Simplicity rim bolt to stud change over

windcatcherSeptember 4, 2008

Hey folks. I have a Simplicity Garden tractor with the 5 bolt pattern rims for the rear tires. These are held in place with what I've been told are 7/16" X 20 bolts - similar to the old Volkswagen wheel/tire setup. This is a real PITA when mounting the liquid filled Ag lug tires on rims. I'd love to change over to the automotive style studs with acorn style nuts for easy installation. Do any of you have leads where I might be able to do this? I'm cuttently checking with McMaster-Carr, but that's about the only place I can think of. Trying to muscle up that kind of sloshing weight and then trying to insert a bolt isn't my cup of tea.

Once again, thanks for all the help.

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windcatcher, if you are fortunate enough to have a "bolt and screw" distributor within driving distance, take one of your "lug bolts" there and have it positively identified (as to the thread). Now while you are there, inquire about buying some "threaded studs" that match the thread of your hub. Check also if they can furnish you with the conical lug nuts to match the threads on the stud. Pay close attention to the "unthreaded" portion of the stud. You want to make certain that this unthreaded band is not going to prevent the lug nut from tightening down on the wheel. If the unthreaded band will cause the wheel lug nuts from tightening, buy an "all thread stud". You want to install the studs with a good, strong, "permanent" thread locking compound (Loctite) so the stud doesn't back out when you try to remove the lug nut later. Another approach is this: can thread a bolt into your hub from the backside of the bolt pattern flange.....just buy some Grade 8 bolts in the correct length and put them in from the back of the flange. This would be preferred over studs anyhow (but I don't know if your hub has "blind holes" or not. If you can use bolts from the back side, so much the better. You still need to use "Loctite" so the bolt does not try to turn when you tignten the lug nuts. If the bolt house can't furnish the conical lug nuts needed, take one of your lug bolts to an auto parts store or distributor and mach up something that will fit your new studs AND the wheel. Good luck

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 2:14PM
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Hey mownie. Thanks for the info. I will check this evening about using the existing bolts from the back side. I seem to remember they are a threaded through hole which would really be better along with loctite. That would give a good, solid backing all the way around. I'll let you know what I find.

McMasters has e-mailed me back and said they don't have anything in that thread range for studs. Yes, they have the bolts, but then I'm back to square one.

Maybe I need to wet a finger and stick it into an electrical socket. That way I can "electrical engineer" my way into it.

One good thing I've found....the 7/16"-20 seems to be a common thread pattern for acorn lug nuts, rocker arm studs (big block chevy engines), etc. So, I'm sure I can find a fit. Sure would be nice to roll that tire up to the studs, spin a lug nut on, and proceed with a smile on my face.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 3:43PM
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Well, I am saying, "Duh, why didn't I think of that?" You are precisely right in that your lug bolts could be threaded into the hub from the back. If you find a suitable lug nut (and I think you will), just make sure that the existing lug bolt is long enough for "full thread engagement". If the Simplicity folks selected the lug BOLTS at the minimum required length, there might not be enough thread protruding above the hub flange for new lug nuts to thread completely down (and have a bit of the threaded bolt showing on the outside of the nut) because if they figured it that closely, the tapered part of the bolt was considered in their selection of length. The OEM lug bolts are not going to thread into the hub flange past the tapered part of the bolt and that might make the OEM bolt too short (now) for the new lug nuts to engage "full thread". If you can see how much thread shows on the backside of hub (at this time) with the wheel in place and the lug bolts tight, that would probably answer that concern. If you have 1/4" or more of threads showing now, you can most likely just use your OEM bolts. But, if they now turn out to be too short, you should not have any trouble finding 10 longer bolts to perfect your conversion. Just be sure you insist on Grade 8 bolts.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:54PM
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Mownie: I think we've hit on something. I removed just one bolt yesterday evening, and the holes are threaded completely through.

I used that bolt from the back side as a test. With the taper on the bolt head, and the non-threaded tip of the OEM bolt, it was just a bit shy of being able to be used right now.

It looks like about 1 1/2" full threads will make this work like a charm. I did put a tap on the bolt later on, and unless my bifocals fooled me, it is a 7/16"-20 NF thread. Unfortunately, the cheap tap and die set I have are poorly stamped and hard to read with my eyes.

I will take that bolt with me tomorrow and get some lug nuts, and new grade 8 bolts with lock washers from Ace Hardware.

I'll clean up the bolt holes with brake parts cleaner as I've used anti-seize on the current bolts to make it easier to remove/replace. I'll also get some loctite for the new bolts.

Thanks for the ideas. This is going to be fun and much easier! I can't wait to put the JB Jr. back on the Simplicity and the new weighted Ag lug tires on to move the mulch and top soil.

Cheers, and have a cold adult brewsky for the great ideas.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 10:15AM
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windcatcher, just glad if I was any help at all. Just in case I was.........I have the prescribed beverage in the refrigerator now.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 2:13PM
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windcatcher, I want to mention that if your tap and die set includes a "pitch gauge", you can use that to verify any questionable threads (even if your dies are illegible). The "saw teeth" of the pitch gauge are numbered in "threads per inch" for U.S. Standards. You can use the chart (I hope your set has a chart/listing) to reference which pitch corresponds to which bolt diameter. Only when you get down to the small "machine screw" sizes will you find the same pitch for different diameters.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 2:23PM
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Mownie: it worked like a charm!!! The only problem I had was the store(s) didn't have all the grade 8 bolts I needed that were close to me. Ace has ordered the bolts for me, and I only need 3 of them to finish up. They were indeed 7/16"-20 threads - verified.

I removed a few of the through bolts at a time, sprayed brake parts cleaner in the holes, and then blew that clear with compressed air. Installed the new grade 8 bolts with lock washers and loctite only on the threads in the hub. Cinched them up, then put on the lug nuts. One side is complete with only three more bolts needing to be changed on the other side. Very professional looking. I did break a little bit of a sweat, but that was taken care of with a cold adult beverage hoisted in honor of your name.

Thanks so much fella! This is going to be whole lot of fun once I finish the project and can start with the fall moving of a new load of mulch and topsoil. Salute!!!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 8:43AM
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windcatcher, I salute you too. You are a gentleman. I was glad my 2 cents helped you sir.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 10:24AM
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