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Brake drum retaining bolts


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As many of you know, rear brake drums on 1950s Buicks are held to the hub by three small bolts. One of these bolts has an unusual long head that sticks out through the wheel when it is mounted to the hub. I am missing one of these odd bolts. Questions:

1) What is that special bolt called?

2) Is there a Buick part number for it?

3) Where can I get one?

Bill Shields

Luray, VA

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Guest wildcat465

Bill, I do not think I am answering your questions, however I may give you something to think about.

The bolts that held your drum to the hub were to keep the drum to the hub before the wheel was installed on the assembly line. The one with the pin made it easier for the line worker to guide the wheel on quickly. Once those processes were through, the wheel nuts torqued down is what holds everything together.

I highly doubt that the performance of your car is affected by not having them on there.

Someone may prove me wrong though.

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Bill, I have always called it a guide stud or guide bolt. Almost necessary when our Buicks used lug BOLTS instead of lug NUTS . Real hard to line the wheel up to start the first bolt without it. I don't have a spare, but bet someone will have one. I have seen, in the distant past, a short piece of allthread with a nut used.


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Guest wildcat465

Ahh, yes. The dreaded lug bolts. You 50's guys got me on that one.

I was just connecting the drum to hub thing with my mechanic days when we just tossed them after removing a rotor or drum.

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They were there to make it easy to change a flat tire so the drum would not move.

Two of my cars use lug BOLTS, and installing a heavy wheel and tire with lug BOLTS is a real struggle if you're over 25 years of age. The drum wants to rotate independent of the wheel, and it's a real pain in the ###, not to mention the back, to keep the wheel lined up on a moving target while trying to start a lug bolt.

My solution is to make guide pins. Buy two 4" long bolts of size and thread that fit the boltholes, cut off the heads, and temporarily insert them in two boltholes of the drum. With two supporting "guide pins" it is much easier to get the wheel up into place and to rest it on the guide pins. Once two or three actual lug bolts are started and the wheel is not going to fall off (on my toes) I just back out the guide pins and finish the job. The guide pins go into my trunk along with the jack and spare.

Total investment: less than $1.50.

I machined flats on the guide pins so I could get an open-end wrench on them if necessary, but I have never had to use a wrench to remove them.


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