Chanaging brakes

I am changing the rear brake shoes on my son's 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup which has 13" wheels. I spent an hour today trying to remove the brake drum
with no luck. I know there is a slot on the rear for the star for the brake adjuster. However, I turn it one way and strong get resistance and another way it seems to turn and spring back. I wonder if anyone has any tips or tricks for removing the rear brake drums. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Bill
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are you using a small screwdriver to push the adjuster lever away from the star wheel before trying to turn the star wheel?

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Push the adjuster lever away from the star wheel with a screwdriver (push it towards the outside of the wheel). Then lever the star wheel down - this will retract it. If the drum moves a little bit, then gets hung up, then yes, you're getting stuck on the shoes. If it won't move at all, it may be rusted around the hub. Spray around the hub with some penetrating oil to help loosen it.
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Thanks for the response. I was not sure which way to turn the star adjuster. I even have the Service Manual, which only states "3) Remove the brake drum" , not saying how. I initially started turning the adjuster inwards and did so quite easily for a while and then it stopped turned due to resistance. I assumed that I was tightening the adjuster at this point. When trying to turn the adjuster in the opposite direction, towards the outside, it was difficult turning the wheel. I had the impression that there might be a ratcheting lever or lock that kept the adjuster wheel from untightening. However, there is no reference to such a thing in the manual. When trying to remove the drum, it will not budge at all. I tried hitting it a few times, hoping the impact would free the drum up if it was frozen. That did not work. I will go out now and spray it real good with penetrating oil and give it another shot Sunday, this time being sure I turn the adjuster to the outside.
Thanks, Bill
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If the shoes are holding it, it will move a little but will spring back. If it is solid and you can turn it, then it is rusted in place as Tom said. When I did mine, I used one of my large pullers to help get them free but in hind sight, penetrating oil probably would have helped.
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving
"Bill W" <wr.wittmer1@nospam_verizon.net> wrote in message
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Yeah - I never had (nor have - go figure :) a puller large enough for my drums. At times, a sledge hammer sure came in handy. I've often heard of the trick (but never tried it personally) if running the truck in gear up to about 20MPH or so, then hitting the brakes. The idea is that the shock load without the wheels clamping the drum will be enough to free it.
Sounds like a perfect way to make shrapnel to me, but hey - it's worked for others.
Also - make sure there aren't any of those little metal assembly clips on the studs. Sure, they look small and thin enough, but they make it a ROYAL pain to remove the drum (or rotor, depending). Pry them off with a screwdriver and toss them out - they're just there to hold things together on the assembly line, and aren't needed otherwise.
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Thanks for all the input. I tried to pull the drums again today with no success. I then was on a mission to find a drum puller. I already have a 6" gear puller which will not do the job. I lucked at Sears and found a 8" gear puller set. I was then able to mix and match the assorted parts and create a gear puller with a 14" reach or thereabout. I then was able to clamp onto the rear of the brake drum and was able to eventually free the drum. Success! I am know ready to tackle any rear brake job that comes my way.
Regards, Bill

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Were you able to determine what it was hung up on?
Before re-assembling, wire-brush off the rust on the hub, and use a light coat of anti-sieze around it. This will make removal next time a bit easier.
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What kept the drums from coming off was the pressure of the brake shoes against the drum. Once I turned the adjuster the wrong way, I was never really able to fully turn the adjuster the opposite direction to retract the brake shoes.
Regards, Bill
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What kept the drums from coming off was the pressure of the brake shoes against the drum. Once I turned the adjuster the wrong way, I was never really able to fully turn the adjuster the opposite direction to retract the brake shoes.
Regards, Bill
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One needs two screwdrivers or similar implements to back them off. Once you have the drum off you can see how the adjuster is held so that it can only turn one way. When trying to back them off one must push that little lever away from the adjuster and then turned with another tool.
Matt
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