Removal of Old Brake Assembly - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-26-2016, 07:37 PM   #1
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Name: Ginny
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Removal of Old Brake Assembly

So... any suggestions?
As you know, there are 4 nuts that hold the brake assembly to the axle.
I have:
1. 1 that came off
2. 1 I have no idea how I am going to reach
3. 1 that is totally immobile even after soaking in WD40 and PB Breaker
4. 1 that is totally immobile after soaking AND has now been decimated by trying to cut the bolt off with cuttting tool and chisel. STILL wont budge.

Any suggestions?
See pics in album here:
Scamp Album
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:07 PM   #2
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Heat the nuts until cherry red then use a 6pt socket or wrench to break the nuts loose. On the really bad nut try vice grips after heat, try a nut splitter or just cut the nut off either with a sawsall or torch. Impact wrenches also help if you can access the nuts.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:18 PM   #3
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ok, thanks for reply.

Concern about heat (I do have a heat gun, so I can do it) is, I understand that PB Breaker (and WD 40 for that matter) is flammable. Is it ok to heat it after having applied these chemicals?

Nut splitter looks like a good tool... might need to pick that one up. might work for the difficult to reach area too.

No impact tools, but will resort to sawzall if needed. Not sure how well I will be able to get such a tool into the small work area. hopefully heat or nut splitter will work instead.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:37 PM   #4
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As Eddie stated, you need to heat those nuts until they are cherry red. A heat gun will not get the job done. As you already sated, the access to the work area is limited so a nut splitter may not work. I personally like Kroil penetrating oil but it sounds like you really need an acetylene torch. Another possibility might be to drill the studs out of the axle from the back of the flange.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
Heat the nuts until cherry red then use a 6pt socket or wrench to break the nuts loose. On the really bad nut try vice grips after heat, try a nut splitter or just cut the nut off either with a sawsall or torch. Impact wrenches also help if you can access the nuts.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:46 PM   #6
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well, I dont have an acetylene torch....
and I still have the lingering question of flammability based on the chemicals I have already sprayed on the nuts?

Looks like I might have to call some folks, see who might have bigger tools. I certainly dont feel comfortable with a torch that powerful in a space that small, personally.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fieldphoto View Post
well, I dont have an acetylene torch....
and I still have the lingering question of flammability based on the chemicals I have already sprayed on the nuts?

Looks like I might have to call some folks, see who might have bigger tools. I certainly dont feel comfortable with a torch that powerful in a space that small, personally.

Thanks for the input.
Yes, penetrating oil is flammable but the heat generated by the torch is much greater than a small amount of penetrating oil would make. Indeed, you need to be careful and take precautions when using the torch. A wet rag and a bucket of water close at hand would be a good idea.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:02 PM   #8
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If the studs are replaceable, can you just over tighten and break them?


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Old 09-26-2016, 09:30 PM   #9
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the studs/bolts are 'replaceable' in that there are new bolts built into the new brake assembly... so either the nuts or the bolts or both can come off... just as long as it comes off and doesnt damage the axle.

thanks for the suggestion on the water/rag. I assume whatever is in the PB breaker, if it were to ignite is extinguishable by water, and not by a chemical retardant required in a fire extinguisher for special chemicals? I just don't want to light my entire Scamp on fire lol.

Either way, I am going to have to call in some extra help I think. I cannot believe how difficult these nuts are to remove. It is just ridiculous.
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:41 AM   #10
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I had the problem that a couple of the studs, which are knurled and pressed into the backing plate turned and couldn't be held with vice grips. I do have an oxy / acetylene torch but didn't want to use it. One stud I drilled the head off, but it was fairly well hardened so you will need cobalt or titanium drill bits. The other one I used a 4" grinder to grind off the head. Much easier to work on the head of the stud than underneath on the nut side. Generally there isn't room for an impact gun, and many people don't have one anyway, so get a box end wrench on the nut, preferably a hex wrench, and hit it with a hammer. I usually use a rubber dead blow hammer. First wire brush the stud's threads and soak with a penetrating oil
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
I had the problem that a couple of the studs, which are knurled and pressed into the backing plate turned and couldn't be held with vice grips. I do have an oxy / acetylene torch but didn't want to use it. One stud I drilled the head off, but it was fairly well hardened so you will need cobalt or titanium drill bits. The other one I used a 4" grinder to grind off the head. Much easier to work on the head of the stud than underneath on the nut side. Generally there isn't room for an impact gun, and many people don't have one anyway, so get a box end wrench on the nut, preferably a hex wrench, and hit it with a hammer. I usually use a rubber dead blow hammer. First wire brush the stud's threads and soak with a penetrating oil
To me this sounds like the best response. Oxy/acetylene torch is a special tool, but a set of box wrenches and a rubber mallet or a hand held grinder is not expensive and could be used on many other jobs in the future. I also had some bolts that needed to be taken off with a box wrench and a mallet. (The open end would probably get damaged in a situation like this.)
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Old 09-27-2016, 08:11 AM   #12
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Ok, I am liking this idea more... but just to clarify... it sounds like I will have to basically take apart the brake assembly (which is fine because it is going in the trash) to expose the top of the 4 bolts. Take the levers, springs, pads etc off... so that I can get to the top of the bolts, then try turning them, and/or cutting them of from the front.
Am I understanding correctly?
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:21 AM   #13
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sorry didn't read the last post, I would do just that, pull everything from the brake plate and grind off the bolt heads. Or use a good cold chisel and a big hammer.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:37 AM   #14
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You might get a Dremel with a cutting wheel small enough to get at the bolt.

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Old 09-27-2016, 10:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldphoto View Post
Ok, I am liking this idea more... but just to clarify... it sounds like I will have to basically take apart the brake assembly (which is fine because it is going in the trash) to expose the top of the 4 bolts. Take the levers, springs, pads etc off... so that I can get to the top of the bolts, then try turning them, and/or cutting them of from the front.
Am I understanding correctly?
You won't be able to turn the bolts from the brake shoe side because they have a round smooth head, nothing to grip on. Too big of a bolt to cut with a chisel, and that way may also bend something. However, if you start off with a small drill bit, drill in to the head of the bolt at it's center at least the thickness of the head, work your way up to a little bigger drill bit until you are at or slightly over the stud size, then you should be able to pop the head off with a chisel if it hasn't fallen off by now. Then get the backing plate off and deal with getting the rest of the bolt out. Grinder is quicker and easier though
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:47 AM   #16
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Good advice from Bob. Drilling is tedious but safe. New drill bits might make the job easier. Just don't damage the axle flange. I don't think you will but it's good to keep it in the back of your mind.
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:39 PM   #17
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I second the dremel tool idea. Also, you can buy MAPP gas in small bottles and use them to get those nuts cherry red. I'd start with MAPP gas.

Best of luck to ya!

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Old 09-27-2016, 01:10 PM   #18
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You don't have to drill the head off. Drill a 1/4 inch hole into the stud from either end to get below the nut then the stud will be thin enough to twist the nut and snap the stud.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:27 AM   #19
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here's a thought

Take it to a trailer shop and just let them put a new axle, rotors, bearings and brakes. It would probably be less than $700!
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:03 AM   #20
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Steve,
after just replacing the timing belt (for the 2nd time, long story) on my tow vehicle, along with a motor mount, there is no way I am putting $700 into axle right now. It functions just fine, the other brake side works great... just gotta get these darn bolts/nuts off and we will be golden.
Also, we just repacked all the bearings... so, those are in great shape too.
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