Help needed removing a firmly stuck brake drum! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-06-2008, 07:50 PM   #1
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Our 1986 UHaul VT is getting new surge brakes this summer and I've finished with the new surge unit, new hub, and the new brake assembly on the right side. Unfortunately, the brake drum won't come off on the left side. It rotates easily, so it is not hung up on the brake pads. I've tapped it gently all around the drum, sprayed WD40 on the studs and center hub, and tried to gently wedge a chisel between the brake backing plate and the drum. It won't move at all! I think it is probably rust frozen to the center hub but I can't get it loose. I tried taking off the whole hub and brake assembly in one unit, thinking I could then work on the drum more easily. No luck... the four large bolts and nuts just turn in the holes since I can't get a socket wrench on the heads, which are underneath the drum. If nothing else works, I may try cutting the nuts off and just getting new bolts and nuts. We are leaving on a two week trip in two weeks, so I would like to get this done by the end of next weekend.

Any ideas? Should I try heating the drum with a propane torch? How about a drum puller (if I can find one locally)? Anybody have any tricks that have worked for you? I don't want to beat up the drum too badly since I'm reusing it.

Kevin
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:38 PM   #2
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Would it be correct to assume that you have removed the nut and outside bearings?

Could it B that there is a ridge built up on the hub that the brake shoes are coming in contact with?

Take your brake adjusting tool and turn the adjustment wheel to loosen or bring in the brake shoes in enough so they will go past the built up ridge.

If that donít work, itís time for the hub puller.

www.harborfreight.com is a good source for cheep pullers.
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:49 PM   #3
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The hub unit on a UHaul is a sealed system, so there are no bearings to pack and no nut holding the drum on. The drum simply slides over the hub/studs and rotates with the hub when the tire is spinning. I believe the only thing holding this on is the rust between the drum and the hub. The brake shoes are fully retracted, so they're not in the way. I'm going to try heat and a heavy hammer tonight.
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:11 PM   #4
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As a Auto Tech insctructor living in the salty winter streets of MI, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to remove a brake drum. Even though we teach backing off the self-adjuster on self adjusting brakes I've found this is only a 50/50 chance of removing a drum with-out distorting it. If it is rusted to the center hub, a torch, penatrant, and "gentle" or maybe "heavy" hammering will be needed. Unfortunatly be prepared to replace many of not all of your brake hardware.
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Old 07-07-2008, 05:46 PM   #5
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I agree with Eric only hit it harder, but, make it on the outside perimeter so you wont brake it. Cast iron doesn't usually distort unless its under tremendous heat but it is brittle when hit in vulnerable places, I usually try to hit it at an angle from the inside out on the outer perimeter. The drum is apparently frozen on its backside and the face of the axle flange. I usually clean the surfaces and smear some grease on the axle flange face between the studs when reinstalling. Back a thousand years ago we used to put waxy paper gasket between the drum and the axle Ooops almost forgot, sometimes it helps to pry a screwdriver between the backing plate and the drum and apply a bit of pressure while hammering, keeping the screw driver moving to a new place from time to time helps also
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:53 PM   #6
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And the beat goes on! And the beat goes on!


I bought PB Blaster, a propane torch, a pry bar, and a mini-sledge hammer (You should have seen the look on the face of the Walmart cashier when I bought that! I told him that my husband ticked me off.) for Kevin today, and hubby is wailing away, thinking of all the people he works with that are difficult. Can you imagine doing this in Oak Park where people don't even do their own lawn work!

Oops, it just came off! Yeah! Double yeah! Glad I was not able to find the brake puller I looked for today.

Brake drum or whatever that thing is that was stuck, looks in good shape. Not bent from the pounding.


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Old 07-07-2008, 11:05 PM   #7
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Kevin,
Congrats on getting the left drum unstuck. We would appreciate descriptions and pics of your brake restoration process since this tangled job is in some our futures.
Ami
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Kevin,
Congrats on getting the left drum unstuck. We would appreciate descriptions and pics of your brake restoration process since this tangled job is in some our futures.
Ami

CindyL took some picture and we will post these soon. I'll try to put together a sequence of photos so you can see what we did.
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:50 PM   #9
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OK, see the above posts for what is needed. Here's the pix where Kevin removed the brake drum on the UHaul.

CindyL
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heating_the_brake_drum_2.jpg  
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:56 PM   #10
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More pix and sized better.


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heating_the_brake_drum.jpg   inside_the_brake.jpg  

surge_brake.jpg  
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:57 PM   #11
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And finally the tools Kevin used:


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tools_of_the_job.jpg  
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:19 PM   #12
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CindyL,
I had exactly the same problem with a 1948 Plymouth rear brake drum. The sequence of events was even the same. I initially tried to beat around the backside of the drum edge, using a piece of wood to protect the cast iron lip. Tried soaking with WD40, etc. Finally purchased a propane torch to expand the center of the drum, and it popped right off.
I suspect that all of the early efforts worked kind of like getting a tight jar lid off. After the lid's perimeter has been tapped and hot tap water has been run over it, then the lid comes off easily. Women usually know this, but applying the same principal to vehicle brakes is what is known as "thinking outside the box"!
Congratulations on your success, Kevin.

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Old 07-10-2008, 01:29 PM   #13
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Kevin,
1. It looks like the actuator (the contraption on the trailer tongue that says Automatic Hydraulic Brakes) is a newer UHaul part. I just came from a UHaul yard and they had then everywhere. Did you buy it from them or did you find it elsewhere?
2. Did you have to rebuild the brake cylinders inside the hub or did you get new parts? Source?
3. What size brake shoes did you use, where they UHaul parts?
AmP
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:36 PM   #14
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www.northerntools.com has the parts and they even have a disk brake version now.

By the way, Northern tools has great prices.
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