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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I wasted some time trying to remove my drums until I found chart's pictures and explanation of this simple tool. It took hardly any time to make the tool, use it and remove the drums.

Since many threads on this forum no longer have pictures, I thought it would be helpful to post this thread here for future reference. Maybe this thread can become a sticky?

Note I was able to use a long screwdriver to turn the star wheel so you may not need a brake spoon tool.

Original post is here:


Instructions and pictures are as follows. Also, refer to the video at the end for an idea of what is going on the other side at the adjustment hole itself.

Step 1 - Make the tool from wire coat hanger

Depth indicator is at 1 14/16 inches.

The alignment handle at the end is simply something comfortable for you to hold onto so don't worry about making it exactly as in the picture. Do ensure you keep it straightish since you will have to push the hook end against a lever inside the drum.

Step 2 - Insert into Adjustment Hole

Insert so it goes in above the adjuster. Orientate the tool so that the hook is flat / horizontal with the pointed end facing the front of the car. Insert to the depth gauge (not shown).

Step 3 - Rotate the tool 90 degrees and push to release the lever off the starwheel

The hook should be rotated 90 degrees to point down which will position the hook between the adjuster and the lever. Then push to release the lever off the starwheel. You should feel the resistance of the lever as you push against it. You then need to hold that position for the next step.

Step 4 - Turn the starwheel

Note that as viewed through the adjustment hole, you want to push the starwheel downwards. This is true on both sides.

If you are unsure, make a few turns of the starwheel and then try turning the drum. If it becomes easier to turn the drum, you turned the starwheel the right way. If it is harder to turn the drum, you turned the starwheel the wrong way. The tool makes turning the starwheel the correct way very easy so there is no need to worry if you turn it the wrong way.

Further Info

Here is a video using a different tool that does the same thing. It shows what goes on as viewed from the other side as well as the rotating of the star wheel.


22,433 Posts
^+1. I have the guy's tool in the video. Works as advertised. Iirc, his name is Jensen and is/was a Ford tech here in KC. He was selling them here on the forum years back. If interested, may do a search.

134 Posts
Wish I knew of this 7-8 yrs ago when I tried removing my rear drums. I fought with the RH side for a couple hrs before giving up and taking it to a shop. My pride was bruised, but just could not get the drum off. The shop guys told me they had a helluva time with it, too...and, told me that from now on, it would behoove me to take them off once a year and sand off that rust ridge. I've made an effort to do that since and now have no problem working on them if need be.
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