTHING on the cone or axle during reassembly. It has to be CLEAN & DRY when it goes back together. That tapered area is where all the torque is transferred - not thru the key and keyway.[:0]
Use some never-sieze on the axle nut threads or the lug nuts if you like but KEEP the tapered axle and hub cone clean and dry.:D

Miscreant at large.

03-13-2005, 11:18 AM
Good point Mr.Biggs. The tapered end of the axle and hub have to be kept clean and dry because if you put "lube" in there and tighten the axle down to the specified torque, hydraulic force will split the hub.

03-13-2005, 01:03 PM
It's been about 30 years since I have used a real Studebaker drum puller. Like Bob (Mr. Biggs) said, the flange is to be tightened down flush on the drum. There is then a wedge piece that you drive into the puller to create the removing force. In recent years, I have used the three leg variety of puller. You get everything tight and then whack the center squarely with a big hammer (2.5 pounds, or more).

03-13-2005, 04:32 PM
Having removed Studebaker rear drums a number of times now I still find it a heart pounding experience. Like Gary I use a good heavy duty three arm puller and a 2-1/2 pound hammer. It just seems that as you pound on the puller that lug nuts/bolts have to break and everything fly apart (perhaps this comes from my experince as an engineer where I've seen pulling of steel rebar until it snaps). Use heat as noted above and don't be afraid to apply a good heavy hammer to the puller. Keep hitting it beyond what you think it can take. It will pop off.

1960 Lark Convertible
1962 GT Hawk

03-13-2005, 06:02 PM
You guys're great. Funny stuff. I'll try the modified technique -- whack
the end of the center screw of the puller with the BFH.
I'm about p!ssed off enough to get a cutting torch and just chop the
drums off anyway, or drop the whole rear end off the car and see if I can't
rebuild from scratch.

03-14-2005, 12:00 PM
As Dan says, you can't be "dainty" with the hammer![:I] Ya gotta get UGLY with it sometimes! :( But since the torque is transferred thru that union of cone and taper, it's supposed to be "stuck" to a degree. I use a 4lb sledge on my old Snap-on puller and there's times I flail that hammer as tho I attacking a bear! After repeated attacks - KAPOW![:0] the hub pops loose. <pant - pant - pant>[xx(]
Back to talking about NOT greasing it when you put it back together - I've heard of cases where a fella's done just that - greased the hub before reinstalling it. What's happened is when the axle nut's retorqued, the cone is now able to slide up the taper until the hub splits where the key slot is. Then you're screwed!:(

Miscreant at large.

03-14-2005, 04:38 PM
Just went through this. After a broken puller, a smashed finger, abroken wimdow in the shop (another story) I remembered something that happened years ago. A nut on a tapered shaftin an old cat dozer was speced to be tightened ,loosened then retightened to a slightly higher value, To make a long story short, it wasn't.I just loosened the nut on my drum.drove it about three blocks out with frequent brake applications. when I got bsck to the shop it was loose.:)

where there's foo there's fire

03-14-2005, 05:06 PM
Just one more thought: make sure the nuts are tightened down evenly on the puller. If they are not you will be pulling off-center and will cause the drum to dig into the hub.

1960 Lark Convertible
1962 GT Hawk

05-08-2005, 03:12 AM
I agree. Beat the living snot out of the bugger, it'll move.

05-09-2005, 08:49 PM
I did not read all the repiles. I had a Kaiser ,the rear drums were next to impossible to remove,THEN , someone said remove the emergency cable, do not just slacken the line. It worked.

07-12-2005, 10:07 AM
I found this Thread about removing rear brake drums and thought I'd add a trick I learned years ago for removing rusted-on or stuck rear brake drums.

This only works if the car is running. Jack the rear end off the ground and set jack-stands under the car. Remove the rear wheels. Put 1 or 2 lug nuts back on each rear drum assembly. Start the car, put it in a forward gear and give it some gas (up to the equivalent of about 10 MPH) then hit the brakes. Put it in reverse, give it some gas as before, and hit the brakes hard. Do this a few more times, checking to see if the drum has loosened. This has NEVER failed for me.

But I've never pulled Stude Drums off of a tapered axle, but this technique has worked for me with an amazing variety of cars and trucks and heavy-duty trucks.

The reason you put a couple of lug nuts back on is that the drums can (and will) fly off and go rolling out the driveway if you don't. [B)] I found this out the hard way!!!! Twenty or thirty pounds of truck brake drum can do some real mischief flying around inside the shop. [:I]

1953 Chev. 210 Convertible, 261 6cyl w/Offy dual intake (But I always did love Studebakers!)
1995 Dodge/Cummins Pickup, 250 HP, 620 Ft. Lbs. of Torque, ATS trans.

07-12-2005, 11:49 AM
Completely different situation, the drums are not the focus of the pulling unless its a later(mid 65-66) flanged axle. On the tapered axle , the lugnuts hold the legs of the puller, the nut is reinstalled to keep the hub/drum assy from flying into something or somebody, the center puller screw does all the work.(By turning the screw and tapping it gently with a 3 to 10 lb hammer).

Blue 15G
07-12-2005, 12:07 PM
Make sure the puller is on square and tight and keep pounding with the hammer. It will come loose.

Years ago I had trouble getting the rear drum off of my '55 DeSoto. I kept pounding the puller with the big hammer. When it did finally let go, the drum and puller flew out at least 2 feet horizontally through the air before falling on the floor![:0] So stand to the side while working!

07-12-2005, 12:58 PM
Thanks Transtar... I really don't know what I am talking about when it comes to Studes, but I have had 40 years of experience with other cars & trucks. I will have to spend some more time around my buddy's Stude I guess before I hit the submit button!!

1953 Chev. 210 Convertible, 261 6cyl w/Offy dual intake (But I always did love Studebakers!)
1995 Dodge/Cummins Pickup, 250 HP, 620 Ft. Lbs. of Torque, ATS trans.

07-12-2005, 03:01 PM
Has anyone ever tried an air hammer instead of a regular hammer. I have had a few ball joints that no matter how far you drove a fork into them and whacked the end they wouldn't budge, put an air hammer on it an a few strokes and off they come....[8D] Most valuable tool I have ever bought.

Restore it, don't replace it.Keep the Studebaker reproduction industry going