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How to Break Free a Seized Wheel from a Snowblower Axle

Friday November 19, 2021

eliminator performance snowblower wheel and axle

It’s getting to be that time of year again! Winter weather is coming, snowblowers are emerging from storage. Many are being serviced now in time for the first snowfall of the winter season.

Our friends at the Eliminator Performance YouTube Channel, who operate a repair shop in Ontario, service lawnmowers and smaller engines. With the seasons changing, the shop is transitioning into winter repairs with snowblowers.

Snowblower Seized Wheel and Axle

In their latest video, the Eliminator Performance team attempts to remove a seized wheel from a snowblower axle with the Mini-Ductor Venom HP. Jake, of Eliminator Performance, says that it is a common issue on snowblowers for the wheels to seize. He’s hoping the Venom HP will save the day.

This Craftsman snowblower he is working on comes from a customer who brought in just the wheel and axle assembly. The customer was able to get one wheel free and removed it from the snowblower but got stuck on the other one. He brought it to Jake so he could help him get the other wheel off.

The first step Jake takes is to place the wheel into a vise grip. He makes sure to show us that he is not able to rotate the wheel at all due to the seizing.

Using the Mini-Ductor Venom HP to Break Free a Seized Wheel

Now he is ready to take some heat to the wheel! He shows us how to heat the wheel in a couple of different ways. First, he tries using the 41” Bearing Buddy coil even though he’s able to reach it with a preformed coil. He does this simulation to show that if the wheel was still attached to the snowblower, this is how you could heat it.Venom HP heating outside of wheel

He starts to heat it, not getting it to red hot, just enough to see if he can break the bond of the rust. He also shows that there is an area on the outside of the wheel that is attached to the axle. Part of his process is to flip the tire over and heat that from the outside with a preformed coil.

He also notes that he let a little air out of the tire because the Mini-Ductor is heating up the air inside the tire. He wants to prevent over-pressurizing it.

After he does a few heat cycles, he twists the tire to see if it comes loose and it’s still not budging.

Next Step: Switching to Preformed Coil

Now, since the Bearing Buddy is not producing the results he wanted, he pivots to using a preformed coil. Jake hopes a mixture of induction heat and a little bit of impact with a hammer will knock this axle loose.

He heats the wheel again and then hammers the axle which does produce some movement. Now we repeat this process on both sides of the wheel again to see if we can break it free. Additionally, he switches to an even smaller preformed coil to concentrate the magnetic field more.

At this point, the shaft still will not budge. He thinks this may be due to scoring in the shaft and inner side of the wheel which has deformed the shaft.

Next Step: Penetrating Oil

wheel breaks freeSwitching gears again, he puts the tire back into the vise and sprays it with a bit of penetrating oil. He hammered it again and now can rotate the wheel! And it can move up and down on the shaft freely.

He still can’t get the wheel free because the hammering has mushroomed the head of the shaft. So, he files it down just enough so he can slide the wheel off. And he’s able to do that!

He saves the wheel and axle without too much damage. Now it is ready to be sent back to his customer! Mini-Ductor for the win!

Watch The Video:

 

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