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Old 08-20-2018, 10:04 PM   #1
Manospeed
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Default Rear brake drums seized

Hi Gents,

Was getting a metallic clunking noise from the left brake drum and at 135,000 miles, I thought now would be a good time to change the rear brake drums, shoes, springs etc.

As you can imagine, the drums looked like they had been on Mars for a century. Unfortunately, all my attempts to remove the drums failed. I used a 25 lbs hammer, blow torch, penetrating oil etc. At about 1 hour and 30 minutes I gave up because the forecast called for heavy rains (they were right for a change).

The rotors themselves are spinning freely. Based on my observations it appears the drum has seized up in between the bolts on the inside of the drum and where it contacts the wheel bearing. Tried using a scrapping tool and plenty of penetrating oil where it meets the wheel bearing, but the two parts appear almost indistinguishable.

Looking online, I saw some suggesting the OTC 6980 heavy duty brake drum and rotor puller. This looks like the tool to get the job done, but my main question is how is one supposed to use this when the Saturn's wheel bearing has nothing for the puller's turning pin to press up against and pull the drum off? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Tell me again why I'm living in the rust belt...

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Old 08-21-2018, 08:35 AM   #2
guyg
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

Myself I use a grinder with an .045 cutting wheel to cut-score one side then score towards the middle. A small steel wedge will split it apart in no time.
I have also cut off front rotors this way when needed, the down side, there is no going back once started, but I am quite comfortable with these methods.
A lot of times the shoes wear into the drums making removal near impossible without doing something drastic.

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Old 08-21-2018, 10:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

my drums are rusted to the bearing flange also. you say the "rotors" are turning which i think is technically not right. rotor and hub are the same? i have never cutoff a drum before. the idea of slitting it like a piece of pie and breaking it into pieces with a chisel works?

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Old 08-21-2018, 11:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

My intention is to replace everything so I don't really care to reuse the drums, but I'm saving the cutting option as a last resort in order to avoid potential damage to the back plate or the hub itself.

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Old 08-21-2018, 02:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

Manospeed, the drums turning easily on the wheel hub but refuses to let go from severe corrosion is as you described - mechanically bonded to the hub. Water and rust become the equivalent of loctite. Heat on the drum, penetrant to seep into the corroded bond between inside drum and wheel hub surfaces and hammering against the inside lip of the drum should loosen it. An old steel shaft can be used as a broad chisel to hammer against the drum lip. Hitting the drum in several places around it, rotating the drum, should loosen the bond.
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Manospeed, the drums turning easily on the wheel hub but refuses to let go from severe corrosion is as you described - mechanically bonded to the hub. Water and rust become the equivalent of loctite. Heat on the drum, penetrant to seep into the corroded bond between inside drum and wheel hub surfaces and hammering against the inside lip of the drum should loosen it. An old steel shaft can be used as a broad chisel to hammer against the drum lip. Hitting the drum in several places around it, rotating the drum, should loosen the bond.
I'm definitely planning on giving it another go with the brute force method. I also want to get a pry bar and see if I can insert it around the lip of the drum and hit it with a outward tapping action while rotating the wheel 90 degrees to pop it out of place (as you state).

Also considering renting a brake drum/rotor pulley kit if that will save me from the hammering.

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Old 08-21-2018, 02:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavell View Post
my drums are rusted to the bearing flange also. you say the "rotors" are turning which i think is technically not right. rotor and hub are the same? i have never cutoff a drum before. the idea of slitting it like a piece of pie and breaking it into pieces with a chisel works?
A steel wedge like this, Williams WG-3 3-Inch Set Up Wedge. I once cut a cast iron tub in half for removal, took about 2 wheels and 10 minutes. It is quite effective but you must be comfortable with using these tools. I have worked as a welder for over 40 years so it is 2nd nature for me.

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Old 08-21-2018, 03:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manospeed View Post
...Also considering renting a brake drum/rotor pulley kit if that will save me from the hammering.
If the drum is really seized as you described, pullers probably won't work. They're more likely to bend the drum (a plus here) as the outer perimeter is pulled while the center portion remains 'glued' to the large surface area of the wheel hub. Use whatever method works as you're working against a very stubborn drum glued from years of corrosion setting up. Heat from a torch and penetrant can help expand/contract the glue bonds while hammering provides the impact forces to help break the bonds.

My rear disc brake rotors are a top hat design using the inner drum portion for the parking brakes. Top hat rotors along with plain rotors can bond to wheel hubs unless some preparations are made. I use wire brushing to remove surface rust then a very light coat of antiseize compound applied with a stiff toothbrush on the wheel hub. Its painted on for a very light coat, covering the area (silver) to show where its applied. The color fades over time but does seem to prevent rust buildup (NYC salted roads). This allows easier periodic brake inspections. Once applied, it remains and doesn't melt from brake heat. Just my two cents to help when replacing drums and prepping them against future corrosion.

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Old 08-21-2018, 03:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

oh i have hit the edge of drum hard and really dont want to go nuts. its my kids vue and i really dont want to mess it up. i drove it last week and the brakes are not great. i think it really needs new rear shoes and drums

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Old 08-21-2018, 07:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

I have one of these drum pullers.



Tighten it down, then whack the drum with a big hammer. Never fails to pop it loose.

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Old 08-22-2018, 12:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

my dad did have that puller but he lent it out and forgot who took it. and the person never brought it back. just like the port-a-power kit he had. which i could really use now.

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Old 08-22-2018, 01:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

I used a large sludge hammer. The drums were rusted onto the center hubs. Bang on one side, then rotate it and bang on the other side..

The passenger side finally came off, but I busted the drivers side.

...
2003 Vue - 2.2L with Manual Trans. (Swapped)
Originally had 2.2L and Auto trans.

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Old 08-22-2018, 09:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

$10 good deal
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

You found that buried in the back yard?

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Old 08-23-2018, 08:02 AM   #15
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

dont be dissing my tools man. nah some guy found it in his shed/barn. maybe i can do a restoration video like i see on utube?

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Old 08-23-2018, 08:30 AM   #16
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

Presuming that corroded and rusty puller is cast/forged iron, restoring it may have some challenges. The strength of pullers is the threaded male/female portion to generate tremendous forces without stripping out and zero hairline cracks anywhere on the three iron pieces. $10 to find out after removing surface rust may reveal a perfectly good puller for another generation of use before handing it down to the next generation. Or borrow a puller from Autozone.

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Old 08-23-2018, 11:49 AM   #17
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

autozone does not have that style puller. they have smallish 3 jaw pullers for hubs and balancers. no 12" wide style drum pullers

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Old 08-23-2018, 02:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

...big sledgehammer/ quality pry bar , also be prepared probably to replace rear wheel bearings with all the hits,also make sure the backing plate is not bent when done, just my.02, dc.

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Old 08-23-2018, 04:07 PM   #19
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

No heavy duty puller from AutoZone? That leaves the BFH, a 3 lb sledge hammer and an old 1/2 shaft to beat on the inner lip of brake drums. Can northerners use the phrase "git 'er done"?
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: Rear brake drums seized

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No heavy duty puller from AutoZone? That leaves the BFH, a 3 lb sledge hammer and a 1/2 inch shaft to beat on the inner lip of brake drums. Can northerners use the phrase "git 'er done"?
Edited for clarity.

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