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Tip on Getting a stuck Rotor off

Discussion in 'Tips and Technical Info posted by Technician's' started by bounsoul, April 13, 2007.

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    1. bounsoul

      bounsoul New Member

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      I just changed my front brakes and rotors, and it was a B#$CH getting the rotors off...I have about 61k miles on my '01 and I think this was the first time these suckers have been changed. You can either hammer the crap out of them from a tough angle...OR do what I did- You need to have both front wheels off at the same time. Then take a long piece of steel or iron bar (I used a 1/2'' x6ft length of what I believe is gas pipe) and head to the side opposite the rotor you want to pop off. Stick the pipe through the wheel well on the opposite side and position it on the back of the rotor you need to whack off. Now you will be able to take nice big, controlled swings at the end of the pipe that's sticking out of the opposite wheel well. it worked like a charm.
       
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    3. TerryS1980

      TerryS1980 Active Member

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      Hopefully you didn't screw up the bearings. You should only use a rubber mallet or dead blow hammer. Using a pipe like that is over kill.
       
    4. Nocturnall

      Nocturnall Active Member

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      I used a 3 jaw gear puller on my rear rotors. That worked like a charm. Sticking a pipe through all the crucial areas of my vehicle then wacking it with a hammer hoping it doesn't bounce off and hit something else doesn't seem like the route I would want to take.....just me though, I'm a worry wart.
       
    5. bounsoul

      bounsoul New Member

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      It's harder blindfolded

      Im not saying to get a blindfold and go to town with a pipe on your car...if you place the end of the pipe on the back of the rotor, you won't be damaging anything else. The idea is that you'll be able to get a better angle to tap the rotor off. I first used a rubber mallet, dead blow hammer, and finally a heavy mallet with a piece of wood against the rotor to coax it off and it was all to no avail. The leverage and angle I got using the way I described was more than enough to easily, and in a controlled manner, pop the rotor off.

      If you want, you can even pad the end of the pipe and you'll be doing absolutely no damage to the car or the rotor. Keep in mind that this is something to go to after the conventional way doesn't work. My rotor was practically welded on. I checked and repacked the bearings afterwards, they were fine. Car drives fine.
       
    6. skoal_mint

      skoal_mint Active Member

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      What if someone reads this and take your advice on their truck, but their are only taking off the rotor to switch the wheelbearing?$$? you never know.

      But i did try rubber mallet, then a hammer and then got out a even bigger hammer and it still wouldnt come...sprayed on penetrating oil in the center and it came off with one tap of my hand
       
    7. Lee308

      Lee308 New Member

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      I used a torch to heat the face of the rotor around the the lugs. Not glowing red of course, just to hot to touch. Tapped it with a hammer, and fell loose. For those that don't know, if first time, rotor will have the factory "keepers" around each lug and these must be removed before trying to take off rotor.
       
    8. V8BoatBuilder

      V8BoatBuilder Transplanted Bostonian

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      I've had fantastic luck with a large crowbar placed between the spindle and the rotor. If I want to save the rotor, I use a small piece of 1/4" thick oak as a protector pad.
       
    9. 700summitguy

      700summitguy New Member

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      Snap-on 3 Pound deadblow hammer,works well,no damage. Plus I like to hit things LOL.
       
    10. Silver X

      Silver X Well-Known Member

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      :thumbsup:

      Rust builds up and creates a lip that you are trying to pry the rotor past along the exposed surface of the hub. Using penetrating oil along with a wire brush to remove the rust works for me if a quick whack with a deadblow or my hand doesn't get it easily.
       
    11. skoal_mint

      skoal_mint Active Member

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      OK, I now that sometimes we don't get lucky...Sometime at the shop I have the torch the suckers up and smack them hard with a hammer..And other times we'll just the the customer to buy me rotors becasue they will be charged 2 hours just to get them off or they'll have to buy new ones becasue we have to heat them up and splash cold water on them...And we all know that warps it to hell
       
    12. JohnJ

      JohnJ Active Member

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      Sometimes I get a Dodge truck with alloy wheels in for brakes and their rotors corrode like sodium in a lake. You can user the holes that hold the caliper bracket to the knuckle to help. It works well on other vehicles as well, but with less force.

      If your brackets are threaded and the knuckles aren'
      t:

      First remove the calipers and brackets (pad holders or whatever you like to call them.) Then, find a bolt that's just barely a small enough diameter that the threaded end fits through the hole in the knuckle loosely and just long enough that with the head of the bolt against the rotor you can fit into the hole. Get two of this bolt, two nuts to fit, and two washers as well. Get also a flat piece of metal longer than the distance between the two holes.

      Onto each bolt first put the nut (all the way.) Then put the washer on. Slip each bolt through one hole with the head end against the rotor and the washer against the knuckle. Now use one wrench to hold the head of the bolt ant another wrench to turn the nut so that the head of the bolt is almost against the rotor. Set the flat piece of metal against the rotor (not needed if replacing rotor) to act as a shim. Turn your nuts so they force the bolt to press somewhat against the rotor using flat piece of metal as a shim. Now, at the side of the rotor furthest away from the bolts, give a couple of good shots with your nice hammer. The rotor should jump out just a bit and the bolts will not have as much pressure on them. Back off the nuts a bit and remove the bolts, then tap the rotor gently with the hammer and remove.

      If the knuckle is threaded and the bracket is not:
      Find the size (diameter and thread pitch) of the bolts that hold the caliper bracket to the knuckle. Get two bolts this size but much longer.
      With the bracket removed, screw the bolts in until they touch the rotor plus three to five turns. Five works better but can damage the rotors.

      Strike the rotor with a hammer a couple of times, then remove the bolts. Tap the rotor lightly with the hammer then pull off.
       
    13. MadExplorer93

      MadExplorer93 Active Member

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      Thats what i use is a rubber mallot only.
       
    14. Cobraguy

      Cobraguy Elite Explorer

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      Oh for God's sake. It's not overkill if that's the only way you can get them off! I've seen them where they had to be cut off! Funny...I've been around this business for over 35 years. I've never seen one set of wheel bearings hurt because of removing stuck rotors...unless they had to be cut off.

      Great suggestion with the pipe. You do what you have to do. My only caution would be damaged rotors. I would probably hesitate to reuse them depending on how hard I had to hit them. Of course, that could be true from dead blow hammers too.
       
    15. briwayjones

      briwayjones Manual Master Elite Explorer

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      You're talking about the fronts. But for reference for people on the rears you need to loosen the parking brake before you can get them off. There's a hole in the back of the brake assembly with a star wheel inside. You need to get a screw driver in there and turn the star wheel the correct direction to back the parking brake pads off.
       
    16. 91exploreron37

      91exploreron37 Well-Known Member

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      We had a "northern" car in the shop the other day that was rusted to hell. We ended up breaking the rotors in peices off the hub with a sledge, but of course we really never had to deal with rust that bad.
       
    17. mudy explorer

      mudy explorer New Member

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      rotors are not that bad to take off if you got the tools for the job and some wd40 or mybe some break lows that well get it off no porb
       
    18. Cobraguy

      Cobraguy Elite Explorer

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      You obviously have never worked on a 10 year old vehicle out of the rust belt. Believe me...there are many times when the tool for the job is like was mentioned...a torch or sledge hammer. Big one too.
       
    19. mudy explorer

      mudy explorer New Member

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      well win i was working on my dad turk wich its a 73 3/4 ton it was all rust the blot that would not come off we heated them up or cut them off i know all about pairs of a car that won come off and all you can say f+++ u you f +++ part lol :)
       
    20. blacklimited

      blacklimited New Member

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      Be careful, I cracked mine when it was stuck and I tried to get it off.
       
    21. SyberTiger

      SyberTiger Active Member

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    22. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      Not to resurrect and beat a dead horse, but....

      I have personal experience on that one. The first time I changed 'em on my 98, I beat the snot out of 'em to get them off the hub. 4-lb baby sledge eventually got them loose. It wasn't a lip, but a solid corrosion weld to the hub.

      I had to replace the hubs roughly 5000 miles later. The bearings showed evidence of brinnelling, undoubtedly due to my hammering. I have pics somewhere in my Flickr account...

      It boils down to the fact that the hubs are still bearings, and nobody in their right mind pounds on bearings unless they have to. I certainly understand that realistically, in some cases, there is no other way, and you do what you have to do.

      -Joe
       
    23. skoal_mint

      skoal_mint Active Member

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      I'v runined a bearing once on a 02 dodge truck, changing ball joints and took off the axel nut and forgot to put it back on while hitting the rotor and the bearing fell apart...cost me $400 buck, lol... Thats the only way to really damage a bearing like that, and always use a chisel to get bearings off, never hit the flang

      Their really is no TIP'S for getting stuck rotors off, do what you gotta do. HEAT + BFH
       

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