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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, this one's on me. While rushing, I over-tightened the star wheel adjuster on the rt. rear of our 96 2500. Of course I didn't find out about this until the GF called from several miles down the road with smoke coming from the one drum. I told her to hold tight and I'd back the adjuster off...wrong. :banghead: This thing is locked up tighter than a drum (both the adjuster and the brake), so the truck came home via wrecker. I figured with a bit of time it would cool down and I could get it loose...still wrong. I've worked on drum brakes for more than 30 years and never seen one locked up this tight. Any suggestions? Hopefully the cool evening will give her a change of heart, but we'll see. Help please...
 

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Sounds more like a frozen wheel bearing but I bow to your 30+ years of experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The fresh, "cooked brake" smell combined with a drum that was hotter than the sun gave it away. This isn't helping my dislike of drum brakes...
 

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I had one locked up so bad once that I had to cut a hole in the backing plate with a torch and cut through the adjuster with the torch...if your careful you can still reuse the backing plate
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Got it! A large screwdriver, instead of the smaller adjusting tool, finally gave me the leverage to get the star-wheel moving. Did I mention I don't like drum brakes?? Happy trails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually a slender screwdriver...the threads on the adjuster were just covered in mud. Good that you point that out, though.
 

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did thid once over tightend the starwheel went ona mountain trip in the evening far from the next town, smelled something, saw fire coming out the l-rear wheel... the heat burned the axle seal and with the truck in "around" the limits of site grade before fliping over most the gear oil was in the l axle pipe just feeding that fire... the drum glowing red hot, with the sun down and no flash light made it just a bit harder to "limp" fix the pins and even the springs burned up.. thank got I had a sledge hammer pice of wire and wisegrips
 

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Never dealt with a locked up Ram but on other vehicles the solution was to have someone else back the rig up while applying the brakes, come to a complete stop and keep pressure on the brake pedal.
The other person can then turn the starwheel loose with just one tool.
 
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