Wheels won't go 'round and 'round on my 1953 MG TD

My 1953 MG TD has been parked in the garage for the past five years. I tried to move outside this weekend and the front wheels would not roll. What can be causing the wheels to be frozen and how do I go about fixing the problem?

Your brakes are probably locked up. You maybe able to break them loose by jacking the wheel up putting a wrench on the lug nut and using it for leverage. Otherwise you will need to remove the wheel and hit the drum with a hammer. If this does not work, then you need to heat up the drum with a torch until it can be removed. Then you need to clean the inside of the drum and try again. Good luck!

I agree with GSR. That drum will not go peacefully. You may get lucky backing off the adjusters and having it loosen but in case that doesn’t work, it will take the BFH approach.
This Drum Puller tool has worked well for me. Some of the FLAPS rent them out but they aren’t too crazy expensive if you do your own brake work. Those hammer heads allow you to bang on them with a baby sledge, making short work of pulling them off.

Isn’t that a rear brake/axle RemcoW? It’s the front brakes that are frozen. .

I’d try the suggested approach of backing off the adjuster(s) and whacking the drum at different positions. Some PB Blaster might also be in order, but you’ll need to clean it off afterwards. It will require some time and effort, but if it hasn’t moved in five years, there can’t be any hurry.

Ah, I missed it was just the fronts.
Yeah, the rear is usually worse. I got a new rear (well, ‘old’ but new to me) for my 52 truck and wanted to clean it up before I bolted it on. It hadn’t moved since the 60’s, I was told.

Besides being splined, it is also very much tapered so it was fused together. It sprayed a half a can of Kroil in the joints and let it sit. Even then, it took me two days after work of smacking it with a sledge to get it off.
I started with the impact gun, then a baby sledge to then bring out the really BFH, half out of desperation and the other half pure anger, . It was scary when it finally let go, its swan song being a really loud “CRACK!”. I thought I had snapped my tool. Make sure that axle nut stays loosely on the end of the shaft so the drum and puller don’t go flying across your garage.

The fronts are usually easier because they are just riding on bearings but the drums could be fused to the shoes. The bearings could have an issue as well, maybe badly seized. Maybe they are fused somehow. Definitely replace them.
Just make sure the adjuster is off so you’re not pulling the guts of the brake assembly along with it when the thing comes off. Oftentimes, it has worn a slight ridge on the edge of the drum that may hang the shoes up, even once the shoes are free to turn.

I will give all your suggestions a go. I will start simple and bring out the heavy equipment if the need arises. Thank you so much for your suggestions.

Doesn’t the MGTD have wire wheels that are held in place with a single “knock off” type nut? If so, I think I would remove the wheel, then remove the axle nut (wheel bearing nut), put the wheel on and only put the lug nut on about two to three turns. Then use the wheel as a slide hammer to pull the whole assembly off.

@Keith: MGTDs came from Abington on Thames with bolt-on steel wheels. A lot of them were changed to wire wheels by dealers or owners after delivery. MGA splined hubs can be fitted to the TD. In fact, I’ve seen a TD body droped onto an MGA frame so that they could have wire wheels. The hubs are much easier to change.

Well depending on your confidence in clutch and transmission I would assume it to be rusted tight brake pads. So foolish guy I am would pretend I was rocking out of snow, forward, reverse, until they broke free. sure it was a work truck I had to do this to, but stuff that works. It is supriseing how fast and how locked up those brake pads can get. Sure the best option is the wheel puller as stated above, but I am the impatient break it or make it and fix it later kind of guy.

@barkydog I had the impression that the car was not running (for five years), and could not be pushed out of the garage.

Harbor Freight has wheel dollies that you can put under any or all wheels if you can’t get things to break loose. http://www.harborfreight.com/2-piece-1500-lb-capacity-vehicle-dollies-67338.html . They are also handy for moving cars sideways when you need to stash six cars in a three car shop due to an impending hail storm. Ask me how I know.

Papa M, I will gladly come to your location and tow that hunk of junk away for you, free of charge.

MG McAnick, I did not know that MGTD’s had steel wheels. I’ve only seen a couple of them in my life and they had wire wheels, so I assumed that they all came like that.

@Keith If you think you’ve only seen a couple of TDs, it’s possible that you were really looking at MGTAs, TBs, TCs, or even TFs. All have the same general body shape to the untrained eye. Until the MGTD came out, they all had those old fashioned wire wheels. The company went with steel wheels on the TD because they were cheaper, and they thought more modern. The public did not share their enthusiam, so a lot of them were converted. In fact a change over kit can still be purchased today, even in chrome, which was not done when the cars were new. They do look cool, don’t they?

MG McAnick, You could be right, but there was a TD that I had a chance to buy when I was young. It belonged to a friend. He wanted $400 for it but I passed because a former owner had taken it to Earl Schieb for a $29.95 paint job. They painted everything, including the chrome an ugly light blue.

If only I had a “do over”.

BTW, I stand by my original post of pulling it out by the hub if the OP doesn’t have access to a puller. I learned this from an old mechanic when I was in my teens (a long time ago) and it has worked for me on many occasions.

I assume that you have tried backing up? The brakes might loosen up that way.
I agree with Barkydog.