Case Steering Wheel Removal - - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-30-2010, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Case Steering Wheel Removal

Tearing down the 444 to restore and found that someone had poured epoxie where the retaining nut should be. Can't tell why, as the entire top of the thing is covered with epoxie. I can't figure how to get it out, except for heat, which will ruin the wheel and I still might not be able to get it off. The only other solutions I see is cutting the shaft and pulling it out that way, or I can cut the hub of the wheel. Problem with cutting the wheel is that the top of the shaft might be why the thing is epoxied in the first. My back is bothering me today, so I can't get under the tractor to see if I can just remove the gear from the shaft and pull it out that way.

Any suggestions? Anyone have a shaft, wheel and gear?



Wheelhorse 416H
Case 444 and Tiller
Ford LGT165 3 Point
Wheel Horse 417A with Snow Blower
MTD 995 3 Point Hitch
Case 220
Case 444 with 3pt Hitch
1 Craftsman

Wife says I said no and then the fight started!
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-30-2010, 04:30 PM
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Re: Steering wheel epoxied onto shaft

km3h -

This is the exact same setup I dealt with on my 446 (pinned wheel). It's a bear to remove, but not impossible.

You have to drill out the molded plastic in the center of the hub, that is "hiding" the top of the steering shaft and the inner diameter of the metal cup that the shaft slides into. If you can get the wheel off, you'll also get the opportunity to replace the bushings at both the top and bottom of the steering shaft, which will keep the shaft stay nice and true, when the wheel is turned. Both bushings on mine were shot, so it was an added bonus on getting the steering wheel off.

I will post pictures of what I used when I get home from work.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-30-2010, 04:32 PM
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Re: Steering wheel epoxied onto shaft

If it is an 81, then the steering wheel was held on only by the spring-pin that is inserted in the cross-drilled hole. The end of the shaft is threads, no nut. The epoxy can be drilled with a 1/2" bit ...repeatedly until the bulk of it is removed to the point where a hammer and chisel can be used to remove the balance.

However, the epoxy shouldn't be holding anything. To remove this wheel, you need a bearing puller plus a second puller to pull on the first puller. We just went through all of this in another recent thread. But first you need to make sure the cross-pin is not there. You need a drive pin punch of the correct diameter to move it effectively. If you don't use one of those then you run the risk of damaging the pin and making it nearly impossible to remove.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-30-2010, 10:26 PM
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Re: Steering wheel epoxied onto shaft

km3h -

Not saying that you don't have an epoxy filled hub (possibly someone drilled before then re-filled it), but my wheel is molded out of a bakelite/plastic material with the hub completely molded around the steel cup within the wheel. It's this steel center that slides onto the steering shaft. With the pin attached steering wheels, the only way to see the top of the steering shaft is to drill down through the plastic in the hub center of the wheel, to the top of the steering shaft.

Your set-up will work as what I used includes likely the same components.

OTC 1122 Bearing Splitter (available at Graingers)
Craftsman Steering Wheel Puller 41833 (looks like what you have, I liked it mostly for the strength of the puller base)
4 - 1/2" bolts to reach the bearing splitter (the bolts included in the wheel puller are not long enough)

First, drive out the 1/4" roll pin with an appropriate pin punch. It will take several good blows to break the bond. The driver I had was only long enough to get it halfway through (fairly long pin). I used a 1/4" steel rod to drive it the rest of the way out. The pin I removed was pretty corroded for a good part of it's length, altho some of it "cleaned off" as it was driven out. See pics below -

Next, drill out the plastic in the center of the hub face, after you have carefully removed the center cap. Below is a view of the drilled hole which is probably 3/8" deep before you find the top of the steering shaft. I "hogged out the hole a little so I could also see the steel sleeve. If you look closely, you can see the corrosion and pitting in the sleeve of the removed wheel (sorry, the sleeve is a little blurry).

Lift the wheel as high as you can (it's likely dropped a little due to bushing wear) and install the bearing splitter with the flat face against the bottom of the wheel. Evenly adjust the splitter nuts to draw the two halves together to the point that you can start both bolts into the splitter faces. You want to draw them in as far as possible (with the sides of the bolts tight against the wheel hub), so the splitter edges can rest against the metal insert on the underside of the wheel. You won't be able to draw them together as far as you could with your oval Ford wheel, since the Case wheel hub is round, but there should still be plenty on contact area (see the view of the bottom of the removed wheel, along with the splitter/steel insert contact area).

The above steering wheel puller has one other advantage. The threaded rod is 1/2" diameter, which makes it a good choice to drive out the steering shaft (which is 5/8" diameter). My other pullers had threaded rods that were too large. One problem with the puller (for this job) is that the nice swivel base it had was too large, therefore I cut it off (hated to do this to a perfectly good tool). See below -

After that, assemble with the previously installed bearing splitter and bolts (see below). Looks very similar to what you used on your Ford wheel.

Make sure that the puller bolt will find the center of the steering shaft before continuing. If you didn't see the same amount of steering shaft face and wheel hub sleeve edge when looking down through the drilled hole in the wheel hub, it's likely been drilled off center and the drilled hole will only guide the threaded rod onto the top edge of the hub sleeve. You want to avoid damaging/scarring this sleeve as the fit is close to an "end to end" fit, with not much clearance between the sleeve and the shaft.

Tighten very tight with a 1/2" drive ratchet to make sure everything looks centered. Whack down on the top of the puller bolt a couple of times, retighten the puller. Repeat until it won't tighten anymore. Finally, don't expect it to release and pull off right away. I tightened the mutha out of that puller and I could easily still slide that 1/4" rod I used to help drive out the roll pin, completely throught the hub and shaft. Hadn't budged even a fraction of an inch!

I then sprayed liberal amounts of PB Blaster down in the top of the drilled hole and walked away. Did this two nights in a row, then broke out the impact driver on the third night. Set the driver to the lowest "1" setting to hammer the puller bolt a little. Increased it to "2" and I started to see the puller bolt start to walk a little. Stopped, then hit it again with the driver and the bolt slowly rotated, then sped up as it freed the wheel.

I did a quick visual inspection on the steel insert after removing the wheel and found it to be perfectly intact and the wheel undamaged.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-31-2010, 10:03 PM
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Re: Steering wheel epoxied onto shaft

You need someone to hold another hammer to the back of the steering shaft when you beating on the roll pin... It make a big difference...

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post #6 of 6 Old 08-31-2010, 10:54 PM
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Re: Steering wheel epoxied onto shaft

The instructions given by the doctor are not applicable to any particular model/s ONLY. In the early years, Case used a spline-style steering shaft and wheel, held on by a nut. This was followed by the use of a half-moon or Woodruff key arrangement in the 70's which was also secured by a nut. This was abandoned in favor of the cross-drilled spring pin steering wheel. The removal method outlined by the doctor pretty much applies to all three types of steering wheels once either the nut or the cross-pin has been removed. The earlier wheels were discontinued and the cross-pin wheel was often retro-fitted onto the earlier shafts. In addition, steering gears did wear out and they are welded to the steering shaft. When a new gear/shaft was needed and only the cross-drilled model was available then that's what you ended up with, along with a new steering wheel.

Last edited by DJ in WV; 08-31-2010 at 11:24 PM. Reason: Cleaning up for making sticky
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