91 Le Sabre brake drum stuck on the shoes - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 02-20-2006, 06:22 PM   #1
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Default 91 Le Sabre brake drum stuck on the shoes

I managed to pull the passenger side drum by prying it hard against the backing plate, and it finally slid off due to the ruptured wheel cylinder and brake lube (er, fluid) all over the place.

The driver'* side is hung up on the shoes. It comes about 3/4" off, then the groove is hanging up on the shoes. The adjuster is no help, neither is slacking off the parking brake cable. On this car, I can't reach the adjuster starwheel from the access hole. I know, since I had the other side apart.

Any suggestions besides just hitting the drum with a bigger hammer? I got as far as I can with the screwdrivers to pry with.

Thanks!
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:53 PM   #2
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Well, geez, you should be able to back off the adjuster through the hole. That'* what the durned thing is there for! You know you've got to hold out the little pawl that keeps the star wheel from turning backwards, while you spin the wheel, right?

Anyways, if that ain't doin' it for you, here is an idea (I have never done this, so.....) grind off the heads of the nails on the backing plate that hold the shoes in place with the spring and cup on the front side, or clip the heads off if you can get a pair of side cutters under the head. May be tough to do since the nails are under spring pressure. This might allow the shoes to move enough to get the drum off?

If it still won't come, get you a big 'ol grinder with a cut-off wheel. (Rent one if you don't own one or buy one at Harbor Freight for $15) and cut the drum through the edge to the middle. It'll come off then, by George! Then go to your local junkyard and get another one.

You may want to wait to see if some smarter person has a less barbaric approach.
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:51 PM   #3
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Default I got it off!

It wasn't as bad as I thought, I just needed more tool!

Two small wrecking bars worked wonders together. The drum came of with only moderate effort once I got the prisers of both bars behind the drum, I levered them in opposite directions and the drum slid right off.

It turns out that the groove wasn't as bad in this drum, but the wheel cylinder was just as bad!

I hope this tip helps someone else get their sticky drums off!

BTW, to reply to Bill, this is the type of drum brake without retainer springs! It has the big U shaped spring that holds the shoes to the backing plate, and also holds retracts them. I'd never seen one like it until I pulled the drum off the other side, and was really worried that it would be a big deal to replace the shoes. Actually, this setup is easier than drum brakes with the retainer springs.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: I got it off!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulDFixr
It wasn't as bad as I thought, I just needed more tool!



BTW, to reply to Bill, this is the type of drum brake without retainer springs! It has the big U shaped spring that holds the shoes to the backing plate, and also holds retracts them. I'd never seen one like it until I pulled the drum off the other side, and was really worried that it would be a big deal to replace the shoes. Actually, this setup is easier than drum brakes with the retainer springs.

Thanks for the help!
'91 must have been the first year for the U-spring like the 92-99 Bonnevilles use. I just did rear brakes on a '90 Le Sabre with the old spring and nail setup, and figured the '91 was the same . Thanks for straightening me out.

If I had thought of it earlier, lots of rental shops rent really big pullers that you can use to pop off a stubborn drum.

Anyway, glad you got it off!
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Old 02-27-2006, 02:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill buttermore
You may want to wait to see if some smarter person has a less barbaric approach.
If the brakes are more-less welded together, it probably won't matter much how he removes the drum, so long as the wheel spindle is not ruined in the process.

Do the back wheels even turn when the car is on the ground and in drive? If so, then the brakes are not welded.
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impatient99
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill buttermore
You may want to wait to see if some smarter person has a less barbaric approach.
If the brakes are more-less welded together, it probably won't matter much how he removes the drum, so long as the wheel spindle is not ruined in the process.

Do the back wheels even turn when the car is on the ground and in drive? If so, then the brakes are not welded.
Fortunately, they weren't welded. I got the drum part-way off by prying with screwdrivers before I asked for help. Then, I went at 'em with small wrecking bars, and by prying up on one and down on the other, the drum slid right off. I just needed more tool! Now, I think it is time for another car, as the rest of this one'* vitals are becoming less vital in a hurry.

Thanks!
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