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Brake Drum Removal Help

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Old 07-29-2008, 12:00 PM   #1
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Brake Drum Removal Help

Hey everyone,

I've got a REALLY stuck rear brake drum that won't pop off despite my increasingly drastic tactics. I've read through all the threads I could find and tried everything: backed off the star adjuster all the way... the threaded holes are stripped on the drum face, tried to tap them bigger but stripped again. BFH all around the drum, won't budge despite having been soaked in PB Blaster all night. Tried prying against the back plate, just bends the plate. Even dremeled a small hole in the back plate near the rim of the drum, but a stout screwdriver and hammer from behind won't move the thing. E-brake is off.

I'm running out of ideas and I don't want to cut the drum off.
Sorry about starting a new thread... this is driving me crazy.

Any suggestions?

Thanks, Scott
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Brake Drum Removal Help-truck.jpg   Brake Drum Removal Help-drum.jpg   Brake Drum Removal Help-drumback1.jpg  
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:06 PM   #2
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RUBBER MALLET !!!
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:07 PM   #3
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Yeh, A BFRM!!!
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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Just keep hammerin on that sum-B. You sure you adjusted the star adjuster the right way?
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies,

I've been BEATING on this thing for hours, gave up the rubber mallet and switched to 3 lb mini sledge, still nothing.

Turning the star wheel down loosens it, right?

Scott
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:19 PM   #6
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Sure fire way is to unbolt the axle from the housing (4 nuts behind the backing plate), pull the axle out and then drop it straight down, wheel studs first, onto a block of wood or smooth concrete. Start out low and slowly increase the height of the drop until the drum pops loose.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:25 PM   #7
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Its tricky to turn the star wheel....you have to pry the stop bar out of the way, then turn it the opposite way of the smooth edges...basically, against the grain. Its a PITA and takes a while, but it can be done.

And all that in a space about this big:

( ------ )
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:29 PM   #8
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i know i shouldnt have to ask, but did you take your parking brake off??? dont ask how i found out.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:38 PM   #9
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DeathCougar,

I bought the star wheel adjuster tool because I couldn't get the thing to turn with two flatblades... you're right it's a royal pain. With one flatblade on the ratchet stop and the special tool on the star, it rotated easily. It won't turn down anymore so I think the shoes are backed off all the way.
Still no luck, though. Might try 4crawler's way, should probably change diff fluid anyway.

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Old 07-29-2008, 12:51 PM   #10
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I spent 4 hrs on my left one last year with a bfh and a brass drift untill it gave up the fight. Just keep hammering and pb blastering it.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:14 PM   #11
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Assuming that you turned the adjuster the right way...Smack that sucker with a bigger hammer. I've had to pop them pretty hard to get them to break loose. I usually put the lug nuts on the studs to protect them from the hammer.

You will hear it when it breaks free while pummelling it with a BFH.

Good luck.
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:17 PM   #12
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Alright I got the f$%^&* thing off!!

Took an absolute SMASHING with the 5 lb sledge, but it finally came. It definitely helped to bash with a big screwdriver from behind, thru a dremeled hole in the back plate (... now I'll have to seal that up), in case anyone else with a stuck drum reads this thread.

Thanks guys for the advice. I've been soaking up a lot of awesome info on this site for about a year now, but just today I became a proud YotaTech member! I hope to have the 4Runner for a while (it's a baby at 166,000 mi), so you'll see more of me...

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:25 PM   #13
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Probably had a big lip on the outter edge of the inside of the drum.
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:16 PM   #14
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Just for reference:

Easy way to back off the star adjuster is to use a L shaped item (o ring pick works, or maybe an allen wrench) and feed it back into the adjuster hole and over the adjuster shaft (you cant see this, just feel for it). Push the lock plate outboard, then use a flatblade to turn the starwheel down (handle of flatblade moves up).
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:08 PM   #15
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Nice tip, Jon.....
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Old 08-02-2008, 12:12 AM   #16
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the easiest way to remove a stuck drum is to use the threaded holes in the face of the drum with some 2'' long bolts of the same thread. you screw them in and it pushes against the axle hub and will push it right off with a little to no beating on the truck.
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:42 AM   #17
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Except the OP's were stripped out, ma'in. And, that doesn't always work in extreme cases. It is possible to warp the drum.....or even strip out the threads.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:28 AM   #18
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Or crack the drum... which I have one that is cracked around one of those holes.
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:15 AM   #19
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I have done all of that before....cracked the drum, stripped the hole, warped the stupid thing etc etc.

If you live anywhere but CA, AZ, or NM, you are going to have a hell of a time getting that drum off. Period lol.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:23 AM   #20
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Ah! DC's post reminded me of a tip I learned growing up and learning to work on cars in the Rustbelt. Before you install the brake drum, paint the axle flange face with anti-seize along with the wheel studs. Cover all the metal, but don't goop it on so thick that it will sling out into the drum. This will keep the drum from rusting on to the axle shaft. Much easier to remove after the next winter.
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