Stuck adjustable front axle

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Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby Mht » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:56 pm

I’m in the process of cleaning up usable parts from a couple of parts tractors I have accumulated and I started working on a front axle. I removed the axle from the steering bolster with no problem and was able to remove the clamps and pins without much problem. I applied penetrating oil to the axle tubes for several days and then tried to press them apart with a 20 ton jack with no luck. I was getting ready to heat everything up with my torch and started thinking about how much oxygen and acetylene that would take and what that would cost. So instead of using my torch I decided to use my turkey fryer burner instead. I put the axle on top of the propane burner and lit it up. I let it sit in a spot for about 10 minutes and then moved the axle to heat another spot. I did this for about an hour moving and turning the axle assembly about every 10 minutes. When the axle cooled enough that my penetrating oil would not burn up as soon as I sprayed it I soaked everything down with oil. I let it sit for a day and then repeated the whole process. The following day I laid the whole assembly on the ground and while holding the axle with one foot on a spindle and placing a block of wood against the other spindle and tapping the block with a sledge hammer I was able to separate the axle relatively easily. At that point I hooked a chain around the center of the outer tube and then chained it to a tree and with the wood block and sledge hammer repeated the process on it he other side and removed it with relative ease. Maybe I just got lucky but from my point of view it worked great. Propane is cheap compared to oxygen and acetylene and I know not everyone has a torch set and a propane burner is cheap even if you had to buy one. I just wanted to pass this along in case someone else wants to give it a try

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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby coppersmythe » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:52 pm

good afternoon from the warm deep south . great idea . i am about to do the very same thing in the next week or so . of course it being cajun country , i'll use a crawfish burner :lol: . thanks for the tip . i'll keep y'all updated on my attempt . coppersmythe.........................PS: my gas rig is oxygen/propane , a bit cheaper , but mainly more convenient . i primarily braze with it so it is "hot" enough . i cut rarely , just take a little extra time to get going.

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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby jsfarmall » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:49 pm

Last axle I had to break free took me several hours with propane/oxygen torch. One end anchored to the back of my truck and the other tied to anchors in the concrete floor of my neighbors shop. Huge come-along in between. When I finally got it all apart the back of my truck had slid sideays about 6 inches
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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby halftonstude » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:51 pm

I think I may have found an even easier/cheaper way mht. I wasn't in a hurry, and it cost me just a few squirts of kroil and liquid wrench. Efficiency only buys time, but costs $. I'm restoring a feb '52 cub and both front extensions were stuck hard in the axle. I only hit it a couple times to recognize the sound and know it was solid. No heat, no beating, no banging. I drilled a hole about halfway back along the outer axle tube, and drilled until i hit the inner extension. This was to put kroil farther back than it would creep without using a pint of it... Then I cut a 2x6 and put a 3" hole (hole saw) up near the front, cut the end to be a semi circle, and put the back of the 2x6 against the rear differential shaft housing. it was tight. Then I put a 2' pipe wrench on the front extension with a 2 ton come along going back to that rear differential shaft housing. The 2x6 was to prevent the front end from torquing when the come along was strung tight. Put a bolt a the end of the pipe wrench so the hook on the come along wouldn't come off and cranked the come along tight. Really tight. Banjo string tight. Then iId squirt kroil on the end of the axle and into the hole and every day or so hit the tube with a 3 pound hammer a few times just to shake the rust loose. After only a day looking in the hole i drilled you could see the extension twisting. maybe only 1/64" the first day, but every day hit with a hammer a couple times and a couple squirts of kroil. pretty soon it was free. Free enough to twist out by hand. Now i'm in the process of grinding the rust off the extensions and making hones to clean the inside of the axle so they slide in and out a bit easier. i'll find a few photos to put here so you can see the progress. I can always put a grease fitting in the hole or just weld it closed and grind the weld smooth...
initial setup with 2x6, pipe wrench and come along
12 hours, extension just starting to move
closeup of pipe wrench and hole for kroil and liquid wrench
extension moved 1/8" inside!
once it moved as far as it could i reversed the wrench and twisted it the other way.

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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby Rusty red » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:27 pm

As for as a home for the inside of the shaft would a small, forgive me I can't remember the correct name of it but we used to call them, dingleberry hones work?

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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby Barnyard » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:42 pm

Ralph told me at the Bash Saturday that he always tossed them in a bonfire overnight and the came apart easy the next day. Good to know for next year. If you need your axle separated, bring it to next years Bash on Thursday. Our bonfire manager (Jo) will see to it the axle is properly placed in the fire pit so it is ready for repair as soon as the shop opens on Friday,
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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby brewzalot » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:00 pm

Rusty red wrote:forgive me I can't remember the correct name of it but we used to call them, dingleberry hones work?

That is what I used on mine, but I was lucky to be able to just borrow one. They are very expensive for a one time use.

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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby Sunrack » Thu May 28, 2020 8:46 pm

Finally got mine loose and apart with heat and this setup. It became quite a quest and obsession. After 68 years they did not want to be apart.
Axle Ext 2.jpg
Axle Ext 1.jpg
Used a previously damaged spindle to help.

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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby Bill V in Md » Thu May 28, 2020 9:26 pm

Congratulations, Sunrack. Clever setup. Welcome to the FORUM.
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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby Mac AR » Fri May 29, 2020 8:41 am

Wow, I guess I got lucky. My front axle slid apart easily. The most trouble I had was with the tie-rods being slightly bent and not wanting to go all the way together. But after a little work and some oil, they weren't a problem either. One thing I did do when I had the axles apart was to take a wire wheel on my angle grinder and clean all the rust off, then used some old motor oil and lubed everything back up before re-assembly. That was sometime last year, and when I set the front right wheel out for the #252 plow last week, I didn't have any issues moving it. Guess I did something right!

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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby Ky Cub » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:42 pm

I recently tried the bonfire method, It actually worked and cleaned up the axle at the same time.

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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby NJ Farmer » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:34 am

When you finally get that axle apart. I would suggest a liberal coat of Never-Seize for the next generation trying to remove/adjust the axles.

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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby Stevetractor » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:59 pm

Did the bone fire trick hurt the bronze bushings at all?

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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby BigBill » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:31 pm

Once it’s free I’d moly it up. I’d mix a moly paste with open gear lube.

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Re: Stuck adjustable front axle

Postby staninlowerAL » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:08 pm

Inside cleanup, homemade flapper made with coarse sandpaper and the appropriate size round block of wood, small pipe or rod for shaft and a power drill.

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