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Removing knuckles....and some frozen drums

696 Views 9 Replies 0 Participants Last post by  **DONOTDELETE**
OK all just need some ideas, usually someone on this board helps me out when I think I have tried here goes,

Problem 1
I can't get the knuckles of my front Dana 44, I pounded on them suckers with a mini sledge and nothing, they didn't even move. Anyone got any ideas??

Problem 2
I knew right from the start I was going to have trouble with this. The rear axle I bought is a 79 Scout II D44 and it is INCREDIBLY rusted on drums. I have beat the drums with a mini sledge, covered them in Liquid Wrench, beat them again. I tried removing the small rubber grommer on the backing plate and backing the shoes off but the mechanism to do that is seized up because of rust...any ideas?? I have all new brake parts for it(drums included) so I don't care if I ruin them.


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Can't really offer any insight into removing the stuck knuckles since I've never done that, but I have run across a few frozen brake drums. You already said that the adjuster screw is rusted solid, so that is out. Another trick I've used with success, is to heat up the outer portion of the drum (not the axle flange) with either a propane or oxy/acet torch. Once it's nice and toasty hot, walk away and come back when it has cooled off. Then, take your big hammer and give it a couple of good whacks. Should loosen the rust up enough to wiggle the drum off. Good luck!

1976 CJ-7
258ci, T18, Dana 20
Dana 44 Front & Rear
Again, can't help on the knuckles. The rear drums were rusted onto my son's '80 Scout D44. We soaked the hub area with WD-40. We tried tapping and pulling, with no success. We finally got the drums loose using a two-pound hammer and a piece of 1" (approx) steel rod. We'd put the end of the rod between a pair of lugs and hit it with the hammer, then put it between the next pair of lugs. We had to go around the hub a few times before the drum finally let go of the hub. On the second round we let our frustration out, which seemed to do the job :cool: Keep in mind that this can be tough on the wheel bearings.

Pounded on them with a MINI SLEDGE? Get your self a MAXI SLEDGE (BFH)! That oughta do it!

Seriously, besides brute force, I really don't know how to get them off. You could try heat, and lots of it.

Contagious Off-Road
Man I can't see heating 11" drums that would take forever with my little propane torch!! I will just keep banging away......

To remove the knuckles take the nut off the top and loosen the bottom nut until it is even with the top of the stud. Hit the top ball joint stud straight down with your mini BFH a couple of times, then hit the nut on the bottom stud. You may have to alternate top and bottom a few times. For the drums, hit them between the studs, you may have to go around them a few times before they break loose. The adjusters may not be froze up, if they are self adjusting, which they should be, you need to release the adjuster arm before you can back them off. Good Luck.

sometimes drums will have threaded holes towards the center of them. I'm not sure if yours do or not, but if they do, you can thread in a pair of bolts and they will pull off the drum as they are threaded in toward the axle flange... hope you know what I mean there. As for the knuckles, hitting the ball joint isnt' always the best way. turn the knuckle to full lock and hit the axle housing where the ball joint goes up through it. If that doesn't work, and it always does if you hit it hard enough, heat up the housing a bit, drink a beer, then go hit it again when it is cold again. Good luck

If theses are thin face drums,i have taken a 1/8 inch drill,starting where drum meets axle flange that sticks out thru center of drum,
and drill a straight line of very close holes straight outward about 2 inches,holes close together as possible,sharpen up a chisel and
break out the metal between the holes and pound the chisel in between axle flange and the drum. this relieves the rust bind around center hole.
Only good of course on drums you are scrapping anyway.As for knuckles,make sure directly below where the downward force of your
hammer blows are,that it is supported rock solid,like on a piece of solid steel,not a jack,or wood,or cinder block,and directly below,not inboard,if inboard,it
lets your hammer blows bounce the end and you dont get full force on stuck joint.Sometimes this makes all the difference..

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I used a ball joint fork and pounded the hell out of it.
There is a sleeve in the top yoke for the ball joint that you
need a special wrench to remove. Had th heat mine with
propane torch. Pounded the H out of it till I tryed the
propane torch.
I pounded on the front of that jeep till I damaged two disc
in my neck. Nice to be getting older/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
No matter how small the propane torch seems give it a try.
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If you only have a propane torch give MAPP gas a try. It comes in cylinders just like propane and it gets a lot hotter very quickly. Just make sure that you don't get the end of your torch too hot. The only downside of MAPP is it's more expensive than propane.

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