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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have a preference for the best bearing or gear pullers out there? As usual, opinions are all over the map out there on the internet as far as the best product for the price.

I know Spectrum has a blurb and a picture somewhere up on his website about putting some scrap metal plates together to work in conjunction with said pullers such as to save a couple of bucks, but I can't seem to find it on his website.

I recently solved the wonderful world snap ring pliers, also known as "retaining ring" pliers, so now is the time to take on the wonderful world of pullers.
 

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imho, if its just for basic " home workshop" use, princess auto/harbor freight tools are just fine. if you are pulling bearings on a daily basis.....up the quality, but still be prepared to improvise with whatever you get.
 

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I needed to pull a pulley hub off my impeller shaft last year. I was going to buy a puller, maybe from Harbor Freight, or something similar.

Then I stopped at an auto parts store on the way home, and borrowed a puller from them, for free. I got to use a better-quality tool, and it cost me $0.

If you're buying the tool to deal with a single problem (at least a just single problem at the moment), you might see if you can borrow a loaner tool.
 

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I stripped a set of Harbor Freight pullers on an impeller bearing. So if you want a long life tool this isn't it. I used an Auto zone free loaner one and the difference was night and day on the quality. To bad it didn't have the name brand on it. So my advice is don't get the HF set for any heavy duty use.
 

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i bought the 3pc harbor freight puller set and love it. only thing i would recommend would be to add locknuts to the bolts
 

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Like if you srcoll down here?

That is a small 2 /3 jaw from Sears I've had if for 20+ years. It's often used with the impact wrench and is like new. The input nut is 5/8 as I recall.

When I need a bigger reach I have the big 2 jaw from Sears (3/4" input). It knows the impact gun well. It was bought at the same time but Sears has replaced it once for a broken jaw.

Using an impact tool makes it a lot easier since you barely have to hold the item still.
 

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I had the set from harbor frieght. 2 smaller ones broke in less than 10 uses.
I went out a bought a OTC 6" 2/3 jaw puller. Already used it it 10 times without a single issue. Really heavy duty quality. I believe it was about $50. If your thinking about getting the harbor fright consider the OTC one. Lot less cursing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Correct - it's in the General Maintenance section at the very bottom under the heading "Pulling the End Bearing on a UniTrol Transmission".

A basic bearing/gear puller augmented in its task with the addition of the combination of two steels plates sandwiched between two large bolts.
 

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Using an impact tool makes it a lot easier since you barely have to hold the item still.
That's an interesting point. I hadn't considered using my impact wrench. I was trying to gradually ease into applying more and more force on the pulley, I hadn't considered impact tools along with the puller. That's a good thing to keep in mind, thanks.

I do have a Sears 2-jaw puller that I bought 15 years ago. Now I wish I'd sprung for the 3-jaw at the time, since that would have been more useful to me last year :redface:
 

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It depends on how badly things are stuck. You never know until you pull. So it's like gambling. MAYBE The Chinese Tool Store stuff will work, maybe it won't. And I can guarantee that, if you do this stuff long enough, there WILL be a time where it won't work. I like OTC, Mac and Snap-On. I bought a small puller from Advance Auto one time and bent it in about a minute.
 

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Apart from the best Puller . . . . what is the best technique for protecting the threads in the center hole of the shaft from which you're trying to pull a bearing or gear ?

For example, last year I had difficulty pulling the Bearing off of my Impeller Shaft. I succeeded; but damaged the internal threads on the Impeller Shaft because of its being subjected to the high pressure twisting action of the Puller's center.

I corrected this damage by having a correctly sized Tap run in to the hole in that shaft to refresh the threads; but what is the proper way to avoid that damage altogether ?

Some Friends have suggested lining the hole with a sacrificial layer of some soft metal like aluminum of copper, before setting the Puller in position; but I haven't had the opportunity to experiment.
 

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I'm not sure if I'm picturing this correctly.

Your impeller shaft has a smooth outside diameter, but a threaded hole at the end of the shaft? And you were putting the angled tip of the puller into this threaded hole?

I'd probably do something like thread a hex-head bolt into the hole, and get it snug. To give the puller tip a place to center itself, drill a small-diameter, short-depth hole in the center of the bolt head. If you have a drill press, it would be easier to hold the bolt still, while drilling it slightly. If you can't easily drill into the center, using a center punch (a punch with a pointed tip) would probably work. Or maybe grinding a spot in the bolt head with a Dremel.

Now, you'd have a little divot to keep the puller aligned. Snug the bolt into the end of the impeller shaft, so that most of the force from the puller will transfer from the bolt head, to the end of the shaft, not down through the threads.

You just want the bolt snug, so that the head is definitely against the end of the shaft, so that you know the bolt head can transfer force to the shaft, not just the threads. But don't torque it *tight*. If something goes wrong, and you have difficulty removing the bolt, there's no benefit that I can think of to having it anything more than snug. Anything further will just make it harder to unscrew.

This probably isn't perfect. If the bolt head starts to deform from the puller driving into it, the nearby threads could expand, and possible tighten against the inside of the hole. If the bolt started deforming, I'd stop, and try removing it, to see how it feels. But it seems like this would help protect the female threads in the hole from being damaged by the tip of the puller.

Sorry if I completely misunderstood your situation.
 

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+1 on putting the bolt back in. Any time you are pushing / hammering on a threaded something it is a good idea to put the nut or bolt back on it to protect the threads if you are trying to save them.

In your case even if you didn't have the correct bolt I bet a smaller one that just slides down the hole would help.

Another thing I have seen in some youtube videos is after you tighten the puller and get some pressure on it you can tap the driving screw with a hammer a few times. Apparently the vibrations from the hammering can help break the whatever free in addition to the simple pulling action.

The last thing is heat. While you have the puller tensioned you can apply heat to the outside piece and attempt to expand it over the inner piece to loosen the bond.
 

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RedOctobyr said:
". . . Sorry if I completely misunderstood your situation . . ."
No, you read it correctly . . . . except it's NOT a current situation; but one I encountered last Spring.

I think planning ahead and using a "Punch" to put a centered divot into the head on a sacrificial Bolt is probably the way to go, or trying to drill the beginning of a centering hole.

The underlying problem is probably that the individual is so frustrated with the inability to get the gear or bearing off, and so eager to employ the Puller as soon as it's available . . . . that pre-planning the usage of a Puller with anything that would protect the threads in the shaft is the last thing on their mind . . . . and like me, it's not thought about until after the damage has been done.

I probably won't be damaging such threads again . . . . or at least I hope I will have taken appropriate preventative measures.
 

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Harbor Freight or Ebay are workable for most situations. But why do you want the BEST gear puller??????

Why do you want the best of anything?

I use my tools for a lot more than just Snow Blowers. I own 2 diesel Pickups ect, ect. Usually better quality tools hold up, and do the job better, than the HF stuff.
 

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Loaners from the Auto part store is often a good approach. But keep in mind those tools take a beating and I have received kits with broken jaws and worn screws. Once I had to re-tap the main hole on one loaner tool to get it to work.

I always use a grade 5 or 8 bolt in the threaded holes. I have seen grade 5 bolts deform on very stubborn assemblies. If you can drill a small counter sink it the head to accept the point on the screw it can make an easier go of it by keeping everything centered. Assuming it has a point.

Always lubricate the screw! Use what every you have handy. The hammer method as described by Shryp and on YouTube has saved me once or twice.

If you are heart set on owning one, take a look at Sears or something up from the Cal Hawk or HF house line. The screws are made from cheap steal and not very hard. They will wear out on your first stubborn assembly. If by luck you never have a stubborn assembly the inexpensive Chinese versions may serve you well.

You also have to decide what size you want. One size does not fit all.

Cars and Machines change and they always seem to be challenging your tool inventory. NO Matter how large it is. The tool truck guys know this well.
Good Luck.
 
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