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Rusted rotor. VERY RUSTY

need help. just bought a 97 f150. 4X4. cant get rotor off driver side to save my life. used PB WD40 been beaten with 3 lb sludge. so i went to the hub to by pass the rotor and now i cant get the hub off. as bad as the pass. side was. 3HRS. the driver is far worse. got pullers on it and if it doesnt come off im thinking of a propain torch. dont know what else to do… pls help!!

Might want to consider CAREFULLY cutting the rotor off, with a sawzall

Make sure not to cut into the hub :fearful:

3 LB sledge?

Try lowering the vehicle so the rotor is just off the ground.

Now take a 10 LB sledge and wind up and smack that rotor.

If that doesn’t remove it, then you’re looking at an oxy/acetalyne torch for the heat, or cutting the rotor off.


Let me throw this into the mix, put a piece of lumber on the pavement to let the rotor rest on when it is lowered and with 2 lug nuts installed and turned up by hand to contact the rotor to prevent the rotor from jumping completely off turn the steering wheel repeately from side to side and occasionally give the rotor a smack with a length of 2x4. I use a 4’ length of landscape timber that doesn’t fail.

Be sure to hit it like you are trying to drive it on, then hit the backside to knock it off.

This is a fairly common topic here. You might want to search using “stuck rotor” or something like that on the search box above to see all the various ideas there are. Good ideas directly above btw, suggest to start w/those.

In an ideal world the rotor just comes off without hub involvement on your F150, right? I mean once you remove the wheel and maybe a screw or two. But it is rusted stuck to the hub now?

hmmm … well I’ve had that exact problem before. On my VW Rabbit. Same as you, one side came off no problem, the other very stubborn. I hit it every which way with a 5 lb hammer, wouldn’t budge. What worked finally was applying some penetrating oil where I could, letting that soak in for a couple hours, then heating the rotor w/a propane torch. It took some patience for the heat to equilibrate enough to expand the metal and loosen the rust bond. But eventually – this is sort of hard to believe, I didn’t believe it would happen – it just fell off all by itself, without me even touching it. Unfortunately I wasn’t expecting this method to work quite so well, so I wasn’t watching when it fell off and it landed on my leg ," ouch, hot rotor on leg, sizzle sizzle ", but that’s another story … lol …

On other threads on this topic folks have suggested — if nothing above works

  • Hit the rotor on its edge with the sledge; i.e. instead of knocking it away from the hub, direct the force radially, from the edge of the rotor to the center. Rotate the wheel 45 degrees and do it again, like you are removing a tight lid from a bottle.

  • Drill a hole in the rotor (or even better, use a hole already provided), thread a thick bolt through that hole and push it off the hub by threading the bolt towards the hub.

  • Pull it off with a special rotor-puller tool.

Good idea to wear safety goggles when smacking the rotor with a hammer.

Check out this thread, the video shows an easy way to get the rotor off

Tester pretty much called it…and I suspect he has gotten off some seriously stuck rotors before…

I too have faced this issue many many times. Never failed to get one off however… Sometimes Heat and a BIG SLEDGE is needed. You can pound on the surface of the rotor…out by the edges to help it break free…yeah you will mar things up…but its trash anyways… Hit one edge at 3 oclock…then the other at 9…rinse and repeat. It will come off…you may be shocked at how violent you need to get. Its kinda fun actually.

Bolt the hub back into place before the sledge hammer strongman contest…you dont want movement like that in conjunction with trying to break this free…any movement will absorb the power of the hammer so eliminate that first. Then…heat…and hammer…never had one beat me yet…I always win…


Oh, and prepare to replace the wheel bearing, too. Your 3 lb sledge didn’t do them any favors. A 10 pounder is worse… but you don’t really have a choice.

“prepare to replace the wheel bearing”

In that case, doesn’t it make sense to cut the rotor off with the sawzall, and possibly avoid the cost of the wheel bearing . . . ?

I cannot stress how simple the method in the video posted above is. No banging on the rotor, no heat, nothing to damage the bearing. It will take you more time to get the bolts to drive the rotor off than it is to actually get them off.

Where BloodyNuckels and I live we sometimes need to 10 lb. sledge to get the WHEEL off. To get the rotor off needs lots of swings with the big hammer. I soak not only the hub but also around the studs. The next time I will try that bracket bolt trick.

I used to like doing brakes on Chrysler products, a lot of them had open brackets that you didn’t need to remoce to get the caliper off.
The easiest pad replacement I ever saw was my 71VW bus. I could do the whole job with mt straight claw hammer . Tap 2 pins out, lift out pads, push piston back with claw, drop in pads, tap in 2 pins.

heat....and hammer....never had one beat me yet...I always win...

I’ve always won with that technique too. But maybe certain rotors designs make it difficult to heat them up enough. Like the vents in between double layer rotors often seen in newer cars.

Pushing from behind with bolts seems an excellent method, provided it doesn’t distort the brackets, causing the pads not to seat properly afterward. Even if that happened though, it still might make sense. Easier to replace the brackets than the wheel bearing or hub.

@“oldtimer 11”

A lot of the Benz models used that same type of caliper . . . with the 2 pins holding the pads in place

I’m guessing it was the same brake caliper manufacturer :smiley:

@stevecbt Holy crap, who would have a “thunk” it could be so simple. Nice link

Genius like that is rarely appreciated.

Careful @“Rod Knox” , someone will get a patent on the method then nobody can use it without paying royalties … lol .

I watched that video this morning and the first thing I did when I got to the shop was to set up those bolts. nuts and washers in the drawer that I keep all the brake tools in. Now i’m ready for the next stuck on one.

Thanks for the link @SteveCBT


Kinda like the balancer installer I bought. But never used.

@Yosemite … you are one pro-active dude! Good for you. You have some lucky customers.