Iím having difficulty removing the wood spoke rear wheel from the axle on my 1926 chassis. The car has not been running since the 1950ís so I canít drive in figure 8ís until it breaks loose.
So far Iíve tried using a 6 lb. sledge with a knocker and the opposite wheel jacked up and various pullers (while beating on the center bolt) with no luck. Using my little propane torch to heat up the hub didnít seem help either method at all.
Can I used an oxy-acetylene torch to heat up the hub without starting a fire? Iím worried there could a bunch of grease in the drum that could ignite.
Are there any other methods to try?
Have you tried the proper Ford puller designed to remove the wheel from the axle ? It threads on the hub then has a pinch bolt to hold it to minimize pulling the threads off the hub then tighten up the large center bolt.
Did your various pullers include one of these? If that doesn't do it, can you loosen the nut a little and have a helper tow you around to work the wheel loose?
Thanks for posting the photo of the correct puller, Steve.
I have never found a T hub I couldn't pull with the above puller. It is worth owning if you plan to play with T's
Thanks for the replies.
Yes I have tried the Ford puller as above but the treads on the puller I have aren't the best and it looked as if the puller was going damage the threads on the hub by sliding off. It seemed that I couldn't get a good grip because of the worn puller.
I hate to buy a new one because I'm switching to wire wheels. I suppose I could buy one, use it once and then sell it. (Yeah right, like I've EVER sold a tool in my life!!)
I had a T that had a wheel that wouldn't budge for any puller...so I did a few turns loose of the nut, put the cotter pin back in and went around the block. Pulled it back in the garage and the wheel came off- just needed to be jarred loose.
Is there an MTFCA or MTFCI chapter near you? If so, I can't imagine one of their members wouldn't loan you a puller. (Especially if you were to join their chapter, which makes the whole Model T thing at least twice as much fun anyway)
Have you tried heating the hub right over the keyway? Pounding on the end of the axle could damage the end of the axle which would lead to replacement of the axle. However a nut part way on the end of the axle with another large bolt threaded into it until the bolt is tight against the axle with the opposite wheel off the ground hit the bolt hard. Try to hit it squarely so as not to damage the axle. Also applying some heat to the hub tap the side of the hub opposite the keyway. The taper of the axle should cause a sideways tap to move the hub outward.
Also try all of the above suggestions. The hub will eventually come off or something will be broken. If you really need the hub off, and it won't come off, being broken will be no worse than not being able to get it off.
KANSAS CITY CHUGGERS
14226 NW Tiffany Park Road
Kansas City, MO 64153
MTFCA Chapter, (maybe the same as MTFCI?)
Kansas City Chuggers
c/o Ms. Sandy Best
721 NE Mulberry St
Lees Summit, MO 65086
Thanks all! I went ahead and ordered a repo puller so I'll give that a try next. I'd like to pull the car around the block but the tires are rotted away. Meanwhile, I'm hitting the keyway/ hub with Kroil each day and will be hoping for the best when the puller arrives.
Jerry, thanks for the club info. I've been meaning to join.
Some further thoughts
Put your puller on and tighten the pinch bolt
Tighten the pull bolt as hard as you dare
Grab your cutting torch and using high heat, heat along the hub area adjacent to the keyway. Localize the heat along the keyway. When the spokes just start to smoke, give it a good hard smack with your big hammer and put some more torque on the pull bolt and smack it again!!!
Whatever happens then spray some water on the smoking wood
Sometimes putting on the puller as tight as you can get and let it set overnight or for a few days, each day trying to tighten it farther it will eventually give a big bang and come loose. Heat around the key, but unless you plan to replace the spokes do not get so hot they smoke!
That's the one job I hate - getting the back wheels off.
I drive around with the puller on and the nut loosened a couple of turns and drive over as many bumps as I can find. The catch is the car has to be drivable.
I have the puller in Steve's photo.
Unfortunately in a REAL tough case all it does is expand and mash the threads on the axle........
I took a nut and welded a small piece of 3/8"...YES 3/8"...flat stock to the nut to screw onto the axle FIRST and THEN apply the puller.
No more mashed threads........
I found I needed a 10 to 12 pound hammer and a really hard swing to pop the wheels loose. That tapered connection between the u=hub and axle gets a strong hold. Rust over many years probably makes it worse.
I have an aftermarket puller similar to what is shown above, but the bolt in the center is hollow. It has a 'punch' made into that hollow bolt that slides back and forth inside the bolt maybe 3/4" or so. You tighten the bolt, then pop the punch part with a hammer. Works pretty good. Mine is for the TT, but I bet one was made for the T as well.
For posterity I wanted give an update on how I was able to remove a rear wood spoke wheel that I thought I was going to have to destroy to get it off the axle.
To Steve, Steve, Les, Jerry and anybody else who suggested I get the proper Ford tool, I humbly bow before thee!
In previous attempts to remove the wheel, I had wailed on the center bolt of a monster three jaw puller that was pulling to the point I was sure something would break, beat the heck out of an axle knocker with a giant sludge hammer and used heat to no avail.
Following suggestions here, I went ahead and ordered a Ford type puller (and a thread chaser to be sure the puller properly took hold) from Birdhaven (Thanks for the tootsie rolls!).
I cleaned up the hubcap threads, screwed on the puller, tightened the clamp bolt and tightened the center bolt as tight as I could get it. Then I hit the center bolt three or four times with a 4 lb. hammer and retightened the center bolt again about half a turn and - BOOM - off came the wheel! The entire process Ė from opening the box with the puller to placing the wheel in the swap meet pile Ė took less than 15 minutes.
Nothing like the right tool for the job and friends to tell you when you need to use them!
Most thoughtful that you followed up with results. It's most appreciated and often isn't done. Thank you. Many MANY people follow these posts without commenting and I'm sure a few are now more certain of how to do something correctly after seeing empirical results of good advice.
This is always an interesting topic no matter how often it comes up. But here is my question:
Is there any damage resulting from loosening the axle nut and driving the car to break the hub loose ? I hear lots of stories about possible damage from using knockers and pullers, but what about the drive-around method ?
Is it possible that the drive-around method is least likely to do harm ?
When reinstalling a rear wheel, is there any precaution that might make it easier to remove the wheel in the future ? i.e. Possibly putting anti-seize on the shaft during reinstall ?
1. I have NEVER had any damage caused by using the proper puller shown above. And I have removed some really really tight hubs.
2. Really you want the hub TIGHT. I have seen lots and lots of damage caused by hubs not being tight enough!! Worn tapers, worn out keyways, and worst of all lost rear wheels when the cotter pin lets go and the nut comes right off!!
Good to hear that, Brian. Ford did actually design some great service tools in the time frame these old jalopies were being mass produced. I started collecting Ford Service Tools before I owned a Model T - I inherited my Gramps' TT truck so I knew there would be a day I would have to learn how to work on these relics ! Well, one model T snowballed into half a dozen - kinda like Lays potato chips !
I would not use anything on the taper. Anything in between the two surfaces is taking up space. Once it is squeezed out, it's loose.
I agree with Hal. However, when you re-install the wheels be sure to check for taper wear. If it's worn the wheel will cinch up a little inboard of where it should be. This can typically be seen at the juncture of the brake drum and the backing plate. It could also cause the edge of the brake shoes to rub on the flat inside surface of the brake drum.
If it does show signs of wear, the cheap fix is to shim it. Some of the vendors have the shims. If it's a TT you'll probably need to fabricate a shim from some shim material.
Of course the best fix is to replace the axle with one that's not worn.
To save having issues removing wheels again you can modify like this
LOL. I thought Steve was making a funny by telling us to use lacquer thinner between the axle and wheel before I realized that he was talking about a shim.
You might also apply some of this onto the axle taper and keyway. It won't allow the hub to sieze to the axle and helps the puller do its job with a little less strain.
And then again, maybe it's good that it normally takes a lot of force (with the proper tool) to break a rear wheel loose from the axle,......???
I've never met a hub that I couldn't pull using the Ford puller. I've met a lot more of them which would come off without the puller. None of that slippery stuff will go in there on my cars!
I live next door here in Independence, Mo. I'm in the phone book and your welcome to come over as I have the puller in the picture and we can see about getting your wheel off. Also, I use a Model A wire wheel puller to get my '26 wheels of as I have not seen an original puller for the wires and it works just fine. I believe my E-mail is in my profile, if not let me know here.
Ford wire wheel hub puller:
Mike Garrett, I wouldn't recommend an anti seize product on the axle taper. In fact, I want it as clean and dry as possible. The idea of a taper fit is that it jams itself to a solid connection. If you do this, the key would be taking all the stress. I've seen taper fits with no key used in power transfer and no lube is ever used since it prevents lock up.
Have you tried a air chisel with a smoothing head?
The head is used to flatting rivets.
Turn the axle nut on backwards with the nut flush with the end of the axle.
I used about 60 lbs air pressure and my wheel jumped of the axle.
Steve- I could use a wire-wheel puller for my '27. Is anyone reproducing those?
No, not being reproduced that I know of and original Ford pullers are a bit scarce - I see early Model A hub pullers at swap meet and they will also work as Joseph stated above.
There is one product I have been converted to use on mis-matched/worn axle tapers/hubs. I was converted by a farmer who swore by it for quick, easy and repeatable repairs on his farm machinery and his T rear wheels.
Loctite Quick metal. It fills small voids around the key and the axle keyway and the hub taper. I had to remove his rear wheels to replace the babbit thrusts. To get it apart, all that was needed was heat on the end of the hub just enough to avoid any damage to the paintwork.
This is no substitute for a rebuild, but I have found it a safe and reliable repair until the rebuild is necessary.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.