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Stuck brake drums advice

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  • Brakes: Stuck brake drums advice

    I rescued a derelict 1951 Champion recently and am stripping down parts one by one for repair. None of the wheels rotated when it was being hauled up the ramp of the towtruck. I managed to pry the right hand front drum off last weekend without too much effort. but the left hand one is proving recalcitrant. I have backed off both adjusters (learning a bit about early postwar studes the hard way ! ) and have been rapping it all over with a hammer. I'm using a big screwdriver placed between the backing plat and the drum rim
    Does anybody have any suggestions for getting the drum off?
    The rh one seems in really good condition with minimal rust adhesion to the braking surface. Its brake cylinder was frozen but to my amazement it is in fantastic condition and cam be rebuilt as-is ! It was stuck but only with tiny areas of surface rust (no pitting at all). There was no 'wear lip' on the outer edge of the drum either.

  • #2
    Trying to wiggle it Left and Right and top to Bottom usually works but you must remove the outer Wheel Bearing.
    It is unusual that a Front Drum would do that, especially when the other side is so good.

    It may have had that tire flat, been in a hole, ditch etc. in water and the Drum is actually rusted, lining swelled and stuck to each other.
    I suppose it still does not Turn after brake adjustment to fully loose. Try forcing it to Turn before bending the Drum prying on it too much.

    If all else fails, it MAY take Heat to do the job.
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner
    SDC Member Since 1967


    • #3
      Not sure whether you've been able to get any of the wheels freed up, but breaking that bond between the shoes and drum will be helpful. Sometimes you can do so by towing (or dragging) the car. Very carefully apply heat and then spray penetrant around and behind wheel studs, and a dead blow hammer will let you get a lot more "bash" on the stuck parts without risking damage. Also could back off spindle nut and then try to work drum and hub assembly back and forth with the tire/wheel installed to give you something to grab on, then work on getting the drum separated from the hub afterward. Don't think you'll be able to get much leverage by prying against backing plate... Three arm pullers usually aren't much help in this instance, either, but can sometimes be used to provide a little pull in the right direction.

      Do make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy if you're using heat!

      edit: looks like Stude Rich already said much of what I did... that's what I get for dallying about when replying, eh?
      Whirling dervish of misinformation.


      • #4
        You might try taking the bolts out of the wheel cylinder and try pushing it into the drum a little.


        • #5
          Click image for larger version  Name:	image_88025.jpg Views:	3 Size:	106.7 KB ID:	1896847 Firstly- sorry for posting in the wrong forum... . Thanks for the replies and advice- I got it off late this afternoon .
          What worked was very aggressive prying between the backing plate and the drum whilst wedging the opposite side. Adjusters were already backed out. Some serious belting around the periphery of the drum with both sided wedged saw the brake shoes appear finally. A fter that It was easy. I was afraid I'd damage the backing plate but so far I recon I've gotten away with it. This drum was sitting on the ground with no wheel attached, so it had dirt inside it and a bit of rust. apparently all I needed to achieve was breaking the 'stiction' between the shoes and the drum as Larkhunter suggested. The rear brake drums are what I'm reaaaallly afraid of !
          Thanks ! Steve.


          • #6
            For your rear drums, you MUST use a proper puller which pulls on the studs. Using a puller on the outer edge of the drum is almost guaranteed to destroy the drum. You should find several detailed threads here which cover this topic well.
            Bill Jarvis


            • #7
              Thanks Greenstude- I know how hard these can be to get off. I have a beefy home made puller deigned for this task but it can still be a tough gig.....


              • #8
                does the home made puller pull on the studs?


                • #9
                  Post has been moved. Please be sure to post technical questions in the Tech Talk channel. Thanks.

                  Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" |