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Cannot Remove Brake Drum

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Old 05-03-2004, 01:48 PM   #1
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Cannot Remove Brake Drum

I noticed my drivers side rear wheel was dripping diff fluid, and decided it was time for a new seal. But I cannot get the drum off. I think the shoes are engaging the drum which is why I can't pull it off. Any hints? I tried that little service port on the back with a couple of screwdrivers, but I was not getting anywhere doing that on my driveway. Can't seem to fit my hands, two screwdrivers, my melon and the trouble light into the wheel well! Any other way of backing off the pads or pulling the drum off?
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:03 PM   #2
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My guess would probably be that the drum is seized to the hub and its not the shoes holding the drum on. Get you a BIG hammer and beat around each lug in the center. See if that dont pop it off.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:07 PM   #3
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Make sure the emergency brake is OFF. This engages the rear brakes.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00Runner
Make sure the emergency brake is OFF. This engages the rear brakes.
Exactly!

And, as stated above, just grab a hammer and go to beating around on it.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:13 PM   #5
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Generous doses of penetrating oil around the studs and any other holes on the face of the drum along with a beating between the studs with a hammer usually works well. Just be sure to hose off the interals with brake cleaner if you even suspect the pentrating oil got inside.
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Old 05-03-2004, 03:00 PM   #6
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Yep, E-brake is off (Though that is the kind of thing I would forget )

It is not seized to the hub either because I can tilt it back and forth a little and even tried prying between the drum and backing plate but it did not want to come off! (I didn't have enough room for a *real* pry bar though)

Last edited by The Rusty Gear; 05-03-2004 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 05-03-2004, 03:36 PM   #7
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You really need to back off the brakes before trying to remove the drum and the adjuster you get to through the access hole is pretty much the only way to go. There is a lip around the back side of the brake drum that will prevent you from pulling the drum off unless the brakes are backed off or you beat the holy crap out of it and gouge the pads enough to get the drums off.
Use one screwdriver to press the retainer that prevents the geared wheel on the adjuster from moving. You can feel it move out of the way. Use the other screwdriver on the teeth of the adjuster wheel gear to back it off. I find it best to back it off all the way. You might have a time figuring out whether you are tightening or loosening at first, but it will soon become clear when the brake drum either moves or gets totally locked up.
It is possible that the adjusters are frozen up though so some swearing may be necessary
Next, locate the threaded holes on the brake drum face. Then start looking around for something on your truck to steal the same size bolt from. I don't remember what size they are, but I hunted around on mine and found a bolt that matched and used it. Thread it into one of the holes and keep going until the drum moves some. Take the bolt out (or get a couple bolts) and do the same on another threaded hole. Pretty soon, the drum will pretty much pop off (fingers crossed (if they aren't too broken bloody at this point)).
The gear oil has probably saturated and ruined the pads so you may as well do a brake job at this point.
Good luck!
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Old 05-03-2004, 03:54 PM   #8
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What 451 said.

It might help if you go to a place like Autozone (they're usually the cheapest) and buy a brake adjuster tool for 4 or 5 dollars. It definitely beats trying to use two screwdrivers. You should be able to put enough leverage on the adjuster wheel (while pushing perhaps) and turn it without even worrying about holding up the wheel locker with a screwdriver. That must be the way it was designed, because the tool I have and seen is so wide it is hard to get a screwdriver in there too. I found that out after I got frustrated and said to heck with trying to hold up the locker. The tool is also angled to make it easy, unlike a screwdriver. Once you figure out which way you need to turn the adjuster wheel, you will have the drum off in no time.

I tired the bolt method with no success and ultimately bought the tool. If you have a few grooves in your drums like I did, that brake shoe is seated in there pretty darn good and the screws will not pull it off. It wouldn't work for me anyway.

Brake shoes are a pain. (As you already know)
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Old 05-03-2004, 03:56 PM   #9
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there should be 2 threaded holes in the drum. find 2 LONG bolts of the right size/thread pitch, run them down in the holes and the drumms will pull off.
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Old 05-03-2004, 04:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerboy97
there should be 2 threaded holes in the drum. find 2 LONG bolts of the right size/thread pitch, run them down in the holes and the drumms will pull off.
Thread size is M8-1.25. It's not likely to work with drums more than five or so years old. One the older drums, the threads rust and then crumble when you apply any torque. That's been my experience at least.
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Old 05-03-2004, 07:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Thread size is M8-1.25. It's not likely to work with drums more than five or so years old. One the older drums, the threads rust and then crumble when you apply any torque. That's been my experience at least.
Very true. I managed to pull mine off twice before the holes stripped out. Next time I'll have to try stuffing in some bigger bolts and making my own threads
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Old 05-30-2004, 08:34 AM   #12
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Is the bolt the same size for 3RD gen?
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:04 PM   #13
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The retainer that others have mentioned is actually the self-adjuster lever. It is designed to lift up when you apply the brakes in reverse and if it can catch an extra tooth on the adjuster wheel on the way back down they are adjusted out to compensate for wear. Works like a ratchet, and also keeps the adjuster from spinning in the reverse direction so the brakes don't loosen up on their own. All you need to know if if the self-adjuster lever is on the top or botom of the adjusting wheel. That will derermine which way the adjuster wheel has to be turned to loosen it. I also suggest getting the brake adjusting tool, the right tool makes it so much easier. I have had good success with using an awl to push the lever out of the way. It fits along side the adjusting tool in the slot (usually). Good luck.
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:36 PM   #14
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Take the lower two bolts off your IFS skid plate and use them to remove the drum. Always worked for me...


Warren
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Old 05-30-2004, 03:39 PM   #15
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Yeah, its same M8-1.25 bolt for 3RD gens. Popped right off. The brakes need to be backed off though. I looked at the tools at PepBoys and Sears and they are nothing more than flat head screwdriver, just angled. The adjusting hole is so small and in awkward position its gotta take some experience to do it right
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Old 05-30-2004, 05:03 PM   #16
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lots of GOOD info in this thread
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Old 05-30-2004, 07:47 PM   #17
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hit it , hit it , hit it , hit it , hit it , hit it ... and it should come off
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Old 05-30-2004, 07:53 PM   #18
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I found another way that worked real well on a friends Pathfinder the other day. If you happen to have a slidehammer for front wheel drive hubs use that in conjuction with the jacking bolts if they're being stubborn. A few whacks with a 5-lb slide hammer and these Pathfider drums I couldn't budge just popped off. BTW, WTF was Nissan thinking when they designed rear drums without any sort of lip for someone to grab onto? The Pathfinder drums were totally smooth on the outside.
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Old 06-01-2004, 11:33 AM   #19
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As the shoes wear the drum will eventually get bell shaped.you'll have to back of the adjuster all the wayto clear the shoes so you dont bend anything when pulling the drum,also the leaking gear oil probably soaked and"EXPANDED" your shoes.I've had to cut the retaining pins on the backing plates in worst cases.But it usually bends hardware(adjusters).Good Luck !
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Old 06-02-2004, 07:17 AM   #20
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Mine were seized up real tight. I had to be careful on the two bolts cause my drums started to crack around the threaded holes once they got out far enough. The threads stripped on mine too, I just used a tap an tapped bigger holes for a bigger bolt and it worked fine. The shoes had worn a lip on the edge of my drum that made it a mother to get off (I should have backed to shoes off some more but oh well). I took a big pry bar, 3lb hammer and a whole lot of bangin to get that damn thing off. I used a die grinder to get that lip off there. Then I didn't have any trouble getting em back on and off. Those lips seem to be the biggest problem in getting the drums off just about anything.

I hate drum brakes, why the hell would anybody still use those stupid things when disks are so much simpler?
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