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Poor Man's Swage Cutter

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MontanaMac

Farmall Cub
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
447
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Location
Bozeman, MT
Here's my experience with rear drums where the hub is fused to the drum with swaged lug bolts. My vehicle is a 1968 Scout 800 with a tapered axle Dana 44 rear end.

I had never run into swaged drums before, so it was a bit of a surprise to me that I had to pull the hub along with the drum using a special puller.
IMG_2877.jpg


I decided I wanted to be able to remove the drums both for turning and future brake inspections. I'm not crazy about having to pull the hub just to check the condition of the brake linings! How to attack this then? The proper way would be to buy a swage cutter, but it costs over $90! It's so much more fun to risk ruining the drums...

I got a 3/4" hole saw, which neatly fits around the 1/2" lug bolt. Well, not as neatly as the swage cutter would, but pretty close.
IMG_3597.jpg

I don't think you could do this without a drill press. The hole saw tends to wander a bit, and must be held straight and steady.

It's important not to cut through the drums -- just far enough to remove the swage.
IMG_3599.jpg


These hubs also required some heat and penetrating oil to convince them to separate. Hey, they've been together almost 50 years, so breaking up is hard to do!
IMG_3601.jpg


Now that it's all done, I wish I had popped the $90 for the swage cutter. New drums would cost me more than that, and I'm pretty sure the cut would be shallower and neater with the proper cutter. I hope I haven't compromised the integrity or safety of the drums. I am open to suggestions or criticism for what I've done here.
 
Last edited:

kevingweq

Y-Block King
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Nov 1, 2013
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Royalston
I think you will be fine , The drum has a nice snug fit on hub ,and your rim should hold it good and tight ,
 

David Banner

High Wheeler
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(living on), Zealand, DENMARK
I would fill in the cut with weld and then grind smooth. The drum is probably still strong enough but I would be concerned with how the oem rim gets pulled against the drum when you tighten the lugnuts--the nuts might deform the opening in the rim without the proper backing from the drum...
 

Dana Strong

Lives in an IH Dealership
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Sunnyvale, Ca.
Put a brass or copper rod through the hole first, so you don't have to drill it back out.
Or, if he has a spare hub, he could knock one stud out, assemble the hub and drum, and with the hub on top, use the hub hole as a drill locator jig. Each drum hole would need to be welded in turn, of course. The finished holes should be perfect, both in size and location.
 

BrandonBerkosky

Binder Driver
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
755
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Dickson city pa
Ha. That's a great idea.
I ended up using a torch to burn a relief cut. Pounded the drums off. Did what I had to do in there. Then reinstalled.
Never had an issue. But ur way looks a lot nicer
 

MontanaMac

Farmall Cub
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
447
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Location
Bozeman, MT
Thanks for all the replies. Refilling the metal that was cut off would be a great idea, but I'm afraid I'd do more damage than good trying to fill weld. There's still a fair bit of metal left that didn't get drilled out, so I think I'll run 'em as-is. After a decent test period, I'll post the results.
 

MontanaMac

Farmall Cub
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
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Location
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Taking the suggestions to fill in the removed metal, but still not confident I won't burn through with the welder, I decided to use epoxy. JB Weld to the rescue!

Specifically, I used this "high heat" epoxy putty. Taped off the lug holes with painters tape inside-out around a 1/2" bolt.
JBPutty.jpg



After curing and sanding flush, it turned out pretty good:
Filled.jpg


Painted 'em so no one will ever know! (also to slow the rust and to look purdy behind the wheels)
Painted.jpg


I think the epoxy will hold, seeing as how the major stress on it will be squeezing between the hub and the wheel.
 
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