Changing Front Wheel Width

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WildFarmall
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Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby WildFarmall » Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:10 pm

Hello everyone, I need some advice. I am changing the wheel spacing on my 1949 Farmall Cub to accommodate a wider bed for my organic farm. I have already changed the wheel spacing on the back tires and have started to work on the front. I have the brackets off and the pins out but it tool me a while. I do not think the tractor has ever had the wheels moved. I have cleaned up the shafts as best I could tapped off the rust and opened up the splice on either ends just a little with a cold chisel. I have sprayed all places that ZI could with WD40. Using a 2x4 I have gently tapped on the wheel downshaft from the front and back on both sides to see if I could free the parts that slide in and out but made no progress. I then sprayed more WD40 around all areas and will let it sit overnight. I may try heating the sleeves with small hand held torch tomorrow,
Does anyone have any advice on how to free the sleeves? Is it ok to hit the downsleeves front to back? So far I have not damaged anything! Best regards all.

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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby Barnyard » Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:25 pm

First thing I would do is stop using WD-40, it is not a lubricant it is a water displacement. Try using Kroil or PB Blaster. They are penetrants.

Hitting the extensions back and forth might break the weld.
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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby Don McCombs » Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:38 pm

Follow Barnyard’s advice. I would not get very aggressive with pounding on the spindles. Patience and heat are your friends. You can try the propane torch, but oxy-acetylene would be better.
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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby Super A » Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:52 pm

Brute force.

Set up a couple of hydraulic jacks, one pushing on the top part of the spindle, one pushing on the bottom. Cinch down on your jacks, then whack the axle tube with a big ol' hammer. Repeat.

Do some searching on the site, there are some examples of how to set it all up. I believe George Willer had a good example many years ago.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby Don McCombs » Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:22 pm

Not the greatest photo, but here is George Willer's solution ...

http://photos.cubfest.com/displayimage.php?pos=-39350
Last edited by Don McCombs on Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby tst » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:17 pm

when the tubes are badly rusted together I find that you need to get them to spin back and forth in the tubs 1st before trying to make them slide out

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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby inairam » Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:22 am

see if you and find an auto parts shop that will rent you a "Porta Power Hydraulic Jack Body Frame Repair Kit " That will give you some help. You may also try those long tractor or jeep jacks if you have one or have a friend that has one.

For a penetration oil I use a 50/50 mix acetone and automatic transmission fluid. It is cheaper and it works for me.
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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby Urbish » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:33 am

inairam wrote:see if you and find an auto parts shop that will rent you a "Porta Power Hydraulic Jack Body Frame Repair Kit " That will give you some help. You may also try those long tractor or jeep jacks if you have one or have a friend that has one.

For a penetration oil I use a 50/50 mix acetone and automatic transmission fluid. It is cheaper and it works for me.


I used my Torin Big Red 10 ton cylinder and hand pump to get mine loose. You have to be careful though as I think you could damage a spindle tube if you got too rough with it. My procedure was to apply some spreading force with the cylinder, then whack on the tube with a non-marring mallet. Add a little more force, then hit again. It will break free eventually!

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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby ScottyD'sdad » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:07 am

Removing the pins and replacing them with a smaller diameter bolt, then driving it over rough tr=errain, sometimes loosens them. I've used al of the above tricks. Sometimes it works, I've had a few that refused to move, no matter what.

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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby WildFarmall » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:10 pm

Hello Everyone: Thanks for all of the great advice. Here is an update:
1. Penetrating fluid: I guess that I have a lot to learn on this. I have been using WD40 for years and I have almost a gallon left! Next time I will get another product and try it. I have sprayed a good bit of WD40 on the tubes already but do you all think I should try something different? Would it make a lot of difference? I like the idea of the custom blend (50/50 acetone and trans) someone mentioned.
2. Today I tried to gently break it loose but made no progress. I was hoping to not have to take the front axel off but this seems not likely now. I was actually considering what Scotty'sdees suggested as I thought it might break it free. Did not consider the smaller pin. Should I put the two part clamp back on but with bolts loose? I really don't think it will break free using this technique but I guess it is worth a try.
3. Thanks for the photo using two bottle jacks and thick posts. I will probably try this method although I think that I will leave the steering knuckle arm on both sides. My steering knuckle is different than the one shown in the service manual as it has a screw in pin and I think it would be better to just leave it alone. I think I could get a 2x4 on the end for the jack to push. I will need another jack but I think that is still a cheaper way to go. I could try the "Porta Power Hydraulic Jack Body Frame Repair Kit" which may work best but finding one is another matter as I don't really want another tool around. In any case I will need help as this sure feels like a two person job.
4. Sure hope I do not damage it! All good advice from this good forum.

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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby Don McCombs » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:17 pm

I would use a 4X4 instead of a 2X4, which will flex easily.
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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby MiCarl » Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:30 pm

It took me quite a bit of time to worry one side of my '48 free. Don't forget to also try some twisting (with pins out).

Once I got mine free I completely removed them, cleaned them up and applied a liberal coat of grease before re-assembly.
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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby MiCarl » Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:32 pm

MiCarl wrote:It took me quite a bit of time to worry one side of my '48 free. Don't forget to also try some twisting (with pins out). In addition to trying to pull them apart you can try driving in, once they break free either direction you're 90% there.

Once I got mine free I completely removed them, cleaned them up and applied a liberal coat of grease before re-assembly.
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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby WildFarmall » Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:55 am

Now I am wondering if I took the axel off could I tie one end to a large post or tree and then hook the other end to a Come-A-Long winch and start pulling them apart all the while tapping the tube to break the bind? Has anyone else tried this?

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Re: Changing Front Wheel Width

Postby WildFarmall » Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:58 am

Don McCombs wrote:I would use a 4X4 instead of a 2X4, which will flex easily.

You are right. Using a two jack system is going to be problematic unless I get help from another person.


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