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gearheadmb Reader
4/26/15 5:42 p.m.

I acquired a car that has been parked in a barn since 1969. It has four wheel drums and both driver side brakes are locked up tight. I worked on the rear for a while today with no luck. I mostly tried twisting it while another guy beat the drum with a hammer. It did turn maybe two inches but i dont seem to be making any real progress. Any advise?

Dusterbd13 SuperDork
4/26/15 6:24 p.m.

I cut them off before. Used a blade in a circular saw. Went through a couple blades.

Gotta be a better way though.

Trans_Maro UberDork
4/26/15 6:51 p.m.

Heat, lots of it, from an acetylene torch.

Get that drum nice and hot, knock it loose with a BFH.

wbjones MegaDork
4/27/15 5:16 a.m.

oh … and don't do as I did … and try to remove the rear drums with the parking brake on

fasted58 UltimaDork
4/27/15 6:24 a.m.

Heat 'em n beat 'em.

itsarebuild HalfDork
4/27/15 9:51 a.m.

Go in the back side window and back off the sprocket first. Sometimes the wear along the pad surface makes a ridge on the inside lip of the drum that makes it hard to get off the hub.

Rad_Capz HalfDork
4/27/15 10:24 a.m.

Put some penetrating fluid at the base of each wheel stud. Then place a good size ball peen hammer with the round end between 2 wheel studs (put on safety mask)and give it a really good hard crack (like you want to kill it) with a 2lb hand sledge. Move ball peen to between the next 2 studs and repeat. Go all the way around the drum twice and see if it frees the drum. There's typically a hole in the axle flange that allows the drum to flex enough to pop the rust but you don't know where it's located so going around the drum a couple times usually does the trick.

If all the tips and tricks fail, as a last resort get a 10-15 lb full size sledge and break the side of the drum. Yes, I've done it, they're cast and will crack open.

Edit: Saw the OP's avatar. The drums I had to break were on my 66 Mustang after it sat too long. AHAHAHA

tr8todd Dork
4/27/15 10:42 a.m.

If they are cheap enough or you plan on replacing them, just crack them. A cold chisel and a hammer to get a hairline in at least one spot then whack it with a sledge. A grinder works well too for starting a crack.

gearheadmb Reader
4/27/15 11:30 a.m.

This is a pickle. Its not the usual, stuck to the axle, or can't get past the ridge stuck, this is the wheels wont even turn stuck. I guess it may come down to cutting/breaking the drums, but this isn't going on with the mustang in my avatar, its something a lot more obscure that I'm not sure we will be able to get replacements for. Plus this was supposed to be a low speed, low buck rat rod, so the less stuff we have to buy the better.

gearheadmb Reader
4/27/15 11:49 a.m.

A quick internet search finds me no drums or shoes available through conventional retail sources. I could do an axle swap in the rear but I still have one stuck in the front to account for. This could spiral quickly out of control.

Rad_Capz HalfDork
4/27/15 11:57 a.m.

Well if you need to save the drums you can try this. Takes longer but will spare the drums.


gearheadmb Reader
4/27/15 12:01 p.m.

Time is not an issue. No drums or shoes to be found via parts stores, rockauto, amazon or ebay, so parts conservation is an issue. Maybe I should just unload this thing.

Rad_Capz HalfDork
4/27/15 12:07 p.m.

What is it?

gearheadmb Reader
4/27/15 12:33 p.m.

54 packard cavalier. Straight 8 flathead (shot) and auto trans. Got put in the barn in 1969 with 80k miles. We drug it out saturday. Its all there but definitely not a cream puff. The fenders, quarters, and rockers have sizeable rust holes. The engine is trashed. The doors open and close perfect and all the glass is still there and working. Interior has been destroyed by rodents.

wearymicrobe SuperDork
4/27/15 12:34 p.m.

Stupid question, did you back out the adjusters. That plus heat and the BFH will get them off with enough time.

gearheadmb Reader
4/27/15 12:52 p.m.

No, i didnt mess with adjusters. ill give that a shot.

Dusterbd13 SuperDork
4/27/15 12:59 p.m.

Have you checked on a Packard forum? Gotta be a supplier with as many of these things get restored and go for good money.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
4/27/15 1:06 p.m.

As stated before, penetrating oil through the lug stud holes. Hit the drum a few times with a hammer so the vibrations help the penetrant get through but not enough to hurt the drum. Repeat as often as necessary.

Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
4/27/15 1:34 p.m.

Gotta back off the adjusters, the shoes are stuck to the drum.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
4/27/15 3:15 p.m.

After the adjusters are backed off, BFH. And I mean at least a 3 pounder and good solid whacks. And you might need that puller thingie too.

I recently discovered the wonders of the "drilling hammer." I find myself using it more than Thor, my 3 lb maul that has been with me since '79.

Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
4/27/15 5:18 p.m.

With hammers, a big brass/copper/lead one works best. Doesn't waste any energy bouncing. A shot filled dead blow will work too.

noddaz GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/27/15 7:28 p.m.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I used a splitting maul (not the sharp end) to beat the snot out of a Super Beetle drum that was stuck and locked up on a "woods buggy". The guys there thought I was insane when I asked for the biggest hammer they had. And then they knew I was insane when I started hitting the drum. It eventually came loose.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn PowerDork
4/27/15 7:32 p.m.

Kanter lists reconditioned brake drums for 1954 Packards: https://www.kanter.com/packard/pac-454.html#1

There are some Packard front drums on eBay right now: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/361278957627?lpid=82&chn=ps

Make sure the adjusters are backed off as far as possible, then use heat and a big hammer.

gearheadmb Reader
4/27/15 7:48 p.m.

I did some research on a Packard forum and as it turns out the drum is attached to the hub. The hub has a tapered fit onto the axle shaft and has a key. None of this has anything to do with my situation except for this, when we were twisting the drum and beating the drum guess what we were twisting? The axle nut. With a huge adjustable wrench. I guess these hubs are notorious for getting stuck, and now we have it super torqued. That is going to suuuccccckkkkkk to get off.

Danny Shields
Danny Shields GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/28/15 10:25 a.m.

Since the shoes are evidently stuck to the drums, I agree with going after the adjusters first. The adjusters are probably all rusted up too, but if you can back off the adjuster or even get in there and cut through the adjuster, you may be able to create some clearance and get the shoes to turn loose of the drum.

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