How do you get stuck drums off?

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by Dana W, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Dana W

    Dana W Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    I need to replace a brake cylinder on my '99 Sub. Do any of you have any suggestions and/or foolproof methods for freeing a drum from the axle. Nope, the shoes are not holding it on, been backed off a good deal, and the E-brake is released, and there are no retainers on the lugs. (been there before). It appears to be firmly rusted to the end of the axle where the center hole fits closely to the axle nut. I've tried tapping on it with a small sledge, using penetrating oil, waiting, then tapping some more. The danged thing is still pretty much stuck. My tapping is accelrating to whacks out of frustration now.

    How do ya do it. I am thinking of heating the center area with a quick blast or two with a mapp torch and tapping it some more, but I want to be careful not to get it hot enough to melt seals, burn axle lube, burn brake fluid, melt rubber parts, etc, for sure.

    What really works? Thanks.
  2. Dana W

    Dana W Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    Well, OK. Now that I have posted, the similar threads bot showed me I am on the right track with the oil and tapping. I am shying away from the heat thing. I don't want to change the temper of the steel.

    I wonder why my search didn't turn up the similar threads? Keywords = Rear brake drum stuck rusted remove drum = bupkis.
  3. KidHauler

    KidHauler Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Increase your tap to a whack, and work from the backside. Work all the way around, so as not to get off-center, and give it some good, solid, whacks... You've heard the term "BFH"? Now's the time.

    I'm not sure about 1500's, but my 2500's drums are substantial, so they take a pretty good beating to dismount.

    Good luck,
  4. Dana W

    Dana W Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    Yup. been whacking with a 2 lb sledge. I have a 5 lb but I think it might be too B of a F H.:happy: I want to hit the back side but the backing plate is in the way. I'll get there. It's been 24 hrs soaking in penetrating oil. More of that, more whacking and more time, I guess will do it.

    Thanks for the encouragement. Between that and the hug I got from my favorite clerky babe at the grocery store this morning, I'm having a pretty good day.
  5. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    A 5lb BFH should do nicely. I use a 4lb BFH to get drums off mine. You should be able to catch the edge of the drum at the backing plate. I also like to give the drum some perimiter hits and a couple hits near the hub. If it's rusted on, the drum is rusted to the axle flange.

    Do you have a 3/4 or 1 ton truck? If so, doublecheck to make sure the drum is not behind the hub, if it is, you will have to pull the axleshaft first and remove the hub nut and other bits to pull the hub and drum off.
  6. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

  7. janikphoto

    janikphoto Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    Good info here. I've had to use some pretty good banging on other vehicles, but I haven't had to touch the suburban's brakes yet.
  8. Dana W

    Dana W Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    Yessir, been doin all that and then some. I just gotta do more of the same. My Sub's a 1500 (1/2 ton) I can see where it just slips around the axle "nut". What do they call that thing anyway?

    If I give it just enough pull against the backing plate with a prybar, I can see it flex enough for a tiny bit of movement at the lugs, but that's it.

    It rained all day today or I would have been done by now, probably. I gotta get a bigger house so I can get my woodworker tools outn' the garage. I say a bigger house cuz I am in a townie with a one car now and the Suburban is only 3" shorter than the inside of the garage. I have to take the ball mount out of the reciever to get the door down so I don't worry much about gettin' it inside while I am living here.

    I'll post a big fat hooooray, when I get 'er done.

    Thanks for all the good advice people.

    ---------- Post added at 07:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:44 PM ----------

    Well, thank you sir. Yeah, mine (K1500) looks pretty much like the bottom picture except for all them extra freaking :surprised:bolts.

    ---------- Post added at 07:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:49 PM ----------

    I bet you can hardly wait.:sarcastic:

    The hardest time I EVER had getting a drum off was when a shoe retainer gave out on my old 1972 Gremlin "X" and the shoe somehow got very wedged all up in there crossways and wrecked most of the hardware inside the drum.
  9. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Yeah, you get lots of bolts and lug nuts when you step into the 1-ton world :) Bottom pic is the 1-ton axle I put in my 1/2 ton suburban. Axle weighs like 500 pounds by itself, but that's besides the point.

    If you can get some PB blaster you can spray it around the lug nuts and the hub and that'll hopefully loosen up the rust holding the drum on.
  10. Dana W

    Dana W Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    If I can't pop it off first thing this morning I am headed fown to get some PB. I have heard that stuff is far better than my little can of liquid wrench.

    OK, now somebody say "Well, here's your problem!"

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