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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my Compact 24 for three years. After the first season, I took off the wheels and used synthetic grease on the axels. Even then, the wheels were difficult to remove. This third season it sat unused as N.Y. had no blower worthy snow. I decided it was time to reapply grease to the axels. This time, I had a terrible time getting the wheels off. I beat the wheel with a rubber mallet, while my wife pried the opposite side with a 3ft 2x4. [good wife] The left side took 20min to remove. I cleaned the axel with degreaser and a Scotch Brite. I used Loctite 51002 Copper Anti Seize on the axel. The wheel now moved easily across the axel. The right side took 35min of swearing before the wheel came off. I cleaned it up and smeared the axel with Anti Seize. When I put the wheel back, it was very tight, and I had to use the mallet to get it down the shaft. I feels like the machined pieces were a little too tight. Is there anything I can do to make this job go smoother in the future? Is this a manufacture tolerance issue? Thanks
 

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Never Seize is a must for metal on metal where it is going to be separated in the future.

If you have to beat a wheel onto its axle, something is very wrong.

I would either clean up the axle better, or run a hone through the hub of the wheel, and/or both.
 

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+1 on what ONEACRE said.
 

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If you have to beat a wheel onto its axle, something is very wrong.

I would either clean up the axle better, or run a hone through the hub of the wheel, and/or both.
Oof, yeah, what oneacer said. If you have to hammer it *on*, something is really wrong.

As much of a pain as it would be to take the wheel off again now, this is the easiest it will be. As it sits and tries to rust, it'll only get tougher to remove again (plus it's unlikely to be needed at the moment).

Do you have a gear puller, or similar? That would make the removal process much simpler, and would also be easier on the machine. You wouldn't be trying to yank the axle out of it during the process.

After removing it, I'd go with what oneacer said. Try to reduce the outside diameter of the axle, or bore out the wheel slightly. Ensure you can get the wheel to slide on freely, the coat everything liberally with anti-seize, and re-assemble it.
 

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I have to agree. Soak it down with some penetrating oil like PB Blaster and work that wheel off with the least amount of pounding possible. Better yet some sort of puller.

Sand the shaft clean and if you can get a small hone or just a rod and tape some sandpaper on with a hand drill and clean out that wheel bore. The video shows cutting a slot and you'd have two ends sticking out. You can easily DIY that with a chunk of wood dowel available at a big box store. I've always duct taped it onto a chunk of steel but I like the idea in the video and then you have a reusable tool.
I love anti-seize on nuts and bolts but on a looser fit like this I like grease.
Wife deserves some chocolate :wink2:

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Right angle grinder, wire cup and a flap disk, if not a hand file.
 

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I remove the wheels each spring and grease them and the axles with "waterproof" grease. What is left of the old grease is brown, but the wheels come off easily. As well as cleaning the contact surfaces of wheels and axles, also check and clean the woodruff key and the slots in axle and wheel because they are a tight fit. Ensure there are no burrs on the key. I put a little taper on the key where it encounters the bottom of the wheel slot to make the alignment easier since the tolerances are too tight for me.

If you have auto-Turn then take the time to remove the circlip holding the right side outer axle in place on the long axle and remove the outer axle for greasing the inside. When putting the axle back into the differential you need to lift up the washer next to the differential to allow the outer axle to engage the splines.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks so much for all the inciteful suggestions. I will work on this soon. I do not have machine shop equipment. I think I'll remove both wheels, and take them to a friend for honing. I'm a bit offended that this expensive Snowblower has such weak tolerances. You guys are the best, and yes, chocolate for the wife.
 

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Forget the anti-seize and go get a tub of blue grease (AKA boat trailer wheel bearing grease). That stuff is made for salt water immersion, it's an incredibly waterproof high temp grease, and it will outperform anti-seize times 10. Cheap too.
 

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try getting some plumbing "cleaning cloth" to use on the axles - basically it's flexible sandpaper that's used to clean copper tubing before "sweating" (soldering) it to a fitting. you should clean off all the grease and then sand the axles with the cloth till it smooth and shiny - you may get enough off to make the wheels fit back on, you can also put some on a wooden dowel and clean inside the wheel hub
good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great advice here. I have my Amazon order ready with emery cloth, and cone shaped sanding attachment for drills. Thanks again.
 

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When the metal begins to rust, it actually swells. The axle will become thicker and the bore hole in the wheel will become smaller causing an "Interference" fit, causing the wheel to seize onto the shaft.
It technically "Welds" itself together, chemically and physically.
I always remove the wheels and grease to axle shaft and inner wheel axle hole once a season to help prevent that from happening. A good waterproof grease or a good grade normal grease usually does the trick and usually outlasts "Never-seize".
Never-seize will help if that's all you have. Never-seize is made up from oil and either aluminum or copper powder mixed in with the oil to give a coating of a different type of metal as a barrier between the two steel parts, so it helps keep the two steel parts from sticking to each other because of a different type of metal barrier in-between the 2 steel parts.
The grease normally sticks on the surface longer than the oil does, but either will work better than nothing and having the steel un-coated with anything at all, to help prevent rust and sticking together.
Once the oil dries up in the Never-seize, you are just left with the copper or aluminum as a barrier between the 2 parts - axle and wheel. The grease doesn't dry out as fast as the oil does.
 
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