rusted on trator wheel

carlrowleyAugust 14, 2008

I have a 30 year old Craftsman 12HP garden tractor that has served me well and deserves good care. It is necessary to remove a rear wheel to put a tube in it because it leaks. After 30 years of outside the wheel is very rusted onto the keyed axle. Trued Liquid Wrench. No move. Tried beating. nothing. tried PB Blaster and beating. nada. tried heating, but not til the paint burned. There is not a wheel puller that wil fit in this jerkwater town. Now what???

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rustyj14(W/PA)

Make yer own! A flat steel plate, drilled to match 2 holes drilled in the web of the wheel, and long enough to fit across the span of the wheel. A nut welded to the back side of the steel plate, over a hole drilled to allow the bolt to go thru the plate, into the welded on nut. Two long bolts that fit thru the wheel and thru the steel plate, with nuts and washers on the out side. Then run a large bolt thru the welded on nut, against the end of the axle, and tighten all up tight. Helps to grind the bolt flat on the end. Also helps to remove the axle center bolt. Now, apply tightening pressure to the center bolt, and keep tightening it. When you can go no further, some heat will help, but do not get the axle shaft too hot, as it will burn out any grease seals in the tranny, on that axle stub.
Now, when all is tight, and a strain on the center bolt, smack it hard with a BFH, and that may tend to loosen the wheel! If everything fails, go down to th local tractor place and buy a new one, bring it home, remove the rear wheels, and grease the axle stub ends with anti-seize silver grease, available at most auto parts stores!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 9:44PM
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jerryo(z4 in SE MN)

carlrowley asked: Now what???

Many find wheel removal not worth the trouble.

Just pry the tire off enough to put the tube in.

JerryO

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:31PM
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njdpo

Another idea - which worked for me on a same problem.

Jack up the tractor and use a piece of 2x4 (or other scrap wood) ... use a mallet and smack the back of the rim (with the wood) while someone else is slowly spinning the Tire/Rim. ... (In my case - i tipped over the partly disassembled tractor.)

hopefully you can inch the rim off the axle little by little. once you start to see it move a bit start applying WD-40 (or other stuff) and keep tapping away till you get the rim off...

when you reassemble the rig - use a lot grease or preferably never-seize to avoid this problem in the future.

good luck

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:45PM
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larso1(So. CO Zone 5)

....or do as I did and follow KBeitz's advice. Drain out the engine oil and gas, and then just turn the tractor over on its side. Much better access and easier to work on. I had to replace a tire and actually had to cut the old one off. But don't forget to refill the engine oil after you're done!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 11:01PM
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njdpo

Another idea - which worked for me on a same problem.

Jack up the tractor and use a piece of 2x4 (or other scrap wood) ... use a mallet and smack the back of the rim (with the wood) while someone else is slowly spinning the Tire/Rim. ... (In my case - i tipped over the partly disassembled tractor.)

hopefully you can inch the rim off the axle little by little. once you start to see it move a bit start applying WD-40 (or other stuff) and keep tapping away till you get the rim off...

when you reassemble the rig - use a lot grease or preferably never-seize to avoid this problem in the future.

good luck

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 9:04AM
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dbt94gt

Did you get the wheels off? I have the exact same problem with an 18-yr old Toro riding mower. I tried using a Harmonic Balancer remover which is just like Rustyj14 described. Did not even phase the wheel. I guess I get to buy new wheels for the old beast!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:49PM
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johninmd

Its better to leave it on if possible, what happens after you remove it and clean off all that rust? the wheel ends up sloppy on the axle, because that rust that was removed used to be part of the axle metal. Now when you put it back on, there is slight slop when you start off and stop. And the wear just accelerates.Sure grease stops the rust, but aids in the axle turning/slopping back and forth in the wheel even more. I have did it, and wont do it again.I leave them on now.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 9:15PM
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ggoyeneche

I agree with prescription to leave wheel on and remove tire from while while still attached. Done it before.

Worst advice is to beat on the rim. Axle is retained in differential assembly by circlips and you'll break them out. Next job will be to fully disassemble transaxle and do a full rebuild.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:27PM
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rustyj14(W/PA)

Yeah, but---with my method, you won't pull the axle out of the tranny! All force is on the end of the axle, not the circlips inside.
The old Fords had steel keys inside the brake drums, that fit in slots in the tapered axle shafts. There was a large puller made for that type of pull. And, there was aldo a "knock-off nut" which could be used if the hub wasn't stuck too tightly, although you risked a rear end tear-down if the hub didn't come loose easily!
That method had you jack up the opposite wheel, then remove the offending axle nut, screw on the knock-off nut, and with that wheel on the hard surface, rear back and smack it really hard with a BFH, which would tend to knock the hub loose from the axle. (Maybe) (If ya were very lucky)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 2:02PM
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