Removing a Wheel from Pedestal? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-22-2008
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Question Removing a Wheel from Pedestal?

It should seem pretty straight forward, but 3 hours at it. I am removing the wheel from the Edson pedestal on my catalina so I can remove the auto-pilot to install on the Barberis. The nut that secures the wheel comes off, but no amount of banging, twisting, pulling gets the actual wheel off the shaft. I bought a 3 inch Gear Removal tool, but it literally exploded into pieces. I have lubricated the area where the spindle of the wheel rests on the shaft....


Any hints or tips on a better method? Perhaps I should rent a larger size gear extractor?
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Old 05-22-2008
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Use some PB Blaster on the area. Over a few days. That should break it free. Spray, wiggle the wheel as much as possible, let it set, repeat as necessary.
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Old 05-22-2008
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Thanks PB - I'll give that a shot....
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Old 05-22-2008
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Your wheel might get frozen to the axis; normal as this is exposed to elements, and saltwater sometimes. Search Internet for frozen nuts removal and you'll find several methods. When I faced this some years ago, I had to lubricate it, with plenty of oil (WD 40), but had to leave it soaked for 3-4 days before trying to pull .... don't try it sooner !
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Old 05-22-2008
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I hesitate suggesting this, but you might try an application of heat to the area. I have used a propane torch with good success on stubborn screws. In this area I would not go that far. But a heat gun set on a low setting or a hair dryer set on high might heat the spindle up enough to help free things up. PB Plaster as preiously mentioned works well. Spray some on the spindle, tap with a hammer. Perform this exersice over a few days. Good Luck
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Old 05-23-2008
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Your wheel is fixed to the shaft with a taper fit. All the wd 40 in the world will not make it come off. Get a 3 jaw puller. thread your retaining nut back onto the shaft 1 or 2 turns. Install 3 jaw puller wrap wire or duct tape around the puller arms crank down on the puller bolt till either 1) the wheel comes off, or you cannot tighten any further. Hit the back or side of the hub of the wheel with a hammer. one blow should do it, don't try to tap it off, HIT THE THING! The same procedure for removing a prop. The reason for threading the nut back on stops the wheel from coming off and landing on your nice deck, or your tender toes. It will also keep the puller bolt centered.
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Old 05-23-2008
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Also, look for the Key, make sure it is not riding up on the nut end of the shaft, you may need to take a center punch down the key shaft cutout in the wheel and tapp it back with a hammer. I had one that the keyway had a slight taper to it and without pushing the key back there was no way it was comming off, ever.
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Old 05-23-2008
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If you are going to hit your wheel hard. Use a board or a brass punch or a dead blow plastic hammer. This will prevent and nasty dings in the hub. Your boat will thank you.
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Old 05-28-2008
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Thanks to everyone that replied. I couldn't do the banging aspect because I would damage the autopilot and hence why I was removing the wheel. I purchased at Autozone this:

Removing a Wheel from Pedestal?-gearpuller.gif

5 ton gear puller is what is pictured, with three jaws which allowed proper leverage. Ran about $45 bucks, and within 3 minutes had it off. Autopilot is now ready to be installed on the Barberis.

Thought I would update, in case someone ever finds this thread and has to do the same with the same limitations and difficulty removing it...lesson learned the 11 dollar tool was crap - this one beefy and was the right tool for the job..

Cheers!
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Thanks for posting your questions and answers... Always a grateful someone else like me who will benefit from it.

Happy steering
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