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MG MGB Technical - Brake drum stuck

Dear all,
Having no luck removing a rear brake drum - it seems to seized onto the (wire wheel splined) hub.

I have backed off the adjuster fully, gently tapped the drum all round - wont budge.

Tried twisting a couple of screw drivers between drum and back plate (placed opposite each other) - no movement at all.

Tried same again whilst someone tapped the face of the drum. No joy.

Finally tried to get the claws of a three arm puller onto the edge of the drum but there is insufficient space between the drum and back plate to locate the claws (can get two in but not third).

The only idea I have left is to get a blow torch and apply some heat to the drum.

Any suggestions most welcome!

Richard Atkinson

You are going to be replacing the brake shoes anyway, so
you can try this.

Remove adjuster retaining nuts (2 with washers)

Remove brake line and C-clip from wheel cylinder

Drill of heads to brake shoe retaining pins (these can be replaced later)

Disconnect hand brake lever from cable

Then using a block of wood (or anything that will catch the edge of the drum), tap off drum (with heavy hammer) going from backside out.
Steve Buchina

Forgot - have you removed the 2 drum retaining screws (inner radius on front side of drum)?
Steve Buchina

Wire wheels have four nuts I think, not the two screws of the steel wheel hub.

In the past I've shifted mine by using a screwdriver (or two, depending on how many there are of you) to lever the drum and back-plate apart while hitting on the end of the hub (i.e. along the line of the axle) with a mallet or nylon hammer. Has the same effect as removing the steering wheel by pressing on the back of the wheel with your knees whilst applying an impact along the line of the steering column.
Paul Hunt 2

"Wire wheels have four nuts I think, not the two screws of the steel wheel hub."

Paul - you are correct on this. My error and age showing.
Steve Buchina

Steve, Paul, thanks for these suggestions - I'll try again this evening
Richard Atkinson

If you are planning to reuse the drum it is best not to pry or pull on the rim of the drum as they can be distorted. Either take the torch to it on the car or pull the hub and take it to a shop with suitable equipment to remove it
John H

Richard A tried and true method used by us old timers and not passed on until now. Hit the brake drum on the face with a big rubber mallet, almost between the four bolts but out a little, as if you were trying to hit it on. Hit it hard, you will do no damage even if you hit a stud. The impact has the effect of shocking the drum off. This was the accepted way of removing brake drums off British cars even when new.

Richard I'm with Dennis but slightly loosen off the 4 nuts holding the drum. Dont remove them as if it all goes horribly wrong they may stop bits of drum flying about. We remove modern brake discs -admittedly they wont be used again -using a BFH and this method! On reassembly a little copper grease round will prevent a repeat! HTH M
Michael Beswick

Quick update. I tried giving the drum a good wack, with and without the screwdrivers, but no luck. In the end I used a three arm puller. The drum was warped (looking side on and spinning the drum the edge ran out about 1/2cm or so - I assume that is not usual). I had to grind a bit off the lip of the back plate to get the third arm on (I thought I'd use some liquid steel to build it up again). Even then it took a fair amount of force to get the drum to move.

Many thanks for all the suggestions

A final comment on this problem - I assumed the difficulty in removing the drum from the hub was due to the drum being warped. Possibly not - a new drum from Moss would not easily fit the hub either. I guess one or more of the 4 bolts on the hub must be slightly out of position. I used a round file to open the bolt holes in the original drum slightly - the drum now slides on and off the hub ok.
Richard Atkinson

Lucky I didn't see this thread earlier, I may have been put off. Ignorance is bliss! Having tried to remove the Drums on my '66 B Roadster, with no previous experience, I was surprised that having removed the 4 nuts, Drum would not budge. Read 3 different books to see if I had missed something, & happy that nothing should be obstructing, went at it with the old "persuader" method, using the leather wheel hammer. A series of vigourous whacks, front & sides in quick succession & it came away. I never thought that it might crack into pieces?
Brian Griffin

Another trick you can use if the drum is binding on the studs is to put a nut on each stud to protect the thread , then give it a good wack with a bfh. The bottom of the stud is serated to hold it in the axel. Once driven in about 1/2" it will be loose in the hub and allow you to take off the drum. Once the drum is removed you can pull the stud back in using the nut.
John H

"give it a good wack with a bfh" - would have done me a power of good too, after so much grief!
Richard Atkinson

Did you all back off the adjuster first as the original poster did? Often needs to be done, especially if there is a detectable wear groove near the rim.
Paul Hunt 2

This thread was discussed between 10/08/2007 and 24/08/2007

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