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Old 12-01-2011, 07:15 PM   #1
cbenney
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Cool 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Here it goes.... My Brother-in-law passed away earlier this year, always told me that Chevy trucks were the best! Well, he picked up a 1968 pickup 3/4 ton c20 before he got sick. NO one wanted the truck, so I took itů I was told by family members that the brakes and bearings were not working so they would need to be replaced. So, I am a rookie when it comes to repairing, but always wanted to learn... This is a nice project that should keep me busy for a while. So I at my first bump in the road...

I have reviewed and looked at a lot of threads, the one below was helpful...

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=283587


The problem is that I can not get the drum off the shaft... He says in the thread that the whole drum and stud assambly came right off.... mine will not. It wiggles a little but wont budge.... It feels like there is something holding it on at the top of the drum. I included pictures (hope they post)... any help of tricks would be appricated.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:04 PM   #2
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Have you made sure that the shoes are compressed inward as far as they will go?

If the outer bearing is sloppy, it will jam against the axle tube threads.
I take a punch, and tap it around the edges to try to get it to come off straight. It's a huge pain in the but, since the drum is so large and nothing really to grab onto.

Or... you can beat on the drum with a BFH to try and shake it loose.
Be sure to wear hearing protection, since it's just like banging on a giant bell.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:29 PM   #3
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

The drum should spin freely. If it doesn't, most likely the brake shoes are stuck to the drum. Make sure you back them off and smack it with a hammer to free it up. Then it should slip off the axle tube.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:30 PM   #4
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Thanks for your advice Chris!

I am not sure how to be sure the shoes compressed inward...

I can spin the outer bearings with my screwdriver... so I dont think they are jammed, but I am not sure that is the way to tell. I know I can move them around...

I have been wacking the drum my little hammer... need to go buy a bigger one! I have not tried to take the other rear wheel drum off and see if the other wheel drum acts the same. I am going to replace that too, anyways. Maybe ill try that to see if that one comes off any easier ...

Thanks everyone for your help!
Chris B.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:39 PM   #5
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Hey Lap15,

So, my drum does NOT spin.... so shoes are stuck?!? cool...progress!! good to know...

Another rookie question... how do I back off the shoes?

I have pressed the brake pedal but I am not sure how much resistance it should have... or even if that is they way to do it...

Chris B.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:05 PM   #6
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

OK, sounds like you are not familiar with drum brakes.

First thing I recommend contacting one of the vendors for the "big book" service manual for your truck.

Here is a video that gives a high level over view of your drum brakes, and the visual will help you understand what may be working against you in accomplishing your task.


When I said to make sure your shoes were compressed inwards, I meant that you have to manually adjust them to contract via the star adjuster located at the bottom of the drum section.
Grab a flash light and crawl behind the brake backing plate, at the bottom section look for a rectangular window/hole. Shine your light in there, and look for that knobby wheel. That is what you need to turn to adjust the shoes inward away from the drum surface, a screw driver works but a proper adjusting tool is angled in such a way that makes it easier.

Sears sells a complete drum brake tool kit, so it would be a good investment and make your life a little easier.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:48 PM   #7
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Ok, found the hole where I can get to the adjuster. It is actually on the side of the drum itself... I just actually got the drum to spin a little, and concludes that the shoes are pressing against the drum...so I will need to put the wheel back on and roll the truck a little to line it up with the adjuster, and then I can adjust it. I will get that "Big BooK" and brake kit ASAP. I plan on hitting up the project Saturday....

Thanks again for all your help! Will let you know how I make out!!

Wish me luck!

Chris B
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:50 PM   #8
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

If I remember correctly, you will have to find a small pick or similar to press against the lever that rides against the adjuster wheel. It is what engages the notches in the adj. wheel and keeps it from backing off while driving. Just push against it while turning the adjuster with a screwdriver or brake adjuster tool (looks like a bent flat blade, but very helpful).

Also, make sure you are pulling equally on the sides of the drum while you are trying to remove it, if possible. It will hang up on the shoes if you put much pressure on it from one side only. Try putting your hands 180 degrees apart and wiggling it side to side while pulling out. Clear as mud?
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:57 AM   #9
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

SUPER!! Thanks for the info!
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:34 AM   #10
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

I had a 1970 that had large flat head screws that hold the drum to the hud. Clean up the surface between the lugs and see if there are flat head screws.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:14 AM   #11
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Oh make sure when you jack it up so both sides are up? So you can compare sides if you forget how one goes? I love drum brakes so fun to play with. Trust took me 6 years to get use to changing them haha but I never own a disc brake vehicle. That is for people who have a family to go to at the end of the day haha j/k
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:29 AM   #12
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Silly question, but I only ask because I have done this, but have you made sure the emergency brake is off? Seriously, I spent 30 minutes banging on a drum once before my dad came over and pulled the e-brake release. Then he gave me "that look"....
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:34 AM   #13
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

^^^^I know that look too!!! hahaha!!! That look of "You dummy" ...Love it
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:04 AM   #14
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

I've seen That Look a time or two...followed by a slight turn of the head from left to right.
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Link to more pics of "Rose" http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/a...p?albumid=1684

Check out my "Cheap Tricks" thread and add to it if you can, lots of good info there. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=489394
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:26 PM   #15
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevykevy View Post
I had a 1970 that had large flat head screws that hold the drum to the hud. Clean up the surface between the lugs and see if there are flat head screws.
If I remember correctly, on mine the front drums had screws holding them on, but not the rears. Broke 2 impact driver bits getting them loose.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:11 PM   #16
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

No flat srews holding the drum on.... good the for a check through....

hehe, have gotten "that look" many times.... The emergency brake line has broken off.... pic below... will need to replace this also.... I think it should not be engaged.... project continues tomorrow... fingers cross...

Will keep ya updated!


Chris B
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:13 PM   #17
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

[QUOTE=dmack91;5042878]If I remember correctly, you will have to find a small pick or similar to press against the lever that rides against the adjuster wheel. It is what engages the notches in the adj. wheel and keeps it from backing off while driving. Just push against it while turning the adjuster with a screwdriver or brake adjuster tool (looks like a bent flat blade, but very helpful).

Thanks dmack... Will keep this in mind...

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Old 12-03-2011, 12:15 AM   #18
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Good luck with it. Pretty straightforward once you get the drum off.

You may have to back them off quite a bit. As you see, they are a pain to remove, which causes many people to just not do the brakes. Mine were metal to metal and probably never done. If this is the case, they can make quite a ridge on the back side where the shoes don't contact the drum. The shoes have to be in far enough to clear any ridge.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:43 PM   #19
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Hey Everyone!

Good Saturday to you all!

Success!! After 3 1/2 hours I got the drum off!! I ended up prying if off from the back as the adjuster was rusted frozen... to be honest, after a couple of hours, I was not feeling too good about my chances... Before my success, I took off the other wheel to see if I could get a better look at the insides, as I was having real trouble getting to the adjuster... well, to my suprise, the brakes (shoes and everything) were missing.... I did find a couple of parts for brakes in a box on the front seat when I got the truck, but i did not think some already tried working on the brakes... My guess is that the person who attempted to work on the brakes could not get the other drum off and gave up... "reason why it needs brakes and bearings"....

Well, I wont babble on about this.... Here is where I stand now...

I am planning on replacing everything (first it will be the inner workings of the brakes ((Shoes, springs, and Cylinder))..... I tried to get the wheel cyclinders off but am having trouble removing them... on one side, I ended up stripping the bolt... pic below.... but I also can not get to the other bolt due because the brake line is in the way.... I will need to research how to disconnect these.... and will need to buy a torch to remove the stripped bolt. (I saw on Rick Restorations on the History channel.. hehe.... that if you heat up bolts they come off easier...)

Overall, a very exciting day as for a large part of it, I did not think I had a chance of removing that darn drum!!!

Thanks everyone for your help...

Chris B
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:52 PM   #20
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Way to go Chris! Good job. You earned your wings today.
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67 C-20 Slant Back Wrecker "Mad Max"
67 C-10 Ratrod "Step-N-Wolf"
71 Serro Scotty Sportsman camper "Scotty"
97 LT1 Z28 "The Hornet"

Link to more pics of "Rose" http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/a...p?albumid=1684

Check out my "Cheap Tricks" thread and add to it if you can, lots of good info there. http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=489394
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:56 PM   #21
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Thanks Reno!!

Good feeling!!
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:59 PM   #22
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

Rebuild kit for the wheel cyl is only $3.60 at Advanced auto. Good luck finding cables that fit. Measure cable length and length of the sheath. Here is the only place I found that has cables for my truck. Maybe someone has an opinion on this company or another source. I'm saving up for these, so I can't give an opinion on this company. Brian
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:54 PM   #23
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Re: 68 Chevy Pickup Drum Brakes

You will need to rebuild or replace the wheel cylinders anyway, so you can remove the brake lines now. If you don't already have a flare nut wrench, now is the time to buy a set. They look like a 6 point box end with a small section removed so that it will go over the tubing. They fit on 5 of the 6 sides of the nut so they aren't as prone to stripping. Once the brake line is off, you can get to the other bolt.

Here is a pic of the flare nut wrenches - they are worth their weight in gold (or diesel at the current rates) if you work on brass fittings much.

http://www.harborfreight.com/5-piece...set-99992.html
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