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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so I drove out the roll pin that holds the steering wheel to the shaft, but the wheel is still firmly in place.

What methods have others used to remove the shaft from the wheel? I tried tapping on the side of the shaft gear teeth with a drift to see if that would pop it loose, but it hasn't budged.
 

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I have had good luck with a bearing splitter placed under the wheel. Be SURE that the splitter opening is small enough to engage the metal wheel center, not just the plastic, 'cause a puller can separate the center from the wheel. (DAMHIKT). Use a standard two bolt puller attached to the splitter to pull it off.
 

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The above suggestions are good but they are dependent upon you having a steering wheel with a removable center cap. Do you?
 

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The above suggestions are good but they are dependent upon you having a steering wheel with a removable center cap. Do you?
Actually, I have been able to remove the 'unremoveable' version in 100% of the case. Just slip a sharp knife blade under one side and CAREFULLY pry and finesse it off. Apparently the center cover was not molded with the wheel, but added later. Drill a hole in the center of the wheel large enough for the puller screw to pass through. When reassembling, fill the hole and reattach the center with silicone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The center cap came off. However, the center face of the hub is still molded plastic. So is there a metal cup molded within the plastic hub?

I had thought about drilling down through the top face of the hub (center cap removed) then driving down on the top of the steering shaft with a drift to break the bond. Would I have to drill through the bottom of the steel cup to reach the top of the shaft? Or is the steel insert just a cylinder?

If drilling a hole finds me the top iof the steering shaft, I do have some pullers I could try.

In the meantime, I've been spraying some PB Blaster in there, which hopefully will help free it.
 

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Ken is certainly one-up on me with respects to this steering wheel with the roll pin because it came on the later tractors and I have no real interest in them as a collector....except for one.

I want to be sure that you understand how most of the steering wheels are made. There is a metal center hub that gets surrounded by the plastic used to make the wheel. There are no metal spokes that radiate from the hub. The plastic does not have that great of a grip on that metal hub that you can't inadvertently tear the two apart.

PB Blaster is a pretty good release agent but a home brew of 50 percent red ATF and acetone works even better. Acetone and nail polish remover are one and the same.

Ken said that there is a plastic cover below the center cap and it can be drilled large enough to accept the puller screw. I'd drill that cover as Ken suggests and then soak the shaft/hub with either the penetrating oil you are already using or the home-brew for a few days. Apply the puller that Ken suggested and tighten it down hard. Then smack the top of the adjusting bolt with a 2 lb sledge. Tighten the puller again....hard and give it another smack. Keep this up until the wheel starts coming as you tighten the screw.

Good luck. Those wheels can by a real bytch sometimes.
 

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I got a wheel from a parts tractor (pinned type). Cut the shaft, cleaned out the center,put it in a shop press,and it was a major press to get the shaft out. Just so you know what you might be dealing with,good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I'm starting to get the feeling this one won't be easy. But, I've been running into alot of that lately!

The puller I had that came closest to working, the fingers just wouldn't quite reach the face of the steel sleeve on the underside of the steering wheel. So, I'll have to go shopping for something else.

Using a steel rod with a slightly smaller diameter than the steering shaft, I did try to drive the shaft out from the wheel, using the hole I drilled in the top center of the wheel hub as an access hole for the puller bolt. Absolutely, no go! Used both a 2 lb and a 5 lb mini sledge just to see if I could budge it. After several whacks with the sledges, I could still easily slide a steel rod through the perfectly aligned pin holes in the wheel hub and the shaft. It hadn't budged!

So, if you required an arbor press to remove what was left of the shaft, I could entirely believe that!
 

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The ONLY puller I would recommend is a bearing splitter type. If it near the right size it will provide almost 360deg contact with the steel center. Then you can connect any two bolt puller to the splitter.

I forgot to mention in my first post: an air hammer does wonders to break these loose. Use it on the shaft, through the drilled hole first, then on top of the puller screw. Seems to work much better that the big hammer approach.

And, don't forget lots of your favorite penetrating oil. I mostly use the homemade stuff castoff mentioned. But others work ok. When using any of this stuff, patience is a real virtue. Doesn't do much good to squirt it on and immediately start hammerin' and pullin'. An overnight soak is best, maybe a couple of doses and long waits.
 

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I did similiar as mentioned here with mine. Popped the cap off drilled out the center and used a puller, took some time but came off fine. Don't be scared to tighten down the puller real tight. I can't remember what type of puller I used.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the pic of your setup. If you don't mind me asking what bearing splitter is that? Most are OTC and it looked like OTC 1122, 1/8" min - 2" min, fit the bill dimensionally and cost-wise (based on your noted expense).
 

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I paid through the nose for that one. about $50.00. Had to get it from Granger,s and they are expensive. The next size up would have been over $80.00 from them. But I have to tell you that without one, it will be very hard to get that wheel off. Before you try, spray it with Liquid Wrench. Spray it and walk away and come back later and spray it again. Do that for a few days and then go for it. Don't forget to give it a couple of taps with a hammer each time you spray. Helps to get the juice down into the threads. Work slowly, tighten and spray. I even loosened it and tapped it back down a bit to work the LW into the threads. Do not try to use an inexpensive steering wheel puller. It will break. Been there and done that.

After you get it really tight, wack the top of the puller shaft with a good heavy hammer. Take a few turns and wack it again. use lots of LW between each wack.

Oh, and you most likely will mess up the threads in the shaft. Try using a really heavy washer under the shaft on the puller. It most likely will bend.

I will be going out and pull the wheel off my 444 this afternoon so I will use it again.

Nick
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Success!!:trink40:(I'm actually drinking one of these now, so appropriate)

After several days of soaking, smacking, pulling, etc, the steering wheel is now free from the steering shaft! Thanks much for the advice given here (antiqueetc, km3h and others).

I used a combination of a bearing splitter and modified steering wheel puller (very similiar to the picture "km3h" included in the link on his post). The first couple of nights I used the 1/2 inch drive ratchet, tightened down on the puller bolt until it would go no more, gave the bolt a good whack with a 2lb mini-sledge, tightened further until that was it. Sprayed in more PB Blaster and walked away from it. Repeated the process the second night.

Tonight I decided to get out the impact driver, set it to "1" first to hammer on it little. Increased the torque to "2" and slowly, but surely the puller bolt started to steadily move. Then she released!

Wow, feels good to have that out of the way, so I can move on!
 

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Success!!:trink40:(I'm actually drinking one of these now, so appropriate)

After several days of soaking, smacking, pulling, etc, the steering wheel is now free from the steering shaft! Thanks much for the advice given here (antiqueetc, km3h and others).

I used a combination of a bearing splitter and modified steering wheel puller (very similiar to the picture "km3h" included in the link on his post). The first couple of nights I used the 1/2 inch drive ratchet, tightened down on the puller bolt until it would go no more, gave the bolt a good whack with a 2lb mini-sledge, tightened further until that was it. Sprayed in more PB Blaster and walked away from it. Repeated the process the second night.

Tonight I decided to get out the impact driver, set it to "1" first to hammer on it little. Increased the torque to "2" and slowly, but surely the puller bolt started to steadily move. Then she released!

Wow, feels good to have that out of the way, so I can move on!
There is nothing like the sweat smell of success. I was going to start on mine, but had some work I had to do on my friends 60hp Mariner outboard. Got that finished this evening, just came in, in fact, so I guess I will tackle that job tomorrow. There is absolutely nothing like having the right tool. Ain't got it, go buy it. That's my motto.
 
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