Can't get the front wheels to rotate... Help! 73' FJ40

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Jul 25, 2021
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South Dakota
So we have a 1973 FJ40, the front wheels will not rotate. To note, this is not an area of expertise of mine that's why I am reaching out for help! I know little to nothing about how this all works. BUT I am willing and will learn. This FJ40 has not been operated to our understanding, for over 30 years. The front drive shaft is non-existent. These pictures are from earlier today, since then I loaded it up everywhere with PB Blaster. Consistently taking a hammer and a rubber mallet in addition to a flathead screw driver tapping to attempt to release any rusted parts. I also disconnected the brake lines on the passenger side (no fluid is visible).

I want to get these rolling! The end game is to have disc brakes, but I want to get the front wheels moving so I can comfortably roll it into the garage stall. To note, the rear wheels roll just fine. Any help or ideas is appreciated, thank you in advance.

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As rusted as the shock looks I'd suspect everything is simply rusted together. If you remove the axle drive flanges from the both ends of the axle you should be able to rotate the axles by turning the pinion flange by hand. If the axles won't rotate then it's possible the third member gears are rusted and frozen. If so the wheels won't rotate.

look up brake adjustment procedure and back off the adjusters as far as they will go. Put a wheel on and try rotating it back and forth. You might be able to get the shoes to break free.

As for the drums, they're probable rusted to the hubs and possibly the shoes. You won't get WD-40 or Break Free to the shoes but it will help at the hub. Strike the drums with a hammer around the circumference. The idea is the shock will break the rust free and allow the drums to be pulled off.

Good luck, you may just have to put a floor jack under the third member and use it to help pull it into the garage.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2021
Messages
39
Location
South Dakota
As rusted as the shock looks I'd suspect everything is simply rusted together. If you remove the axle drive flanges from the both ends of the axle you should be able to rotate the axles by turning the pinion flange by hand. If the axles won't rotate then it's possible the third member gears are rusted and frozen. If so the wheels won't rotate.

look up brake adjustment procedure and back off the adjusters as far as they will go. Put a wheel on and try rotating it back and forth. You might be able to get the shoes to break free.

As for the drums, they're probable rusted to the hubs and possibly the shoes. You won't get WD-40 or Break Free to the shoes but it will help at the hub. Strike the drums with a hammer around the circumference. The idea is the shock will break the rust free and allow the drums to be pulled off.

Good luck, you may just have to put a floor jack under the third member and use it to help pull it into the garage.
Thank you for your reply @B y r o n ! That's my thought too, it's been sitting for just a "little" bit too long. Will be giving that a try! Your knowledge in this area is much appreciated.
 

Shark56

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May 12, 2005
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Dover, DE
You are going to have a total rebuild anyway so I would cut the hard lines were they attach to the cylinders. Remove the four bolts holding the cylinders and knock, pry them in. Then use a big hammer. I used a 8 pound sledge with a good swing at it to get some in a similar shape to break loose. Hit outside of drum in towards axle, alternating sides.
 

pjohnson

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Jan 15, 2003
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It looks like there are two threaded holes on the drums. These are meant for a bolt to press off the drum in cases like this, although they may be too rusted together.
Also, loosen the adjuster on the backside as much as possible.
 

pjohnson

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If nothing works, pull the entire knuckle/brake assembly off and put each side on a jackstand on a modified furniture dolly.

And take a picture for the Redneck thread in chit-chat 😄
 
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Remove the drive plates on the end of the hubs on each end. Then see if the flange on diff will spin. Probably the brake drums frozen but you would be wise to tear it down regardless and check all the bearings, replace the grease and seals.
 

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