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Old 07-20-2018, 01:27 PM   #1
newsan
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2001
Default cannot remove the brake drum

My 2001 Saturn SL brake drum can roll freely. But when I try to pull out the drum about quarter inch, it gets stuck and cannot roll or slide out any more. I figure that I need to adjust the star wheel from the back plate window to have the brake shoes collapse in, but I find it is almost impossible to do.

If I facing the drum brake, the star wheel in my left hand side, it is in the left half of the drum brake area. The back plate window actually is in the right half. The window opening and the star wheel (especial the adjusting level) are not aligned.

Does anyone have any suggestion to have the drum removed?

...
2001 SL manual, start to own this when reaches 85000 miles, 203,000@July.2018
2001 SL2 automatic, 7/2018 175,000

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Old 07-20-2018, 01:44 PM   #2
Telyx
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2002 SL
Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Last time I had to remove a drum (2002 SL) it took me about 1/2 hour and a lot of light to moderate hammering on a flat wrecking bar set edge-on against the flange on the outside of the drum. It wasn't bound too terribly tightly by the shoes, but it was enough that I couldn't just pull or pry it off.

...
RIP my 2002 SL1, totaled 9/18/2012... found its replacement (2002 SL) 9/26/12, traded it in 5/10/2018 (199,604 miles).

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Old 07-20-2018, 01:47 PM   #3
trottida
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

There is a special tool (Saturn Drum Brake Adjusting Tool, SA9201BR) for adjusting the star wheel and it does enter the right and goes to the left. Here's an illustration and photos...



I't most likely that there is a ridge on the outer edge due to wear and the brake shoe will not clear it but make sure you use a penetrant where the hub goes through as that are is prone to rusting onto the drum.

The other option (last) is to hammer on the edge of the drum and break it up into pieces.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Saturn brake adjuster tool.jpg (4.1 KB, 75 views)

...
2001 SL1 MT (417,500 km @ 05/2018)
1999 SL2 MT (260,870 km @ 05/2018)
2011 Suburban LT (111,176 km @ 05/2018)

Past Saturns
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:canada:

Last edited by trottida; 07-20-2018 at 01:54 PM..

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Old 07-20-2018, 02:22 PM   #4
newsan
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Thank you so much, trottida.

By any chance you have the rough dimension of the tool. I need make a tool to adjust the star wheel.

...
2001 SL manual, start to own this when reaches 85000 miles, 203,000@July.2018
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Also penetrating oil around the studs may help. Use a good sized sledge hammer to loosen things up but it will still be tough.

-Robert

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Old 07-20-2018, 03:12 PM   #6
newsan
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

I have a three jaw puller and I think that it can get the job done, but I reluctant to use as it will damage the brake.

...
2001 SL manual, start to own this when reaches 85000 miles, 203,000@July.2018
2001 SL2 automatic, 7/2018 175,000

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Old 07-20-2018, 04:37 PM   #7
craftsman70
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Anyone know a source to purchase a SA-9201BR?

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Old 07-20-2018, 04:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Good luck with the tool and guessing which way to move the star wheel. You'll need patience to guess where to position it then move the star wheel in the correct direction (expanding or retracting shoes). If you're not patient and need to remove the drum with expanded brake shoes preventing removal, below is the general area around the inside lip of the drum to use a flattened end of a round shaft, hammered on to force the drum off. Brake shoes wear down drums. Where it doesn't come in contact is left as a ridge where the brake shoes hangs up. This ridge is preventing drums from being removed. Brake shops servicing drum brakes always use a brake lathe to remove this lip and refinish the drum if it can be machined. Too little meat left (stamped on drums as maximum inside diameter) and drums are discarded.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg brake drum removal.jpg (172.8 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg new brake drum.jpg (53.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg worn brake drum -1.jpg (149.1 KB, 10 views)

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Old 07-20-2018, 05:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

I did the rear brakes recently on my 1999 SC2. Hammers and beating the hell out of it until it gives way.

I hammer at an angle to give a little rotation as well. So I try to hammer outward and at an angle causing a spin.

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Old 07-20-2018, 05:24 PM   #10
newsan
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Saturn Drum Brake Adjusting Tool, SA9201BR, is only half of the job. The stopping lever still needs to be pushed out of the way, which is even harder.

...
2001 SL manual, start to own this when reaches 85000 miles, 203,000@July.2018
2001 SL2 automatic, 7/2018 175,000

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Old 07-20-2018, 07:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

You are in CA, so I doubt you would have the rust issues we do. I put a cardboard box under the brake as I pound it to catch all the rust.

Trust me, just beat the hell out of it.

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Old 07-20-2018, 07:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by newsan View Post
Saturn Drum Brake Adjusting Tool, SA9201BR, is only half of the job. The stopping lever still needs to be pushed out of the way, which is even harder.
~~~~~~~~~
Newsan, Absolutely right !
I really doubt anyone has used that tool, it was probably conjured up as response to an irate customer. Quite probably it was never even made ?
Each time I remove a drum, I check for that 'edge', and if there, I scrape the sharp edge of a file around the drum to remove the 'edge'.
JW

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Old 07-20-2018, 09:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Snip the retention pin heads from the back plate. This will unseat the brake shoes and the whole drum will come out with a little force. Obviously, you're going to want to pickup a hardware kit. They're usually $5 or so.

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Old 07-23-2018, 02:41 AM   #14
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Pick up a cheap brake tool set at Harbor freight (yes, I know) which has a few different spoons one of which will work or can be modified to adj the star adjustment. You'll also get a few different tools that although not mandatory for a brake job do make the job easier and are made well enough for most people (I've had a set for several years and they have been subjected to some serious abuse with no ill effects).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyver View Post
Snip the retention pin heads from the back plate. This will unseat the brake shoes and the whole drum will come out with a little force. Obviously, you're going to want to pickup a hardware kit. They're usually $5 or so.
This is the easiest and quickest way if you can't adjust the shoes in far enough to clear the lip on the drum. If you can't snip the heads use a Dremel. Be careful when you remove the drum this way because depending on how the shoe interfaces with the wheel cylinder it can damage the wheel cylinder or at the very least cause it to leak.

...
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Anybody asked the question why the poster wants to remove the drum in the first place? If you are only pulling it to look inside, then don't bother and leave well alone.

If you are going in there to refurbish the brakes in each drum and you know they haven't been touched for a long while, then you can afford to be a little heavy handed with man's best friends - a big hammer. You would be surprised at how you can whack that drum and it not break.

Alternatively, if you are changing shoes, take it a brake shop, bite the bullet and let them have all the fun of getting off the drum.

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Old 07-23-2018, 10:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridasl22002 View Post
Anybody asked the question why the poster wants to remove the drum in the first place? If you are only pulling it to look inside, then don't bother and leave well alone.

If you are going in there to refurbish the brakes in each drum and you know they haven't been touched for a long while, then you can afford to be a little heavy handed with man's best friends - a big hammer. You would be surprised at how you can whack that drum and it not break.

Alternatively, if you are changing shoes, take it a brake shop, bite the bullet and let them have all the fun of getting off the drum.
Pretty much the opposite advice that I'd give. I pull the drums on my cars every once in a while to check for shoe wear and check the cylinder. You dont' want to wait until you're metal on metal to change them or you'll have down time.

-Robert

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Old 07-23-2018, 11:30 AM   #17
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

I am not suggesting disregard the brakes, but there are timed intervals for checking the brakes - it's called scheduled maintenance. Just pulling drum for pulling drums sake is not a good use of anyone's time. I can think of better things to do with my time.

If the rear brakes haven't been checked in a good while (over 12 months), then yes I totally agree. It's good practise to check at the required interval.

But I still don't know why he wants to remove the drum?

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Old 07-23-2018, 11:46 AM   #18
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

If it is worn enough that the lip won't come over the shoes, it is time to inspect no matter what the original reason was for going in there.

Time and patience to back off the adjustment wheel, using whatever tool needed (usually a small screw-driver will do), is my method in tough cases where there is a fierce lip. I like to avoid doing further (and maybe hidden) damage to other parts while beating or prying on things. I'm not saying I would never use a BFH, but it is way down in my list of choices...

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Old 07-23-2018, 01:00 PM   #19
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

Thank you all for the response.

I did spend at least 4 hours to have the drum removed. Require lots of patience. I did open the other SL2's drum to learn how to turn the star wheel. Actually, get the stopping lever out of the way is much more critical. I made a 7 shape tool and marked the distance to push the stopping lever. Now I think I can have the drum removed in 20 minutes by adjusting the star wheel from the back hole.

For anyone want to adjust the star wheel from the back hole, they should study how to push the stopping lever from the engaging position when the drum is removed.

There is no rust/freeze on the drum part. One of the shoes in driver side has minimum amount braking material left, maybe 1/32

My intention to open the brake is to have a wheel cylinder replaced. I remembered that a wheel cylinder is leaking slowly, but to my surprise, the wheel cylinder is not leaking or at least not badly, which also matches the minimum amount of brake fluid loss

...
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: cannot remove the brake drum

You may be in a small group, less than a handful to successfully figure out how to adjust the hidden star wheel. With drum removed, did you find the lip in the outer portion of the drum? 1/32" of brake shoe remaining is worn and probably won't pass state inspection (provided the inspector is able to remove the rear drums). Uneven wear of both brake shoes suggests little to zero lube on the ends of shoes where they slide a little to align themselves as shoes are pushed into the drum. There's a maximum inside diameter before discarding drums, stamped into the drum if specs aren't known. If you reuse drums, a few minutes with a portable grinding wheel to grind off the lip will make it easier for drum removal. In general, wheel brake cylinders should not have any brake fluid under the two rubber seals. If peeling back rubbers reveal oil, the brake pistons are leaking and the wheel cylinder should be replaced.

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