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Old 11-06-2006, 03:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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14 bolt Full-Floater Brakes R&R info

The big blue truck (dually) is up for its safety inspection. I know the rear adjusters are locked up solid, and my 'pedal' has been pretty low lately. Not wanting to take the chance of failing, I figured I'd look at the brakes. Well, I learned one thing about these trucks...

Aint nothing easy!

I thougth that I would just take off the wheels and pop the drums off. HA! The drums are unit parts of the hubs. But with the help of a friend who is familiare with larger trucks, we dove into it.

I removed the axle flange bolts and with a very light amount of prying, the axles slid out. Use a catch tray, as a bit of gear lube will come out with them. Once clear, you will see a big nut with a key in it and a round circle-clip holding the key in. A flat blade screwdriver made short work of removing the clip, and a magnetic pick-up fished out the keystock.

With the keystock out, the big honkin' nut is free to rotate. Unscrew the nut and remove it completely. Not the hub/drum unit is free to be removed. This sucker is HEAVY. Get some help or a floor jack or something. I about busted a nut pulling it out. The bearings come out with the hub.

With the drums off, I could see that I had plenty of brake shoe left, but the adjusters were totally frozen. A little squirt of some PB blaster, and a big pair of pliers later, and they broke loose. I coated them in anti-seize, and screwed them all the way in and back out to make sure the inside threads got some anti-seize on them.

Putting the hub/drum unit back on was not fun. Be careful not to knock the bearings. First off, though, degrease everything inside the drum with some brake cleaner and give it a once over visually. My drums and bearings all looked to be in pretty good shape.

Once the hub/drum is back on the axle tube snout, install the big-honkin' nut. I have absolutly no idea what the torque spec are for this, so I used my best, "front-end-spindle-bearing-nut-tightening-by-feel" method. Not loose, not really tight. Just tight enough to eleminate any play, and then a quarter turn more. There are a bunch of keyways in the nut that will line up with a keyway in the snout eventually. My 1/4 turn more actually wound up being slightly less on both sides, to get the snout keyway to line up nicely with a nut keyway. Then slide the keystock back in and re-install the circle-clip.

The axles then went back in with a bit of silicone to seal things up. I installed the wheels and tires, and then set the brake adjustment through the little hole in the backing plate.

A heavy, and dirty job, but not too difificult for the average mechanic.


1 Samuel 17:29
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Old 11-06-2006, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Mine is getting close to needing a brake job back there too. Too many burnouts I guess.

A general rule of thumb is if the bearings are grease packed you leave clearance and not a preload and if they are in an oil bath (as yours are in the 14 bolt) you preload the bearings. There likely is a torque spec for the bearing nut but you will be very close to it with your assembly method anyway.

Also another good tip is to hit the end of the axle with a big hammer once the retaining bolts are removed. The shock will often pop the axle out even though you hit it on the outside. It is not so critical on the 14 bolt to loosen the axle but many of the older trucks that had a Dana supplied rear end it was absolutely nessicary.


Stirring the pot club member #2!

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Old 11-06-2006, 04:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good post, other Tim\Cr -

As I knew my drums did not need surfacing, I bought a 60buck hydraulic ATV jack from harborfreight, jacked the diff up, slid the ATV jack under the dually tires\wheels\drum combo, eased up on the lift platform to take the load, strapped the assembly down, and backed it off the diff spindle.

Went back same way - no fuss, no muss, no 1500bucks for a snapon wheel dolly.

Oh, yeah - I'm bad, I'm bad, I am sooo bad.........
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I tink someone just a winner for the FAQ's...
Look here-> GM 6.5 Reference Material & FAQ's <-Look here

Diagnostic Links & Common Failures: Turbo System * Lift Pump/OPS * PMD * Stalling

°Please include your vehicle details in your signature line. Did you read the FAQ's and search before posting?
*Bus 1, rest in peace. Bone stock, now just bones. 4.10 rear 10/13 mpg, 182,000 miles with a set of MCI motor coach seats.
*Currently driving an "Canadian Camo" Snow White 2001 5.7L Chevy Express.
*Bus 2, 99 7.3L PSD.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dont forget to jack one side up to let the oil flow into the hub, then lower it and do the same to the other side....DONT assume that when you drive it the oil will make it to the bearings. I've seen them sieze a couple of days later on the old Canadian Army chev 5/4 ton (circa 1975) from lack of oil in the hub area.
I always grease the bearings when ever possible even if they are hypoid feed
Had a 95 2500 E/C S/B "S" engine. 6in Pro Comp Susp Lift. 3in exhaust, Upper intake gutted. DIY extended PMD harness, Pillar mounted EGT/Pyro/Tranny. NEW ENGINE, & REBUILT TRANNY

Now Have a Dodge 2001 5.9 Cummins, 2500, 4x4 LB, Quad Cab....Edge EZ (60hp/180tq) 80 hp Jammer II injectors and a 4inch magnaflow exhaust...(more to come),
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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SOLD..1998 Chevy Silverado Ext Cab K2500HD 4X4 Black LB 6.5L TD, 3.73w/G80, 4L80-E, VIN code "F", x-over, 3"downpipe, 4"exhaust, Lube specialist oil cooler/lines, Remote FSD w/#9 resistor, Kennedy's IssPro Boost & Pre Pyro kit, Heath TM, Kennedy's Bilstein shocks, 225,000 km's
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah - any pics?

I'm still not sure if my '99 3/4 ton Suburban has these same brakes. I think it does. I bought new rear shoes for it a year ago, and still haven't gotten around to putting them on yet. Partly because I'm still afraid of the job with the full floater.
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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We need to chip in and buy Tim a cheapy digital camera he is not afraid to get greasy.

Two good posts in as many days with no pics!
Do a search, you'll find it eventually...

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Old 11-07-2006, 06:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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nice write up
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I found this post on another forum which confirms my hunch that my 'burban has slide-off drums:


Here is the relevant quote: "Two different 14-bolts exist. The 9.5" (semi-floating) is most common and comes on F44 equipped 1/2-tons and most 3/4-tons. The 10.5" (full-floating) comes on all 1-tons and some 3/4-tons (usually big-block or diesel).

I prefer the 88-99 bigblock or diesel 2500 Suburban rear ends since they are a 10.5" full floating design with slide-off drums. Yes, the drum comes off without removing the hub. BTW: its a 13x3.5" drum. "

I also saw a set of pictures a while back on the net that showed a 2500 Suburban with slide off drums on a full floater with 13x 3.5 drums, but I can't locate it now.

So has anyone here changed the rear shoes on their 2500 diesel Suburban with the 13x 3.5" drum on a full floater? Any tricks to getting the drums off? Even if the drums on my truck are supposed to slide off, can I still pull the axles by removing the bolts in the center of the axle flange in the event the drums are frozen on with rust?

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