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Building a dream of mine (A dually HT20)


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#1 kjmweld ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 11:35 AM

So, having a dual wheeled large frame has been a dream of mine ever since I first heard that there was a dual wheel kit option for the large frames (maybe 10 years ago now). Those of you who have looked for them already know how hard they are to find. It was no different for me, those who had a set wouldn't sell, & I haven't found any that were for sale in the better part of that 10 years. I was on Facebook one day (maybe 6 months ago) reading thru people's posts & someone posted this first picture stating he had found these, & were originally on some old piece of large farm equiptment, disks he thought. To me they looked very narrow, but the centers looked identical to what the Bolens dual wheels used. I quickly messaged him to see if he still had them & would consider selling a pair. I was going into it kind of blind, could I still get the correct 15"x7" wheel ring? Can I get the centers out without destroying them? What shape are they even in? But, I knew I had to work fast, if I saw the picture, then maybe someone else has the same idea. Nathan, (the guy who had them) & I worked out a deal & he sent them out to me from Minnesota.
This got the ball rolling on my project. As stated earlier, it has been a dream of mine for many years to build something unique. I'll reveal more on this build when I get to that point, but for now I'm building what I hope to be an exact match to the Bolens wheels.
Jumping ahead a bit... After much research I was able to finally source a new pair of 15"x7" wheel blanks. By this time I had already received the wheels from Nathan, realised they only had a 5" beadwidth rim, so they've been cut out while I was researching the availability of the correct wheel blank. What a pain in the butt it was to get them out. There were 12 spot welds that attach the centers to the outer ring. Even after drilling them all out they weren't budging. I tried my hydraulic press & everything, finally the answer was to cut thru the ring with a cut off wheel on the angle grinder (very carefully where the 2 pieces come together). I very lightly went back n forth over that area so not to cut into the center at all, all of a sudden, BANG!! I jumped back, dropped the angle grinder on the ground, took a minute to gather myself... There was so much pressure on that ring that when it got thin enough it just couldn't hold it's shape any longer & let go. Talk about having the (you know what) scared out of you.
Fast forward a bit again... So now I have both centers out, both new wheel blanks are here, & I've sandblasted the centers. The majority of the dirty work is done.
A WHOLE LOT MORE ON THIS BUILD TO COME.

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Edited by kjmweld, January 23, 2020 - 11:46 AM.

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#2 Mark 149 J. OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 12:29 PM

Looks like you've got a fun project in the works.  Do you also have a picture of what the original Bolens rims should look like?  


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#3 Austen ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 12:53 PM

Very cool, Ken! :thumbs:  I was excited when I saw this thread title and see that you chose to finally share the project publicly! You had a very creative vision when you saw those for sale, and with some work, you prevailed and saw it through!

 

 

A WHOLE LOT MORE ON THIS BUILD TO COME.

 

Wait 'till everyone see's what's in store... This is only the tip of the iceberg! :worshippy1: I certainly won't share any details or spoil any surprises but I'm probably almost as excited as you are to see the pictures up here as you are to post them!


Edited by Austen, January 23, 2020 - 12:55 PM.

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#4 kjmweld ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 01:17 PM

So I'm really itching to put these together & get them welded up, but first I need some pictures & measurements, so I can be sure I assemble them exactly correct to the OEM ones.
While trying to find someone who has an original set of these that's willing to help me with the measurements needed & pictures so I can see the orientation of the valve stem, I'm also working on figuring out what tires I want to go with. Almost as hard as finding the OEM wheels themselves, is finding a tire to fit them. Theres not many choices at all out there in the current marketplace in this size. The turf tires I was able to find, I didn't like. That left the remainder of my options being a skid steer tire of some sort. I didn't like any of the options. I was hoping to find an ag tread, so I looked into light truck tires, something that would be very close to the original size of 27x8.50-15. or as near as I could figure it. I decided on a crosswinds LT tire that is kind of a combination of a turf & AG tire in the garden tractor world. I ordered 4 of them & got them on their way to me, & got back to getting the dimensions needed.
Finally after trying to find someone to help out, for quite some time, I was able to have Jerome (wilburj) to get me the information I needed. Big thanks to Jerome for taking the time to take pics & measurements for me.
Thruout the process of figuring out all the needed measurements to assemble them correctly, I also started working the wheel blank & the cut out centers to get them closer to being able to mate together. This was also another big pain in my backside. I'm sure when the factories who make wheels, put them together using huge, high powered hydraulic machines to pursuade the 2 parts together, then another machine to clamp them together for spot welding. You end up with a fairly straight wheel, but the flange that goes into the ring gets very distorted. The brand new wheel blanks I purchased, are also not perfectly round after they welding the seam. On top of both of those issues i had to deal with, was that the centers O.D. was larger than the I.D. of the wheel blank. I worked on mating these together for weeks to finally get them where they'd be able to be fit together & welded once I was able to get my measurements from Jerome.

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#5 kjmweld ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 01:28 PM

Looks like you've got a fun project in the works. Do you also have a picture of what the original Bolens rims should look like?

I apologise Mark, but I don't have those pictures anymore because I had to delete a bunch of pictures on my phone to create more space for other pictures. Once I finished the build on these wheels, they were deleted 😒
Hopefully Jerome or somebody else can post some pictures for you of the OEM ones.
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#6 kjmweld ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 01:35 PM

Very cool, Ken! :thumbs: I was excited when I saw this thread title and see that you chose to finally share the project publicly! You had a very creative vision when you saw those for sale, and with some work, you prevailed and saw it through!


Thanks a bunch Austen.
As you know, I wanted to wait until I was much further along in this project (which I now am) before I started the "build" thread. I didn't want to get into the thread & leave people hanging to see the end result because I hadn't got it finished yet. I'm hoping by the time I finish this thread, the tractor will actually be complete. 🤔 There is still plenty to share, as you know.
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#7 Mark 149 J. OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 01:44 PM

That is a lot of work to make sure the wheels are correct and true.  Glad you're taking your time to make them right.  


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#8 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 01:54 PM

Nice job,will be following this one
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#9 kjmweld ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 01:58 PM

That is a lot of work to make sure the wheels are correct and true. Glad you're taking your time to make them right.

Thank you Mark. This is the first & only set of wheels I've ever built & yes, a whole lot more work than I thought it would have been. I'm very "anal" when it comes to having things "just rite," as everyone will see thruout this thread. May be the military in me, or may be my OCD, either way tho... It usually tends to turn out a good finish ;)
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#10 kjmweld ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 02:00 PM

Nice job,will be following this one

Thanks Rick. 👍
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#11 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 02:38 PM

Looks good so far - a lot of work and I can only imagine how interesting it will be to get the centres welded in so the wheels run true (up and down)and straight (side to side wobble).  Don't want any extra bumps up and down as the wheel turns or sway side to side. 


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#12 EricFromPa OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 03:54 PM

I changed the offset and widened a set of rims once. All I had was a tape measure,grinder with a few cheap cut off wheels, a drill and my old trusty Lincoln tombstone stick welder. It worked but took alot of time and they still wobbled a bit. The 2nd one turned out better than the 1st one but still had a bit of a wobble. Might of been from the heat but the bead on the 1 was very slightly out of round.

 

If I was to do it again I would make a Jig to clamp everything up Tight before welding. Then Tac weld it and take it out of the Jig and recheck everything before re-clamping it and welding it up solid. 

 

The 1st one is always the hardest. Don't get in a hurry to finish the 2nd one or it will turn out worse than the 1st lol.      

 

 

 

Bad thing about an Apple product is the storage can't be upgraded.When the battery in my 3 year old $250 32gb Ipod Touch 6th gen kicked the bucket I got a used Android phone to replace it. I got tired of deleting pics when it was full.

 

My neighbor gave me his "old" LG G6 and I bought a 128gb SD card for in it. The larger SD cards are Super cheap any more. I got mine for $20 off of Amazon. Heck they were over $60? a couple of years ago?

 

This phone has Dual 13mp cameras. It takes awesome pics and video.  


Edited by EricFromPa, January 23, 2020 - 04:13 PM.

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#13 Mark 149 J. OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 04:39 PM

I reread your first post again.  The first pictures show 4 rims.  Was that picture from the person who sold you the rims?  You only had two of those rims correct.


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#14 kjmweld ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 05:27 PM

I reread your first post again. The first pictures show 4 rims. Was that picture from the person who sold you the rims? You only had two of those rims correct.

That's correct, those were his pile of rims, I got just the one set. The others were actually cracked & probably wouldn't have been useable anyway.
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#15 kjmweld ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2020 - 06:38 PM

I can see where this thread is going at this point, & that's great because it means there's some interest in the build.
So to get some questions/concerns addressed now, seems to be in order. A little about my background... I'm a welder/fabricator of just short of 39 yrs. I've been at the bottom all the way up to running a few shops within that 39 yrs. however, I don't have much machining hands on experience, nor do I have any tooling (which would have been helpful for this part of the build). I do know alot of people in the metal working feild that do have the equiptment & knowledge that I've called upon from time to time. This time was no different. I too had concerns about getting these wheels "true" so I got in touch with a few friends & borrowed some things that I figured I'd need. I was able to borrow a surface plate, a few run in guages, as well as a couple magnetic based dial indicators. I also had one of my buddies Chuck up the centers & checked them to see if the bolt surface was true & not destroyed. I knew they'd be off some, but was hoping most of that would be at the flange that needs to push into the wheel blank (which is exactly what I found, pheww). As far as the wheel blanks are concerned, those were pretty round with the exception of the welded seam before the turned the shape into them. So they were something I could work with as well. The rest of the fit up was just time consuming because of me wanting to keep the fit very tight. I actually even put the centers in the freezer the nite before I was going to assemble them & tac them in place. I virtually eliminated any wheel hop possibilities by keeping an extremely tight fit, the wheel wobble condition was the harder part to try eliminating. By the time I had them assembled & tac'd in place, they were as close as I figured was humanly possible, without actually turning them on a lathe. Then I of course checked them, & double checked them to make sure they were exactly where I wanted them to be, & got to the welding. I didn't use a fixture to weld them in however. But I do know enough about how metal moves while welding & I moved around & quenched along the way. I guess it's worth mentioning that I welded these out with the mig welder, not Tig. I felt the Tig would introduce more heat than i wanted these to see. The mig is a much quicker process & keeps the heat down. I plug welded all the holes (where the spotwelds were previously) first. Then i also decided to weld the 4 areas where the semi rounded areas of the flange were. So that's where these are slightly different than OEM. You can't see they're even welded with the color on them, & imo they're less likely to break, bend, or get ruined in any way by taking this extra precaution. I included pics showing the heat transfer marks so you can see all the areas that were welded easier.
BTW, i did have to get the tig torch out & warm up a few tacs here & there & tap the wheel blank up or down here n there to get it dialed in just right before welding them all together.

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Edited by kjmweld, January 23, 2020 - 06:45 PM.

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