The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How to remove a stuck brake drum

how to remove a stuck brake drum

We've been hearing a rubbing sound from the rear area of the golf cart and thought it was time for a brake inspection.

I had some difficulty getting the drum off. The main trouble was leaving the parking brake engaged. In my defense it was getting very hot, which seems to increase dumb mistakes for me.

Once the pressure was reduced the drum started to back off with some serious effort from a big pry bar. It took about 10 minutes of prying. Pry a little on one side, do the other, and then the top and bottom trying to keep it as even as possible.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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haha, been there done that and will probably do it again! I used to work for a heavy truck service shop in high school and did a few brake jobs where the drum seemed bigger than I was. There's nothing a little penetrating oil and a few love taps from a sledge wouldn't budge.
Comment by Phil Wed Aug 17 17:56:19 2011
Mark will be glad to hear he's not the only one who made that mistake. I know I wouldn't have thought to take the parking brake off (assuming I even had an idea of where the brake drum was... :-) )
Comment by anna Wed Aug 17 18:25:56 2011
Along the same lines as Phil's comment- one has to be careful in the shop with delicate machinery. Be careful never to force anything: If it won't budge, get a bigger hammer ;-)
Comment by doc Wed Aug 17 19:08:10 2011

Make sure that the braking surface of the brake pad isn't glazed over; lightly sand it with some sandpaper. Put a little bit copper grease on the pins where the pads turn on, and on the expander mechanism between the brake pads (assuming this is a mechanical brake). That will prevent the brake from seizing up. Don't use gobs of the stuff, that might contaminate the brake pads! Also put a little copper grease on the spot where the drum sits on the axle, so it comes off easier next time. Clean the brake pads surface and the inside of the drum with compressed air and a suitable solvent to clean them. Also put some copper grease on the studs for the wheel nuts to prevent them from seizing.

Do not forget to inspect the brakes on the other wheels as well!

Comment by Roland_Smith Thu Aug 18 04:21:26 2011

Roland --- Excellent advice! Mark wasn't quite sure what to do now that he had the drum off, so that should be very helpful. We'll definitely move on over to the other side once he figures this side out. (I don't think there are brakes in the front on the golf cart, but I could be wrong.)

Doc --- Not sure that advice is quite so excellent. :-)

Comment by anna Thu Aug 18 07:00:24 2011

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