Rear brake hub removal

Tiny
TIM BEASON
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 CHRYSLER NEW YORKER
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 196,000 MILES
Car listed above is the Landau model. It has front disc and rear hub brake system. I do not have any experience servicing this small of drum brakes and I am not sure as to how to go about removing the drum. Appreciate any tips or advice on the subject. Thank you.
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 5:50 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You have to remove the wheel bearings, just like on the older rear-wheel-drive cars' front wheels. The rear drum and hub are indeed two separate pieces, but they are held together by the splines on the wheel studs. Those studs are pressed in and hold the hub and drum together tight enough to allow the drum to be machined on the brake lathe that way.

Once the axle nut is removed, wrap the edge of the drum to bounce the outer bearing into your hand, or at least push it out far enough that you can grab it. At that point it is fairly common for the drum to refuse to come off due to a ring of rust build-up on the edge of the braking surface. You may need the help of a small pry bar to convince the drum to come off. As you work at it, that rust will gradually break off, then the drum can be forced off.
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM
Tiny
TIM BEASON
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Okay, thank you! I didn't want to get too far in to it and not have what's needed, especially in a small town with one parts store that never seems to have what I need in stock, haha. Really appreciate the insight!
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 6:59 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Holler back with your progress. I don't remember about your model, but the K-car models used a non-servo rear drum brake meaning it had a fixed anchor at the bottom instead of the movable anchor with star wheel adjuster. As such, the front and rear shoes were the same. To save money, if the front shoe wasn't worn down to metal, you could switch the front and rear shoes to get double the life.
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 7:36 PM
Tiny
TIM BEASON
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I definitely will. I'll be tearing into it when I get off of work tomorrow. Thanks again.
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 10:53 PM
Tiny
TIM BEASON
  • MEMBER
I have finally got the time to finish this project, but now I'm pretty sure the wheel cylinders need replaced as well. There are two different bore sizes and I'm not sure how to determine which one I need. Any insight?
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Sunday, July 12th, 2020 AT 10:05 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Pop one of the old wheel cylinders apart. The diameter will be molded in on the inside of the rubber lip seals. If you can get the bleeder screw open, you can rebuild the wheel cylinders instead of replacing them. Rebuilding them was a standard part of drum brake jobs in the '80s. The advantage is you don't have to worry about twisting off the steel lines. The disadvantage is the rebuild kits often cost almost as much as a new wheel cylinder.

If you don't have a brake cylinder hone, you can clean out the wheel cylinder with an electric drill, and a strip of sandpaper wrapped through and around a cotter pin. We had to use that makeshift tool on Ford Escorts because their rear wheel cylinders were too small for the hone to fit into. We ended up replacing most of those Escort wheel cylinders because almost every one had developed deep spots of corrosion on the bottoms of the bores, between the two lip seals. Brake fluid leaked around the seals in those spots and that resulted in the pistons becoming rusted tight. Check yours for those spots of corrosion. If you don't see that, it is acceptable to rebuild them.

Before you assemble the wheel cylinder, be sure your hands are clean of all wheel bearing grease residue. Wash them with soap and water before touching the lip seals. Any hint of petroleum product mixed with brake fluid will contaminate the entire hydraulic system. The only proper repair for that is to remove every part that contains rubber that contacts the brake fluid, flush and dry the steel lines, then install all new parts that contain rubber. That includes the rubber flex hoses, wheel cylinders, calipers, master cylinder and the rubber bladder seals under the reservoir caps, the combination valve, and for those vehicles that use a rear height-sensing proportioning valve, that must be replaced too. That gets to be a very expensive repair. Easier to just keep contaminants out of the wheel cylinders.

If you prefer to replace the wheel cylinders and the soft metal line nuts are rusted to the lines, do not use any type of penetrating oil to try to free them up. That is also a petroleum product that can get into the system. There's two tricks to get the line off the wheel cylinder. One is to unbolt the wheel cylinder so it can be pulled away from the backing plate, then rotate it instead of the line nut.

The second way is to heat the line nut with a propane torch. Once it is hot and expanded, use a flare-nut wrench to work the nut back and forth until it will spin, then use Brake Parts Cleaner to wash it out as you spin it by hand.

Also check out this article:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-a-wheel-cylinder

for more dandy ideas.
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Sunday, July 12th, 2020 AT 7:08 PM
Tiny
TIM BEASON
  • MEMBER
I did get the wheel cylinder removed, without too much of a struggle surprisingly enough. I've decided to just replace it (both sides), without having the right tools to rebuild it, I figured that would be my best route.
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Sunday, July 12th, 2020 AT 8:16 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
No tools needed. Just something to clean out the bores. That can even be just your finger with some Brake Parts Cleaner. Sometimes there's a build-up of caked-on debris at the bottom that may require a small knife blade to scrape loose. That's why we used the hone or sandpaper.

Regardless how you do it, please keep me updated on your progress.
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Sunday, July 12th, 2020 AT 8:47 PM
Tiny
TIM BEASON
  • MEMBER
Will do, hopefully will be installing new cylinders tomorrow after I'm off of work.
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Sunday, July 12th, 2020 AT 8:59 PM

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