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Hey question on the front aluminum drums.  They are riveted to the hub assembly.  The manual say to remove the assembly to check the brake linings.  What is the wrong with removing the rivet to get the drums off the hub?

 

Art 

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The only way I know to remove the brake drum is to remove the front hub bearing assembly and the drum will come right off the spindle.  You don’t mess with the rivits.

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Ok, I know that is what manual says.  If you need to turn the drums then you must remove the drums from the hub assembly, correct?  If the drums need to be replaced, you remove them from the assembly too, correct?   Just wonder why not just remove the rivet and then remove the drum.

 

Art

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Chances are you'd need to remove the hub assembly to remove the rivets anyway. I've had my drums turned and cant remember the guy running the brake lathe having to remove the hub assembly. If it aint broke, don't try to fix it.  

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No need to separate the hub from the drum to have them turned.  You take it off as an assembly, then remove the bearing seal and inner bearing.  The shop will turn them like this.  When you get them back, get all the shavings out of the bearing area, put the inner bearing back in along with a new seal.  Just did it all 2 weeks ago.  Also a good time to repack the bearings with new grease....

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1 hour ago, Garysriv said:

You take it off as an assembly, then remove the bearing seal and inner bearing.  The shop will turn them like this.

 

Exactly like other cars of the era with cast-iron front drums.

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OK, but why would you want to go though all of this " You take it off as an assembly, then remove the bearing seal and inner bearing.  If you have them turned, get all the shavings out of the bearing area, put the inner bearing back in along with a new seal."  I agree it's a good time to check the bearings and pack with new grease, but everytime you just want to check your brakes??  More room for screwing up something isn't it?  

Just want to see if there was a really good reason for using this process.  The only reason I see is to check the bearings each time.

 

Thanks guys,

Art

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2 hours ago, awk409ak said:

OK, but why would you want to go though all of this " You take it off as an assembly, then remove the bearing seal and inner bearing.  If you have them turned, get all the shavings out of the bearing area, put the inner bearing back in along with a new seal."  I agree it's a good time to check the bearings and pack with new grease, but everytime you just want to check your brakes??  More room for screwing up something isn't it?  

Just want to see if there was a really good reason for using this process.  The only reason I see is to check the bearings each time.

 

Thanks guys,

Art

You want to remove the rivets, go ahead.  You have to remove shavings anyway.  Remove the rivets, if you can, then remove the hub to cleanout the remains of the old rivet.  Then put the hub back on without regreasing.  Makes sense to me.  Too bad someone didnt think of this 50 years ago.  

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How are you going to put the rivets back in without pulling the hub?  How are you going to put the rivets back in at all?

 

You don't need to remove seals and bearings to check the brakes.  That's only if you're having them turned (or replacing the bearings).  Otherwise, it's dust cap, cotter pin, nut, then pull the drum.

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KongaMan,

Let me ask why would you replace the rivets.  The drum would be held on by the wheel, right?  What do you do when you replace the drum?  I would think you would remove the rivets so you can remove the drum from the hub, correct?  Are you going to re-rivet the new drums to the hub?  If so, why?  What a I missing here?

 

One more question were the rear drums aluminum also or just the front?

Thanks,

Art

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Just the front. BUT, there is a way to install aluminum drums on the rear.  

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You're overthinking this.  Just remove the nut and pull the drum.

 

One might suspect that the drum is riveted to the hub because aluminum is soft.  There's always some slop when fitting a drum over studs, and the holes would egg out.  Drums and hubs are replaced as an assembly.  Only front drums are AL.

 

If you're new to this car (and it sounds like you are), you should probably take this opportunity to do a comprehensive R&R of the braking system.  At a minimum: turn the drums (only if necessary, and removing as little material as possible), replace the hoses, inspect and repair/replace the wheel cylinders, flush and bleed the system.  If you're really ambitious, you can upgrade the master to a dual cylinder.

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KongMan,

Haha.  I wasn't over thinking anything.  I was asking why the rivets and not a sole said why!!!!  I did find another thread that stated something about the alignment with 65's, but that 64's have a larger hub.  Still not getting an answer to if you replace the drum do you re-rivet them.  If you have your drums re-sleeved, do send the assembly in to J & G or break up the assembly? 

 

Yes, I am new to the Riviera, but not to working on this era of automobile.  As you can see it's not my only car.

Again thanks,

Art

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24 minutes ago, awk409ak said:

Still not getting an answer to if you replace the drum do you re-rivet them.

 

You did get an answer:

 

1 hour ago, KongaMan said:

Drums and hubs are replaced as an assembly.

 

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If the rivets didn't need to be there, Buick wouldn't have gone to the trouble to drill both the hub and the drum and rivet them together.......

 

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Hi Art,

  The drums and rivets were sold piecemeal so technically when a drum was removed from the hub it could be replaced/reriveted...but in practice I`m sure that didnt happen often for the reasoning you suggested. For the most part I`m sure the hub/drum assembly was simply replaced and the individual parts were not generally disassembled but serviced as an assembly.

  Removing the assembly and having the drums turned is very common. The assembly is indexed on a lathe via tapered collars and the bearing races to true the assembly for turning. Take my word for it, this is MUCH LESS work than removing the original rivets. It has been a while since I broke down the individual components but I recall needing to heat up the hubs with a torch to push out what was left of the rivets with an air hammer even after I removed the heads...they are VERY stubborn.

Tom Mooney

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Thank you Tom.  Just trying to get a straight and justifiable answer.  So there are no aluminum drum available, and to replace a front drum you replace the hub assembly or do you just replace the drum with a cast iron drum.

 

Art

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No aftermarket aluminum drums, but there are used drums out there that are within specs. Or you can have yours re-lined.  If you're shopping for good used drums, make sure you get the 45 fin drums, not the 90 fin drums. The 90's will work, it's a  matter of aesthetics. Oh yeah, left side drums with hubs from a 63 will have left hand threads. Righty loose, lefty tighty.  Only 63's on the driver's side.

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3 hours ago, awk409ak said:

Thank you Tom.  Just trying to get a straight and justifiable answer.  So there are no aluminum drum available, and to replace a front drum you replace the hub assembly or do you just replace the drum with a cast iron drum.

 

Art

Hi Art,

  As far as I know there are no new original drums available unless one finds an NOS example. If there are cast iron drums available that seems like a downgrade from the original engineering to me. There is a relining service but from my perspective I personally would "beat the bushes" to find a used example that is machineable. Long explanation but I dont think the original bonding between steel liner and aluminum drum can be reproduced in a relining and produce a product as good as the original manufacturing process, but maybe that perspective is obsolete thinking. Perhaps the relining process is adequate until everyone reading/writing within this thread is taking a dirt nap....I`m not really sure...just another opinion...but "any port in a storm" may be the prevailing frame of reference here, we are fortunate the service is available. Your call, you`ve been around cars,

Tom

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Thanks Tom.  Thank you all!  Late in responding, been tied up.

 

Art

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I think the rivets were there for assembly at the factory, and no other purpose. Seems like 75% of a car's design is to get it together as quickly as possible with little thought given to getting it back apart. OEM's are only responsible until it's out of warranty. I usually drill the heads off then use a BFH to knock it out the hub. a chisel works too, if it's sharp.

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Jsgun,

Ahhh.....  Finally someone thinking like me.  That was my thought too.  When you work in engineering and have to deal ith manufacturing you are looking to join parts to reduce the number of part to assemble on the line.  You are also reducing inventory part numbers.  That is why I asked the question.  Was there a real functional reason or just a manufacturing reason for riveting the two parts together.  I guess we will never know unless one or people like yourself state there are issue with removing g the rivets.  

I did remove the rivet on my 54 Chevy 3100 pu which needed the drums replaced.  Removed them like you had stated.

Thank you,

Art

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Yes Art, but you must remember most ALL the other vehicles used cast iron.  For the benefits of aluminum, which are much lighter, & dissipate heat much better than cast, they bend out of shape quite easily. IF you try removing the drum support the hub & DO NOT put any kind of pressure on the aluminum drum.

 

Tom T.

 

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I'm new to this forum and was just asking question and do not want to end up on anyone's bad side.  I can see there are a lot good opinions out there, but I was after facts.  Like I said earlier, we many never know the answer.  That is OK.  Thanks for all the comments, I value all of them.  I have a 64 Riviera, I do have the aluminum front drums, but have not checked the drums or the brake shoes yet.

 

Thanks again,

Art

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Since no one has answered this question I will take a stab at it. Hope all can understand.

If the hub & ALUMINUM drum were bolted together it would more than likely wallow out the softer ALUMINUM between the wheel studs & the bolts because there is NOTHING stopping the ALUMINUM drum from walking on the bolts/studs. When & IF you finally take them apart you will ALSO notice a somewhat harder than paper gasket between them. This is to help/stop/slow corrosion between the ALUMINUM & cast iron. The RIVETS HOLD THINGS TIGHTLY TOGETHER SO THEY DON'T MOVE!!!!  

As far as drum relining. I have had it done on other cars & WON'T waste my time OR my customers money.  I WILL spend the nec. time & money to locate usable used drums. One of the MANY things I've found is that the steel liner doesn't stay in place & DOES MOVE!!! THERE IS NO GLUE THAT IS GOING TO STAND UP TO THE HEAT GENERATED IN A BRAKING SYSTEM EVEN IF YOU DRIVE EASY!!!! Causing all kinds of seemingly other problems, BUT is due to the liner moving & the "bell mouthing" of the liner.  Then there is the vibration when stepping on the brakes. It gets cured after ANOTHER re-surfacing of the drum. I could go on for days.  Remember this is my EXPERIENCE & MY OPINION!!!!. NO ONE DIED & LEFT ME GOD.

The way I understand Buick made the aluminum drums. 1st. the cast liner was poured with all the little nubs to hold the aluminum drum in place.   If anyone has ever cut an aluminum Buick drum way far out you can see what I mean.  MAYBE someone can post a pic of this. I don't have any.  The only way I can explain it is to look at most veterans cemetary's. No matter which which way/direction you look they are ALL lined up the same.  After the liners cooled then molten aluminum was poured around them. Since aluminum melts at a much lower temp. than cast it formed a rather SOLID connection with the liner as it cooled.  Then the assembly was assembled to the hub with RIVETS &

re-surfaced at the factory to make them round. This I believe is why very seldom/almost never do you see corrosion between the aluminum & cast iron liner on Buick aluminum drums.  Other OEM's didn't do it this way & corrosion buildup between the liner & aluminum was MUCH MORE prevalent when the vehicle sat out in the elements for awhile.

 

ANY comments re-fruiting my explanations PLEASE FIRE AWAY.

 

ANY QUESTIONS I will do my best to answer.

 

Tom T.

 

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