Question about 2000 Chrysler Town & Country

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Cant get the rear brake drums off

I can not remove the rear break drums from the 2000 town and country mini van. Took off the road wheel, took off the rubber slot protectors and could not locate the ratchet adjustment wheel or star spoked wheel with a flat bladed tool in the slot in order to reduce the span of the shoes so the drum could come off. Where is that ratchet wheel located? Top rubber capped slot or the one at about 4 o clock. Looked in both with dental mirror. top slot was blocked by the brake cable. the bottom rubber boot covered slot had a thin flat section of metal but no adjusting wheel. Or is the Drum just rusted in place and I need a bigger hammer. I used a ball pean on the rim of the drum. But didn't budge it. Brake drum does rotate. Or do I let the fluid out of the brake cylender and pry or hammer off the drum?

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  • pkreaper Apr 28, 2009

    Ok I finally got the brake drum off. yippi! How? It was all in the wrist. No seriously... that star adjuster screw must be turned down so the shoes colapse inward toward each other. Then it comes off and actually no torch was needed although I did use one and some rust buster. After I purchaced a proper break adjusting tool. I was able to get that star wheel turned ever so slowly. and yes use a small thin 1/8 screw driver to push the spring self ratcheting lever up and out of the way. And yes it stops you and just goes back to the last position if you don't grab that star wheel properly. Only after I got the brake drum off did I see how to push that leaver out of the way properly ....could save some one 1/2 hr of work with that leaver moved out of the way with a thin small screwdriver. Torch and hammer were not really necessary. once the shoes are collapsed the drum lifted off by hand. I didn't need new brake shoes after all that... the old ones had a lot of meat on them compaird to the new ones I compaired them too.

    All your ideas were related, Also the star wheel is on the top not the bottom of a shoe drum assembly.

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Very tricky to adjust them down they do sv<k . Keep at it you need two tools a small screwdriver to move the spring out of the way and a brake adjuster tool to turn the star wheel.
Dont ever hit the outside rim of a drum it is now warped and deformed most likely unuseable now. Hit between the studs only. Also I recomend that if you are just checking them to have shoes ,hardware and wheel cylinders ready to be put ,in every caravan I work on needs everything replaced. Also this style of drum brakes is tricky it has two spreader bars and alot of springs. If you are not an experianced auto tech I would recomened you take it to one.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009

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  • VWdan
    VWdan Apr 24, 2009

    um the adjuster on this caravan is up high under the wheel cylinder. I do about 5 a month.

  • VWdan
    VWdan Apr 24, 2009

    wow the clowns show up late here

  • VWdan
    VWdan Apr 24, 2009

    the torch will fry the hub bearing! Big $$$ Big pain to fix Keep trying to adjust them down. If you cant you should take it to a good garage

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Pound like hell or get the torches out and heat center

Posted on Apr 24, 2009

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If your brake drum rotates, the shoes are not the problem. It is more likely that the brake drum has mated with the hub center.A bigger hammer won't work. Take one of those small propane or butane flames and slowly run the flame around the hub & studs. Take your time and you will probably hear a small snap when the drum has expanded larger than the hub. At this time the drum should come off nicely. Good luck Moe

Posted on Apr 24, 2009

  • Moe Apr 28, 2009

    I am glad that it was only the adjuster that was a problem. It means that the drums are worn and have left a ridge around the lip. You should have them checked to see the they are not worn past the digard size. Moe

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Bigger hammer.  :-) hit the flat surface not the rim, dead blow hammer works best, just be careful not to damage the wheel studs.  If that doesnt do it try a large slide-hammer puller, but the hammer should do it.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009

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You should be able to break the drum loose by using the hammer on the face of the drum around the stud area or just below them. The drum will get some rust around the center bore of drum and behind the face and with some repeated moderate hammering should break loose. The adjust by the way would be the lower one.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009

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