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Rear brake drum removal on a '56 Golden Hawk

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  • #16
    I have been a Studebaker enthusiast for more than 55 years. Way back in my youth, I attended an auction at a large brake shop, who were closing their business due to their property being sold. At that auction I bought an extremely heavy duty hub/drum puller that I still have. Over the years of me buying and fixing an untold number of Studebakers, this puller has removed probably hundreds of rear brake hub/drum assemblies. I have never, never had an issue removing any rear hub/drum. I’ve loaned it to friends and they never had any issues.
    So, hearing about problems and fears about removing rear hubs/drums makes me wonder about what is being done incorrectly. The procedure is quite self-evident and not at all complicated. (I certainly wouldn’t let the fear of using a puller to be the sole reason to change to a flanged rear axle.)

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    • #17
      I think in my case maybe the steel wasn't stout enough, as the puller's threads couldn't withstand the removal. I bought a new one online and have no intention to change my axle shafts. Found it interesting that I've owned several Studes yet never had one as reluctant to de-drum as this one! The rear cylinders were gunked up and the shoes were thin, making me wonder if anyone had ever pulled the drums.

      Oh, someone please refresh an old memory on the axle key. Does the curved end (for lack of a better description) go up or down, in or out? Thanks!

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      • #18
        I would install the key with the curve down and inward to match the keyway cut in the axle.

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        • #19
          Thanks TW!

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          • #20
            Make sure the axle, key and keyway are completely clean AND DRY when you put it back together.

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            • #21
              We got the driver's side drum off, but the passenger side is still giving us fits. We have tried a propane torch to 'warm up' the hub and expand it, but so far no luck.
              Any suggestions? Thanks Howard
              Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
              '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
              '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
              '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

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              • #22
                Originally posted by brngarage View Post
                We got the driver's side drum off, but the passenger side is still giving us fits. We have tried a propane torch to 'warm up' the hub and expand it, but so far no luck.
                Any suggestions? Thanks Howard
                Pull it up tighter. I don't understand 'warm up the hub'. What you want to do is heat up the drum. Heat it quickly, hot enough to boil spit, while under tension.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by brngarage View Post
                  We got the driver's side drum off, but the passenger side is still giving us fits. We have tried a propane torch to 'warm up' the hub and expand it, but so far no luck.
                  Any suggestions? Thanks Howard
                  When you say "warm up" - was it smoking hot (you won't get it to glow with one of those hand-held torches)? As you are heating it with the torch, rotating it around to heat evenly, have someone else smacking the end of the puller and making sure it stays tight. When everyone gets tired, put everything down and try it another day. Leave the puller on - it might decide to do a midnight release. Good luck.

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                  • #24
                    Don't forget to leave the axle nut on a few turns!

                    Get two of the same puller with three legs, and place 5 of the legs on one center section. Now you can pull from all 5 lug bolts!

                    My go to soak has been 50/50 Acetone/ATF for several years now.

                    Walking away and letting them sit overnight with the puller tight helps a lot.
                    Frank DuVal

                    50 Commander 4 door

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                    • #25
                      This car is the one I'm working on. Howard has been helping me. I had a friend who is a moble mechanic come out and help. Still no luck! So I bought 2 new Pullers and will attemp to pull on all 5 lugs(we have already damaged the nut). I'll have to chase the treads on the axle and replace the nut! I will keep everyone posted! Thanks for all the Ideas.

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                      • #26
                        Don't forget to put the nut back on a few turns to avoid the drum and puller from travelling.

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                        • #27
                          Probably gonna wind up sacrificing the axle, and likely the hub too, due to all the torquing and hammering required. At this point I'd go from a baby sledge to full size, torque everything as tight as possible, then give some serious whacks with the sledge.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
                            Probably gonna wind up sacrificing the axle, and likely the hub too, due to all the torquing and hammering required. At this point I'd go from a baby sledge to full size, torque everything as tight as possible, then give some serious whacks with the sledge.
                            As a last resort, could one cut the bolts off the back of the axle housing and pull drum and axle as one piece? Never thought about what would happen if a drum would not come off...

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                            • #29
                              From post #14

                              Originally posted by bensherb View Post

                              Or just cut the swages that hold the drums to the flanges. There will no longer be much need to remove the flange from the axle.
                              sigpic

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