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I am trying to change the rear pads and rotors on my 2006 GCV and the rear passenger rotor is not coming off. I have removed the caliper but I have not tried releasing any tension that may be caused by the emergency brake. Does anyone know if this could be the cause or if I just need some more brute force/heat to get it off?

  • Depending how the e-brake is setup, you may need to release it to get the rotor off. Some e-brakes are setup like drums INSIDE the rotor. – rpmerf Aug 8 '16 at 14:12
  • The @rpmerf for the prompt response. I guess that is what I was looking for here, a definitive answer on if I need to try this step. – Steve Salowitz Aug 8 '16 at 14:38
  • I made my comment an answer. – rpmerf Aug 8 '16 at 14:45
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If you have an emergency brake drum cast into the rotor, the emergency brake may not be releasing, on that side. It could be a seized cable, or a seized actuator lever. Have a helper apply and release the emergency brake, while you watch the cable which feeds that wheel. If there is no movement of that cable, and no sound of movement in the drum area, your emergency brake may be failing to release. This is an unpleasant situation, because until that tension is released, the rotor will not easily come off. You'll have to hammer that rotor off, using a 5 pound hand sledge, and then replace the rotor and the frozen cable. Some parts stores will rent you a large three-jaw puller, and if you can find one, you may be able to pull that rotor off the hub, using that method. If you can see the cable moving, as it applies and releases tension, your emergency brake shoes may not be the issue. The rotor may be frozen to the hub. As others have said, spray WD 40 (or the like) around the rotor/hub connection, and rap on the face of the hub portion of the rotor, repeatedly. In stubborn cases, heat from a torch may be necessary, while you hammer at the hub portion of the rotor, to break the rust seal. Keep a fire extinguisher and clean rags handy, to control flare ups, as the torch hits the volatile WD 40 residue. Some of these combination rotors are equipped with threaded removal holes, in the face of the hub portion of the rotor. If yours are so equipped, thread a proper bolt into the hole, and gently turn the bolt inward, as you tap around the rotor with a hammer. This may pop the rust seal between rotor and hub. The name of this game is patience, and persistence.

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2 possibilities.

  1. Rotor is rusted to the center hub, soak center hub with penetrant then take a medium hammer and tap between studs to loosen it from center hub. Some rotors have threaded holes near the studs where you can install and tighten metric bolts to push the rotor off.

  2. That particular model has a brake shoe for the parking brake and it is hidden behind the rotor, it is a combination Rotor-Brake drum, if the brake shoe has worn the drum the shoe may be holding the rotor from coming off, it will have to be pried off gently since there is no way to access the star wheel adjuster until the rotor is removed.

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Depending how the e-brake is setup, you may need to release it to get the rotor off. Some e-brakes are setup like drums INSIDE the rotor. Others are setup on the caliper to close the caliper. You will need to see if the emergency brake cable is connected to the caliper or behind the rotor.

I know some dodges in the 90's had the disc/internal drum setup. I am not sure how common that is beyond that.

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    FYI, Rear brakes on that model are shoe type for the parking brake, inside the rotor. – Moab Aug 8 '16 at 16:06
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    I posted this question on a chrysler forum also and they pointed out how a video on how to release the brake. youtube.com/watch?v=TH3eNMfuuBA – Steve Salowitz Aug 8 '16 at 17:54
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    @SteveSalowitz nice video! – Moab Aug 8 '16 at 21:05

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