When I got my truck, the brakes were in need of immediate attention. I tried to pull the rear drums to check them, but I couldn't get them off.

I actually stripped one of the wheel studs before I realized that the right rear wheel had left-hand threads. Originally the left side wheels had left-hand threaded studs and the right side wheels had normal right-hand thread. This was due to some theory about the rotation of the wheels loosening the lug nuts -- a theory long since abandoned. Someone switched the rear hubs, and I stripped the stud before I caught on. Oh well, live and learn. I later switched all my lug studs to right hand thread and haven't had any problems since.

I rented a puller from the local autoparts store, and proceded to destroy it. I torqued the center bolt until the treads were damaged with no effect on the wheel. Then I paid a shop to pull it and replace the studs. When I picked it up, I asked how they got the wheel off. The mechanic said, "With a puller." To which I replied, "I tried to do it, but ruined a puller. Can I see your puller?"

He showed me a monster puller that was much heavier than the little thing I had rented. The next time I needed to pull the rear wheels, I went in search of a PULLER. I found one at a local tools supplier for about $100. It was a big bite, but since I planned to keep my truck forever, and do the work myself whenever I could, I coughed up the cash.

It has a heavy cast disc with a hole for a 1" fine threaded center bolt. It has three cast arms that hang from the lip of the disc to bolt to the wheel. (You only use two on something with opposite bolts.) It has a "dogbone" wrench that goes on the head of the bolt, which you can hit with a hammer.

It worked great! It also pulled both the rear and front pinion yokes (shown in the picture). So far, it has pulled everything I have bolted it to. If you are having trouble with those rear hubs, get the right tool.

I have also heard from people who have used a heavy duty puller available from J.C. Whitney. It is different from the one pictured above, but seems to work fine.

© Richard B. Grover 1997 to 2006. Last updated: Thursday, March 1, 2001