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Removing hub from front brake drum

i have a 1966 pontiac catalina and i am replacing most of the brake components including the drums, which a car of this vintage has at the front also. the new drums don’t include hubs, so i will have to swap the old hubs to the new drums. do i have to go to the machine shop to have them press these apart?

On most of those old cars the drums just came off without having to be pressed. Unless there is something special about the 66 Catalina there shouldn’t be a hub question. I guess you haven’t started the work yet.

yes, i’ve removed the hub/drum assembly together by taking off the spindle nut and removing the outer wheel bearing, then sliding the whole thing out. either the lug studs are seized into the drum, or the hub center is seized to the center hole, or both. anyway, hammering on a block of wood placed on the hub center doesn’t seem to budge anything.

The front wheel studs are staked near the drum to hold the drum/hub assembly together.
Place a deep socket under the stud inside the drum to receive the stud as you drive the wheel stud out with a hammer. Install new wheel studs.

Nevada is correct…A press is better than the hammer method…Back in the day, front drums usually included the hub. New bearings and seals were installed…

I learned something new from this thread.
By chance was this the large 8 lug hub or the more standard 6 lug for the Pontiac?

I don’t recall many front drums that were removable from the hub but it’s been many years since I last worked on a car with 4 wheel drums. The on line parts look ups indicate that the drum is removable, though… Very curious.

My (faded) memory of doing front axle brake jobs is that most drum were removeable, like this Chevy’s (but many required “persuasion” because of rust):

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Then I went and found a '66 Mustang article describing how to press out the center hub. So I guess it just depends.

I think the drum in the photo has been replaced before, the O.E studs were dark in color.

Yes, a picture IS worth a thousand words…One method of removal was to whack the edge of the drum with a heavy hammer…Not a crushing blow, just a solid blow to break the rust loose…

I use drum pullers like this when the hub isn’t connected to the drum:

I have one of these when the hub is part of the drum, like on my 52.

To get them off, I’ve had good success by hitting the face of the drum with a BFH.

On this type of drum it is often stuck due to corrosion at the center where it meets the hub. I recommend the application of moderate heat such as from a propane torch. Heat the drum around the center evenly and it usually loosens so that you can remove it by hand. It’s not necessary to heat it until it’s red hot or anything like that, just hot enough to expand and loosen the drum. Worth a try anyway.

BTW, I have a drum puller like the first one in RemcoW’s post. I can hook it up, apply a little pressure, apply some heat and the drum pops right off.

I take it that thing is held on with a castle nut and cotter pin?
If so, you can loosen the castle nut a bit but leave the cotter pin in. Then drive it around the corner a bit so it will put some stress on the rusty joint. It may loosen up that way too.

The fronts aren’t driven so the nut usually doesn’t need to be put on too crazily. On my 52 it actually damages the wheel bearing it you torque that thing down too much.

On my 52’s rear, it is a different story as the shaft is tapered. It practically fuses the brake drum/hub to the shaft. That takes this puller with a lot of banging with my BFH:
It laughs at putting an impact hammer on the tool 0 It needs violence to come off and it is quite scary when the rust joint finally lets go.

Oh, that reminds me: if it is indeed held in with a castle nut, leave it loose but on the shaft when you do end up using a puller. There’s a lot of force behind it all. You don’t want that drum to turn into an airplane and hit your knee.

Underneath all the rust on the outside of the drum, you might find a flathead.slotted screw that is holding the drum to the hub. This was used to facilitate the manufacturing process so generally when it is removed the first time, it is not replaced. Someone may have put one back in for some reason. There will only be one per drum.

I guess I never did that much with drum brakes but never ever had to take the hub off. Maybe a little PB Blaster and a big hammer is all.