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Stuck drum - any ideas?


Senior Member
Right rear drum came off easily enough. Got the wheel cylinder in working order (old one was leaking), new pads and new fitting kit, new o-ring on the half axle and ready to roll on that side of the car.

I move on over to the other side: can't get the d@mned drum off.

What I've done:
Confirmed emergency brake is disengaged
Pulled out the adjuster screw all the way
Used liberal amounts of penetrating oil around the lugs
Beat on it with a dead blow, then a claw hammer, then my fists (that last one wasn't so helpful)

The drum spins freely and the shoes don't appear to be engaging the drum at all (no drag whatsoever). I've heard of the infamous rust ring of death ("RRoD"); any tips on freeing it?

Potential considerations:
Remove wheel cylinder from behind to loosen shoes more
Unscrew adjuster mechanism from backing plate
Use the axle holding screw to wedge the drum off
Use a sledgehammer
Blowtorch to expand drum/set garage on fire

Thoughts on best approach? The drums are in "like new" condition so I don't want to damage them. FYI, the shoes on the other side were close to new just soaked in brake fluid from the leaky wheel cylinder. I think the shoes beneath the stuck drum will be near new as well

Marvin Gruber

Country flag
I've told this tale before and didn't get in any trouble. Its worked everytime. Wheel off, drum exposed. Well ventilated area, usaually outside. Place shallow pan underneath drum. Pour about a gallon of gas over drum, pour some , rotate and pour again a couple of times. If you feel lucky, hit drum with large hammer right after you pour gas. Otherwise use a big rubber mallet. Drum usually will loosen up and come off.



Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Gee Marv, I was waiting for the explosion! I thought you were going to light it up. :highly_amused: PJ
Country flag
You did take the Pozi-drive screw out, right... ?

If the screw is out, and you have access to a torch__after the gas in Step 2 evaporates__ heat the drum in the area of the flange. Just by simple expansion and contraction, should break the rust bond.


Senior Member
Prior to the gas option I got a little brave with the BFH and gave it a good whack from behind on the outer lip as I rotated the drum. Worked after about two rotations.

Rear brakes changed, transmission/overdrive oil changed, differential gear oil changed, e - brake adjusted . . . Tonight was productive for a novice! I have a few other odds and ends to finish off and then I'm on the road!


Senior Member
Ps - thanks for the suggestions! I'll keep them in mind when I brake open the drums on the MGA next weekend.
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