View Full Version : Been pardoned

03-28-2012, 12:27 AM
Saved my van from the crusher Monday. Took me an hour to get the thing on the car dollie because the front passenger wheel was locked up. Almost like it was enjoying the junk yard. But I am now the proud owner of a 65 Sportvan, just have to convince my wife it was worth it now! I have the title papers for it too! I got ahold of the original owners from two years back and they signed the van over to me so now I can get the title from the DMV. They had the van for at least 35 years she said. They had it parked inside a shed in their backyard for at least 12 of those years then when they were moving a friend asked to have it so they hot wired it because it had no key and drove it out! But that was two years ago and so they think that the friend sold it for junk. They never heard back from the friend about it. So now I get to enjoy it. I look forward to all the expertise here as it becomes road worthy again, I still have to get that wheel unstuck. Any ideas? The drum pivots on the top, like the breaks are free, but something on top is holding it inside.

03-28-2012, 01:12 AM
Feels good, huh? Congrats. Take the wheel off and star tapping on the drum to try to break the locked up brake shoes free. I had an old flex hose collapse one time. You pressed on the brake and the pressure would get by the collapsed area but wouldn't release the pressure until it seep back into the reservoir . Try opening the bleeder valve. If it is frozen, take the hard line or flex hose of the wheel cylinder. If it is still frozen, spray some WD40 on the shoes from the backside. It will come off.

03-28-2012, 01:12 AM
the vans have what is call "our board drums.the brake drum and the hub are two separate pieces.
Back the brake shoe off them remove the drum.Then remove the hub it's self.
This might require the help of a BFH.

Good luck on your new project......


03-28-2012, 06:59 AM
that is great news vannerbe. you will get all the support you need right here. these vans are quite simple to work on. i would suggest you buy yourself a service manual so you can see how these vans are put together. call on us anytime. pv

03-28-2012, 11:59 AM
That AWESOME!! congrats on saving one from certain doom.

There is a self-adjuster on drum brakes that needs to be backed off to release pressure on the drum. The self-adjuster takes up the slack in the brake shoes and often you cannot get the brake drum off until you loosen the adjuster. You can access this selfadjuster through a small oblong hole on the outboard side of the brake drum. Turn the drum so the hole is near the bottom and so you can see the teeth of the star wheel on the self-adjuster. You will need to use two small screwdrivers, one to hold the spring loaded plate away from the self-adjuster while you turn the teeth of the star wheel with the other. Turning the teeth of the star wheel down will tighten the adjuster, so hold the plate away from the star wheel and carefully use your other screwdriver to turn the wheel up, this will loosen the adjuster, and release the brake shoe's tension against the drums. loosen it all the way and the drum should come off. if it still doesn't want to come loose, a couple smacks with a big hand sledge may help it let go. Remember to use EYE PROTECTION! swinging the big hammer at the cast iron drum can make little chips go flying and you don't want one in your eye!!! safety first, and always!


03-28-2012, 08:51 PM
Congadulations on your new claim, your effort in saving it will prove to be well worth it.


03-28-2012, 08:59 PM
pics of van at home?

03-28-2012, 09:40 PM
Congrats on getting the van.
Best of luck with it.


03-28-2012, 09:55 PM
Here are some pictures of me getting the van out. It took a lot of work by the salvage yard guys. It was so deep in mud that their front loader almost got stuck, so they went and got a chain and pulled it out through that.
Here it is waiting.
Van moving after a long time.
On the truck going home.
Now I have it at my work and I can use the space there to get the wheel free. I can't turn the brake rum is the problem. I can pry it off 1/8th inch at the bottom, but something inside at the top is holding it in. I tried to hit it with a hammer, but it won't budge. I tried hitting it with a sledge to break it loose, but still nothing.

03-29-2012, 02:36 AM

I'm glad you got your van. It sounded like it was yours once you laid your eyes on it. Good job getting her home. All the help and step by step assistance you can get is here. To many of us its like a second home. Welcome aboard. May this van give you many sweet memories to come. You're a natural here with pictures to keep us going. Can't wait to see your van back in shape. Keep us updated on every step. Sounds like KookyKrispy's advice should help...brake shoes locked onto drum.

03-29-2012, 04:42 AM
Vannerbe...welcome to the show...Idaho...thats where I got my 69-90 panel...good luck...pap

dream weaver 65
03-29-2012, 06:53 AM
nice save congrats . great to have another addition to vcvc all the help &info you need is here lots of talented guys/gals here weave

Silver Bullet
03-29-2012, 07:50 AM
Welcome to VCVC!!

What you need is a bigger hammer...try a 20 pounder sledge...the brake drum can take some serious abuse...I have been in you situation many times...also hit the face of the drum at the leading outside edge and give it a good smack...when I have encountered the really stubborn drums then I would brake out the torch tanks and using a heat tip and get that drum nice and hot and then give it a whack...that would usually work all the time...the drum will expand from the heat giving you a little more room to get it off.

Good luck and will wait for more pictures.


03-29-2012, 09:23 AM
Love those pictures of the Stay of Execution. The fact that this van was saved before it was abused or picked apart, and the fact that you saved it from an unwanted trip to China, in the form of a cube, will make this van something really special. We, VCVCers, including yourself, applaud and congratulate you. Great find, great save.

03-29-2012, 07:08 PM
Love those pictures of the Stay of Execution. The fact that this van was saved before it was abused or picked apart, and the fact that you saved it from an unwanted trip to China, in the form of a cube, will make this van something really special. We, VCVCers, including yourself, applaud and congratulate you. Great find, great save.

Exactly. I second that. This is the sort of thing I dreamed would happen when the club started.

03-29-2012, 07:48 PM
Well played young man, well played!

03-30-2012, 06:51 AM
Some times a badly worn drum will get a grove on the inner edge.Untill the brake shoes are backed all the way off this grove will help to hold the drum into place.
Removeing the outer bearing from the hub will also give you a little more "wiggle room".


03-30-2012, 07:22 AM
Dang that looks in REALLY good shape. Great find!

I had a hard time getting my drums off at first too. After the nut was off the spindle I put a piece of pipe big enough to just hit the drum and tried to actually force it on FURTHER. I smacked on the face of the drum it self with a large rubber hammer. This broke the rust seals on the outside, soaked the outside in some penetrating oil and then it tapped off easily.

You will find that a very good can of penetrating oil and a BFH will be your best friend when working on these old girls. LoL

03-30-2012, 11:22 AM
Try installing a couple long shank mag style lug nuts on two of the five lugs, then wedge a big long breaker/pry bar in between them to get leverage and try to turn the drum a little that way. Somehow you've got to turn that drum enough to get the inspection hole down to the bottom so you can get in at that self adjuster with a couple screwdrivers and loosen it up.

03-31-2012, 09:13 AM
way to go, I'm surprise you found one in a junkyard. back in the 80's when I was building the 65 into a tow vehicle (292 engine, etc.) there were lots of 1st gens in the wrecking yards around here, now there are none.