Wheel removal - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 19 Old 11-18-2018, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Wheel removal

I have a 2011 Craftsman 26" 2 stage snowblower. Does anyone have any tricks to removing the wheels? They should slip right off and they don`t look rusty but they won`t budge. I`ve got them soaking with Kroil. I`ve been wacking away on the tires with a dead blow hammer but no movement.
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post #2 of 19 Old 11-18-2018, 06:20 PM
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Hammer, wheel/gear puller, then heat. Penetrant - Combo of synthetic oil, alcohol, and automatic trans fluid.

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post #3 of 19 Old 11-18-2018, 06:25 PM
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to SBF kennyz

Be careful on the "wacking" as it's likely on that machine the only thing on the other side is a 1/4" pin against the axle shaft bushing in the case that keeps the shaft in place. Same if you try to pry between the wheel and the case.
Worst case you might need to drain it and stand it on it's side so one wheel is against the ground and hammer on the other wheel at the hub to see if you can break it free.
Good thing is if you're not needing to get the wheel off for some repair it's usable this season and you can worry about it in spring

Does that model just have a klik pin holding the wheel to the shaft or something else ??

Heat might be your friend. Repeatedly heating it up and soaking it as it's cooling down to get the Kroil sucked in there.

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post #4 of 19 Old 11-18-2018, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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No klik pin. There is a bolt and washer at the end of the axle that keeps the wheel from coming off. The wheel is kept centered by a spacer between the wheel and the body.
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post #5 of 19 Old 11-18-2018, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kennyz View Post
No klik pin. There is a bolt and washer at the end of the axle that keeps the wheel from coming off. The wheel is kept centered by a spacer between the wheel and the body.
Leave the bolts out and run it. I have seen this done with tillers.
And I believe instead of that bolt there should have been a clickpin.

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post #6 of 19 Old 11-18-2018, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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The bolt screws in to the end of the axle shaft. there is no hole in the wheel for a clickpin to go through. The hole in the center of the wheel has two flats which correspond to the flats on the axle. I was thinking about running it without the bolt though.
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post #7 of 19 Old 11-19-2018, 01:30 AM
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Try running it with no bolt.If the the wheel does not come off, I would leave it til spring.
It will probably work its way loose.

If you do damage to the axle or wheel then you have more problems.
I have found with augers sometimes it’s better to leave them seized then to do more damage.
If you are not needing to take it off,leave it till you don’t need the snowblower.

But if heating and pulling don’t work and you want it off,
Try taking the other wheel off and removing the axle completely,then you can work on it on a bench.
You can then take it to a shop and they can press the axle out of the wheel if needed.

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Last edited by Ian Ariens 924; 11-19-2018 at 01:39 AM.
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post #8 of 19 Old 11-19-2018, 05:49 AM
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In the worst cases where no amount of heating and beating will budge the wheel I will cut the axle in half then use a press. The $30 or so for a new axle is chump change in comparison.
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post #9 of 19 Old 11-19-2018, 03:13 PM
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Then your problem is that it's keyed. When you take the bolt off you should see the keyway in the wheel hub and matching to the shaft. Just more places for rust and corrosion. The other MTD option is the shaft has two flats opposite each other. In either case leaving the bolt off and trying to let it use it's own weight and ground friction to break it free isn't going to help. I had this problem with my Troy (MTD) and a Craftsman rider. The Troy let loose easier with a few soakings and some mild heat on the hub. Warm the hub up with propane and then as it's cooling hit it a few times with the penetrating fluid. The rider was a real nightmare and finally came loose after multiple touchings of the wheels hub and finally going all out with oxy/ace and burning off most of the paint and just not caring if I set the tire on fire. I got lucky and the wheel finally let go and I didn't destroy the axle seal on the hydro or damage the tire. The paint was another matter, that was toast so to speak.

If you have the patience, keep trying to soak it or if you want to get crazy use or try to get access to a torch.

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post #10 of 19 Old 11-19-2018, 05:50 PM
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Could you wedge something solid tightly between the blower's frame, and the inside of the wheel/tire? So that you're pulling the axle away from the blower's frame. Then use a punch or something, and a deadblow hammer, to try and drive the axle through the wheel. (Edit: It would likely only move a small amount, the amount of play in the axle, along its length. This might mainly be used to try and get them moving relative to each other) You might need to thread the bolt in tightly to the end of the axle, before hitting the axle with anything. That would help avoid damaging the threads at the end of the axle.

A gear puller might work, though it might require drilling some holes in the wheel, for something to attach to.

I think it's worth trying removing the bolts and running the machine. Also, with the bolts removed, twisting the machine back and forth might help create a little bit of movement between the wheel and the axle.

Once you get it off, coat the axle & wheel surfaces with anti-seize, or grease, etc, before re-assembling.

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Last edited by RedOctobyr; 11-19-2018 at 07:05 PM.
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