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Old 07-01-2012, 15:55   #1 (permalink)
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Rear drums rusted on wheel hubs

I have a generic question regarding removing drums rusted to rear wheel hubs. Car is an '88 (Cadillac actually, though I don't like the GM forums), and the drums are very rusted due to age and MN winters.
I am not planning on re-using the drums, and they wouldn't budge after beating on them for awhile. I sprayed WD40 in the space between the studs and the drum holes. If that doesn't help, I'll probably heat them tomorrow with a propane torch. The brake shoes are not preventing removal, and the drum turns.
Any other ideas?
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:16   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Rear drums rusted on wheel hubs

If the WD40 doesn't work , can you not borrow a brake drum puller ? Dont go mad with the torch or the heat may transfer to wheel cyl . and knacker the seals .
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:17   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Rear drums rusted on wheel hubs

WD was great for it's time, try PB Blaster or Sili-Kroil (if you can find it). I've had to use a large 3-jaw puller in the past, just make sure you protect the center hub.

Propane probably won't get you hot enough quick enough, preferably oxy-acetylene with a rose bud tip, a turbo torch might work, but I doubt it.

If these things are not available to you, good luck my friend, you'll need it.
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:28   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Rear drums rusted on wheel hubs

Brake Drum Remover
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Old 07-01-2012, 16:35   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Rear drums rusted on wheel hubs

3-jaw, brake drum puller, dynamite, all the same to me.
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Old 07-01-2012, 17:47   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Rear drums rusted on wheel hubs

If you have the rear raised and put the lug nuts part way on, then run it in reverse and hit the brakes and do the same forward a few times, it usually brakes it loose from the center. PB Blaster or Sili-Kroil are the best.
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Old 07-01-2012, 20:40   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Rear drums rusted on wheel hubs

Gentlemen,
Thank you all very much for your suggestions. It sounds like the puller is the way to go, and I was not aware that such an animal was available. I looked at the description on the Eastwood website, and another question was answered, namely, how to break the rust bond. Apparently you tap on the jaws that contact the drum and that gives the percussive encouragement to break that rust bond.
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Old 07-01-2012, 21:18   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Rear drums rusted on wheel hubs

Hitting the brakes with the wheels off and the lug nuts loose may work without the puller. We do it all the time when they're stuck like that.
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Old 07-08-2012, 13:47   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Rear drums rusted on wheel hubs

I thought I would let everyone know what happened in case it has value for future reference.
I did get a generic puller at a rental shop, one whose jaws I thought could get between the backing plate and the drum. I called a few rental shops, and no one seemed to have a brake drum puller, and most had never heard of one.
The backing plate was flexible enough to allow me to deflect it back and get the puller jaw between it and the drum. I hammered the jaw in enough to get good purchase, and since the jaw was pointed and graduated, it started the separation of the drum from the hub right then and there without having to use the center expanding nut. I think it was more the interference fit of the drum opening to the hub that made the drum difficult to remove, plus I did use a fair amount of penetrant and hammering. I then just worked my way around the drum between it and the backing plate to further remove the drum because there was enough rigidity in the backing plate to allow me to lever against it. I probably could have used a nail puller or crowbar with similar results.
The rustiness of everything is very frustrating and doubles or triples removal time of any part exposed to the elements.
Thanks again for everyone's comments.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:06   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Rear drums rusted on wheel hubs

I recently had the same issue on my Camry; not Ford I know, but could be done on any vehicle with frozen drums. I tried heat, PB, and a rubber mallet and my rear drums wouldn't budge. I resorted to an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel on it. I just went around the farthest outer rim of the drum keeping in mind the axle behind it, and didn't go to deep so I wouldn't get into the components. I just cutout a square all around the drum and it fell off. I could then get a large screwdriver behind the remaining material that was rusted to the axle hub and pry it off.
Worked well!
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