I've always been a big believer in one wheel on each of the four corners of a car, so when it came time to send one of my front wheels to Mr. Stutzman for re-wooding, I purchased a "junk-wheel" to keep on the car in case it becomes necessary to roll it out of the garage while my serviceable wheel was away for its make-over.
Finding a spare wheel of the ball-bearing type wasn't too difficult and it looks in pretty good shape for the purpose intended, but I'd like to clean the innards and ball-bearings and pack it with grease before mounting it on my front spindle.
Now, the seal on the inboard side of the wheel (which is stamped "W.K. PRUDEN & CO * Lansing, MICH," if that means anything) is reluctant to part company with the hub, and before I grab a pneumatic crowbar and diesel-powered sledge hammer and apply such weapons of mass destruction in my usual bull-in-an-antique-shop manner, I figured it'd probably be a good idea to check in with the gang on the forum and see if there might be a more subtle and sophisticated technique of getting the seal out without damaging the hub. -
How would you do it?
Take good care of that Prudden wheel bearing seal retainer. The seal retainers on the earlier cars were stamped with the name of the manufacturer. Originals are quite rare and if you don't want it I am sure one of the Stynoski guys would like to have it.
As for getting it out just pry very carefully on the inside edge and try not to bend it. Someone else may have a better way to remove it without damage.
A couple small dents in the seal already Bob, and maybe at least 4 or 5 balls missing!
Dents can be fixed. Most of these just held a felt seal. Maybe you could just work the felt out, work the ball retainer forward then remove the balls, clean then work a new felts back in. I have a few with the name stamped on them but they are in a little worse shape.
Usually, those seem to come out easily. I use a slightly bent piece of 5/16 rod with a chisel tip to push them out from the other end. Replacing missing balls is tricky. The size must be an exact match! If a replacement is even slightly too big (we are talking about thousandths of an inch here), just rolling around the garage could destroy your bearing cone or race. If the replacement is too small? The original next to it can do the same thing. It is usually best to replace all at once with quality and appropriate size.
I also would agree that any of those surviving in decent condition should be preserved and used on a car that someone is trying to keep as correct as is reasonable.
The ball bearings are no longer listed in Lang's catalogue but my catalogues from Bob's and from Birdhaven still list them.
I'm a little surprised nobody has commented about those bolts.
Steve, they look like nuts to me. The bolts are ground down or hammered down flush with the nuts.
You will not damage the hub removing the tin seal however you do it. You can drive it from the other side with a chisel or a screwdriver or dowel. You can also run a few screws into the metal seal and pull it out.
The down side is ruining the tin seal stamped "Lansing Michigan" that can't be replaced. The hub is common but that retainer is unique. I was born in Lansing and live just outside the city.
I would heat the flange of the hub hot and try to move the retainer gently with a wood dowel to save it..no hammering and push on the inside edge really carefully. Heat will break up the grease and expand the hub to save the retainer. There are thousands of hubs but very few retainers that nice marked "Lansing Michigan".
Along with Hayes, Kelsey, and a few others, Prudden was one of Ford's wheel suppliers. I've found joint plates with a P on them, but never an inner seal like that. I agree that's rare enough to merit careful handling and preservation.
New balls are available at most hardware & building suppliers
Bob is that one of the two wheels I pulled out of the barn for you? as for the cover just heat it a little and hit it from the other side with a drift pin
I think I found the perfect title of my autobiography
Yes it is. -Now that the holidays are over, I have time to deal with having my front wheels rebuilt. -Hopefully, they'll be done by the time the driving season arrives. - Happy new year!
I don't think this was addressed above. It looks like some of the balls are missing from the picture and others looked pitted. However, if you are just going to use it for rolling around in the garage, It probably wouldn't hurt anything if you just clean it up and leave as is, but don't do any driving with it that way.
Oh, no. -I wouldn't drive on this wheel. -I just like the idea of being able to roll the car out of my attached garage in case the gas tank starts leaking or something like that. -Otherwise, I'd just let it sit with a jack-stand under one corner.