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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy everyone,
I don't post here much but generally come here for good info. However, here is my story of the last few days changing the rear drum brakes on the '02.

First off, this car has over 175K miles on it, lives way out on a gravel road in corn country and is a pile of rust.

OK, rented a puller since I was reasonably certain the drum would not come off and I was right. I worked for three hours on it the other day with no joy. Took it off the stands and had to drive it to work (BTW- there are NO brakes left in this thing, the wheel cylinder on the drivers side had sprung a leak).

Day two, took first puller back and got one slightly larger that would still work. Assumed the larger puller would pop it right off-wrong! Removed spindle nut again, two hours later, with a nearly stripped center bolt on puller, impact will not twist it any more, 3/4" breaker bar will not twist it any more, started with a 2lb heavy hammer, moved up to a 8lb sledgehammer and put a large crack around the hub area, chipped a bunch of cast iron off the chamfered edge of the drum, slept in the warm sun [sleeping] trying to maintain my composure, used 10lb sledge next, if it wasn't coming off in one piece it was coming off in as many pieces as necessary. drum turn OK and there was no brake scraping noise so I knew it was not the shoes holding it. Three hours latter, it started to move! Little by little but it came off with the impact on the center bolt of the puller. I guess I just bought a ruined puller. But I still have the other side to do :*(

The drum came off, the inner race stayed on the spindle. There was nothing wrong with the bearings before. It ripped the outer race right through the snap ring that holds it in place! I was replacing the drum and bearings anyway so no big deal about the bearing. What PITA! What should take a half hour per side took nearly five hours total just to get the drum off!

Looking forward to the other side now! [ohcrap]

Shoot me now!
 

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I feel for you, man. It's almost tempting to just buy everything new and ditch the spindle with everything on it. Good luck with the other side.

Toby
 

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Aww man no pictures? I wanted to see the carnage. [:(]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't have time to take any pictures, but I still have the parts. I won't have time to work on it again till Saturday.

Worked on the wheel cylinder that was bad, the rust had eaten the flare nut away and the wheel cylinder mounting bolt heads, I ended up using an air chisel to remove the mounting bolts, sidecutters to remove the line and a few choice words to round it all out. WHAT A PITA!!!
I've worked on 50 year old equipment that comes apart easier than this thing did. I can't believe they used mild steel bolts to hold the slave cylinder on [rant]
One thing confounded me, the new wheel cylinder came with a large square o-ring? I assumed it went around the mounting point to somewhat waterproof that area? Anyway, that's what I used it for in addition to a bit of black silicone. [???:)]

The half hour part was just that, putting it all back together was a snap. I probably didn't get it torqued correctly since my torque wrench only goes to 150lbft. Hit the click and went about 1/16th turn more. Close enough for who it's for.

The other side should go much quicker even if it's stuck the same. At least now I know that I can't wreck anything other than the puller which is pretty much shot now anyway. I use an old B&D electric impact hammer. When it stops turning I'm guessing it's close to 150lbft. Not too much. At least it won't strip the centerbolt of the puller too fast. I saw some thread curls yesterday though. And instead of the air chisel maybe a die grinder will work better? I never even tried to use it. [:I] OR, maybe the other side is in much better shape.
 

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My god I am glad mine wasn't that hard to remove.
 

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Mine took the good ol' air hammer on one side
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Howdy folks,
OK New problem. The other side hub came off which was a good thing because the hub puller center screw is shot. I guess I just bought myself a broken rental. Anyway, there was a water seal on the larger step of the spindle on this side. I can't find it offered for sale in the brake sections of the two auto parts places I have to shop at (O'Reilly and Napa). Is it deemed necessary? The bearings are sealed anyway. I might be able to re-use the one that I just found but there won't be one on the other side.

The other small thing is the parking brake adjuster plunger. At least I guess that's what it is. Is this also a dealer item? I haven't seen it for sale and this side has one that just falls out. If I took my time I could fashion some sort of way to hold it in I guess.

Other than those two little issues and a lot of rust and no shoe material left on the old parts it's good to reassemble.

Any advice on the seal would be helpful. Thanks.
 

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Seal not absolutely necessary only nice to have as back up, earlier used none there at all. Many other Fords same way. The bearing is the seal.

Torque the axle nut up more, one sixteenth more is not enough. 200 ft.lbs is like eighth turn plus more with 150 lb. wrench. You gotta scale up to 150, extrapolate where needle will be at 200. The bearing will fail like lightning at less than adequate torque, often in a couple days or so. More is better than less. I use a 150 pound wrench too, the needle stop has been cut off to allow the needle to swing further.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks AMC,
It's a clicker torque wrench, not a beam type. The beam would make it that much easier. But I understand what you are saying. I'll cut a piece of cheater pipe 3'-6" long and put 50 lbs on the end of it to get it much closer to 175lbft. I have a hand held hay scale that goes up to 100lbs so that will be easy enough.

I forgot I still have to R&R the slave cylinder. I glanced at the bolt heads and they seemed to be in better condition than the other side was. I'm not going to use the air hammer again [?|]. The cheap bit set I have and the hardness of those tiny bolts don't party well together. It was designed to cut exhaust pipe material after all, not grade 8 bolts.

Anyway, I didn't have time to work on it much today after I posted. I still need to go get the short rear parking brake cable because the one in there is rusted near in two. For me a quick trip to the auto parts store is a 20 mile round trip so I prefer not to if possible.
 

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Man I'd never use a clicker on anything. There are way too many things you can see with that needle you can't waiting for a click, like in this case the torque beginning to fall off because nut is giving way, that will show with the needle but clicker gives you nothing there at all. And, clicker is worthless way out on the very end of the range like that.

I ALWAYS use the axle nut over at least once, the beam type allows for that, you can see when the tight is giving way, the needle begins to drop back.
 

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Beam types are cheaper, and great for learning/observing what's going on.

Don't need calibration either.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That is a good point AMC. And just like everything else there are those that have good things and bad things about them. I used to use the beam type at work, the problem with them is that with the higher torques the body (the human body) likes to shake some even if if you are in excellent physical shape and that makes it hard to read a beam gauge accurately. I always figured 'close enough' was the order of the day with a beam. So it too has good points and bad. My one caveat with saying that is the beam we had at work was about a thousand years old (maybe a year or two less). Maybe the newer ones have figured out how to eliminate that problem? The other problem with a beam wrench is it depends on the memory of the metal beam for it's accuracy. Someone here said they removed the pointer cage to let the pointer move beyond the scale. Bad, bad idea. Once the beam is over-stressed like that it looses it's memory like any spring steel. It was engineered with that cage for a reason; to prevent over-bending the beam at higher torques.

I've never done this because I'm a cheap bas**rd but the real solution is to have both and use both. Use the beam first to see the problems you described and the clicker to fine tune the torque.

With that said, I guess I've put the nut on the drivers side at least six times now. [clap] If, as has been mentioned, the extra bit of torque I've been putting on it falls below the maximum torque maybe I won't need to buy a new $26 dollar nut? OK, let me put it this way, I guess I'll take my chances...and take my bows when ya'll can say...we told ya so!

What that admonition? An ounce of prevention... Oh brother...
 

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Nah, you can simply rebend the tip to back on zero point and go about your business, the beam is what warps not the indicator. I've been using that wrench for 35 years and it works just fine. The cage was removed like the first month I had it, LOL. Got like three of them and all still back each other up real close. I look at things like that.

I remember torkin' and shakin' on 140 ft.lb. big Mercury Super CJ 429 V-8 head bolts and straining to see the needle clearly as well. Especially while spread eagled across that huge engine bay.

I AM a cheap bastard but I never hesitate to spend where you gotta, it's just that most commonly the world says you gotta and it ain't true.

FYI you can use a standard non-locking nut that fits the axle (it must be massive enough to retain your torque) and a washer and grind a slot down the axle threads like a keyway, just big enough so that when nut is torqued to spec you can take a punch and punch in the nut end at that slot and it never will come off but next time axle pulls you'll have to grind that punch mark out to get nut off. I've done that and even reused the nut again when it ended up in a different spot, repunched it again. Lasted forever. How all early FWD axles were locked in place. The so-called one time use nut...........har, har to that one.

You should'a seen us jumping up and done on 8 ft. cheater bar trying to hit 400 ft.lbs. torque on old AMC splined axle/hubs. That was pretty funny. 400 hp going into a stupid hub that was keyed unto axle with ONE ONLY 3/16" keyway holding the two together. They broke like toothpicks and all the time. That engineer should have had his -ss kicked.
 

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The little black o-ring does in fact go behind the wheel cyl to keep water coming through from the backing plate.

The easiest way to remove the rear drum when the bearing is seized to the spindle is to undo the 4 bolts through the backing plate that hold the spindle to the rear arm, then undo the wheel speed sensor connector further up the arm and take it all off together. The rust ridge on the drum may make it a little harder but easier than trying to get the seized drum off. I've done it that way and then had the drum come apart like a doughnut when trying to press the spindle out later.

Not sure exactly what seal you're referring to in there, but the number one cause of the bearing seizing to the spindle is not correctly installing the dust cover after torquing the hub nut. Guys remove them with screwdrivers and leave a big hole for water to go in. Guaranteed seizure and failure of new bearings. I've seen it many times, and fought with it on my '02 wagon (I bought new spindles for $25 each and new drums with bearings pre-installed, also $25/drum from Rockauto, just had to buy one new wheel speed sensor tone ring that I couldn't save due to the exploding drum). Using some high quality silicone around the dust seal if you're reusing it will prevent contamination with water. Guar - an - teed failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey 49, Mike,
I'm gonna have to disagree with ya 49 on bending the pointer back to zero after bending the body on a beam type expecting to make the beam all well and good again. As I implied though, the beam type is a 'close enough' tool. I feel the same way about torque bars though...YMMV. Doesn't mean I'm right.

Mike the seal I'm referring to sits on the wider part of the spindle and the seal rides inside the tone ring, I guess that is what that last ring is on the inboard side of the hub, my car does not have any sensors in this area anyway.

I put the o-ring on as described and I also put black silicone around it. I had it, so I used it. Been waiting on the short parking brake cable to put it all together. Then yesterday at work I had a medium/severe back spasm. Now it's hard to stand and harder to walk, getting down to the ground is out of the question.

I've been driving my unlicensed and uninsured mud racing truck to work (90% gravel roads), but 475 hp eats gas like a hog. The kids on the football team at school love it though (I work at the PK-12 school these days), they all want to buy it. [rofl] They can't believe a old guy like me would drive something like that. [:0][gunfire]
 

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So to help clarify, the dust cap on the outside that is critical to bearing life is this one pictured here that is about to be destroyed by a screwdriver:



The stainless ring inside the tone ring that rides against the seal on the spindle (ignore the arrow, not my arrow, just a borrowed picture):



And the rubber o-ring seal on the spindle. This together with the stainless ring keeps brake dust (and maybe moisture?) away from the bearings:



I've had one car come in with new bearings that were recently installed in a rear drum, no stainless ring had been installed and the bearings were worn needing replacement. May have been a contributing factor, maybe improper torque or torquing procedure, who knows, but failed none the less. They engineer it that way for a reason :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yup Mike, those are some of the pieces I do and don't have. I don't have the outer tone ring, I do have a brass looking inner ring that the seals rides inside of I did not replace the seal (I'm a cheap bast...) The car is so rusty and it has close to 200K on it there is no point in worrying about it at about 20 something per seal. Cheaper than another set of bearings I guess, but I'll play the odds. Won't be the first time I've taken a bet like this and lost.

I have always pounded dust caps round again with a small(ish) ball peen, some soft wood and a large washer or something else to support the edges outside of the deformed area. It's also handy to have a variety of machine bushings to use as a die inside. It'll never be perfect again though.

I was thinking I might need to take the drums off again so I used white lith around the dust cap instead of silicone. I also put a light coat on the spindle.

Everything works so far, including my back.
 

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I don't think my beam wrench is smart enough to know it's slightly bent, it keeps torquing up the nuts and has been for many, many years LOL. As long as the needle readjusts to zero it works fine, certainly not spending the extra cash to get the next step up when this one works fine. Like I said, 35 years.............and still counting.

You realize that not all beam type wrenches are zeroed dead on brand new right? Meaning either beam or needle is bent. Are you going to search for the 'perfect' one thinking it is then calibrated? LOL. Not so...............You start with a position and end up in another position, doesn't matter if the range starts at zero or three. Zero to thirty is same as 5 to 35, or is it???? Pretty funny........
 
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