Cannot Remove Stuck Rear Brake Drum


New Member
Aug 13, 2003
87 GN that has been sitting for awhile. Left rear wheel will not turn. First I thought it might be the parking pawl, but when I turn the passenger side wheel the drive shaft rotates. I now suspect that the brake shoes or parking brake may be preventing the wheel from turning, but I am unable to get the drum off to inspect it. Any suggestions for removing the drum would be appreciated.
Parking brake cable not releasing is the easiest to check. Then try and loosen the bleed fitting and see if there is pressure there.
If you put the trans in neutral and can turn the other rear wheel and it turns the driveshaft, your posi is junk too.
PB Blaster on the backside into the gap between the drum and the backing plate. If you can get a torch, heat the drum to expand it slightly. The penetraiting oil should do it, then start tapping around the back edge with a hammer. Then you can clean everything up with Dawn and replace the shoes later.
If there is no pressure at the bleed screw, and no tension on the parking brake cable, try and loosen the brake adjuster thru the slot, there is a rubber plug that's supposed to be in that slot to keep the water out, remove it first. Spray PB Blaster thru the slot all around in there and hit the drum and backing plate with a dead blow hammer repeatedly. It may release the brake shoes and loosen the drum. The drum register to the axle register is a very tight fit, and where the drum rusts to, making drum removal difficult, but the axle will turn. If the wheel just won't turn, it's probably a brake or bearing issue.
Did it drive to where it's parked?
Was the E brake on all of these years?
Knowing that tells us what to try next.
After loosening the adjuster, try turning the axle with a LONG bar between the studs. You may be able to then remove the drum.
If not, you could drain the rearend fluid, pull the cover, and remove the cross shaft retaining pin and cross shaft, then remove the "C" clip. That allows the axle to be pulled with an axle slide hammer, rent or borrow one.
If you use a torch on the drum after using either, your problem will be solved, because your insurance company may be paying a claim from the car being lit on fire!
P.S. answer the questions before you get into this much further...
Order a 9".
Sell the rear to someone more mechanically oriented.
Thank you for your responses. After repeated attempts to remove brake drum, all of which failed, I ordered a large drum puller from Amazon and the drum puller quickly took care of business.