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Tapered axle drum removal


ChrisRice
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I have a tapered axle on my '55 Plymouth. I have to redo the brake system, but am having problems from the very beginning. I have not been able to remove the brake drum (picture attached). I have used a "heavy duty" puller ( the most heavy duty I can rent locally-- picture also attached). I have beat, torched, used nearly a can of pb blaster ( a little a day for over a week), and used a 200 ft lb, 2100 rpm impact wrench. It seems to have moved a little, but won't break free. I am new to mechanics and can usually figure it out, but this has beaten me all week. Any suggestions or see any things that I am doing wrong here?

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I would agree with Plymouth Adams, I think that puller is a little too small, I haven't a pic of mine but it uses a 1&1/2" threaded centre bolt that you do up against the axle thread and wack it with a large hammer...........generally these things don't move a little at all, they are either tight on then BANG!!!!!.........off they come............apart from positive thoughts that's about all I can suggest from here..............good luck.............andyd   

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I have to ask Chris - you have backed the brakes off with the adjuster behind the backing plate?

I found that some of the truck hubs that I have removed have had the shoes bound to them. Something that was raised recently: don't pound on them too hard as you might get them out of shape. Best to put the axle nut back on slightly for the removal so that the drum doesn't fly off as you can get a fair bit of pressure with a puller.

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The puller should work for you. Put the nut and washer back on so there

drum does not injure you. You say 200 ft lb impact....that is a toy. You need something in the range of 500 or more. Crank it up as tight as possible and hit the forcing screw a leathal blow. If it does not come off a very hot torch on the hub should work. While under pressure from the puller.

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If someone doesn't remove this I may have a suggestion for you.  I have stated befor I retired as a Marine Machiniest for the Federal Goverment and have worked with all kind of removal gear.  The picture attached is a button jack and can be used with your pulling gear.  You may want a bigger head on the hydralic end but I never had anything could not be removed with a proper stongback and a jack like pictured.  You might be able to rent on of these at your local rental store but that just my suggestion. You pulling gear looks like it would work as the strongback and if a two ton jack won't remove the hub than use a four ton.  We used up to 250 tons to remove hub props but they were huge jacks.

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Once having removed the drum an Axle puller should be unnecessary.

Grab it with your hand and pull it out to change axle seals.

Its the way I have done them for 40 years - puller's are not needed if you have a strong arm.

Tom

Huntersville,

North Carolina 

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I have to ask Chris - you have backed the brakes off with the adjuster behind the backing plate?

I found that some of the truck hubs that I have removed have had the shoes bound to them. Something that was raised recently: don't pound on them too hard as you might get them out of shape. Best to put the axle nut back on slightly for the removal so that the drum doesn't fly off as you can get a fair bit of pressure with a puller.

I have put the axle nut back on backwards for the safety reasons. As far as the adjuster behind the backing late, that is the first I've heard of doing that, so no I haven't tried that yet.... I'll have to look into it.

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Yes, make sure the castle nut is on the end of the axle or the drum can injure you when it comes off. They can sometimes literally fly across the garage and if you are in the way it is going to hurt. Use a good puller as suggested and don't be afraid to really use a BFH and I mean use it. Do not be afraid to hit as hard as you can. Do not hit the end of the puller that goes against the axle as that can do internal damage to the differential but you can hit as hard as you like on the handle part that turns. There is usual a loud pop when the drum breaks lose because as someone mentioned, it is either on the axle or not.

 

To pull the axle I use an old flywheel which I place on the axle and slide down hard onto the washer behind the axle nut. This usually pulls the axle out with a couple of good thumps. When doing this make sure the washer and castle nut are done up as far as you can so you do not damage any of the threads. Of course, the backing plate has to come off before pulling the axle and this can only be done once the drum is off. Five bolts hold it in place to the axle housing and you need to disconnect the brake line as well.

 

I have pulled dozens of these drums and never had to use PB Blaster or heat to do it. Many of these cars have sat for years, some right on the ground without even rims on. A good puller is essential.

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It will come off, just be patient, plus make sure you have the castle nut on backwards and flush with the end of your axle, don't need to break your leg when the drum pops

 

Not to mention that it also prevents the puller from mushrooming the end of the axle and ruining it.That's a whole other can of worms that I'm sure Chris can do without. It looks like he's already taken quite a divot out of it.

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I have put the axle nut back on backwards for the safety reasons. As far as the adjuster behind the backing late, that is the first I've heard of doing that, so no I haven't tried that yet.... I'll have to look into it.

Stop and read this article first... http://p15-d24.com/page/p15d24/tech/brakes.html

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Ok, I loosened the adjustment screws. The hub spins freely without hitting against the pads ( it did this before the adjustment as well). I purchased a heavy duty puller (snap on 4567 ). Put it on, screwed it down tight, and beat it with a small sledge hammer. Still no luck. Is the square "key" supposed to be removed first? Am I missing something? I read the article mentioned above. I can't get it.

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Edited by ChrisRice
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Merle and Tim are right on. You need a good sized hammer and get mad at it. I pulled the drums off a 40 plymouth pickup that had been in the junkyard for probably 50 years. They will come off. Another tactic you can consider is get it good and tight and just leave it with tension on it.

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If you could get the square key out..there would be no need for this thread......do whack that lug bar a few times....I do have to ask once again..is the puller fully centered and all the nuts clamping the puller ears solid against the drum surface?

  yes it is centered and solid against the hub.

Merle and Tim are right on. You need a good sized hammer and get mad at it. I pulled the drums off a 40 plymouth pickup that had been in the junkyard for probably 50 years. They will come off. Another tactic you can consider is get it good and tight and just leave it with tension on it.

Maybe I need a bigger hammer and a picture of my ex wife to paste onto it....

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Maybe I need a bigger hammer and a picture of my ex wife to paste onto it....
 

 

 

At first reading this I thought what a great motivating idea to hit hit as hard as I could but then I thought about I did'nt know if I still had a pic or two of th ex., that left using my memory which would probably work, but why do I want to go there??  :eek:

 

Use your imagination about the movies where they were driving railroad spikes in by hand and you'll be in the mindset needed to hit hard enough for the really tough ones, been there twice!  ;)

 

Doug

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Chris embrace your frustration and focus that energy into a small 5 lb sledge hammer and strike the hub on the outer edge outwards as you rotate a quarter turn at a time. Be persistent and don't sit in front of it cuz it WILL be like a magnet to your toes.

You'll go from this....

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To this...

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