Tightening front wheel bearings...

Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:33 am

I thought I had this right, but now I'm not so sure. Jacked the cub (~1950's model) up, placed floor jacks under the front axles, and tried to remove the bearing cap with a pair of channel lock pliers. I could not get the thing to budge! Is there something I'm missing? Could it be that there is so much paint (and maybe corrosion) that the bearing cap is stuck? I'm accustomed to the regular bearing caps for boat trailers and older automobiles that just require a light tap to remove them, but this is something else. I do need to (at least I hope) tighten the wheel bearings, as well as have a look see for wear, etc.

Any thoughts?

As always, thanks for the help.

SundaySailor (Rick)

Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:45 am

Rick, a few light taps with a hammer should break free any rust. I've never seen one stuck so bad that a big pair of channel locks wouldn't get it off. Worst case scenario - a pipe wrench should do it. You might want to loosen the hub caps before jacking the tractor up.

Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:27 am

Rick, they unscrew. They are right hand threads, so turn them to the left to remove.

So, the thought is.....

Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:32 am

Get a bigger hammer? I believe this is the type of "finesse" another member has specified here on this board. I think I may have access to a pipe wrench. I'm thinking of maybe putting a little strypease where I think the edge of the bearing cap may be, then follow up with some liquid wrench or something similar. Let it sit for a couple of days, and then try the pipe wrench. I sure don't want to take a chance of collapsing the bearing cap. That just wouldn't make my day at all. :oops:

Thanks to all!


Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:55 am

Uh Rick, I hope you realize that cap unscrews from the hub.


Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:09 pm

Picked that up. I just hope I don't need a lever extender to get them off. Pipe wrench maybe, but I cringe at the thought of having to try to put an extra piece of pipe over the pipe wrench. With all that leverage, something's gotta give.

Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:14 pm


Do what I did for the 4 caps I had to remove that hadn't moved in almost 50 years.


1- a humongeous Pipe Wrench
2- a large vise
3- lots of elbow grease

Actually with a large plumbers pipe wrench, the caps turned real easy, of course I had soaked them with Solvo-Rust from Loctite.

A one, and a two, and uhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:12 am

Found the 10" pipe wrench (monkey wrench for some) and adjusted for the best bite. Tried to move it with my hands, no go. Determined, I rearranged the grip, and put one of my feet on it. Bounced one time, and she moved! Used my hands this time, and she's turning easily. Went to the other side, and did the same thing. Hope to have some time over the weekend to finish screwing them off, and tighten the wheel bearings up. Thanks so much for the tips. Bigger hammer might have worked, but then I would have had to go back to the auto parts store and buy one just for this.

Cheers all,

SundaySailor (Rick) :D

My turn...

Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:53 am

Now it's my turn, only I'll be trying to loosen them from the hub assembly alone, not connected to anything else :shock:

I bought a vise last night just for the task... :wink:

And MAN is this electrolysis tank neat. It takes EVERYTHING off the parts! I just wish I could have gotten the hood/gas tank into a big tank, but there's still gas in the tank so I settled for a wire brush and just spray-painting it for now with ACE Hardware International Red.

Good Luck Allen

Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:04 am

Here's hoping yours come off easier than mine did. Either someone really put some elbow grease into tightening mine up, or the paint was really good and thick. I do like the idea of letting them soak in some type of rust remover. It could very well make your job much easier. If nothing else, get a pipe wrench like the other guys said. It definitely worked for me.

Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:41 pm

Hi Sailor,

Since you have gone this far with great difficulty, you may want to
wash the bearings and repack them. You may even want to pull the
inside bearing with a bearing seperator and wash out and inspect.

Just a word, on bearing replacement. I just finished replacing the
bearing in three CUBs and all three sets of bearings looked ok
until I washed and dried them. Some of the retainers were broken,
others had rusty pitted places on the bearings, and others had too
much wear.

Also, I priced the bearings at a local auto parts and at the IH dealer and
I got all three sets from IH for the same price as two sets from the auto parts house.

Good luck on that CUB :lol: :lol: :lol:


Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:28 am

Phew! After two days stewing in the 'lectro-brew tank, the cap nuts came right off, no problem! Thank goodness.

Now, I've taken the assemblies apart, but didn't have time to figure out how to get the inner bearings off the knuckle. Must be a a retaining clip under that grease or something.

I'll get them washed off tonight, hopefully, and take a good look at them. If the retainers are not split, and the bearings look OK visually (shiny and with no pits) and if the races they fit in look OK, I'm gonna put everything in new grease and put it back together. It's not like a Porsche rear wheel bearing that has to live up to 162mph, after all...

I'm assuming you guys use plain old engine degreaser to wash them out? I really need to get that pressure washer I was looking at the other day... I think it would shine Jay up real nice.

Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:12 pm

If you drop the 1 from that 162 mph and place a decimal point between the remaining numbers, you'll be pretty close to the cub's top speed.

Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:31 pm

My wife has a saying. " Righty tighty, Lefty loose"! Then she adds "usually". She has changed tires.

Thu Aug 19, 2004 5:21 pm


The inner bearng is "pressed" onto the axle. There is no retainer on
it. The best way ro remove without running the risk of damaging the
bearing is to use the bearing seperator and a hyd. press or a bearing
puller. I managed to find a large bearing seperator from Harbor Freight
for about $29.00 which is quiet adequate for all the work that I can
see one needing to do on a CUB.

Hope this helps out.