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Sears ST-16 diy wheel weights

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Hey guys and gals! I have a 1970s Sears st16 that I use year round. In the summer I mow my grass with it and the winter I have a snow blower on it. I have chains on it but last winter I had problems with losing traction constantly, and had to pull it out of tight spots multiple times. Looking online they made wheel weights for it, but the only pair I was able to find locally that the owner wanted to get rid of were falling apart and no good. So I decided to make my own, and decided to share with you the process. I'm no expert, and I'm sure there's going to be some negative reactions to this, but hopefully this helps some of you who use your lawn tractor for snow removal.

I started by making a frame that will allow the bolts to be placed through them. I used 1/2" EMT and rebar welded together. My hopes are that this will bring some rigidity to the finished product, and the EMT creates holes for the bolts to go through. Note: EMT is galvanized and should be welded in an area with good ventilation.

I then drilled 2 holes in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket and hot glued the EMT sticking out about a half inch out of the bottom. I then added chicken wire to help keep the concrete together. I then mixed up a bag of concrete and poured it in, tapping the sides with a rubber mallet and poking a stick in to release any air bubbles. I used a 55lb bag of quikrete pre mixed concrete for each weight.

After letting it dry for around 48 hours I tipped them over outside, cut the hot glue off, and stomped on the bottom of the bucket until it came out. I brought the 2 pieces in and let it dry for another 24 hours just to be safe.

To mount it I used 1/2" by 12" long carriage bolts, a washer and nylock nut.

Each one of these weighed about 60lbs when I weighed them, but they may have had a bit more moisture in them to get rid of, so in the end they may end up being 50-55lbs. Overall adding at least another 100lbs to the rear axle without adding that weight for the transaxel bearings to handle.

One thing that ended up differently than I had hoped is that the taper of the bucket ended up making the weight wedge itself into the rim, instead of clamping down on the EMT like I had hoped, but it should still work fine.

Let me know what you think and if this helped you out at all!
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The proof is in the pudding , I don't know what that is supposed to mean it is just the first thing I thought of . Looks good .
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Lol. Too true, I'll be updating after the winter to tell how it helped, and what condition the weights are in at that time.
The proof is in the pudding , I don't know what that is supposed to mean it is just the first thing I thought of . Looks good .
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The proof is in the pudding
mmm. pudding...
Ha ha ha, that's funny. Especially chocolate pudding though:ROFLMAO:👊👍
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Hmmm, that was interesting thanks for posting. I will have to remember this just incase I need it for when I start tractor pulling
Hey guys and gals! I have a 1970s Sears st16 that I use year round. In the summer I mow my grass with it and the winter I have a snow blower on it. I have chains on it but last winter I had problems with losing traction constantly, and had to pull it out of tight spots multiple times. Looking online they made wheel weights for it, but the only pair I was able to find locally that the owner wanted to get rid of were falling apart and no good. So I decided to make my own, and decided to share with you the process. I'm no expert, and I'm sure there's going to be some negative reactions to this, but hopefully this helps some of you who use your lawn tractor for snow removal.

I started by making a frame that will allow the bolts to be placed through them. I used 1/2" EMT and rebar welded together. My hopes are that this will bring some rigidity to the finished product, and the EMT creates holes for the bolts to go through. Note: EMT is galvanized and should be welded in an area with good ventilation.

I then drilled 2 holes in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket and hot glued the EMT sticking out about a half inch out of the bottom. I then added chicken wire to help keep the concrete together. I then mixed up a bag of concrete and poured it in, tapping the sides with a rubber mallet and poking a stick in to release any air bubbles. I used a 55lb bag of quikrete pre mixed concrete for each weight.

After letting it dry for around 48 hours I tipped them over outside, cut the hot glue off, and stomped on the bottom of the bucket until it came out. I brought the 2 pieces in and let it dry for another 24 hours just to be safe.

To mount it I used 1/2" by 12" long carriage bolts, a washer and nylock nut.

Each one of these weighed about 60lbs when I weighed them, but they may have had a bit more moisture in them to get rid of, so in the end they may end up being 50-55lbs. Overall adding at least another 100lbs to the rear axle without adding that weight for the transaxel bearings to handle.

One thing that ended up differently than I had hoped is that the taper of the bucket ended up making the weight wedge itself into the rim, instead of clamping down on the EMT like I had hoped, but it should still work fine.

Let me know what you think and if this helped you out at all!
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Steel weighs 500 lb per cu-ft. Concrete weighs150.
Hmmm, that was interesting thanks for posting. I will have to remember this just incase I need it for when I start tractor pulling
Great job man. Concrete costs $.05/lb. Steel costs $1/lb. So $3 vs $60 is a great value.
Hey guys and gals! I have a 1970s Sears st16 that I use year round. In the summer I mow my grass with it and the winter I have a snow blower on it. I have chains on it but last winter I had problems with losing traction constantly, and had to pull it out of tight spots multiple times. Looking online they made wheel weights for it, but the only pair I was able to find locally that the owner wanted to get rid of were falling apart and no good. So I decided to make my own, and decided to share with you the process. I'm no expert, and I'm sure there's going to be some negative reactions to this, but hopefully this helps some of you who use your lawn tractor for snow removal.

I started by making a frame that will allow the bolts to be placed through them. I used 1/2" EMT and rebar welded together. My hopes are that this will bring some rigidity to the finished product, and the EMT creates holes for the bolts to go through. Note: EMT is galvanized and should be welded in an area with good ventilation.

I then drilled 2 holes in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket and hot glued the EMT sticking out about a half inch out of the bottom. I then added chicken wire to help keep the concrete together. I then mixed up a bag of concrete and poured it in, tapping the sides with a rubber mallet and poking a stick in to release any air bubbles. I used a 55lb bag of quikrete pre mixed concrete for each weight.

After letting it dry for around 48 hours I tipped them over outside, cut the hot glue off, and stomped on the bottom of the bucket until it came out. I brought the 2 pieces in and let it dry for another 24 hours just to be safe.

To mount it I used 1/2" by 12" long carriage bolts, a washer and nylock nut.

Each one of these weighed about 60lbs when I weighed them, but they may have had a bit more moisture in them to get rid of, so in the end they may end up being 50-55lbs. Overall adding at least another 100lbs to the rear axle without adding that weight for the transaxel bearings to handle.

One thing that ended up differently than I had hoped is that the taper of the bucket ended up making the weight wedge itself into the rim, instead of clamping down on the EMT like I had hoped, but it should still work fine.

Let me know what you think and if this helped you out at all!
View attachment 2529402
View attachment 2529404
View attachment 2529403 View attachment 2529405 View attachment 2529406
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Reactions: PCChazter
Thanks! I was going to try my hand at moulding with lead, but the person that was supposed to get me a bunch of old wheel weights never did. So concrete it is!
Great job man. Concrete costs $.05/lb. Steel costs $1/lb. So $3 vs $60 is a great value.
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If you want to dress it up or bevel the edges/smooth the end I used one of these to bevel my garage floor after a remodel left me with a 1" step down. It worked great.

Thanks! I was going to try my hand at moulding with lead, but the person that was supposed to get me a bunch of old wheel weights never did. So concrete it is!
Thanks, I might leave the edges to see what kind of damage it ends up with and where, but I wasn't sure what I could grind it with if I wanted to.
If you want to dress it up or bevel the edges/smooth the end I used one of these to bevel my garage floor after a remodel left me with a 1" step down. It worked great.

Look's good !! here's a question and a suggestion ! Are you in an area where winter salting of the roads occur's where you're going to be using this new weight set-up ?? The salt will cause the concrete to spalt !
I 'd suggest that you get a gallon of thompson's water seal and coat both weights really well with it after it has cured well and before you get into the salt !!! Over the years ,and a lot of concrete jobs , I've used this method to keep the concrete from falling apart . All in all , cheap protection from the get go !!
Hey guys and gals! I have a 1970s Sears st16 that I use year round. In the summer I mow my grass with it and the winter I have a snow blower on it. I have chains on it but last winter I had problems with losing traction constantly, and had to pull it out of tight spots multiple times. Looking online they made wheel weights for it, but the only pair I was able to find locally that the owner wanted to get rid of were falling apart and no good. So I decided to make my own, and decided to share with you the process. I'm no expert, and I'm sure there's going to be some negative reactions to this, but hopefully this helps some of you who use your lawn tractor for snow removal.

I started by making a frame that will allow the bolts to be placed through them. I used 1/2" EMT and rebar welded together. My hopes are that this will bring some rigidity to the finished product, and the EMT creates holes for the bolts to go through. Note: EMT is galvanized and should be welded in an area with good ventilation.

I then drilled 2 holes in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket and hot glued the EMT sticking out about a half inch out of the bottom. I then added chicken wire to help keep the concrete together. I then mixed up a bag of concrete and poured it in, tapping the sides with a rubber mallet and poking a stick in to release any air bubbles. I used a 55lb bag of quikrete pre mixed concrete for each weight.

After letting it dry for around 48 hours I tipped them over outside, cut the hot glue off, and stomped on the bottom of the bucket until it came out. I brought the 2 pieces in and let it dry for another 24 hours just to be safe.

To mount it I used 1/2" by 12" long carriage bolts, a washer and nylock nut.

Each one of these weighed about 60lbs when I weighed them, but they may have had a bit more moisture in them to get rid of, so in the end they may end up being 50-55lbs. Overall adding at least another 100lbs to the rear axle without adding that weight for the transaxel bearings to handle.

One thing that ended up differently than I had hoped is that the taper of the bucket ended up making the weight wedge itself into the rim, instead of clamping down on the EMT like I had hoped, but it should still work fine.

Let me know what you think and if this helped you out at all!
View attachment 2529402
View attachment 2529404
View attachment 2529403 View attachment 2529405 View attachment 2529406
Might want to watch when plowing next to curbing or anything for that matter. They really stick out there.. I see those bolts being fence grabbers.
Turn your bolts around, nuts and excess bolt on the inside of the wheel, plenty of room in there for it.
Also you will catch them on things from time to time, those bolts would really make a mess out of a wire fence, treated wood steps, fence posts or anything else they may contact.
That is how the stock Craftsman wheel weight mounted, regular nuts not nylock, no trouble with them backing off.
Stock wheel weights were 52 pounds each with a huge pie section cut out to allow access the tire valve.
I was running a double set of stock weights on my tractor, and with two huge pie sections out on each side, it does make for a balance problem going downhill if you get up any speed.
Stock weights were 12 7/8 inch in diameter, so they actually rode against the outside sidewall of the tire just outside the rim.

You may also want to consider what I am doing on my tractor.
I am welding up the stock valve stem holes on the outside of the rim and moving mine to the inside of the rim.
That way I can add air without removing my weights.

And that does bring up another question, where is your valve stem in relation to the weight?
The valve stems are actually already on the inside. The bolts are carriage bolts, and the rims have square holes, so not going to work the other way around, at least with the bolts I have. I don't have much that I'm worried about grabbing, and my snow blower is pretty wide so I don't think the tires stock out past it. I will be cutting off the excess bolt, just didn't want to be hasty and cut off too much.
Turn your bolts around, nuts and excess bolt on the inside of the wheel, plenty of room in there for it.
Also you will catch them on things from time to time, those bolts would really make a mess out of a wire fence, treated wood steps, fence posts or anything else they may contact.
That is how the stock Craftsman wheel weight mounted, regular nuts not nylock, no trouble with them backing off.
Stock wheel weights were 52 pounds each with a huge pie section cut out to allow access the tire valve.
I was running a double set of stock weights on my tractor, and with two huge pie sections out on each side, it does make for a balance problem going downhill if you get up any speed.
Stock weights were 12 7/8 inch in diameter, so they actually rode against the outside sidewall of the tire just outside the rim.

You may also want to consider what I am doing on my tractor.
I am welding up the stock valve stem holes on the outside of the rim and moving mine to the inside of the rim.
That way I can add air without removing my weights.

And that does bring up another question, where is your valve stem in relation to the weight?
Well thinking back a little, the stock wheel weights did have hex head bolts with a washer under the head on the outside that fit down in a depression in the wheel weight.
Inside was a washer and the nut.
When installing by myself, I was always happy to have the extra bolt length.
The weight did not have to be in the exact position it would be in when everything was tight to get the nut started.
If it would have had to be in the exact final position and no extra bolt length, installing the weights would have been a two person job.

I leave mine on year round, I need mine for mowing and do not do snow removal with my tractor.
Two sets of stock weights were as wide as my 50" deck on both sides, so they did get rubbed on a few trees and a few curbs.

I am going to lead weights probably this winter.
More weight and stick out less, plus after years of rubbing this and that, one of my stock weights crumbled into nothing, so I had to take off the outside set to keep it balanced.
Interesting. I've been trying to think of a good way to make a depression for the nut and washer after the fact, I could cut more off the bolts then. A bit relieving that your stock weights stick out so far, I had a few people on a different group try telling me having them sticking so far out was bad for the transaxle, but I'm pretty sure they didn't know what they were talking about.

I don't think I need them all year round, I didn't have any problems mowing without them, it was just when I tried to snow blow a foot of snow on top of a crust of ice from the last snow fall that I had problems. It would seem like it's working fine, but then I'd go to back out and sink into the bottom layer of snow. Either way I'm probably going to make some lead weights at some point in the future, for the same reasons as you, but for now this will work.
Well thinking back a little, the stock wheel weights did have hex head bolts with a washer under the head on the outside that fit down in a depression in the wheel weight.
Inside was a washer and the nut.
When installing by myself, I was always happy to have the extra bolt length.
The weight did not have to be in the exact position it would be in when everything was tight to get the nut started.
If it would have had to be in the exact final position and no extra bolt length, installing the weights would have been a two person job.

I leave mine on year round, I need mine for mowing and do not do snow removal with my tractor.
Two sets of stock weights were as wide as my 50" deck on both sides, so they did get rubbed on a few trees and a few curbs.

I am going to lead weights probably this winter.
More weight and stick out less, plus after years of rubbing this and that, one of my stock weights crumbled into nothing, so I had to take off the outside set to keep it balanced.
If you want lead wheel weights to make the weights, get them now.
I don't think any new wheel weights are lead anymore.
I bought 4 buckets of wheel weights from a local tire shop.
Mix of lead, zinc, steel and a couple variations of plastic coated zinc or steel.

Also 1 cubic foot of _ weighs:
Concrete 150.1632
Aluminum 165.88 melts at 1240
Cast Iron 449.28 melts at 2200
Lead 706.752 melts at 621
Steel 487.296 melts at 1540
Zinc 426.383 melts at 788

If you melt lead, steel will float on top of the lead, easy to separate since steel melts at 1540 versus 621 for lead.
Zinc however melts at 788 and much lighter than lead. Since it melts at a temp just above lead, even though it floats on lead, it will probably melt into you molten metal before you can skim it off.
When you pour your metal into a form, once it is removed from the form you can see a different color where the zinc has risen to the top as it was poured.
I started checking my weights and separating them before I melt them.
With side cutters, lead marks easily.
Steel no mark at all.
Zinc a very light mark.

I made a wood plug that goes inside the wheel at a diameter of 9 7/8" and a thickness of 2" to make my green sand form with.
If that form was filled with _ it would weigh:
Concrete 13.31 pounds
Aluminum 14.7
Cast iron 39.82
Lead 62.64
Steel 43.19
Zinc 37.68

Those numbers do not account for the bolt holes, which in lead 4 5/8" holes 2 inches deep equals 1 pound.
Since I will be stacking my weights, I was going with the stock wheel weight layout, 4 holes.
The inner weight uses 2 holes to mount, the outer weight uses the other 2 holes to mount.
That feature alone makes it possible to mount them by yourself.

As far as the weight or sticking outside the tire, after 20 years of running that setup, the only thing that has failed on my tractor was the disc brake disc itself.
The grooves inside where it mounts on the shaft from inside the axle housing stripped out.
The shaft was fine, I just had to replace the disc.
My yard is extremely steep though, so the brakes do get a workout every time I mow.

One more word of warning, well maybe two words.
Heating lead hot enough to cast, have good ventilation, preferably outside.
Make sure what you are adding to the melt pot is dry, a drop of water can have very bad results.

With wheel weights the water is not that much of an issue.
I do aluminum casting as well, much higher temps and the possibility of water inside something you are adding to the melt pot.
Years ago i worked at an aluminum extrusion factory. They bought all their aluminum logs we used to extrude. The front office looked at all the scrap the factory produced making windows and doors, and how much that scrap cost to recycle. So they bought a furnace to melt it all down and recast into logs. (Logs are 9" diameter and 12 feet long aluminum)
The storage for the scrap was outside, in Virginia.
Rain and snow water got in some of the extrusions, which when dumped into the furnace at 1600 degrees turned into steam instantly. The resulting explosion blew the top of the furnace off, molten aluminum went everywhere, including down over the forklift and it's driver. He and one other person did not make it through that event. Molten metal and splashes do not mix. I was an industrial maintenance mechanic at that factory, I knew both of them.
Lots of good information there, thank you very much, I will be using this when I go to make the weights out of lead. I'm sorry to hear about your friends, I will definitely make sure to be careful of any moisture.
If you want lead wheel weights to make the weights, get them now.
I don't think any new wheel weights are lead anymore.
I bought 4 buckets of wheel weights from a local tire shop.
Mix of lead, zinc, steel and a couple variations of plastic coated zinc or steel.

Also 1 cubic foot of _ weighs:
Concrete 150.1632
Aluminum 165.88 melts at 1240
Cast Iron 449.28 melts at 2200
Lead 706.752 melts at 621
Steel 487.296 melts at 1540
Zinc 426.383 melts at 788

If you melt lead, steel will float on top of the lead, easy to separate since steel melts at 1540 versus 621 for lead.
Zinc however melts at 788 and much lighter than lead. Since it melts at a temp just above lead, even though it floats on lead, it will probably melt into you molten metal before you can skim it off.
When you pour your metal into a form, once it is removed from the form you can see a different color where the zinc has risen to the top as it was poured.
I started checking my weights and separating them before I melt them.
With side cutters, lead marks easily.
Steel no mark at all.
Zinc a very light mark.

I made a wood plug that goes inside the wheel at a diameter of 9 7/8" and a thickness of 2" to make my green sand form with.
If that form was filled with _ it would weigh:
Concrete 13.31 pounds
Aluminum 14.7
Cast iron 39.82
Lead 62.64
Steel 43.19
Zinc 37.68

Those numbers do not account for the bolt holes, which in lead 4 5/8" holes 2 inches deep equals 1 pound.
Since I will be stacking my weights, I was going with the stock wheel weight layout, 4 holes.
The inner weight uses 2 holes to mount, the outer weight uses the other 2 holes to mount.
That feature alone makes it possible to mount them by yourself.

As far as the weight or sticking outside the tire, after 20 years of running that setup, the only thing that has failed on my tractor was the disc brake disc itself.
The grooves inside where it mounts on the shaft from inside the axle housing stripped out.
The shaft was fine, I just had to replace the disc.
My yard is extremely steep though, so the brakes do get a workout every time I mow.

One more word of warning, well maybe two words.
Heating lead hot enough to cast, have good ventilation, preferably outside.
Make sure what you are adding to the melt pot is dry, a drop of water can have very bad results.

With wheel weights the water is not that much of an issue.
I do aluminum casting as well, much higher temps and the possibility of water inside something you are adding to the melt pot.
Years ago i worked at an aluminum extrusion factory. They bought all their aluminum logs we used to extrude. The front office looked at all the scrap the factory produced making windows and doors, and how much that scrap cost to recycle. So they bought a furnace to melt it all down and recast into logs. (Logs are 9" diameter and 12 feet long aluminum)
The storage for the scrap was outside, in Virginia.
Rain and snow water got in some of the extrusions, which when dumped into the furnace at 1600 degrees turned into steam instantly. The resulting explosion blew the top of the furnace off, molten aluminum went everywhere, including down over the forklift and it's driver. He and one other person did not make it through that event. Molten metal and splashes do not mix. I was an industrial maintenance mechanic at that factory, I knew both of them.
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