Re-installing rear brake drums

Posted by ScottG On 2022/10/22 20:40:31
After reading through my '55 service manual, I still have a couple of (rookie) questions about reinstalling the rear drums on the axle shafts.

First, is there a recommended practice for keeping the drum from rotating while torquing? I chose to use a wedge between the frame and the wheel locating stud on the drum to keep things in place. The passenger's side tightened 'OK' with this method but, frankly, I was a bit concerned about the leverage I was applying to the wedge (a steel bar). On the driver's side the wheel locating stud bent at about 225 ft-lbs of torque.

Second, neither nut lined up with its cotter pin hole. On the passenger's side I have a castellation partially over the cotter pin hole at 200 ft-lbs. and directly over the cotter pin hole at 270 ft-lbs. On the driver's side, the cotter pin hole is just barely clear at 200 ft-lbs. and partially obstructed at 225 ft-lbs. Is dressing the nut worth the effort or should I be looking for new grade 8 washers? If it makes a difference, the original washers appear be a bit less than dead flat.

Third, when re-torquing the axle-nuts at 100-miles post-install, can I use the weight of the car on the installed tire-wheel ass'y to keep the axle from turning, or should I re-torque the nuts with the car off the ground?

Last, regarding the bent wheel locating stud on the drum, should I be concerned about its long-term viability given that I had to coerce it back to position with a few taps of a hammer?

As context to the above questions, my car is 1955 Clipper Constellation that is driven regularly and is in reliable mechanical condition. I pulled the drums to locate a slight grinding noise that would arise under hard braking conditions. I found that the secondary shoe was just barely contacting the inner face of the drum which I believe can be corrected with a brake shoe adjustment.

I've done plenty of drum brake jobs in the past but they've all been on cars with axle flanges so this certainly has been a learning experience (and quite the physical workout!) As such, I apologize if these questions seem overly basic. I did read through multiple threads using the search tool, but I could find no reference to these particular issues.

Thanks in advance,
Scott G.

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