Removal of Brake Drum

I have a 1951 MG TD and am trying to remove the brake hub, which is stuck solid. I have released the hand brake cable and tapped the hub with a hammer. No change. Any advice?

Do these cars have a separate drum and wheel hub? Is it rust holding them together, or are the brake shoes holding too tight? You may have to ‘back off’ the brake adjuster to clear any grooves between the drum and shoe to get that drum off.

If it is not the brake shoes, you may need a hub puller:

Unable to adjust or slacken off the shoes, as the adjuster is inside. And unable to move the wheel to lign up with the adjustment hole in the drum. The drum & hub are all in one.

How long has the car been sitting and rusting? Will the engine run? If so start the engine, shift to 1st and force the wheel to turn. If the other wheel turns scotch it and try again.

The engine runs. We had the car delivered about a month ago and it was driven off the trailer. At the moment we are having the petrol tank cleaned and treated, so can’t start the car. As soon as the tank comes back and we can put some petrol in, we will try your tip.
By the way, what does ‘scotch it’ mean?
I will let you know as soon as we have any further news.
Thank you so much for your help so far.

“Scotch” means to jam a block under the tread to prevent the wheel from turning. If it won’t run but everything else works just pull the starter switch with the transmission in reverse with the opposite wheel scotched.

There may be 2 large screws holding the drum to the axle flange.

Thank you so much!!! Will try this as soon as I have the petrol tank back and can start the car. In any case. I will keep you informed via this great site.
Thanks again!

Checked, but no large screws, I have an all in one unit on my MG TD.
Thanks you for your help, I will keep you informed of my … progress…

I have done a couple of drum brakes. First freshman mistake; the star nut that is accessible from the inside side of the drum, to open up the brake shoes. Second sophomore learning experience, sometimes you got to beat them things REALLY hard to break the rust seal. I have found a penetrating spray like PB Blaster works good to help loosen the rust. Third junior mistake, not driving a vehicle left outside to sit. The brake surfaces rust, so when you drive it the shoes and pads get worn really fast, and there is a very short life of the rotor/drums.

Try running it around the block with the lug nuts loose. The turning and braking may break the drum loose from the rust.

If you have access to an oxygen/acetalyne torch, use it to heat up the drum until it glows. Do not go near the lugs or any other brake parts (and definitely don’t go near any brake lines or hoses) - just heat up the outer circle of the drum, and the hub. Don’t have a few beers first.
While it is very hot and glowing bang it and the hub with a heavy hammer until it comes off. It should pop right off.
Oh and do find the star adjustment slot and see if you can’t loosen the pads. But chances are this will be as frozen as the drum with rust. I think you’ll find that most or all of the various mechanical parts will need to be cleaned of rust with a wire brush. I’d get a jar of graphite lubricant (used to be called Never Seize) to protect parts like the auto adjustment and all the little flat metal moving parts in the brake. Don’t get any on the drum or shoes.

Should you foolishly choose to follow kizwiki’s advice, be prepared to replace the entire rear axle assembly…

I haven’t seen one of these things in decades so my memory is extremely hazy here. I think the rear drums had large splines and a tight fit on the spindle. After half an eternity they’ve likely rusted together.

With the spindle nut removed you might try spraying the drum/spindle junction with PB Blaster and allowing it to soak overnight.
You will then likely need a brake drum puller. These come in varying styles and the one you want would bolt to the wheel lug holes. Some car parts stores have a free rental tool program and may have something along this line.

Install the puller, apply a fair amount of pressure with the threaded center bolt, and then firmly tap the end of the tool’s center bolt with a heavy hammer. (Preferably, you should use something between the hammer head and center bolt head. Small piece of iron, etc.)
After a few whacks check the center bolt tightness. If it feels looser then the drum is coming loose. Tighten it a bit more and hit it (not whale on it) a few more times.
Hope that helps.

Hi Everybody,
We are still waiting for the petrol tank to come back, so that we can try your suggestions.
One thing though, I don’t think it is a matter of the wheel being seized up due to standing too long and so on, as we drove it off the delivery truck and into the garage.

Once in the garage, however, and because there is not much space, we had to slide the car across. To do this, we had a greased plastic sheet under the car and pushed it sideways.

It seems to me, that something has broken or come off, in any case, the hole is no longer lined up with the place to undo it. And we cannot turn it to get to it… Does that make sense?

Looking forward to further ideas.

Have you tried putting it in gea and rocking it back & forth?

Have you posted this on MG TD forums, especially those in GB? There’s a large MG community out there, not here.

I used an O/A torch to free rusted drums on a VW Beetle. I have used the same method to remove rusted rotors. In each case I heated the parts (rotor and drum) to the point of glowing, and hit it once or twice with a five pound hammer and off it came. There was no collateral damage.
I should have mentioned though that the torch should not be set up to cut steel, and that the flame needs to be moved around and not focused in one spot. So my bad. But otherwise, I don’t see the drum being removed kinetically without damaging anything else. I like the idea of a brake drum puller, but in this case I think the tool will just bend and the drum will stay put.

Tried most of your ideas, still waiting for the petrol tank.
No room to rock the car back & forth (87 Ranger), but will also approach MG TD forums. Good idea, thanks.
Seems to me, that I might get a result once I can start the car again, put it in gear and see if that works. I think it must have to do with having slid the car sideways, something must have come adrift…
Will keep you informed. Thanks to you all!

Hi Everybody,
Thank you for all your help. We tapped, opened scres, pushed, pulled approached MG TD forum, and with your help and theirs, it worked!!! Towards the end, once it startd to move, we tapped in sync, and we’ve done it!!! Thank you everyone!