Siezed Brake Drum

Interesting to see that a modern car like the Freelander still uses brake drums at the rear. One day when I was driving it I noticed that it was trying to hold fast at the rear, so decided to check out the drums.

Rear left drum had somehow seized up. Seems that the adjustment “star nut” had worked loose and the shoes were pressing against the drum. Bugger of a thing to get off.

Thanks to the members at AULRO for helping me through this exercise, see this thread

Loosen the wheel nuts before lifting the rear of the car and support on axle stands.

Remove the screws holding the drum on to the axle.

Remove the 2 rubber grommets on the back of the drum to access the star nut behind one of them. You need to use two screwdrivers… 1 to push back the metal tab that stops the nut from moving, and the other to slowly persuade the star nut to move and loosen the shoes.

This didn’t work very well for me as the star nut seemed to be seized up so I had to do it the old fashioned way… with a rubber mallet and a couple of large flat-head screwdrivers.

I also checked that the handbrake cable was nice and loose. Pop off the cover of the console behind the hand brake and check for free movement in the cable when the handbrake is off.

Wedge a screwdriver in to the edge of the drum and tap around the drum with the mallet until the drum starts to move outwards.

Eventually you will be able to wedge two large screwdrivers between the drum and the wheel hub. Keep tapping with the mallet and persuade the drum to move by levering the screwdrivers as shown below.

Eventually the drum will come off.

Check the drum for excessive wear and also the shoes. Check that the piston is working

Tighten the star nut up a few turns so the drum goes back on. Put the retaining screws back in the drum and put the wheel back on.

With the back of the car still raised, check that the handbrake works ok on the rear wheels. Get someone to apply the foot brake (engine running and in neutral) while you spin the rear wheels to make sure the shoes engage.

Lower the rear and apply the foot brake approx 30 times to reseat the shoes.

Then take it to a mechanic to get it checked properly. You don’t want to mess around with a critical safety feature like the brakes, especially if it is your wife’s car.