Brake drum removal

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Old 04-14-07, 02:37 PM
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Brake drum removal

I have a 94 Dodge Ram 2wd PU with a leaking rear wheel cylinder. I want to replace the cylinder but I can't get the brake drum off the axle hub. I removed the wheel and the clips on the studs. I tried using a mallet on the back of the drum to drive it off but got no movement at all. Am I missing something? Do I need to use a gear puller to get the brake drum off?
 
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Old 04-14-07, 03:06 PM
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On the rear of the backing plate there should be a rubber plug which you can remove and adjust the shoes.
The shoes have to be backed off away from the drum. Use a screw driver or buy a tool for the job. Will help to have 2 screwdrives. One to turn the star wheel and another to lift the small locking bar.
If you have already done this and the shoes are still sticking, then good luck.
You may have a fight on your hands.
Should be easy enough though. If it is a daily driver.
 
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Old 04-14-07, 03:06 PM
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is the drum frozen on the hub or are the brake shoes preventing the drum from coming off?

Treatment is different for them.

edit to add: no gear puller
 
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Old 04-14-07, 03:18 PM
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Once the brakes are loosened and if it is still stubborn you can take a couple of hefty screwdrivers and pry the drum off. Hitting the drum moderately with a hammer usually helps. Be carefull not to breathe any brake dust.
 
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Old 04-14-07, 03:38 PM
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I would suggest not using the pry bars. I have damaged a drum doing so.

If it is frozen on the hub, there are two methods I have used and been successful.

1. a BFH (that's a big hammer with an expletive in the middle)
liberally apply a penetrant/solvent to the hub area.
whack the face of the drum near the outer edge. do so quite sharply. since the center of the drum is stamped sheet metal, the flexing often pops the hub area free.

2. heat (and the more the merrier such as in acetylene torch)

heat the area of the drum immediately around the hub. do so until you hear it "pop" or "crack". then get the hammer and whack as previously directed only you propbably won;t have to whack as hard.


edit: the term "moderately" does not apply. Moderate whacking usually causes moderate frustration followed by furied whacking and success.\

I have never damaged a drum using either of these two methods if the drum was actually usable to begin with any more than having it machining it would take care of.




CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION!!!!!!


brake fluid is flammable. you must have a water hose or other means of extinguishing a fire immediately at hand should you start a fire.

may solvents/penetrants are also flammable and could cause an initial flame-up but is usually temporary and relatively minor.
 
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Old 04-14-07, 06:12 PM
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check for holes

Check on the face of the drum there might be some holes were bolts would go in. If so get two bolts and use them as a puller.
 
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Old 04-14-07, 06:47 PM
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what model is it?.

The 1500 is different than the 2500/3500.

If 1500 series, the drums just slide out as stated above.

The 2500/3500 are different, you have to remove all axle bolts, bearing retainers, big bearing retaining nut then slide the drum off, axle fluid will leaks out also so get something to catch them.
 
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Old 04-15-07, 02:55 PM
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It's a 1500. I've been pretty liberal with the penetrating oil and smacked it a few times with a 3lb hammer, but there's little room to get a good swing and little exposure on the hub to smack.

The backing plate has recesses pressed into the plate that were obviously intended to be access for the adjusters. They have never been punched out. I tried to knock them out but no joy.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. I'm gonna' heat the SOB with a torch and if that don't do it, I'll look for some C4.
 
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Old 04-15-07, 05:21 PM
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Double check for the threaded holes in the face that michael mentioned. Many cars have them and you simply thread a couple of long bolts in (of correct thread size, 1/4-20 is fairly common) and it pushs the drum right off the hub.
 
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Old 04-15-07, 06:18 PM
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So did you get the knockouts out and back off the adjusters???
 
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Old 04-15-07, 06:59 PM
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smack the drum on the face near the outer edge. Hitting the hub will do no good.

as the other guy said, if there are holes to use the drum as its own puller, do that

If the shoes are holding it on you really need to knock out the knockouts and un-adjust the shoes
 
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Old 04-16-07, 07:56 AM
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brake drum removal

Another method if you have acess to a air chisel is to install a blunt punch and go around the drum in the area of the lug bolts. RW
 
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Old 04-16-07, 09:35 AM
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I hate to mention the obvious. You wouldn't have the parking brake set would you? It's the simple things we overlook. If you can easily rotate the drum by hand the shoes don't need adjusting until it binds while sliding the drum off. Spray some penetrating oil where the drum meets the axle and around each lug bolt smack it with a hammer to get some vibrations going, let it set for a while. Have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 04-16-07, 09:43 AM
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The parking brake is off, the drum rotates freely. There is no indication that the brakes are binding. I hit the SOB about as hard as I can with a 3# hammer after heating it with a propane torch. It has not budged a friggen' mm. I'm at the point where I'm probably going to destructively remove the drum with a puller.
 
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Old 04-16-07, 11:20 AM
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Aww
Now it gets to the big hammers
OK
When worked for a scrap yard I would put the wheel back on and take a sledge to it. At a scrap yard the wheel did not matter anyway.
In your case the wheel does matter. But maybe if you had a donut around you did not care about???
A lot of them came loose with 5 good hits with sledge.
The wheel gave me something to hit besides the drum.
 
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Old 04-16-07, 05:12 PM
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as you heat the area around the hub, you should hear a "crack". That is the drum breaking free from the hub. If you didn;t hear that, you didn't get it hot enough.

I don;t know that a propane torch gets hot enough to do this. I always used an acetylene torch (lots of fast heat).

One other thing;

you did say you removed the clips on the studs so this is probably not the situation but, are there any screws holding the drum on? I think it was VW that alwas used to do that. Don't think anybody else did so but just something to look at.

Make sure you have all the clips off as well.
 
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Old 04-17-07, 06:37 AM
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My youngest son's first car was a ford escort - I liked to never got the drum off until he pointed out a screw - removed the screw and it popped right off. Double check and make sure you aren't missing the obvious.
 
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Old 04-17-07, 09:25 AM
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I started to ask that, too, but thought it would be too obvious. Maybe not. Can't remember which, but one of my old cars had large phillips head screws, one per drum, and they were a bear to get off.
 
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Old 05-14-08, 07:25 PM
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Brake Drums Dodge 1500

I'm wondering if youo ever got the drums loose. I'm facing the same situation with my 2001 Dodge 1500.
 
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Old 05-15-08, 06:23 AM
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i've never hit one with anything bigger than a 2 lb hammer. penetrating oil at the studs and around the center of the drum. whack the drum a couple good licks at the corner (i know, it's round! i mean where the transition from parallel to the ground to perpendicular to the ground is). you can turn it and hit it in several places when doing this part. grab the drum at 3 and 9 o'clock and wiggle alternately. can you feel it rock? if so, push it in and pull it out a few times, it may slip right off. if not, try spinning it with one hand while you whack it a few more times, then repeat trying to remove with your hands. if doing this several times doesn't bring it off and you are sure the drum isn't stuck to the axle flange anymore, the shoes have probably worn into the drum and the adjustment needs to be backed off to get the drum over the shoes. this is done by entering the adjustment hole, pushing the self adjuster lever slightly away from the adjuster wheel and turning the adjuster wheel...all at the same time. this is tricky if you can't see the arrangement of parts in your minds eye. it's an easier thing to do than explain.
 
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Old 05-15-08, 04:41 PM
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Smile Brake Drum Removal

Hey, I used the BFH, and it worked like a charm. Thanks for the ideas and quick response.
 
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Old 05-29-08, 12:59 PM
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Brake Drum Removal

Same problem removing the drum on a '96 Ram 1500... Where is this adjusting hole at?
 
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Old 06-27-09, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
It's a 1500. I've been pretty liberal with the penetrating oil and smacked it a few times with a 3lb hammer, but there's little room to get a good swing and little exposure on the hub to smack.

The backing plate has recesses pressed into the plate that were obviously intended to be access for the adjusters. They have never been punched out. I tried to knock them out but no joy.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. I'm gonna' heat the SOB with a torch and if that don't do it, I'll look for some C4.
I would like to know if the rubber plug is the right access to the adjuster. There are pre-punched slots I think should be available to back off the shoes, but they seem to be an oversite at mfg, because they won't come out to work from, access wise. I can't get my drum to come off either. I will apply some heat tomorrow, but I am kind of giving up being polite with this. I will sacrifice the drum, if need be, but prefer not to.
 
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