How to Remove Brake Drums

Written by alibaster smith
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Brake drums are used on many vehicles today as rear brakes. They are easier to service and somewhat cheaper to manufacture and provide enough stopping power in proportion to the load being placed on the rear brakes. The drum itself is the cover that protects the internal slave cylinder, brake shoes and springs. When you need to change the rear brakes, the first thing you'll need to do is remove the brake drum.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Tire wrench
  • Hammer
  • Jack
  • 2 jack stands

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  1. 1

    Break the rear wheel lug nuts loose by turning them 1/4 turn with a tire wrench. You are only trying to make it easier to loosen the nuts when the car is off the ground at this point.

  2. 2

    Engage the vehicle's emergency brake.

  3. 3

    Put the vehicle on jack stands. There is a rear jack point located behind the boot on most vehicles; this is what you'll need to jack up on.

  4. 4

    Place two jack stands, one on each side, under the rear pinch welds of the vehicle and lower the vehicle onto the stands.

  5. 5

    Remove the lug nuts and pull the wheel off the hub.

  6. 6

    Hit the brake drum with a hammer. Over time, brake drums accumulate a lot of rust and corrosion. This often "locks" the drum onto the wheel hub. You may need to hit it hard to knock the rust loose. Make sure you work your way around the entire outside of the drum. Don't worry about denting or damaging the drum as the rust is normally surface rust that has lodged itself in the seal between the hub and the drum. The drum itself is quite strong.

  7. 7

    Pull the drum off the wheel hub.

Tips and warnings

  • For specific information about removing your vehicle's brake drum, consult the particular vehicle's manual (see Resources).

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