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M500 Brake Drum Removal

Unread postby FSJNut on Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:43 pm

I am trying to remove the rear brake drums and am not familiar with working with a full floater axle.
I have the wheels removed, but what's the next step?
1975 Travco 320
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Re: M500 Brake Drum Removal

Unread postby 77Travco on Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:49 pm

Remove the smaller nuts in the center in order to slide the axle out. There are cones under the nuts that you need to remove so tap the center of the axle with a hammer to dislodge them.
After that there is a large nut, a lock washer and another large nut that holds the wheel bearings in place. You may need to back the shoes off a bit if they interfere with drum removal.

Be sure to have some rags for the diff oil that will run out of the axle tube. The drum is pretty heavy! I included photos of the bare spindle on my Spicer 70HD axle that is under my 1977 M500 chassis.
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Re: M500 Brake Drum Removal

Unread postby H2Lou on Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:32 pm

You may need to back the shoes off a bit if they interfere with drum removal.


how do you do this?
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Re: M500 Brake Drum Removal

Unread postby 77Travco on Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:33 pm

From the inside of the backing plate, find the access hole and use a flat bladed screwdriver to back off the adjuster.
If you are not familiar with drum brake set-ups, you may want to study up first.
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Re: M500 Brake Drum Removal

Unread postby H2Lou on Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:42 pm

i found the small slot with a rubber grommet in it...but there is no pin wheel or anything that moves inside.
oh well, i'll try again tomorrow.
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Re: M500 Brake Drum Removal

Unread postby 77Travco on Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:19 am

You may want to review the procedure in an M500 service manual. I see them on e-bay sometimes. http://www.ebay.com/itm/1976-1977-Dodge ... 0771725752
It's not really any different than any other drum brake setup that I have done except for the duel wheel cylinders.
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Re: M500 Brake Drum Removal

Unread postby H2Lou on Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:15 am

thanks 8-)
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Re: M500 Brake Drum Removal

Unread postby badbillybiker on Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:23 am

The hole might be there with the rubber plug, (maybe a carry-over?) but there is/ain't no star wheel for adjustments.
Here is a pic explaining the location of the self adjusters. No other adjustment is noted.
Hope this picture helps For the 2 wheel cylinder model FWIW
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Re: M500 Brake Drum Removal

Unread postby Roadrash on Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:29 pm

It may be hard to see from your angle but it should be there. Try using a mirror and a flashlight to get a different sight line. There are actually two of the adjusters for the RM450/M500 drums, an upper and a lower, but you may be able to get away with just loosening one. To loosen you need to disengage the ratchet plate from the star wheel by inserting a bent coat hanger or something similar before turning the wheel or you will damage it. They are obsolete and difficult to find. To loosen the wheel you need to move the handle of the screwdriver away from the axle center line.
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Re: M500 Brake Drum Removal

Unread postby badbillybiker on Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:52 am

I am unsable to post/find the star wheel adjuster you are indicating. When my 1976 (MAHAL) rears were being done, no spotting of them anywhere. Nor a provision for the "slot"..Here is a pic of my 1976 MAHAL backing plate . Could it be there are different braking systems for particular models? Would like a pic of the star installation on a dual rear system for my library..There is no provision for the star adjustment on a 1976 backing plate as shown FWIW... There has to be an answer to this..
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