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Old 24-07-2008   #1
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Rear wheels locked up

Hi,

I have a 1994 Punto 75 with a problem with locked rear wheels.

At first I thought it was due to the brakes, but now I am not so sure. Investigating the passenger's side rear drum (using a jack and the wheel taken off) I noticed that it has very slight rotation of about 1 or 2 degrees, but seems mechanically blocked somehow. I ruled out a braking problem because when the parking or foot brakes are applied there is no rotation at all (I tried them both independently). However, this is only my assumption until now, correct me if I am wrong.

Is there some type of locking mechanism that could be stuck, independent of the shoes?

I've tried tapping the drum with a hammer, forcibly driving forward (with the result of simply dragging the locked rear wheels).

Due to the current parking situation it is difficult to get to the driver's side rear wheel, so I am not completely certain that this wheel has the same problem, but I assumed it would be much easier to move the car if only one wheel were locked, so I assume both are locked.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Donn
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Last edited by nnod; 24-07-2008 at 12:09.
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Old 24-07-2008   #2
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Re: Rear wheels locked up

ideally you need to check the other side before continueing.

Theres no point in trying to troubleshoot if you don't know the full problem
If both sides are affected it is most definately the brakes (hand or foot)

To me it sounds like the handbrake is stuck. You can usually rock the car back and fourth slightly when it's on so that'd match up a bit with the 2-3mm movement.
Check the handbrake is lowered fully the problem is probably going to be at the drivers end.
you can easily take the cover of the handbrake, check for obvious obstructions.
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Last edited by aaron_uk; 24-07-2008 at 12:49.
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Old 24-07-2008   #3
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Re: Rear wheels locked up

Quote Originally Posted by aaron_uk View Post
To me it sounds like the handbrake is stuck. You can usually rock the car back and fourth slightly when it's on so that'd match up a bit with the 2-3mm movement.
Check the handbrake is lowered fully the problem is probably going to be at the drivers end.
you can easily take the cover of the handbrake, check for obvious obstructions.
OK, thanks. But with the handbrake on, the drum won't move at all, whereas when the handbrake is off, I have a small amount of rotation, which lead me to believe the handbrake was releasing properly. Is this a wrong assumption?

I'll try to move the car a bit to have a look at the other wheel.

Thanks,
Donn
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Old 24-07-2008   #4
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Re: Rear wheels locked up

Where is it parked then? you should at least be able to jack it up.

Make sure you leave the car in gear when you do jack it up, other wise your car will make a runner when you release the handbrake.

I suppose you could have pulled the handbrake up too far and locked it somehow, do you apply the hand brake or wrench it up as far is it'll physically go?

I think the norm is between 4-6clicks with 8clicks a guide for replacement (don't quote me thou, i'm not certain on that bit)
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Old 24-07-2008   #5
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Re: Rear wheels locked up

You really need to find out if the other side is affected.

My gues is the rubber brake pipe at the wheel hub has started to disintegrate internally and that blockage is acting like a valve. So, when you apply the brakes (foot or hand) the brake goes on.. but it doesn't fully or properly release again. This would only affect that wheel.

If both wheels are locked then the problem is in the master cylinder, as the two rear brakes are linked independently all the way to the m/cylinder (i.e. a blockage or leak or problem in one circuit would not affect the other).


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Old 25-07-2008   #6
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Re: Rear wheels locked up

Thanks for your replies. I'll try to move the car away from the curb tomorrow and get a better idea about the rear driver's side wheel.

Donn
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Old 28-07-2008   #7
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Re: Rear wheels locked up

Thanks for your suggestions. With a few friends we picked up the rear of the car and moved it away from the curb to get a good look at the other wheel. It was locked up too.

We took the drums off (with much prying) and found the brake pads were stuck against them. It also looked as if there was some rust buildup perhaps due to the rain when the car was last parked.

With a bit of budging and a small amount of hydrolic fluid drained, we got the drums back on and freely spinning. We then drove around to use the brakes in order wear off the rust inside.

My question now is, will this happen again or was it a freak occurrence due to the rain and a lot of braking during the last time the car was used?

Thanks again,
Donn
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Old 28-07-2008   #8
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Re: Rear wheels locked up

If you use the car regularly, it should keep the rust from jamming up the wheels again.

Water shouldn't get into the drums though. Do your drums have the plastic covers in the back? They're about 1.5" / 3cm in diameter and they can be removed to allow access to the handbrake cam inside the drum.

If you have just a hole in the back of the drum and no plastic cover(s), then that's what's letting the water in.


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Old 28-07-2008   #9
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Re: Rear wheels locked up

I did see the plastic caps when I looked back there and they seemed pretty solid. The car is not used very regularly; maybe once every two weeks.
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Old 28-07-2008   #10
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Re: Rear wheels locked up

water is always running throu the drums but thats ok cos they dry out when you use them

leaving the car for 2 weeks in the damp with handbrake on can definitely seize them onto the drums it's not uncommon with any car running drum rears brakes

you can strip both sides and free off the shoes from the back plate and check cylinders and everything is working ok then give them a good clean out with brake cleaner and they will behave much better this should be done every 2 or 3 years to keep things working

a word of advise in future if they seize on the best thing to do it hit the back plate with a hammer not the drum the shoes are seised to the drum and are in contact with the back plate witch is flexible and thin hitting that will crack them off straight away

hitting the drum witch is hard and not flexible does not have enough inertial force to release them neither does it have a large opposing force other than the flexible feeble back plate coupled with no movement

when you had them open you will have seen were they were touching the back plate
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