The Studeblogger

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"How do I get the rear drums off?"

If you're a Studebaker driver, sooner or later you're going to have to remove the rear hubs to service the brakes. Studes until 1965 had tapered axles, so a hub puller is needed to remove them - a time-consuming, frustrating process, but certainly do-able.

A bigger problem comes when you need to separate the hubs from the brake drums. Stude rear drums are mounted to the hubs with a process called "swedging." The wheel studs are pressed into the hub flange, passed through the brake drum, and then the metal around the base of the stud is distorted with a punch to lock the hub and drum together.

So how do you get the two apart? Well, you can beat on the studs with a BFH. But you risk distorting or breaking the drums, which have a wall thickness of only about 1/8". What you need is a swedge cutter.

This tool is kind of like the illegitimate son of a hole-saw and and a deep-well socket. You chuck it into your drill and fit it over the wheel stud; you can then saw off the swedged metal at the base of the stud without damaging the brake drum.

A good source for these is Goodson Tools. They come in three sizes, depending on the diameter of your studs: 7/16", 1/2" and 9/16". Goodson carries all three sizes; use their search box to find tool numbers ST-437, ST-500 and ST-562, respectively.

Be warned that at around $65 each, these aren't cheap. But they're cheaper than trying to hunt down a new drum because you morked up your old ones! "Always use the right tool for the job," my daddy used to say.

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