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Sears ST12 steering wheel removal


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#1 rewilfert OFFLINE  

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Posted November 11, 2017 - 09:25 AM

I'm trying to remove the steering wheel on my 1976 ST12.  There was a significant amount of corrosion in the cup area of the steering wheel.  When I tried to remove the bolt at the top, it sheared off clean at the steering shaft.  The washer below it was almost half gone due to corrosion.

 

Is the steering wheel splined to the shaft or is it held by a key?  I see in the parts diagram there is an E-Clip, but it looks to be below the steering wheel.

 

I suspect that the shaft and wheel are corroded together and removal may be very difficult.  I found a few videos online, but the wheel seems to almost always get destroyed in the removal process.  I can't put heat on the area due to the plastic wheel.  I'm currently soaking the area with Kroil and have a puller putting pressure on the wheel, but am getting no movement.

 

Since the shaft is already damaged from the broken bolt I drilled out, my last resort will be to simply cut it off below the wheel.  That assumes I can find a replacement steering shaft in serviceable condition.  Then I should be able to stick the steering wheel in a press and push the top of the shaft out. 



#2 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted November 11, 2017 - 09:53 AM

Take your time. The penetrating lubes need time to penetrate. It took several months of soaking to get the steering wheel off of my Case 220. I kept a puller on it and put a little more PB on every few days.

 

Sometimes a little heat to the shaft helps. The heat first travels up the shaft and makes the connection tighter but it latter heats the hub and then the shaft cools down. There is a short time when the shaft shrinks alittle but the warm hub stays larger. Some guys accelerate the cooling of the shaft with water. It has worked for me about half the time when dealing with blind nut type problems. Good Luck, Rick


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#3 John Arsenault ONLINE  

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Posted November 11, 2017 - 11:23 AM

Most people I know grind the bottom weld off the lower shaft gear and remove that gear and lift the steering wheel up. Then press the steering wheel off. there should be a c-clip on top but that maybe gone already as its not needed the wheel is rust welded to the shaft anyway. 


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#4 rewilfert OFFLINE  

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Posted November 11, 2017 - 04:41 PM

Take your time. The penetrating lubes need time to penetrate. It took several months of soaking to get the steering wheel off of my Case 220. I kept a puller on it and put a little more PB on every few days.

 

Sometimes a little heat to the shaft helps. The heat first travels up the shaft and makes the connection tighter but it latter heats the hub and then the shaft cools down. There is a short time when the shaft shrinks alittle but the warm hub stays larger. Some guys accelerate the cooling of the shaft with water. It has worked for me about half the time when dealing with blind nut type problems. Good Luck, Rick

 

That's sort of what I'm doing now.  I wish I could get some heat on it, but everything in that area is plastic and it would ruin it on short order.  I'll probably just keep doing this for a while and see where I get.  I may try to get another type of puller and see if I can get a more uniform grip on the wheel.


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#5 rewilfert OFFLINE  

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Posted November 11, 2017 - 04:49 PM

Most people I know grind the bottom weld off the lower shaft gear and remove that gear and lift the steering wheel up. Then press the steering wheel off. there should be a c-clip on top but that maybe gone already as its not needed the wheel is rust welded to the shaft anyway. 

 

I hadn't though of that.  I wonder how much effort would be required to grind through that weld and then how easily the pulley would come off afterward.

 

The top of the shaft will already require significant repair where I tried to drill the broken bolt out.  

 

The parts diagram shows the E-clip on the bottom of the steering wheel, I suspect to simply keep the shaft from falling out of the bottom of the tractor when the wheel is off.  I don't think it has anything to do with holding the wheel on.  I think the bolt that broke off is the only thing that keeps the wheel from coming off when you pull on it.



#6 bbuckler ONLINE  

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Posted November 11, 2017 - 04:57 PM

Bearing puller works sometimes. 


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#7 rewilfert OFFLINE  

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Posted November 11, 2017 - 05:16 PM

Bearing puller works sometimes. 

 

That's what I was thinking.  I need to go check the local auto parts store and see what they have.  I love their free tool rental for occasions like this.


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#8 rewilfert OFFLINE  

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Posted November 11, 2017 - 05:21 PM

I did some searching around and found a few used and one NOS steering shaft that match the part number of the one in my manual (634A775).  The NOS part was cheap, so I ordered it.  We'll see if it actually shows up.  If it is a match, I'll just cut off the existing damaged shaft and try to salvage the original steering wheel.

 

These old tractors are built solid, but dealing with the 40+ years of corrosion sometimes makes disassembly a PITA.


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#9 John Arsenault ONLINE  

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Posted November 12, 2017 - 06:40 AM

I did some searching around and found a few used and one NOS steering shaft that match the part number of the one in my manual (634A775).  The NOS part was cheap, so I ordered it.  We'll see if it actually shows up.  If it is a match, I'll just cut off the existing damaged shaft and try to salvage the original steering wheel.

 

These old tractors are built solid, but dealing with the 40+ years of corrosion sometimes makes disassembly a PITA.

I wish I would have known you needed a steering shaft I have two of them from some parts tractors. 

 

Your right about these old tractors being solid, the one we use most (Lucy) was left abandon in the woods and had a foot tall  pine sapling growing out of the seat. Pressure washed it greased it up threw a few new parts on it and I got it running. 

 

Mean while I will try and find the article on the shaft removal, its super easy and you won't roach your steering wheel. Don't put heat to it you will melt the wheel. If you put a wheel puller on it you will again mess up the wheel ...

 

I have not had to do it, but I hear its real easy, you just grind the bottom  weld off and they say that gear will come right off. 


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#10 rewilfert OFFLINE  

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Posted November 12, 2017 - 10:43 AM

Thanks, I look forward to reading about the gear removal. 

 

The new shaft I ordered should be here later this week, I hope it is the correct one.  If not, I'll be looking at other options.



#11 Georgia SS OFFLINE  

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Posted November 12, 2017 - 10:50 AM

 Hi

I am the one that grinds the weld off the bottom end of the steering shaft for removal, you will need to lift the front of the tractor up very high with no deck and the weld is very easy to get at, with a 4 1/2"grinder you can cup into the weld and not remove any of the gear teeth but would not hurt to grind a bit of teeth off, the weld is very thin, gear slips off easy, then pull shaft out and carry to a press to push the shaft out get the gear re welded and a new snap ring at the parts house clean up the bolt hole and reassemble, very simple not complicated as some make it to be.

Hang In There

Jimmy


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#12 rewilfert OFFLINE  

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Posted November 12, 2017 - 11:00 AM

Perfect Jimmy, thank you for the explanation.  I'll give that a shot. 



#13 bbuckler ONLINE  

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Posted November 13, 2017 - 07:07 PM

Anybody got a video or picture of grinding the gear off ? I'm thinking about doing it to my ss15



#14 rewilfert OFFLINE  

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Posted November 14, 2017 - 10:09 PM

Anybody got a video or picture of grinding the gear off ? I'm thinking about doing it to my ss15


I can post a picture after I grind the gear off. I need to get another steering shaft in my hands first.
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#15 rewilfert OFFLINE  

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Posted November 16, 2017 - 11:49 AM

Well, the surplus place I ordered the new steering shaft from came back and said they actually didn't have one in stock.

 

I will have to get the shaft out eventually, but the priority to do so has moved down a few notches.  I'm going to revisit this after I get my new engine installed.  I was originally trying to get the dash tower off the tractor to access the battery tray bolts and now I've determined I don't need to.

 

I'll update more once I get back to this effort.


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