How Can I Remove The Rear Axle Nuts To Remove The Drum Brakes On A 1973 VW Beetle

Posted in Axles & Driveshaft | Asked on Aug 20, 2010

I tried using a breaker bar it bent, I dont have air tools and I cant exert any more pressure on the nut physically then i already am

There are 3 Answers for "How Can I Remove The Rear Axle Nuts To Remove The Drum Brakes On A 1973 VW Beetle"

  1. Replica says:

    The Haynes manual states “Removal of the rear brake drums is a considerable task…”. Here I have to agree with them. The first time I tried, I bent the pipe that I had over the 1/2″ socket strong bar. Walked away from the job and left it for a few days before I tried it again using my 1/2″ strong bar and a 4ft piece of galvanised pipe. Had to jam wedges under the back wheels because the handbrake would not hold and the wheel started to spin.

    I now use a 36mm 3/4″ drive socket with a long piece of steam pipe (which fits nicely over the 3/4″ socket strong bar) to provide extra leverage. The problem arises that the nut is tightened to a torque of 217 lb/ft (30mkg) which is quite considerable.

    Heating will not work and will only cause damage.

    Once you have managed to loosen it and completed what you were doing, it needs to be tightened again to that same torque otherwise it works loose, damaging the splines on the brake drum.

    Good luck on what I can only refer to as one of the more ‘crappy’ motor repair tasks.

  2. Bill F says:

    If the car is still driveable take it to a small tire store not a big chain store. Maybe they will break it lose for you and then retighten, but not all the way. Limp it home gently fix what needs to be fixed and go back to have it tightened properly.

  3. Badb0y969 says:

    Get some good penetrating oil. something like PB Blaster or similar. You could try WD-40 but I wouldnt recommend it. Soak down the bolt’s as mush as you can and let sit for a while. After a few hours resoak them. Maybe let them sit overnight at this point if you can and then try taking them off again. You coudl also get a torch and heat everything around the bolt and then do it from there. The heat makes the metal expand which will make the bolts easier to come out.

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