I am planning to refinish the wheels on my 1927 Touring.I am concerned about the hubs however, as after I removed the hubcaps from the front hubs, they will not go back on easily. It appears to me that the hubs have swollen slightly. This doesn't seem to be a problem with the rear hubs so I assume that the heat generated by the front bearings has expanded the hubs. Any suggestions on how to deal with this?
either that or someone removing the outer race with a screwdriver or a punch and a large hammer and hitting too much on one side!
Yes, the problem could be boogered-up threads. If so, you'll need some exercise with a thread file.
I use my KR Wilson hub thread chaser to fix hub threads. Orange arrow points to it in this picture. Maybe someone in your local club has one? This tool, and the similar looking exhaust manifold thread chaser should be reproduced by someone.
I doubt if you hub has swollen! You may want to take a closer look at the hub cap. However, if the threads are damaged, the tool Royce pictured above is a fine tool to restore threads.
There was also a hub thread tool made by Stevens. I've been looking for one for years. I'll probably end up making my own.
Wayne Sheldon made a hub thread die out of a cheap 3/8" die with the same 24 tpi. See this thread:
I've re-sized front hub threads using a rear wheel puller. Install the puller and tighten the bolt. The loosen the bolt and remove the puller. The hub cap went on easily after that.
Now that's an idea, John
I had a problem getting a cap on the right front wheel when I first started driving with my primitive pickup, that's why it has a Cream Soda can taped on the hub in my profile photo.. I had time to find the thread file when I got back from the maiden drive - just some tape to seal the bearing from shavings, a few minutes with the file and the Ford hubcap fit allright
I might suggest using the hub puller and adding some fine valve grinding compound just to help clean the threads and add a bit of lubrication as well.
BCG -- Wouldn't that method also grind the threads of the puller?
I don't think I'd use the valve grinding compound. It would have an effect on both the hub and hub puller. If the threads are a little dirty afterwards, use one of these http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/373
The problem with the one-piece chaser is that you have to screw it on from the outer end, which is where the damaged threads usually are. I think I'll use Wayne's method.
Look closely at the front hub outer bearing races to be sure they are not cracked. A cracked/split bearing race will expand the hub nose and cause a tight fit with the hub cap.
Thanks guys for all your great suggestions. I am presently in sunny Florida. As soon as I return home to the Great White North I will tackle the hubs. Should have them fixed by the time the snow disappears. Talked to my daughter today and she says that the guard rails along the highway have started to re-appear after hibernating for the winter.
For what it is worth, I had the same problem mentioned about the thread chaser (the one that is sold by many of the T parts guys). I could not get it to start without going crooked. An elderly friend solved the problem. He put the chase in a vice and lowered the wheel onto it. He could easily see if it were crooked and the weight of the wheel was enough that he wasn't concerned with pushing the wheel down on the chase. Worked very well.
I have an early front hub that I need chased. It is not mounted, I was just getting ready to send parts to Stutzman's.
Would one of you guys that has an original KRW thread chaser be willing to clean it up for me if I mail it to you with a return shipping label? It does measure out slightly larger than it's matting hub and I cannot get a hub puller to start on it correctly, but it starts on the other 3 hubs just fine.
I used a hub cap that I filed 3 grooves equally spaced through the inside threads with a triangle file. It wont cut new threads, but it will clean up dirty and buggered lead or mid travel threads. Just use like a die, with slow quarter turns and back one, it cleans them up pretty good. Plus you can just put it back on the car when you're done I keep it on the right rear hub.
I will fix it for you. Send me a PM.
I had my hands on one of those Stevens chasers years ago while first arriving at Hershey. Told myself "I'll grab that on the way back to the car a little later". I'm sure you all know how that turned out...
Thanks Royce, message sent!