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Time for a brake job

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by 2COR517, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    My 97 2500 is ready for some brake work. I have two questions.

    First question, how do I get the rear drums off? It's a 14 bolt semi-floater, 8 lug wheels. Truck is 8600 GVW. I tried briefly once a year ago or so, with no luck. I'm tired of manually adjusting the shoes, and want to fix them right. I was told to take the wheel off and hit the sides of the drums with a sledge hammer. Just want to confirm if anyone else has done it that way.

    Second question is for the front pads. I had NAPA heavy duty rotors and pads put on the front about a year and a half ago. Rotors look good, no pulsing in the pedal when stopping. Pads are just about done. Braking performance has never been that great with this truck, especially when heavy. I want to put on pads that give the best stopping performance. I don't care how long they last. I'm tempted to put on the cheapest I can find.

    Any comments would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Palmer
     
  2. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,987

    First answer try backing off the shoes if you can otherwise big f hammmer to get it off.

    Second go with a mid range product. They will give you good stopping power at a decent price.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  3. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239

    brake's

    with the 14 bolt floater you have to remove the axle shaft's to get to the bearing retainer's get a Chilton's manual to see . there will be Axle gear oil in the hub .
     
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Hamelfire - The drums don't even wiggle. Do I hit them on the outer edge near the backing plate?

    Wildbill - It's a semi-floater, not full.
     
  5. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,987

    Best bet is near the rear on all "4" side to evenlt take it off.
    Have you tried backing off the shoes? There should be slots just above the axel in the rear about the size of a quarter or so. There is a little wheel inside that if memory serves has to go up to losen.
     
  6. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,172

    I agree with this. If you've been adjusting the brakes up manually, you shouldnt have a problem backing off the shoes. It's alot easier if you have the adjustment tool. You may still have to pound on them some to get them over the inside ridge of the drum. And in my experience, don't buy the best (fleet) pads for the front. I tried them years ago & pulled them out after a week. Good Luck!
     
  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Can't seem to get the drums off. Several applications of heat, WD-40, and a 3 pound hammer to no avail. I can pry against the backing plate and get the drum to flex enough to see it move in relation to the wheel studs. So I have to presume the binding is between the hole in the drum and flange on the end of the axle shaft. Do I need some sort of puller, or some other trick? Maybe more heat? I was using a MAPP gas torch, and didn't get it wicked hot.

    Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Palmer
     
  8. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,987

    Were you able to find the star wheel to back off the shoes? If you look just above where the axel connects there is a hole kinda looks like an oval. It may or may not have a rubber gromet in it. If memory srves it's like 2 inches above the axel. I believe you have to spin it up to get it to back off. This will help. If not just beat it off woth the hammer working your way around the drum so you don't bind it.
     
  9. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,987

    I just thought of something. You don't have the parking brake on do you? It need to be off to get the drums off.
     
  10. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Parking brake is off. I havn't backed the shoes off yet, but I'm not even to the point of them dragging and "snapping" the drum back. Drum isn't moving even a millimeter at the flange. Zip, zilch, zero. I've done plenty of drum brake jobs, just never had so much trouble getting the drum off.
     
  11. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,987

    might have to torch it off if it wonk back off. Bad way to do it but have had to do it before.
    Might try sraying some wd40 type product or fluid film anond the center and around the studs. This may help. I'm thinking that it may be stuck on the center hub or a stud.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
  12. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    It's definitely stuck at the center hole. I have applied plenty of WD, and wire brushed the joint. I'm out of PB, gonna get some in the morning. I won't be cutting the drums at this point, the brakes actually work OK. Was hoping to see how much life is left in the linings, and save the drums. Guess I'll keep adjusting them manually. Is it ok to get the drum blistering hot?
     
  13. wirenut

    wirenut Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 511

    get a bigger hammer wesport and heat around the center hole
     
  14. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239

    sorry for my earlier assumption ,get a drum puller it grips the drum in three spot's on the edge and a threaded screw comes in from the center tighten it to put pressure on it , i have used a product called screw loose made by silo products ,i think they were bought buy crc .let it set for a little while,and then it will generally pop off .
     
  15. welj31

    welj31 Member
    Messages: 58

    I have had this problem before a few times.

    1) Heat center ring up..then while still hot spray "Sea foam" on it. Its about $10.a can but works great....repeat a few times
    2) May need a wheel puller ( can rent at parts store) for steady pulling. DONOT pry against back plate, and use hammer only if you are replacing the drums (I have had a set crack before).

    hope this helps
     
  16. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Got one of the drums off. Wow, it was on there. :realmad: Ultimately, heat was the solution, and lots of it. I don't have an acetylene torch, but I did have a friends propane brush burner/weed killer. Half million BTU's. Heated the angled part of the drum, between the flange and shoe surface. Got it pretty darn hot, and tapped it with a hammer on the back. Popped right off. I'm sure all the PB and pounding at the flange didn't hurt. Shoes and drums are completely shacked out. Getting new ones tomorrow. Before the new drums go on, I'm going to drill and tap three or four holes between the lug holes so I can use bolts to jack the drums off easily next time. Also going to apply never seize to the hub/flange area.

    Thanks for all your suggestions, Palmer
     
  17. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Like I said, heat is your friend. :waving:
     
  18. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115


    More importantly, B&B is your friend. And as we say up in these parts, he's "wicked smaht".
     
  19. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Got it done. It was a lot of work, but glad it's done. Ended up putting new parking brake cables, which I did not plan on. Another trip to town. 30 miles and an hours time. The left one was sticking some, and the shoes were much more worn. Left side axle seal looked fine. When I got to the right side, I noticed the seal was weeping. I could grab the axle flange and move it up and down some. Enough so that I could see the seal flexing. Side to side movement seemed a little less. Rotated the axle 90 degrees and it was still the same. Felt like more up and down than side to side. Is this normal? And how much movement is acceptable? Are the bearings easy to replace? And am I looking at a new axle shaft? I did not think to check for movement on the left side.

    Thanks for all your help and suggestions.
     
  20. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Some up-and-down as well as in-and-out movement is totally normal on a semi floater. The in and out isn't critical, it's the up and down that matters. Anything more than approx 1/16" is too much and you either have a worn axle bearing or a worn axle...or both.

    But being that diff grease wasn't leaking out to the point that it contaminated the brake...it's very likely that it's just fine.

    Congrats on the repair.