can't release brake shoes to get drum off
by Visitor in Auburn, NH on March 29, 2010
I ran into this also on my 91. The issue for me was the shoes had actually bonded themselves to the drum. I tried backing the adjuster all the way in and pulling the wheel cylinder bleeder out; none of these worked. Worse, as I tried to force it off the shoes both bolt holes in the drum stripped, giving me no means of leverage.
My final solution was to disconnect the parking brake cable at the adjuster and all mount screws for the cable, remove the brake line going into the wheel cylinder, unbolt the four nuts at the back of the backing plate (the axle mounting nuts) and pull the drum and axle out as an assembly. I drilled another hole and used a self-tapping screw (about the same size as needed for the factory holes) and the drum came right off.
their are 2 threaded hole in the durm. find a bolt that will screw in and turn them 1 at a time and it will come off
I just had this same problem. But I can't take credit, I found on the web a suggestion that worked for me. Along with the other answers, you make sure the parking break is off. On the drum you should see 2 small screw holes some what close to the center. Find 2 bolts that will fit and gently tighten each one in. They will "push" the drum off of the inner thing (I'm forgetting the name), and sure enough, each of my drums came right off. I "borrowed" 1 bolt from the each tailgate latch, they fit just right. I think it was a 12mm socket. (Its been a long day and I'm not an expert on part names. by "tailgate latch" I mean the metal brackets on either side of the bed gate that the tailgate closes into. Should be 2 bolts on each side.) i hope that helps. Now for what brought me here... the E-brake doesn't seem to work the way it should.