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(Advice from all you pros) rear wheel that is locked SOLVED!
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Santana
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:18 pm    Post subject: (Advice from all you pros) rear wheel that is locked SOLVED! Reply with quote

Hello Samba friends,
I just bought my second vanagon that I am planning on doing an engine swap. The van has a blown head gasket and has been sitting for about a year and is not wanting to budge. We jacked up each corner of the van and spun the wheels and narrowed it down to the passenger rear tire. The PO seems to think that it is the emergency brake that has locked up. I went and bought a 36mm socket to pull off the the axle nut and we are going to take a look at it tomorrow when it stops raining.

Any thoughts on if this is actually the problem or if there is something else that I should be looking for? Thanks in advance!


Last edited by Santana on Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chances are that the shoes have fused to the drum.
The rear axel nut is 46mm, not 36mm.

When parking a van for a long period of time, don't use the parking brake, block the tires.


dylan


Last edited by insyncro on Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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85_Westy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Vanagon rear axle nut is indeed 46mm.

My best guess is that the parking brake cable is rusted to its sheath on the passenger side.

Mike
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snowsyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Up here, that is usually one of two things:

Shoes seized to the drum, common if the parking brake was left on, remedied by beating on the lug nuts (bolt heads) with a BFH. Sometimes you can get it to turn by kicking on the tire tread with the wheel in the air, as if trying to get it to turn, but I just drive it until it turns. It usually drags from two to ten feet or so, depending on what surface you are on. Pavement will usually unstick it right away. If it doesn`t release by then, I hit it some more. Of course the right way is to do what it sounds like you are planning (remove the drum), but it the shoes are seized, you will have to make sure you back off the adjusters.

When I have the wheel off already, I just (more lightly this time) hammer around and around the flat vertical surface of the drum, as close as you can get to the studs (bolt holes) without hitting them. This has never failed to release the drum, but it takes a little time sometimes. Those drums are pretty thin, so you don`t want to hit them too hard. You are just trying to create some vibration to loosen things up.

The second thing is, if it has been sitting a while in a high salt environment, is that the rust forming between the outside of the drum and the inside of the backing plate can actually seize the one to the other (rust is 40x the thickness of the parent metal). I don`t have one in front of me right now, so I can`t recall if this is even possible on a vanagon (it was on a Golf that I had this experience) but it will be obvious when you have the wheel off. Look on the backside of the drum and see if it nests inside the backing plate, and if the resulting gap is filled with rusted metal. If so, you have to knock it out of there with a cold chisel.
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Santana
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

insyncro and 85_Westy thank you for catching that! I was told that it was a 36mm socket, so that is what I bought. That will save me some time because I can go and exchange tonight.

So if the shoes have fused to the drum, what is the best method for getting them un-fused

What about the problem of having the brake cable rusted to its sheath? New cable?

Thanks again!
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the van was running you would just drive forward than reverse and they should release.
Please don't beat anything as suggested.
I would use a 4x4 piece of wood and tap all the way around the drum, don't hit the backing plate. Try to do it in a direction the wheel would naturally rotate, than the opposite way as driving in forward and reverse.
If no go........you will need to remove the two small bolts between the studs which hold the drum in place and get a very large puller and attach it to the outside of the drum and get pressure from the center on the axel stub. You may need to bend the backing plate back to gain access to the lip of the drum.
You will be able to pull the drum off.
You may destroy some brake parts while doing this.

Hope this helps.
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Santana
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

snowsyncro and insyncro thank you for your input!

I should mention that we were able to start it up and try and drive it in forward and reverse. It is completely stuck, the drivers side tire spun but the van would not move at all. Oh yes and it is parked on soft ground (grassy, dirt area, under a popup covered garage)

Does this still sound like the emergency brake?
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tom roden
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:45 pm    Post subject: schtuck braken und reit wheelen Reply with quote

I'm in agreement with both the synchro fella's.My first thought was the brakes rusting to the drum and a nanosecond later a light bulb was lit over my head and I was thinking"the emergency brake cable is stuck".If you want to drive bad enouogh,you'll figure it out. Good luck and many troublefree miles. PS get used to doing the heads every 12 months.
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Santana
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks tom,
It wants to be driven and will be back in my driveway tomorrow, one way or another!

I will be doing some sort of engine conversion, so I can avoid "doing the heads every 12 months"

I currently have a tiico conversion in my daily driver {91 carat), but am thinking of doing a subaru or bostig in this one.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it is the parking brake cable which is stuck then just grabbing the cable and moving it all around may free it.

If it is the shoe being stuck to the drum then its hammer time. Not very likely a puller would work without doing more damage than a hammer. At least this is my personal opinion. The backing plate will have little indents where the shoes rub against it, you can try hitting there as that will direct the blow right to the shoes. You can also try hitting the shoes directly through the inspection holes. Just use a punch to reach in and find the shoe and then tap it smartly.
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moogster
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i had this problem on my split after it had stood with the hand brake locked on for 3years. jacked up the rear end onto axle stands, removed both wheels,heated the drum up put the wheel bolts back in then put a crow bar between two of the wheel bolts then gave the bar a good sharp hit with a hammer. the brake shoes were the only thing i needed to replace once i had cleaned the inside of the drums back up. it also worked on a mates van without heating the drum. its best to have a helper holding the crow bar in place incase it dont shift first hit.
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GBA 88West LA
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

not to sound too caveman like but why dont use a second vehicle jeep or truck throw a tow strap on her and give er a yank, my van after 8 yrs of being in a barn had all 4 rusted would not budge one quick yank with my buddies jeep and viola
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the wheel will just scrub if you tow it.
power from the halfshaft is needed to free it in my experience.
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candyman
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i pull old vw out of fields every so often and the rears are usually seized. 5lb sledge hammer works 90% of the time. if you dont have to whack anything like crazy, just few good solid whacks is usually all you need. all you are trying to do is break up the rust with the vibration of the hammer action, a tremendous amount of force is not required. if this has only been sitting for year then it should be no problem to break this loose, try on something that has sat for 25 years!
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Santana
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it sounds like collectively, what most people are saying is that pulling off the axle hub is not necessary? I am just about ready to head over there and would like any last advice.

Thanks
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1991VanagonCarat wrote:
So it sounds like collectively, what most people are saying is that pulling off the axle hub is not necessary? I am just about ready to head over there and would like any last advice.

Thanks


Most of the time pulling the hub would not be necessary, and would probably do you little good anyway. Just be judicious with your BFH.
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Santana
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO RESPONDED!

Just got my new van home! Using a BFH very carefully did the trick!

THE SAMBA ROCKS!
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snowsyncro
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See... Very Happy
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