best way to remove riding mower wheel


Old 04-14-05, 07:20 PM
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best way to remove riding mower wheel

I just bought a riding mower/tractor used from a guy and it's in nice shape. I started out mowing this last weekend and the wheel popped off the rim. The wheel and the shaft both have a groove with some sort of key holding it together. How do I get this apart? (Beating on it with a hammer and hoping it would work loose didn't seem to get me far...)

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

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Old 04-14-05, 08:27 PM
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You are probably looking at an external snap ring. Look at it closely. You should see 2 small holes in the snap ring about 1/4 inch apart. There is a special tool called snap ring pliers available at auto parts stores. You need the pair for external rings. These pliers have points like needles. When you insert these "needles" in the holes on the ring and then squeeze the handle, that ring will spread open slightly and you can remove if from the shaft.

They make internal snap ring pliers also. These are used to remove internal snap rings. When you squeeze them, the needles get closer and compress the ring so it can be removed from the inside of a tube.

Be sure you ask for the external version. I would get a pair with interchangeable tips (straight and curved).

Here's a link to see a picture.
Old 04-15-05, 01:55 AM
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Or it could be just an "E" clip. Most mowers have these on the rear wheels. Just pop it off with a screwdriver. If the wheel is still stuck, it shouldn't be too hard to get the tire seated while the wheel is on the mower.
Old 04-15-05, 04:26 AM
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I wish it was as easy as either of those two. I've seen this kind of set-up before on pulleys, but not on wheels. The groove in the shaft runs down the length of it, not around the end. Wish I had a picture I could post, but this quick and dirty image might help. <img src=""> This is kind of what you would see if looking at the wheel end-on. The red is the axle/shaft, the blue is the center hub of the wheel and the black square is the "key" slid into the groove on both. Hope this clears things up better.
Old 04-15-05, 05:45 AM
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I still think there is a snap ring on the end of the axle. Looking at it one may think it is the side of the bearing. You may only see the "ends" with the 2 holes.

Check the 11th image down:

The "E" clip is 3rd down.

The snap ring or e-clip may be covered with dirt or grease.

The "key" in your image locks the wheel to the axle so that turning the axle will turn the wheel. i.e. the wheel won't slip or spin on the axle.
Old 04-15-05, 06:35 AM
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Bear in mind that there may not be any retainer of any sort and that the hub of the wheel is seized to the axle. If so, I've found using two 3-4 foot 2X4's on the inside of the wheel/tire and applying pressure while another person uses a heavy hammer and substantial punch to hit the center of the axle usually will remove the wheel from the axle.
Old 04-15-05, 08:14 PM
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there was a cotter pin and a washer used as a retainer. I'll take a bigger hammer to it and see what happens.
Old 04-15-05, 10:34 PM
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zip cut--but it's difficult to put back on.

Old 04-16-05, 10:16 AM
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Sounds like it has adheared itself to the axle. I have had some that I was unable to remove even with the rear end out and using a press.
As Cheese mentioned the tire can be mounted and even changed while still on the mower.
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