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Front Hub Removal --- ARGH!!!!!


RoadsterRich
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I'm hot, its raining, I'm sweaty, I'm greasy and man am I frustrated. I just spent 2 hours fighting with the front wheels on my 1930 Chrysler 77. Skipping over some problem issues the 'studs' that hold the wheel on are loose so I have to pull the hubs to get to the wheel off the hubs. First hub took maybe 10 minutes and alot of elbow grease. Second hub I put darn near 2 hours in fighting with it. I tried using the adusting cams to release the brake shoes but no luck, at best I can barely turn the wheel with some drag. When I try to pull the hub of course it won't pull off because of the brake shoes holding it. I tried the cams in every combination I could think of positions, no luck. I worked on it till I could barely stand I had spent so much energy, am I missing something obvious? If need be I can post pictures of the backing plate and the hubs. Is there a trick I don't know about? These are very straight forward hubs. I pulled the dust cover, removed the cotter pin, removed the axle nut, removed the bearing adjusted the brake shoe cams to release brake shoe tension, and nothing doing... it will rock to just about any side, and the hub will come about 1/4" off of the backplate at one side, but the rest won't budge. Now I'm not a big person, but I can usually man handle with the rest. Ah well I am going to go shower off, cool off, cool down (temper) and try to relax while I see what pops up here.<P>Oh, and then there was the good news, on the drum I did get free the brake shoes look like they are darn near brand new, and the drum looks like it was freshly turned, not a groove in it.<P>For the bad news... someone had welded bolts to the drum to make 'studs' out of them. I have heard that these drums were threaded and a bolt held the wheels on rather than a stud, though of this I am not certain. These are the wire wheel rims on the 1930 Chrysler 77.<P>Well off to try to relax and refocus... hope someone knows something that will help...<P>Frustrated Rich<P>(Yeah I know I am easily frustrated cool.gif" border="0 )

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I've heard Rich that beer works best in these situations. It could be worse, it was -30 Celsius here a few days ago.<P>Without sounding like a barbarian and not knowing what kind of brake adjuster you have, Have you tried a little sledge persuasion. Sometimes the shoes just get stuck in one position and won't release until some serious vibration knocks them ajar.<P>Drum brakes are pretty tolerant of this if you hammer along the outside face OD. Calm down first because you don't want to crack the drum. I use a 5 pound sledge on every drum I remove if for nothing more than to dislodge the crud.<P>Are you sure you've backed off the adjusters all the way? This is very important. If these are threaded adjusters with self adjusting mechanism then you must hold the actuating mechanism away from the star wheel while turning the star wheel to slack the tension (helps to have two pairs of hands sometimes). <P>You should be able to reach the adjuster throught an access hole in the backing plate. The drum could also be grooved which will catch the shoes. Remember one side will be a left hand thread and the other right hand, sorry I don't remember which side is which. <P>Non self adjusting brakes are basically the same except there is no actuating mechanism to worry about and the star wheel adjuster should turn freely with a screwdriver.<P>From the sounds of it I would bet the adjuster is frozen on that side and getting it free may require some ingenuity and some liquid elixirs. The liquids will contaminate the shoes so use sparingly.<P>Good luck, I hate drum brakes with a passion.<p>[ 02-07-2002: Message edited by: Chuck da Machinist ]

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I assume that you brakes are Lockheed and are similar to those on my 1933 Plymouth. There are two adjustments on each shoe:<ul>[*]A "minor" adjust is a cam about 1/2 up the shoe. On my car this is adjusted a large diameter bolt head on the back of the backing plate.[*]A "major" adjustment is made by changing the location of the shoe pivot on the bottom. This is done by backing off or removing the lower nuts that hold backing plate on. The stud can then be rotated to adjust the eccentric. These studs sometimes have had a flat filed on them or a large screwdriver slot cut in them to assist.

Because you say you backed off the adjusters, I assume you backed off the very visible "minor" adjustment cams. You might still need to back off the "major" adjustment. Since you have one wheel off, you should be able to look at it closely to see how to back off the "major" adjustment on the pivot points at the bottom of the shoes.<P>On my 1933, the wheels are held on with right hand fine threaded bolts. The infamous left hand threaded bolts and/or studs came later. The lug bolts are still available from some of the specialty parts places. You might be able to drill out and use heli-coil to repair the drum for use with the original bolts.

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I must have exerted a bit more energy than I realized, still feeling a bit tired. But I am clean, less frustrated, and thinking almost clearly (well almost as clearly as usual).<P>Chuck, problem I have is that the wheel is attached to the drum at this point. Two of the bolts holding it on just spin freely so I need to pull the hub so I can get to the heads of the bolts someone has used for studs. The backplate is way too thin to exert any pressure on it safely. And I am highly paranoid of breaking anything, though I know where I can get a new drum and backing plate, I don't relish the $200 + postage if I don't have to.<P>Rich

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If you really get stuck disconect the brake line to the wheel cylinder,then remove the bolts holding the wheel cylinder to the backing plate, as well remove the nut for the major adjustment at the top an tap the adjuster loose, then grind the heads off the two hold down retainers off the back then the shoes will pull off the backing plate completly

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Thanks for the information. My owners manual just refers to the 'major' adjustment as a 'brake shoe anchor pin', and states that it is a factory adjustment and should not be disturbed. Here are a couple of pictures of the brakes, one is the back of the backing plate, the other the front. I just noticed the peep hole in the back, I'll have to check that on the other side now. Funny what we notice when we aren't working on the car.<P><IMG SRC=http://www.1930Chrysler77.com/pics/brake1.jpg><IMG SRC=http://www.1930Chrysler77.com/pics/brake2.jpg><P>Thanks,<P>Rich<p>[ 02-07-2002: Message edited by: Roadster Rich ]

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Woo Hoo! nice when a plan comes together right!<P>This would be a good time to flush that hydraulic sytem and clean the slave cylinders too. I can't wait to see what the wheel cylinder seals look like. Are they cast iron pistons or aluminum? Hope the piston bores are in good shape.<P>Looks like these are non self-energizing brakes by the fact that both shoes have the same pad length. Must be "strong leg" brakes-HA HA! I wonder when self energizing brakes became common and who invented them. Hmmm, gonna have to look that one up?<P>My wife says that only a car nut would be fascinated by what the inside of a brake assembly looks like on someone elses car halfway around the country.<P>My hands up!! Guilty!<p>[ 02-07-2002: Message edited by: Chuck da Machinist ]

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ChuckDaMachinist: I thought Manitoba was in a different country than Florida. smile.gif" border="0<P>Rich: Your brakes look like mine. You can loosen those anchor bolts from the back. Yes it is a "factory" adjustment. Yes, there is a special tool to set them. Yes, there is a work around for setting them with no tool. When you get that far I can talk you through it. The main thing now is to get the drum off and removing or loosening those anchor bolts may help.<P>If they are mine, the pistons in the cylinders are made of aluminum.

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Since ya'll seem to be enjoying the pictures (and Chuck at least you have a wife, I never found anyone willing to put up with me!) here is a picture of the inside of the drum. Note that 4 bolt holes are visible, and 3 have welded 'blobs' on them. My thought was I could grind the welded blobs off and rebalance the drum. On the positive side though, the wheel balancing on these cars if I have not been misled also balances the drums. There are wheel weight covers that bolt to the inside of the rim, and the wheel is balanced while on the car. The wheel is jacked up and spun, you mark where it stops, and spin it again. If it stops at the same point regularly, you put a weight opposite (or as close as possible, or remove from the closest to the bottom as needed) and repeat the process until it stops at a 'random' location. Well that is how it was explained to me, or at least to the best of my memory. Well here is the drum, I'll let you know how I fare tomorrow with all of the new suggestions...<P><IMG SRC=http://www.1930Chrysler77.com/pics/drum1.jpg><P>Rich

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Actually Canada is the fifty third state or so it would seem at times Ply33. Certainly wish we had the same weather as Florida. Brrrrr!<P>Back to the drum, You can certainly grind off those welds and as long as there is enough meat there you could have the holes helicoiled for a nominal fee, just bring along a sample bolt to get the correct thread dia. and pitch. <P>The original holes should be good enough for locating the helicoil. Rebalancing the drum might be unnecessary as the amount you will be removing is quite small.<P>Looking forward to reading the correct procedure for setting up the shoes Ply33. I love learning something new.

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Use a die grinder with a carbide cut off wheel. Cut a slot across the lug nut and stud. When you have cut as deep as you can without cutting into the wheel, take a cold chisel and break the nut into two pieces. The wheel will come off easily.

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3 hours later, hub is still on the car. I couldn't get my only cutting tool (a dremel at that) in to make the cut. I'll see if I can borrow a Right Angle head for it and try that. The hub is still nice and in place. If I push the hub back where it goes, the wheel turns with some drag when I loosen up the cam adjustments at the top of the backplate. I released the nuts off of the 'major' adjusters, however there is no slot in them. When I look at the ones on the drivers side backplate I notice they have an unusual shaped head inside the drums and appear to be similar to a bolt? I didn't want to mess things up so I think I'll call around and see if I can find someone in the local AACA with some experience here. On the positive side I got frustrated and cleaned and organized the tools, and cleaned and swept the garage. Also figured out what a few more pieces parts are for the car.<P>On the drum, when I go to pull it, if I look through the 'peep' hole in the back plate the brake shoes are clearly being pulled along with the drum. Looks like I may have to try and cut the slots in those adjuster bolts myself, sigh.<P>Rich

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Rich, Since you can see the shoes through that "inspection hole", would it be possible to put a flat screwdriver blade in there and rotate the drum to move the shoes back from the drum?<P>My guess is that there is a ridge on the drum that the shoes are hanging up on, maybe you could use that access point to clear them over it.<P>Just a thought....

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Rich: If that drum isn't off yet here is my guess. I say the wheel cylinder is frozen in an expanded position causing one or both shoes to be snagged on the scored drum surface. If you can get lucky I would try using a 1/2inch drive air impact wrench to zip off the two lower anchor pin nuts (I know they look pretty tough but wire brush them as good (be sure to pull the cotter pin) as you can and soak them with CRC5-56 penetrant and the ratchet action of the impact might do it) then loosen the wheel cylinder backing plate cap screws and the whole affair, drum and shoes will come off in one chunk. At least it may move far enough away from the backing plate to work the shoes free from the drum.<BR>Stude8

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If the cylinder pistons are frozen in the actuated position you could try a vacuum pump on the bleeder, you will need someone to hold the brake pedal to the floor while you do this to prevent draining the resevoir.<P>Worth a try?

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With all due respect to Chuck Da Machinist, I would not under any circumstance use a heli-coil to repair a wheel mounting stud. Heli-coils are okay in some applications, but I have seen them pull out more than once. There are other much better (and safer) ways to repair threads.

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Stllrng, I have had a lot of expierience installing helicoils and other types of thread repair and have never had a problem. <P>Perhaps you have had this problem because they were not installed properly. As long as the helicoil is installed in a hole at least 1 diameter deep, loctited in place with the leading and trailing end peened into a notch filed at the start and end of the thread they will not pull out/turn out.<P>For holes that are already too much oversize for helicoils you can use a Keensert type thread repair product. There are numerous types on the market but they all have something in common, they use a hammer in/screw in type pin to anchor the insert to prevent rotation. They should be loctited as well with a high strength "sleeve locking" type adhesive not the "antivibration" type adhesive. <P>I for one have seen too many poorly installed helicoils in my time, there is a definite procedure for placing them to prevent them rotating out.<P>Inserts placed properly will develop a much higher tensile strength before pullout than the parent material unless the parent material is D2/A2 die steel in which case the heat treated steel is stronger than the stainless steel used in helicoil manufacture.<P>Perhaps this is what has caused you problems in the past, the stainless steel used to make helicoils can cold weld to bolts threaded into them under high torques. Never-seize will prevent this and should be used whenever you install any bolt.<P>In the details are where the Gods live, is what I always say. It is unfortunate most people don't believe in them and forge ahead before fully understanding how to pay homage to them. <P>Every aircraft built today is full of helicoil inserts because they are superior in every way to normally threaded holes especially in aluminum.<P>Here is a link to a site that has a forum in which you can ask more questions regarding helicoils installation, there are a million different circumstances in which these products can be installed and I don't know every one. The engineers at this site can assist you in determining the proper procedures and products for your application.<BR> <A HREF="http://www.emhart.com/products/helicoil.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.emhart.com/products/helicoil.html</A> <P>I hope this does not sound preachy, but I have yet to see a repair procedure that is stronger and more reliable than helicoil inserts and that includes welding and tapping a new hole in position. They are the industry Gold standard for good reason, but only if the person placing them has had training in the proper technique.

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I think my comment on the 7th was the first in this thread to mention repairing with helicoil, so I will jump in here too....<P>I fully concur with Chuck.<P>In my youth I worked in a defense areospace manufacturing facility. I know that all threaded holes in aluminum HAD to have a helicoil or equivalent insert to be strong enough. A plain tapped hole just does not cut it in soft metals. The specifications on helicoil are, as I recall, pretty amazing. If I recall correctly a helicoil threaded hole in cast iron is stronger than just a plain tapped hole too.<P>Of course, anything can be done wrong. I am sure that an improperly installed insert can fail. But anything done improperly can fail.

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Well..... Chuck, I did begin by saying "with all due respect". This I meant with all sincerity. I am the first to admit that I have no experience in aircraft maintenance or the aerospace industry. I do have 22 years of experience as a Diesel mechanic, and although I am not a machinist by trade, I do currently own and operate a machine shop. I have owned, repaired, and restored automobiles 1913,'15,'18,'32,'41,'51,'54,and '69. Personally, I have never had a helicoil fail on me, although I have seen others that did fail after being installed by others. That being said, my opinion was that I didn't think it would be my first choice for holding a front wheel onto a car. I do enjoy reading this forum, but I guess I should just keep my opinion to myself.

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Stllrng,<P>First off, please continue to express your opinions. It is the diversity of opinions that help makes this a wonderful resource. Secondarily, such opinions if they differ from another?s give us (or at least me) pause to think about things. I find I learn more from where I go after the forums than I do on the forums (and I learn a great deal on the forums!). Usually the forums here give me an idea of what it is I actually need to learn, and then I can go out and learn more, or ask more informed questions here. From that I gain ten fold from what I started out seeking. And I too had my own concerns about using a helicoil to hold the lug bolts in. Bare in mind I have absolutely no background in machining or aeronautical engineering; all of this information is great for me. It gives me things to read up on, things to learn, and a chance to think for myself! I don't come here just for the stock off the shelf answers (which by the way are often a great help!) but also for the discussions and the desire to know more than 'just enough to get by with.'<P>As to the original problem, it rained all day today and I was unable to work on the car. Instead I tracked down even more parts for it, interestingly the list didn't shrink from this, but on the plus side it hasn't grown either, which it usually does.<P>Please everyone keep the lively discussions up, and never be discouraged over differing opinions. Perhaps the greatest of all assets the United States has ever had is our diversity, and this strength continues to be evident even here on these forums as we share, discuss, agree and often disagree. It gives us all pause to think, reflect, learn, and ocassionally invent...<P>Rich

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Whoa hang on there daddy O, I hope I have not offended, I certainly took no offense from your comments. Your concerns are valid and I have personnaly seen enough bad installations where someone with a hand drill installed a helicoil because he bought a 20 dollar kit with the inserts and plastic install tool.<P>It is true that if the insert depth does not at least equal the diameter then a Keensert type would be more appropriate.<P>Sorry if I sounded preachy, just wanted everyone to know about what I have learned and perhaps teach others. Don't take this discussion personnaly it's all about accomplishing the job properly and getting Roadster back on the road.<P>The biggest problem with web based forums is that you can't see me and I can't see you and you can't hear the tone in my voice when I'm discussing a topic with you. <P>There are times when I've got three kids hanging off me and I've now got a 89 Aerostar in the garage that I'm trying to get the engine out of for a customer through the front when Ford designed it to come out the bottom and I come in for coffee and relax by reading this forum. It's times like this that my messages can get a little short and to the point.<P>No offense intended, non taken.<P>By the way the gents that taught me the most didn't have a single professional qualification, they learned the hard way and had the knuckles to prove it. <P>And now that I know someone here who is a diesel mechanic, I have two diesel Jettas here that could use some TLC. Mind if I e-mail you for some technical advice?

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Stllrng. - I absolutely concur with the two previous posts. I have used Helicoils a few times, but did not know anywhere near as much as I do now thanks to your concern. <P>Unless Chuck's technical questions are purely personal in nature, I would like to see some of the deisel discussion on the DF. I have a deisel tractor, but outside of changing filters and knowing the general theory, I have a lot to learn about this type of engine. blush.gif" border="0 <P>Stllrng. - hope to see more posts. wink.gif" border="0

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