Today’s drum brakes are convoluted things, and if you ever wanted to replace yours, rest assured it would not be easy unless you knew exactly what you were doing. Most auto dealership technicians, on the other hand, are familiar with what goes, and what does not. Following are a few tips from professionals on how to go about replacing your drum brakes. Move the Stuck Drums Packed in between the wheel hub and the wheel, your brake drums would normally stay motionless for months at a stretch – motionless with respect to the other parts, that is. Being a de facto tight fit inside the wheel hub, it ideally remains centered, but rust forming over time can lock it in even more firmly. One of the following methods should let you remove it. • Slackening it: Grab a brake adjusting tool and make some slack. This should increase the clearance between the brake shoes and drum. • Using bolts: Many brake drums carry tapped holes, each about 8-by-1.25 mm. Push a bolt each into two of these, and the drum should come off the hub. Be careful not to crack the face of the drum with too much force. • Shocking it: Get two hammers and shock the drum out of the spot it is stuck in. Take a ball peen hammer and place it with the peen near the center hole, and then strike this with a sledgehammer. Strike numerous times, and make sure not to hit the wheel studs. Use Dedicated Tools Several different brake tools exist, but you need to get ones meant for installing retainers and tension springs, or ones intended for adjusting the self-adjuster. Having the right tools would speed up and ease the job considerably. Even needle-nose and channel-lock pliers, coupled with a big flathead screwdriver, can get the job done, although you would end up spending longer on it. Get the Proper Supplies Using the wrong supplies for a job can cause problems later. Only use brake cleaner to take out the rust and brake dust on the backing plate. Make sure you have the following things ready. • Anti-seize lubricant: This product is only needed for use in a few spots, but is irreplaceable. It keeps rust from forming over the wheel hub, so that the drum can be moved easily. • Brake grease: This will be needed when you put back the self-adjuster.