Our Van Conversion

12/30/2018 – Day #12: Journey’s Conversion (Separate the brake drum from the hub, remove both bearing seals & have drums inspected to assess viability)

Today’s Goals:

Happy New Year! The weather has been wet and cool around the farm and so Brian and I decided to work in the garage with the space heater on! We didn’t get to start until around 7:30pm last night and our main goals were to separate the bearings from the brake cylinder and brake cylinder from the drum. Then hubby took the drums to get them inspected and sure enough, they both need to be replaced. That’s a little bit of a bummer as they are $75 a piece, but at this point I actually am happy as that also means that Journey will have a whole new brake system when we are finished. This will help us rest easy on the road knowing that she is set to go for another 40 years of crazy adventures. 🙂

Total Work Time: 1.5 hours

Journey has drum brakes in the rear. They are called drum because they refer to the large enclosed cylindrical structure you will see in the pics below.

The brake drums are beasts and very heavy for my 1 ton dually girl and are essential! With the working of the brake shoes, which we bought new ones as well, they work on friction when the brakes are applied on the road. The brake shoes moves and then presses against the inner portion of the drum which essentially causes the vehicle to slow down via friction.

When hubby took the drums to be inspected this morning, it was determined that wear limit was exceeded inside the drum… So, here we go as we will have to get a new set of brake drums for Journey! 🙂

Here was our process:

  1. Below we used our press to separate the brake drum from the hub you see. The press made the task super easy and so grateful we now have that as hammering the bolts out would have been much more unpleasant!

2. Below is the pic of the bolts being removed from the drum from the inside of the drum and then the hub with all the bolts removed.

3. They are now completely separate and you can see the two parts. The hub will be cleaned and prepared before installed into the new drums.

4. We had 2 adorable helpers come into the garage with us seeking warmth. They are on this journey with us too you know! 🙂 We then removed both bearing seals in the hub, the inner seal. One side showed wear and tear and the other one looked good as new. Below the hub is put in the vice so we could remove the seal to get the bearing out.

5. The seal was removed and this is what it looks like inside the hub with the view of the bearing inside.

6. So, here are the parts we are looking at below minus the drum. The are from the left side. They will be cleaned in our new Go Plus Electric Parts washer and then we will work on reinstalling the all new brake parts into Journey hopefully by this weekend.


7. Here are the new drums and also the new seals and bearings! 🙂 Yay! The drums are soo pretty and clean! That is one piece of journey I won’t have to clean up, that’s a nice change!


Thank you so much for following our journey with Journey!! Make sure to subscribe if you want to be notified by email when new posts are made.


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Merry Christmas fellow adventurers and vanner family!!!

— Owl & Hubby

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