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HOW TO REMOVE THE "Centerplanes" REAR BRAKES ON '55-64 * MOPAR
Click on thumbnails to enlarge

* : also prior to 55

Related Link:  Parts Breakdown

Here's a challenge ! If you don't know how to do it right, you'll spend a lot of time (and experience hair loss), break some tools or, worse, break some parts (drum, studs, etc..) There's indeed a "trick" or rather a special tool

DO NOT : use a classic 3 jaws puller and put the jaws on the edge of the drum: you will

  • break the puller if it's a 10 $ item.

  • not succeed if you use a big "truck" jaws puller

  • warp the drum.

original puller, this the right tool ..
Why ? The rear drums of the mopar have a "drum-hub" assembly. The wheel studs or bolts are c"home made" pullerrimped into this assembly. The drum also is riveted to the hub so you must remove the whole thing, hub AND drum. Another problem is that the hub has a conical (tapered) slip-fit which is an excellent fit but also the hardest to remove. Note that the cone is 2 " long and, perhaps the drum hasn't been removed for years ...
 
  


"home made" puller, another viewHow to ?   You must find the "right tool": a special puller which was used in the '50s-'60s on Mopar but also on other brands (Packard). It seems that Napa or other aftermarkets store have it but beware, you must buy (or rent) the strongest you find. Look also at  Ebay, they come up for sale at times. Note that I've made the one you see on pictures for me and my Mopar's friends

 

You must be patient and strong ....

  1. Loosen the axle nut (2 or 3 turns) but DON'T REMOVE IT, it's a safety factor !

  2. Install the puller on the studs or bolts

  3. Tighten the puller with a long extension or with a hammer, depending which puller you have.

  4. Take a big hammer and heavily strike several times the end of the puller (mine was made for this..)

  5. Repeat 3 and 4, take a pause, a beer, a cigarette etc..

  6. After several 3-4 tries you'll hear an explosion with some smoke (brake dust), the puller will be loose. You've won ! The drum now rests on the axle nut. Remove the nut and pull the drum (don't loose the axle key). Without the axle nut the drum-puller assy. would be thrown through the space (or your legs..).

 

#2 step

#2 step

#3 step (you must prevent the assy to turn with a bar)


In desperation :   sometimes you'll spend several hours before the drum pops off so don't worry, after a while, repeat 3 and 4 steps.

  1. You can also heat the hub near the axle. But don't heat the axle itself

  2. Another trick (but the car must be driveable): do the # 1 step then drive the car 1 or 2 miles (with some curves but not at high speed..). Then follows the 2-3- ... steps
     

Take a look  at the inside of the hub and drum assy.

 

My "big hammer " looks like a compact size..

Other infos from mailing lists after i posted the URL of this page:

  •  Remember to release (Back off) the adjustment of the brakes before removal of the drum. Sometimes, if badly worn, there is an interference between the drums and the shoes. (Joe)

  • I think that this method would also apply to drum removal prior to 1957. Maybe someone with a '30s model can confirm. I am sure that '40s Chryslers were the same. I know that my '55 and '56 also require the same method. (Paul)

  • During the holidays I posted a request for info re: finding the proper puller for my 58 DeSoto. Several members suggested the JC Whitney puller for $28.99 ... I bought it and it worked great, and it is a great price, as well! (Bryan)

  • To whom it may concern i recently went to the local Auto Zone near me and bought a 20 dollar puller that worked perfect on the 60 Plymouth i recently bought.They also told me i could return it for a refund if i didn not want to keep it.. Needless to say it fit over the hub the studs and all so i kept it. (Jack)

  • (...) By the way...another reason for leaving the axle nut in place: when tightening the center screw, the axle end is often damaged, causing problems with the threads for the nut. By leaving the axle nut loose, when the drum pops loose and the nut is removed,the threads are nicely restored . (Mike)

  • I use an impact wrench, the one that looks like a gun. This seems much better than a hammer, and always works well. Also: put grease on the threads of the center part so that when you are spinning the center with a hammer, it goes easier!!!  There should be NO oil or grease put onto the spindle before you re-assemble. If there is lubricant, the woodruff key (square metal rod on axle) will be broken off by the car's power after time. Re-assemble DRY. (Kenyon).

Thanks to Phil_The_Frenchie  of Forward Look for providing this great information!

2 march 04

 

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