Front Brake Drum Rebuild (Part 1)

Removal – Part 1


As the car had been standing for getting on nearly 13 years, I have decided that its new everything brakes! I guessed that they will be rusty and probably not working or the rubbers perished. So I decided that in order to be safe it has to be done, that way I know all is well and new, I just cant trust temperamental brakes with that much power. Besides by the time I have freed everything up with the expected 15 cans of WD40 or PlusGas it would be cheaper to replace. On top of that there is only a limited amount of skin that I can remove from knuckles.


First step is to get the wheel off, simple enough to expose the drum itself.

Tip: Before going to do the second step I soaked the back plate nuts with WD40 at the rear, this gave it time to soak in and do its job to loosen up the thread.

The second step is to remove the centre cap, I did this my a little gentle leverage via a mini crow bar on the studs with the nuts replaced just to the top in order to give a little more area for the crow bar.

Third Step is the cotter pin that locks the nut in place for the bearing is bent over. Gently straighten out the pin and remove. The locking nut should be easy to remove as it is covered in grease.

Gently tap the drum from the back with a copper hammer all round and it should dislodge and the bearing should come loose. Remove and keep clean.

Gently remove the drum to expose the shoes and hardware behind.  Note the second bearing inside the drum.

Its clear to see that my suspicions were correct. It has all rusted up solid. Perhaps if I did manage to free it up it would be dangerous with that amount of rust.

New parts is the new safe! 

Now to get the rear backing plate off. Undo the the flexible brake hose from the cylinder. As this was a new one and I only did it up finger tight as I knew this job was coming!

There are 4 bolts at the back, that I previously soaked with WD40. One I couldn’t quite get to with the socket so I used a ring spanner. This was the bottom right as you looked at the back, it’s a little longer than the others as it has more steering / suspension parts to go through not just the mounting plate. I was dreading this bolt in case it was solid. I gave a sharp tap with the smaller copper hammer and it cracked loose. Result. The other three were easy to remove with a long handled 3/8 ratchet.

Again patience to remove the back plate. I tapped all around the back gently to start with to start the dislodge. Eventually it did suddenly move as my taps got harder, now it was a simple case to pull it off the spindle carefully with out dropping it. The plate behind was in good condition, but the seal wasn’t. New one of those required!

Above is the back plate and the hardware in close up. Rust is there big time, I tried to move the adjuster, just out of interest – yep you guessed, it went having none of it.

Drum Brakes spring guide

Part 2 – clean up process and removal of the old parts. click here

Part 3 – assembly and review of the parts. Click here

Share my Content

Leave a Reply