Freeing seized rear wheels


Old 11-05-05, 08:24 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 13
Freeing seized rear wheels

I have a '98 Chevy Prizm with front wheel drive. The car has been sitting for about 6 months due to not being able to register it. The girl I was buying it off screwed me so I am selling it back to her. I went to move it today and the rear wheels won't turn at all. What can I do to free them up? I tried tapping on the drums with a hammer, but not too hard. Also tried WD40 but nothing has worked so far. Am I not hitting it hard enough or is ther another trick to get them off?

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Old 11-05-05, 01:43 PM
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I had a similar issue with a Mazda Mx-6 that had been sitting, the drums froze. I got them to loosen up by just jacking bot rear wheels off of the ground and whacking the rims, (towards the center, so as not to bend the rims), a couple of good shots with a 8lb. sledge, or try to drive it, rocking it back and forth, be sure the e-brake isn't engaged as well, maybe check under the car to see if the cable feels slackened, if not the cable is frozen, but you should be able to loosen it up enough to move it back to her. Good Luck
Old 11-06-05, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Livonia, Michigan
Posts: 923
Been there - you probably engaged the parking brake and left it that way outside... not good for storage. The shoes rusted onto the drum. Like andy suggested, it'll take a lot of trauma to free the wheel. Fire up the car and do a lot of rocking.

Next time, store the car in park and do not engage the parking brake. If it's a manual, park it in gear and jam the clutch pedal all the way in, because the same problem can happen where the clutch freezes to the flywheel.
Old 11-06-05, 09:26 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 13
thanks for the replies, I will try using a sledge as suggested. I tried rocking it but it is parked on dirt and just slides.

It is an automatic and I did not engage the parking brake.
Old 11-06-05, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 81
Wait a minute if it has aluminum or magnesium(down here we just call them "luxury wheels") wheels I would NOT try a sledge, those wheels aren't that hard, put it in overdrive and drive it till it hits hard enough ground they'll come loose. pitty you don't have an asphalt drive!
Good luck
Old 11-07-05, 09:04 AM
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Location: SW Fla USA
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Call your friendly tow truck driver (with a wheel-lift truck) and have them come hook up the front. He can strap it down to the wheel lift and rock it back and forth a few times to free it up. May need to drag it to the asphalt. We tow cars all the time that have rusted up and rarely have one that won't come free.

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