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do brake drums need to be replaced in pairs? ('57 GH)

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  • do brake drums need to be replaced in pairs? ('57 GH)

    hi,
    got all my brake drums off (thanks for the tips to get an old drum puller, $40 on ebay!).
    Three of the drums look really good, no scoring to speak of and should clean up nice unless they've been turned down before or too many times.... (but with 64,000 miles, I am hopeful).
    BUT, the left-front lost the lining INSIDE the drum; it fell out in pieces as I removed the drum, just a naked steel shoe on one side... and the drum is obviously deeply scored, probably scrap.
    I see Stude Intl. sells new front brake drums for my car ('57 Golden Hawk) and I'm assuming it would be wise, if not essential, to replace BOTH front drums as a pair. But if my 'good' front drum is near factory-spec for thickness and can be turned without losing much meat, is my assumption necessarily valid? $200 apiece, minus whatever I'd pay to have my original turned of course.... but with the list of things I 'need' for this car growing daily, thought I'd ask. Thanks!
    PS: Is the front drum supposed to separate from the hub? The left one came off over the hub, and the right drum wouldn't come off until I removed the nut and bearing, and came off as an assembly (drum and hub together). Not sure if I should be trying to wack them apart or not.....?

  • #2
    No it's not necessary to replace the drums in pairs. Brake shoes should be, though.

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    • #3
      The drums are usually held on by the wheel studs being peened to retain them. If one drum came off without the hub it may have been replaced previously. Do not "whack" the other one apart.
      Frank van Doorn
      Omaha, Ne.
      1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
      1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
      1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

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      • #4
        The Wheel Lugs (Studs) are swagged onto the drum to firmly secure the Hub to it, if you check the other one you should see the swages, about three on each Lug.

        If your used drum turns out to Mic at close to Standard (11 inches) after turning about .040 or less (no firm rule) Max is .060, it will work with the New Standard one, if not it is advisable to replace both. The one that separated from the Hub is toast.

        A cheap or needing a lot, Golden Hawk is almost as bad as JDP's famous "Cheap Avanti" when it comes to restoration cost, but at least it has a desirability and fair value when done.
        Last edited by StudeRich; 10-03-2010, 06:55 PM.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          IMHO,
          I think you have more than just a brake problem up front. Are you saying that one drum came off OK, and the other drum was in pieces? You are supposed to have to remove the nut, and bearing retainer to take the drum off of the car. The bearings should come out with the drum. The bearing races should be firmly seated in the brake drum. You may have spun a bearing on one side. Or maybe the seal is hung up on one side. You would help diagnose this problem if you could include some pics.

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          • #6
            thanks. Sounds good. I'll have the drum checked (I don't have a vernier calipers that goes that wide).
            Re: the bad drum, not sure if something else happened in there or not, looks like the one lining simply let loose (2nd shoe is fine and good lining) but really doesn't matter because the new drum comes complete with hub and race, and I'll get a new set of wheel-bearings for her.
            QUESTION: on the rear hubs, the lugs were installed with electrical tape around the serrations on one of them :-) The last mechanic to work on her obviously didn't much care if the lugs turned for the next guy or not! Can you get over-sized diameter lugs that will fit snugly? Or should they be swaged into the hub, and the serrated-lugs were simply the lazy-mechanics way out? (or do I need to be searching for a good used rear hub too?)
            thanks!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bsrosell View Post
              QUESTIONn the rear hubs, the lugs were installed with electrical tape around the serrations on one of them :-) The last mechanic to work on her obviously didn't much care if the lugs turned for the next guy or not! Can you get over-sized diameter lugs that will fit snugly? Or should they be swaged into the hub, and the serrated-lugs were simply the lazy-mechanics way out? (or do I need to be searching for a good used rear hub too?)thanks!
              See my post above on front Hub/Drum wheel Lugs, same/same, anything less than correct WILL be a problem.
              StudeRich
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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              • #8
                sorry to be dense, but are you saying that the rear-hubs ALSO have swaged lugs? And if so, were these lugs serrated around the diameter to hold them in place initially prior to the swaging process? I'm wondering of the lugs are good, but the hub-holes are shot (and therefore need a new hub, not new lugs..). That would explain why 'short-cut sam" wrapped them with electrical tape to make them hold 'just enough' to get them tightened up to the wheels.
                thanks
                Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                See my post above on front Hub/Drum wheel Lugs, same/same, anything less than correct WILL be a problem.

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                • #9
                  I'm not advising this, but....I once bought 4 NOS drums from Newman & Altman around 1977-80. Installed them on the hubs without any swaging. I had to swage the fronts w/ new lugs...not the rears......The drums must have been stacked sideways because they couldn't be turned due to warpage...I DROVE THEM ANYWAY...! I paid more for the drums than the car...! Again..not adviseable today with your car probably....

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