49 cub.. front axle stuck

Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:30 pm

Hello Folks.. first, great site and lots of knowledge on here... which is why I am posting a question. My dad recently got a 49 cub... it was a "working" cub not a restored one...He wanted to move the front wheels to the inner most position on the axles to make it narrow for his garden. We removed the tie rods, etc...We removed the axle shackle on the right side and moved that one in without any problems. The one of the left side however seems to be stuck. We completely removed the shackle and tapped the metal with a hammer... tried to squirt penetrating lubricant in where we could... we used a wood block and a sledge... still could not get it to move...does anyone have any ideas... would we need to try some heat? are we missing something? I would appreciate any guidance. Thanks, m.

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:34 pm

Block the front of the Cub up and heat and twist the axle back and forth. Taps with a hammer around the diameter of the tube during this helps as well. After it's free, completely remove the axle extension, sand/wire wheel it down and the inside of the axle and put some anti-seize on it before reinstalling it.

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:19 pm

Loosen the clamp bolts, and replace the pin that goes through the axle unit with a smaller diameter pin. Drive the cub on rough ground. This sometimes loosens the stubborn parts. Ed

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:53 pm

Stuck like that, first thing I'd do is take the axle off the front end. All the banging and twisting, you run the risk of breaking a casting on the bolster or engine block. You want to remove it before trying to move it in more.
Remove everything from the tube leaving only the stuck inside tube. Now the assembly is lighter and you don't have to bend over to work on it. First, try heat. You need a big cutting torch and oxy-acetlyene to heat the outer tube. You may need to heat it to where it begins to glow. Have a long rod ready to go through the opposite open end of the tube and catch the inside edge of the stuck tube and bang the end. You will probably need a big vise, anchored firmly and a second person.

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:16 pm

Motorhead wrote:Stuck like that, first thing I'd do is take the axle off the front end. All the banging and twisting, you run the risk of breaking a casting on the bolster or engine block. You want to remove it before trying to move it in more.
....

I got a few loose with them still on the tractor. Just took the tire off and disconnected the tie rod end. Use a rosebud tip if using a torch. A cutting tip will put too much heat in a small area and you stand the chance of removing material if not extra careful. After heating and tapping (not pounding) with a hammer, a long bar was used to gradually increase pressure to the extension to rotate it inside the axle. If this doesn't work, then more drastic steps like Moterhead mentioned will be necessary.

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:45 am

Since it does not slide already, I prefer to assume that it is seized to the ultimate. The one I did was really that way. Removing it from the tractor and removing everything possible will lighten it and permit the use of a greater variety of techniques. I do have oxy-acetylene but did not want to overheat in just one area, so I used two torches with MAPP gas. Driving the stuck portion farther into the axle tube is is the easiest approach. One assumes that if it moves, it then will be easier to move in either direction. But it might stick even tighter. Use lots of penetrant. Out in the open, I chained one end to a tree, parked my big tractor (another tree would be OK) nearby, hooked a come-a-long to the tractor and to the other end of the axle. Tensioned with the come-a-long, started heating with both torches. When the penetrant ignited from the heat, I tappped the outside axle tube with a 2 pound hammer to help break up the rust between the two tubes. Had to repeat the process several times. Finally it moved about 1/8" and then I knew it would come apart. Kept up the process until it had moved about 1 1/2 inches and then it came loose. I used a hole saw almost as big as the inside of the axle tube with a long extension to clean up the inside of the tube. Battery drill at slow speed, not a lot of power required. Cleaned the outside of the spindle tube and the whole thing was so loose it was incredible. Since repainting was not in the immediate plan, the inner tube was smeared with wheel bearing grease.
For reassembly, start with just one piece at a time onto the tractor and go from there. The heat and hammer breaks up the rust.

Cubs set at narrow widths are VERY easily tipped over sideways. I helped one owner set his in and warned him about the stability problem. Within a week, it had gone over sideways.

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:33 am

I use a cylinder hone with slightly damaged stones (no good for honing a cyl) on the axle and use plenty of wd40 or whatever you have and hone it until it's clean of rust. I wrap a rag arount the hone with the stones compressed and clean it out real good. The part that comes out gets a small air grinder with 40 grit and I remove all the rust and paint. I smear it with axle grease or anti seize and it's unbeliveable how easy it moves in and out.


Tom

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:13 am

ScottyD'sdad wrote:Loosen the clamp bolts, and replace the pin that goes through the axle unit with a smaller diameter pin. Drive the cub on rough ground. This sometimes loosens the stubborn parts. Ed



Ed's idea works well. I've taken 3 apart. The first was heat, big hammers, and chain. I was absoultely nuts to get apart and I used alot of heat and honestly, took hours. I did as Ed mention the second and 3rd time. Loosed the clamps, removed the pins and installed skinner bolts with washers on each end and used the tractor for a month or so. One slid out very easily and the other took very little work. You'll know when they start getting loose. Powdered rust starts to come out and the axle will "walk" around a bit. As long as you are not in a rush, you'll never do it any other way. I do reccomend you use grease or a anti-seize compound on the axle after you clean it up and re-assemble.

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:18 am

Just removed the second axle tube yesterday. It was stuck good.

Used PB Blaster over a period of two days. The first tube came out okay because I could get some leverage rotating it. So, it worked out fine. For the other axle, I used a propane torch, which really doesn't produce enough heat, but it makes the operator feel he's doing something in earnest! :lol: Then, I re-inserted the free axle, put in the pin, and used a section of 4x4 and a 4 ton piston jack to carefully push against the two spindles while tapping on the tube with a hammer. Care must be taken to keep the wood block and jacking points as high on the spindle (close to the tube) as possible to avoid bending the spindles.

Pressure was put on it Saturday and then I left it overnight. Sunday afternoon, after some more PB Blaster, I increased the pressure slightly and >*POP*<, the axle broke free. After that, it was just a matter of jacking the axle out of its tube. Now, I'll need to clean both inner and outer axle tubes, grease (or anti-seize), and they'll be good to go.

I noticed when I removed the first axle, most of the rust was accumulated on the bottom of the axle. This makes sense because when upright, moisture would tend to run down and accumulate along the bottom of the axle, between the inner and outer tube. This is where I concentrated the heat, the PB Blaster and the tapping.

Hope this helps. :)

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:28 am

Good to see you got them apart. I plan to do the "ED" idea on all my cubs so I can adjust when need be.

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:38 am

I don't really know if it made a whole lot of difference or not, but after I freed up my left axle and cleaned up all the rust I applied some Jasco Prep and primer, (Phosphoric acid) to kill the rust before putting grease on the axle and reassembling.

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:41 pm

My Cub, Merlin's right axle extension is FIRMLY in place on that tractor. I have been driving it around with no pin or clamp for about 2 years and it still is loose. I put a small bolt in it when I was plowing the field with Merlin "just in case" but no go. We have tried just about everything with this axle. Heat, hammer blows, more heat, portapower... you name it. That axle is FIRMLY planted there. I now have a seriously long bar (thanks to Mark (Birddog) for the stock. I need to get out to the garage and tear things apart so that I can take the spindle out and insert the rod in its place. If this lever doesn't help make it turn, I am just going to suck it up and pretend that this is a factory non-adjustable front end...

Mike in La Crosse, WI

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:56 pm

Here's what I did. Jack up the front end. Remove tie rods and spidle. Put a long rod (I used an old transmission input shaft) into the axle extension. Then used a come along from the top of the rod back to the rear axle extension. I kept putting preassure on it and rapping it with a hammer until it let loose. Then I kept twisting and pulling until it came out. The easiest one I ever did. Only took about a half hour to get it out.

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:00 pm

I like the Come-a-Long idea, Cecil! I am going to do that with that long bar that Birddog left in my care.

Mike in La Crosse, WI

Re: 49 cub.. front axle stuck

Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:55 pm

I just removed an axel and had to use a lot of heat to get it apart. I got fustrated in the end after a few days and grabbed a sledge. I soaked it, heated it up good with a torch, tapped it and nothing till I gave it about 4 blows with a 3lb. sledge. My knees are beat up pretty bad from the previous owner banging on them. They busted loose. I removed the axel from the tractor and put it in a vice also, I was affraid I would do more damage to the tractor if I left it on the tractor and pounded.

I will remember the jack and come a long method though for the next one I. Sound a bit safer.