Whether you're replacing, inspecting, or adjusting the brake drums, you need to detach them from the wheels for you to carry out the task properly. While the project can be done by a novice DIYer, there are times when the brake drum becomes really stubborn and difficult to remove due to rust, wear and tear, and other signs of damage.
If you're doing the removal of the brake drums all by yourself, here are the steps and the different ways to make these brake parts come off the wheels:
What you'll need:
- Car jack
- Wheel chocks
- Rubber mallet
- Owner's manual
- Brake drum puller
Step 1: Raise the vehicle.
With the vehicle parked in a solid level ground and the parking brake engaged, place a jack under the safe jacking point near the wheel where the drum to be removed is installed. Raise the vehicle, following the instructions on how to properly raise and lower a ride using a jack. Then, secure it by placing wheel chocks around the wheels.
Step 2: Detach the drum from the wheel.
The simplest way to do this is to loosen the adjuster screw, but in case the first method failed, there are other ways to remove the drum from the wheels.
- Rotating the adjuster screw:
Find the access hole on the outside part of the brake drum. Turn the drum until the access hole and the adjuster screw for the drum are aligned. If you're not familiar with it, the adjuster screw is slotted and is bigger than normal screws. It is usually positioned under the centerline, running horizontally across the back part of the drum.
To release the drum shoes from the wheel, you need to turn the adjuster screw clockwise, and then pull the drum away from the wheel. If it fails to come off, try to unscrew the drum and pull it off.
- Unscrewing the brake drum:
With the screwdriver, loosen and remove the screws that hold the drum to the wheel. Use force to pull the drum towards you. If you are still unable to detach the drum from the wheel even after unscrewing it, try to use a screwdriver and a rubber mallet to force the drum to come off.
- Using screwdriver and rubber mallet:
Insert the screwdriver beneath the brake drum's flange. With the rubber mallet, hammer against the top part of the screwdriver's handle. If you really got a stubborn drum, you don't have a choice but to get a puller designed for this brake part.
- Using a brake drum puller:
The puller comes with three hooks that you need to position evenly around the flange of the drum. See to it that the screw in the center of the puller is aligned with the centermost part of the wheel hub.
Get the screwdriver and tighten the screw on the puller until you're sure that the puller is securely attached around the drum. Make sure not to over-tighten the screw.
Use a hammer to lightly pound the back of the drum in an outward motion. Avoid hitting the drum with too much force as it is a very delicate brake component. After a number of knocks, the drum should now come off the wheel.