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rear brake drums, how to pull? ('57 Golden Hawk)

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  • rear brake drums, how to pull? ('57 Golden Hawk)

    hi,
    we got our '57 GH this weekend, and my 14yr old son and I gleefully dug into it yesterday. First chore was pulling off the incorrect mag wheels, of which one is being a bugger. The lug is turning with the nut; any tips on how to get it off?? I need to pull the drums off anyway (brakes are completely shot, and first order of business to make her a daily 'runner' for the next couple of years). I recall reading on one of the tech pages about "don't attempt to pull the drums without a special puller" because they are tapered or something?? So my question is: why can't you use a gear-puller like I've done with my Model-A Ford drums in the past, and where would I begin to look for the special puller supposedly required? Secondly, any tips on how to get that lug-nut off, considering the lug turns freely inside the drum?? That is where I thought maybe I could pull the tire and drum as a unit, at which point I could get at the lug from the back side....
    Thanks! Many more questions to come!! :-)
    Barry & Dawson

  • #2
    Hi guys,

    if the lug is turning with the nut, you have what is commonly known as an "issue" or "challenge." <G> Can you use a nut splitter on the problem nut, or is it recessed into the wheel? If the former, just destroy the nut and move on. If the latter, maybe try drilling straight down the lug stud?

    You will need the special puller, it looks something like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/OTC-7394-Unive.../dp/B0002SRH60

    (available for less last time I looked from some of our Stude vendors)

    not this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Eastwood-Brake.../dp/B003IWTL6G

    (that will break and accomplish nothing.)

    *if* you can pull the drum/hub with the wheel on, you might want to try that, and then you'd have less drilling to do to free the wheel. However, if the lug is turning, the hub is probably junk so you may just want to start looking for a good used hub/drum to replace it. I believe a GH would use finned drums front and rear.

    good luck

    nate
    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel

    Comment


    • #3
      I purchased a used hub puller (made in the U.S.A.) in excellent condition through Ebay last month for $50. As for the lug nut, try a pneumatic impact wrench while prying outward on the wheel as this may create enough pressure/friction to hold the stud from spinning.
      sigpic
      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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      • #4
        thanks guys. Might have to wait until we can get up to Dad's farm and borrow his big nut-splitter...... but will give it another try. Plenty to keep us busy in the meantime. Will have to keep my eyes open for one of those pullers or see if one of the guys here in the Twin Cities has one we can borrow..

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        • #5
          You should not have a problem finding the Hub & Drum puller as it is not peculiar to Studebaker, all the early Chrysler Products, I think from 1954 on back used tapered axles, also VW, Jeep, Kaiser, Frazer, Hudson, Nash, Packard maybe International and others.
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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          • #6
            if the problem nut is a standard lug nut and not a chrome plated closed end nut, you can probably drill a couple holes into the nut to weaken it and then split it with a BFH and cold chisel, that should work. they're pretty soft metal

            nate
            --
            55 Commander Starlight
            http://members.cox.net/njnagel

            Comment


            • #7
              StudeRich, I am puzzled over what is unique to the 'taperd axle' and a drum-puller. Looking at the above link to Amazon, that looks like something that would work on ANY drum.... Is this simply a case where BECAUSE it is a taperd fit, it is always very tight and you need SOMETHING to pull the drum off the hub? Where-as a later, NON-tapered axle setup much easier to remove the drum so that a puller isn't necessary or something? (I've only done Model-A Ford drums, where I used a gear-puller, or modern DISC brakes....).

              Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
              You should not have a problem finding the Hub & Drum puller as it is not peculiar to Studebaker, all the early Chrysler Products, I think from 1954 on back used tapered axles, also VW, Jeep, Kaiser, Frazer, Hudson, Nash, Packard maybe International and others.

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              • #8
                you need a HUB puller not a "drum puller" because, as you said, due to the nature of the tapered axle/hub interface, they always (if assembled correctly) require a good amount of force to separate, and more yet if they haven't been off in a while. Unfortunately for shade-tree mechanics, Studebaker designed the hub and drum to be normally inseparable, so you can't simply slip the drum off the studs like you would on a more modern rear end to service the brakes. And use of a gear-puller type "drum puller" will only warp the drum, break a piece off of the drum, and/or break the puller in most cases.

                While we're on the subject, when reinstalling the hub/drum assembly, the taper on the axle and the one in the hub should be clean and DRY (clean with brakleen or similar) and the locating key goes into the axle with the taper inward and down (assuming the slot is at 12:00 when you are inserting.) I like to install the key with maybe 1/2" or so of the key projecting from the end of the axle, then slide the hub/drum on, and then tap the key home with a punch or old screwdriver. Some people seem to think that greasing or otherwise lubing the tapers might be a good idea, but that hub/axle interface relies on friction to transmit drive torque so that is a good way to bust out the keyway in the hub from a hard launch and/or split the hub at the keyway from having the hub go onto the taper too far when torquing the axle nuts.

                good luck

                nate
                --
                55 Commander Starlight
                http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                Comment


                • #9
                  Great post and explanation of the process Nate. I don't think we cover this often enough and with the clarity you just did. It is easy for older folks like me to assume that the younger folks know and understand this. In fact, lots of the older non-mechanical members have difficulty with tapered axles.
                  John Clary
                  Greer, SC

                  SDC member since 1975

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've hung out with JDP and his long string of project cars long enough to have seen a lot of the ways to assemble them incorrectly and lots of opportunities to perfect the technique for getting them off/on easily and quickly.

                    Another thing I didn't mention, my typical technique for removing these hubs, if they don't come off in the first couple hits of the striking wrench, is to get into a rhythm of 2 or 3 hits on the ear of the striking wrench, followed by a rap on the end of the screw, then back to the ear for a couple hits, then rap on the end of the screw, lather rinse repeat. Believe it or not, it really does help to get the drum off; as often as not, you'll hear that "pop" of the hub coming free when you rap the screw, not the ear.

                    'nother thing that bears mentioning - when setting up the puller, put the axle nut back on the axle but backwards (castellations in) so that the face of the nut is perfectly flush with the end of the axle. Will protect end of axle from mushrooming from the force of the screw against it, if you end up having to use Excessive Force (not unusual with a 50+ year old project car.)

                    nate
                    --
                    55 Commander Starlight
                    http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      great information, thanks! And I now understand; these hubs are just like all the other OLD cars I've worked on, nothing really unique to Studebaker, and I now also recall the way the hubs come OVER the studs on my Chrysler minivan, so thus the difference. Have my eye on two 'New Britian" hub-pullers on ebay this week. Now if I can get that darned turning-lug taken care of, we'll be all set. :-)

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                      • #12
                        I have had to let one sit with the pressure on for a few hours only to hear a BANG when it finally released. Nate is right to in making sure the nut is back on flush with the end of the axle if also for holding the hub when it releases to prevent it from damaging itself & becoming a local projectile.
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                        • #13
                          Many FLAPS will have the puller to rent. If you are going with flanged axles in the future you many only have to do this once and renting will save $$$. Just don't buy a cheap puller. I had a cheap cast iron puller that just did not have the right stuff and chewed up one of my axle ends. I found an old military surplus 4-stud Jeep puller that takes them right off with no drama.

                          Nathan
                          _______________
                          http://stude.vonadatech.com
                          https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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                          • #14
                            Got the old USA-made "New Britain" puller on ebay last night, so all set.
                            Assuming I'm going to be needing some new drums (have not measured the thickness of the one I DID get off, but is sure grooved/scarred up and wonder if they can be turned down to spec or not....) are these commonly available? What years fit a '57GH? I see StudeIntl has new front drums (not cheap!!) but don't see rears anywhere, and seems good restorable drums SHOULD be available readily....

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                            • #15
                              Once you get those drums off and begin to rebuild the brakes...here is a discussion we had about a year ago about how to get the best performance out of them. There is a bit of variation in opinions about the technique,(imagine that on the forum!) but I think you would benefit from the read.

                              http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ghlight=brakes

                              John Clary
                              Greer, SC

                              SDC member since 1975

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