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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2014, 08:21 PM
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Default 18 year old ERA - never had the wheels off!! - now what?

What can I expect with trying to remove knockoffs that have never been removed since installing them originally in 1996?? Is there going to be a special tool needed? The car has been out East and garaged all it's life, but never driven in the winter.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:24 PM
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Spray some penetrating oil on them and let them sit a couple days. Use a lead hammer.
If it doesn't come off with a couple wacks, try some more time/oil. That's the way I'd try it.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:53 PM
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Yep, keep soaking that thing. Don't rush.
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:33 AM
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And when you get them off, apply some anti-sieze compound to the threads, pins and beveled seating area upon re-installation. Did you build the car? It's possible anti-sieze or something was applied to them originally. If so they should come off with a few good raps with a 5 lb lead hammer.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:12 AM
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I can only assume that the car has been laid up for most of that time. Otherwise, how can you possibly have gone 18 years without ever having taken the wheels off?
The tyres alone should have been replaced at least twice in that time due to age, even if the treads were good.

Paul
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:04 AM
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I'm purchasing this car. It has 18K miles, and I also cannot believe that the tires are still original and the wheels have never been off (this has been verified by all previous owners, though). The car is super clean inside, outside and underneath. I'm scared to death to drive such a beast on 18 year old rubber, so this is the first thing I'm going to do (replace tires) once I get the car in my possession. I'm just trying to have a plan as our driving season is short up here in MN. (:
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:21 AM
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I have had very good results with a CRC Product "Freeze Off". It works well on steel-alloy contact areas that tend to corode like control arm bushings. Soak the threads and cone area both several times roll wheel half turn between. Then strike each wing a couple 2-3 whacks roll the car to ease swing access on all three wings. Use two hands on your lead hammer for accuracy and power. Good luck and let us know how it goes. Warren
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66gtk View Post
I'm purchasing this car. It has 18K miles, and I also cannot believe that the tires are still original and the wheels have never been off (this has been verified by all previous owners, though). The car is super clean inside, outside and underneath. I'm scared to death to drive such a beast on 18 year old rubber, so this is the first thing I'm going to do (replace tires) once I get the car in my possession. I'm just trying to have a plan as our driving season is short up here in MN. (:
You're right to be fearful of those tyres.

If you have 15" wheels, the best tyre is the Avon CR6ZZ. They're not cheap, but then what price your well being?

I have my wheels off at least twice each season, if only to check everything is okay under there.

Paul
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:00 PM
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I have had good luck with a spray penetrating oil called "the torch". All good suggestions so far. I use a big American lead hammer, give it a couple of days, keep it on the ground and rotate it to each ear that will do it I bet. A third of a turn and a couple of good thumps, repeat as necessary.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:11 AM
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make sure you take them off in the right direction to start with. one side has left hand threads. i believe they all tighten to the rear but i forget so verify that.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:14 AM
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Yes, Maxx.

Tighten to the rear and keep the knock offs on the side of the car that they came off of.

Maurice
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:46 AM
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Also, once you've soaked them in some kind of penetrating oil and begin to try to get them off,once you hit one and it starts moving,once you get about 1/2 turn on it, then knock it back to tighten it,then knock it back to loosen it ad go 1/2 turn at a time,tighten/loosen:tighten/loosen till it comes off......

Just extra insurance against galling the threads....you only need to do this on something that has not been loosened for years......

David
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:50 PM
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Hi 66gtk......I had the same situation 2 years ago. I purchased an ERA built in 1996, which had the original Goodyears, which were cracked and unusable and had never been removed. It was a tough job, wack and spin, wack and spin. After a while the spinners loosened up, came off and tires were changed. All the advice above is important and excellent and should be heeded. Most important is to use anti-sieze grease for the future. It helps getting a better tightening, the grease helps to eliminate the metal to metal friction, yielding a tighter spinner. Good luck, just remember "Wack and Spin".........Art Fink
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:49 AM
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You probably don't want to be doing all that "wacking" with the wheels off the ground, otherwise all of the force of the impacts will be transmitted through the bearings.

Paul
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:34 AM
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If you have the 6-pin version and not the dreadful 5 pin version where the drive pins clamp and hook the wheels, you shouldn't have a problem.

There is an older thread about how Kirkham offered to solve the 5-pin (drive pin) problem by making a cnc milled version (same as CAV GT40s).

I found 14 years ago that the 5-pins bind because they are not "true" and square. Those drive pins are not made for the purpose of driving wheels from the inside. Yes, dozens of mechanics and manufacturers (inluding Superformance) made that mistake!

Just clamp a 1/2"x20 bolt with one of those drive pins screwed on in your drill or lathe and watch them wobble and shake like a wild derwish.

Don't ever attempt to bend the pins straight before mounting the wheel. You are merely deforming the bolt (of the hub) which at best bends back once the wheel is on (clamping it!), or at worst brakes.

I feel that those pins even point the wheel ever so slightly towards the wing nut that you can't get them off.

The 6-pin version, as found on CSX cars, Contemporary and ERA are properly machined pins.
In almost 10 years driving with CCX adapters I never had a problem taking wheels off.

Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:33 AM
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Same issue with a '66 corvette with original Kelsey Hayes. Tried penetrating oils, heating, cooling with CO2 and the spinner adapter tool with no success.
What worked:

With someone in the car holding foot to brake pedal we jacked up the frozen wheel by the spinner. Yep that is correct, lifting (racing jack with thick padding) on the correct "off" ear set at just below parallel. Then with a BMF lead hammer hit the opposite ear in the "off" direction. Nice it is always hitting down.
Even this took multiple hits to break loose but better than the last resort..........the die grinder.
Good luck,
Bret.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:50 AM
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Hey, jack and hammer. Nice improvisation. Whatever it takes, certainly.
I was wondering what else might require extraordinary attention given the years of neglect to the spinners/wheels/tires. How about the spark plugs? It might be helpful if someone suggested a checklist for a car like this in case someone else is considering buying one in a similar condition.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:26 PM
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Default UPDATE: Wheels are off!

Thanks for all your tips. I got the spinners/wheels off today without much drama. Some PB blaster and the Lead Hammer was all it took. The passenger side was easier than the driver's side. It only took about 90 minutes of oiling, banging, waiting, oiling, banging, waiting....

I even got the new tires mounted already, so now it's time to drive! May have to flush out the brake fluid soon, but she seems capable for street use at the moment with strong brakes.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:58 PM
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Get the PB Blaster off the brake rotors first.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERA Chas View Post
Get the PB Blaster off the brake rotors first.
Ha! I didn't get any on the rotors, but that would really suck if I did....
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