Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread: How to remove rusted rotors

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Harford Co, MD
    Posts
    1,036

    Default How to remove rusted rotors

    I put new front brakes on my Tahoe this weekend, and found the rotors to be corroded onto the hubs. I saturated all joining surfaces with WD-40, beat on the things with extreme prejudice, pried on them with crowbars, and they would not budge. At all. I probably spent an hour on the darn thing. I seriously evaluated having to take apart the hub assembly to dismount the rotor.

    Then I got online and found this trick that worked absolute magic, I was extremely impressed with how well this worked, and just have to spread the word and save some sanity of my fellow do-it-yourselfers.

    Take two bolts, 1/2 inch was what I had laying around. Insert them into the holes where the calipers bolt to the hub. Thread the bolt through a nut that you sit between the rotor and the hub. Start tightening the bolt, securing the nut with a wrench, and work back and forth applying even pressure to the rotor. In the case of the rotor that had been worked on an hour before, this caused the rotor to pop right off, immediately. The second rotor came off with a sequence of tightening the bolts until I was concerned about stripping the nut, then loosening them, rotating the wheel, then tightening again. When the rotor had made almost one complete rotation doing this it popped clear. Took 10 minutes. Sanity achieved!

    If you are reusing your rotors, then place something flat between the rotor and the bolts to protect the surface. If you are not, then crank away....

    Anyway, here is a pic of my front wheel assembly to show you what the setup looked like - the bolts are extra long but are just what I had immediately at hand, and worked fine....



    I made certain to apply some anti-squeal compound to the base of the hub and the edges where it contacts the inside of the rotor, hopefully to avert this problem from happening again.

    Oh, and I put EBC rotors on with Greenstuff pads and am very pleased with the results.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Delta, BC
    Posts
    998
    A propane torch is handy too.
    '78 Bronco
    '97 328i
    '04 Expedition


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lansing, MI
    Posts
    786
    ^ What he said.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    480
    I cant tell from the picture, but there arent any jacking-screw holes on the rotors are there? I used to have an Impreza and when taking the rotors off, you had to use a bolt in some jacking-screw holes to unseat the rotor. Just a thought. If not, use heat.

    *just realize this wasnt a question thread...sorry.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5,566
    If you are reusing your rotors, then place something flat between the rotor and the bolts to protect the surface. If you are not, then crank away....
    Nice trick, but I wouldn't ever use that on rotors you want to reuse. Probably warp them. Use a real penetrating oil, not WD40, that'll help too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    1,073
    Propane won't do it. You need an Oxy/Acy torch with a heating head. I just did rotors on my wife's car this weekend, and they woudln't come off without liberal application of heat (i.e. rotor hubs were dull red). Too much heat can lead to problems with your wheel bearings. Just pay attention and it shouldn't be a problem....

    Spence
    1986 Ford E350 4x4 Quadravan Camper "Boomer"
    The Boomer Build Thread

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Harford Co, MD
    Posts
    1,036
    Quote Originally Posted by Exrunner View Post
    I cant tell from the picture, but there arent any jacking-screw holes on the rotors are there? I used to have an Impreza and when taking the rotors off, you had to use a bolt in some jacking-screw holes to unseat the rotor. Just a thought. If not, use heat.

    *just realize this wasnt a question thread...sorry.

    No apologies necessary. I know exactly what you are talking about, but the fine engineers at GM had neglected to design that into the rotor. Two extra holes in the rotor would have been a huge help in getting them to pop free.

    I was very paranoid about applying heat to my rotors for fear of causing damage to the hubs / bearings, not to mention I doubted my little home plumber's propane tank would do the job. I am glad I found this trick before I employed extreme measures in getting the darn things off.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    282
    Huh, nice little trick. I'll have to remember that incase that ever becomes an issue. Thanks for the info!
    - 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 w/37" Toyo Mt's, Carli/Thuren suspension
    - A couple 2m's, CB's, scanners and laptops

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    1,878
    Ah yes, I too had the joy of replacing the front rotors this past summer on my '04 silverado. I even had my porta-power alligator attachment set between the nuckle and the rotor with no dice. Finally ended up coming off with the porta-power, liquid wrench and a very large hammer. I actually had to break the rotors with the hammer to get them loose enough. They rust between the ID of the rotor and the OD of the hub flange.
    Make sure you put a small amount of anti-seize on the right surfaces before reassembling. They will fall off the next time you need to remove them.
    I've owned lots of rusty old vehicles before but this was right up there as far as crappy jobs to do....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lansing, MI
    Posts
    786
    Quote Originally Posted by spencyg View Post
    Propane won't do it. You need an Oxy/Acy torch with a heating head. I just did rotors on my wife's car this weekend, and they woudln't come off without liberal application of heat (i.e. rotor hubs were dull red). Too much heat can lead to problems with your wheel bearings. Just pay attention and it shouldn't be a problem....

    Spence
    Ive used it with good success. Yeah it takes a little longer, but itll get the job done.

    And think about the heat generated by the application of the brakes.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •