Bus Conversion Magazine Bulletin Board

Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: 82 MCI-9 on November 09, 2006, 08:53:46 PM

Title: wheel removal
Post by: 82 MCI-9 on November 09, 2006, 08:53:46 PM
I was wondering what kind of tools you guys use to remove the wheels.  What size of impact gun do you need and what to use to retork them back up. I dont think a tire iron is going to work on this baby unless you want to pick up you now what off the ground. ;D Thanks for the help !!!

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: TomC on November 09, 2006, 10:11:28 PM
In over 30 years in the trucking industry, 25 of those driving and converting my bus, I've NEVER changed a tire.  It's dangerous unless you know what you're doing.  You need a 1" impact with a long anvel (long shaft on the drive to reach into the duals) a compressor that can keep up with the 1" impact (typically at least a 10hp @ 175psi) and the suitable jack.  Once off, those tires mounted on wheels weigh around 250lbs.  Getting them back mounted is the real trick so they seat correctly.  Easy suggestion-leave the removal to the pros-call a mobil tire man over to do the job.  That's what I did when I put my bus on blocks when I first started the conversion.  Good Luck, TomC

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: Jeremy on November 10, 2006, 02:08:28 AM
I too thought that changing a wheel on the bus would be a big deal, but having done it found it was quite straightforward. I was also expecting that the nuts would require huge torques, but the wrench that came with the bus handled them without any trouble. My bus isn't as heavy as yours (GVW 11 tons), but I don't imagine that would make a big difference (wheels on mine are 22.5" so the same size I would assume). My only concern was the potential disaster that would happen if the bus fell off it's jack, so I was extremely careful in that respect.


Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: Buffalo SpaceShip on November 10, 2006, 06:44:04 AM
Seeing how I'm presently waiting around to find a way to get my rear tires off, I guess I should respond to this...

Bus nuts, lug nuts that is ;), shouldn't be put on too tight. But most are done too tight by tire jokeys, and makes it a real bear to get them off with home equipment. Assuming you can bust off the lugs, I wouldn't worry too much about DIY, assuming one is fit enough, no bad back, etc.. I watched the tire guy do it enough times. A long crowbar is used to jimmy the tire into place. Just roll it around by using its own interia. Torque 'em back down with a wrench instead of the gun. Use some wood cribbing as a jack stand... I have some rough-sawn 6x6s that I carry in a bay for this purpose. It also helps to be on pavement. I have a steel grate I use under my bottle jacks to help distribute the weight, because I've actually sunk a jack into warm asphalt before.  :o

Use the bus air supply and you'll be set there. A bus compressor can make a ton of air. And then buy the biggest impact you can afford, and get a big hose. The tire guy I used yesterday had a 3/4" hose. And he was not a big man, like you'd expect... he was smaller than me, and I'm 165 pounds soaking wet. But using the crowbar, he didn't have to work too hard.

Anyways, you can make a service call for around $60 a pop and stay safe (for sure)... or learn how to DIY. Just be SAFE.

Brian B.

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: buswarrior on November 10, 2006, 08:08:47 AM
Hello Orion

If you have the cash, Tom's way is the way to go!!!!

If you want to buy a big air gun, that's good too!!!
Remember to install big fittings to go with the 3/4 hose. Seen lots of big hose set-ups with a small fitting restricting it somewhere!!!

If you have other uses for your cash, you need:

deep socket 6 point for wheel fasteners, 3/4 or 1" drive
matching drive tool, (not a ratchet, you'll bust it's inards)
an extension deep enough for the duals
a 4' fence post to lengthen your drive tool, thick wall, not the cheap ones.

and the jack of your choice, low profile, pump type for emergencies, but you'll want an air-assisted one after using the bottle jack a couple of times!

Remember that removing the wheels annually is part of a good preventive maintenance regime, so you should be planning to do this regularly. Lots easier to inspect and lube in through the wheel well, than crawling around underneath. And when/if you get a flat on the road, wheels that are taken off annually, will come off without problems. No one wants those problems when they are jacked up on the gravel shoulder someplace...

The trick is the first removal, since those wheels were installed who knows how long ago, and with a gun set to Lordy knows how high a torque....
Bringing in the guy with the big gun to back off the nuts the first time is worth the price of admission, if you can't break them free!!!

And turn the fasteners the proper way, some buses are equipped with left and right hand threads on opposite sides of the bus. Read the end of the stud for an R or L if you have stud pilot (Budd) wheels.

There is a special forked tool with rollers on it to help manipulate the wheel on and off, or you may use a crowbar. Once you've used one of these specials, you'll want one too!!

Then it is simple math to put the right torque back on.

Your weight, out how many feet, on the fence post, to make the 500 foot pounds for stud and hub pilot wheels.

eg: 150 lb person needs to put their full weight on the bar somewhere 3 1/2 feet out on the fence post.

And, the wheels may be seized to the mating surface. Many busnuts will loosen all the wheel fasteners, before any jacking, backed off just enough to see a sliver of a gap, and then drive the coach forward and backward to use the weight of the coach to break free the wheels. The gap will have closed against some of the fasteners if the wheel has moved, so you know if the wheel is free by looking. Don't loosen off more than a visual sliver, you don't want to damage the studs.

Way better than trying to beat them off with a sledge hammer!!!

happy coaching!

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: 82 MCI-9 on November 10, 2006, 12:44:30 PM
Thanks guys the reason i want to remove the wheels is to check the brakes and reunder coat the wheel wells i also have to replace one of the seals on the drive axle. Iam going to build a cradle for the wheels so it will be easier to remove them and put them back on. I want to be able to keep good tabs on what the mechanical statice is on my bus instead of it breaking down on the road

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: kyle4501 on November 10, 2006, 01:11:43 PM
I bought a 'Sweeney' torque multiplier off ebay. It has 10 to 1 ratio & 2200 foot*lb rating. If I can't get it off with that, it ain't coming off! The multiplier, sockets & extensions total cost was around $400 & I can get them off without needing compressed air. If air is available, a small impact wrench will work great once loosened.

I like my toys  ;D

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: NCbob on November 10, 2006, 02:18:58 PM
Having the tire guy remove your tries is a great idea...but there's caveat contained therein.. Carry your own Torque wrench and tell him to USE IT when he re-installs the tires.  And you should have your own 18" extension and a Budd type socket (they're a reversible 3/4" drive socket for the outer nuts and the inner lugs). And a piece of 2x4 with a 3/4" hole bored through it, then sawn off at the halfway point of the centerline of the hole and about midway up the hub is a great way to keep the socket from slipping, with some various blocks of course.

C'mon, at my age I hire people to do my exercise, all except my brain...that is.  If I have to have a tire changed on the road I will first establish wth the 'roadie' that tipping is optional and we're going to do it MY WAY.  He can burp 'em off but when it comes time to do the re-installation he WILL use my torque wrench and tighten 'em to MY specs, which are according to Da Book. ::)

That way I know I'll get a bit farther over the horizon with less worries than if I let my wife do the the job. ;)

Torque wrenches are available on the E place as well as the Budd sockets and the extensions.  Test 'em all at home before the next trip and you'll be happier, safer and better equipped than the average bear out there on the road. ;D



Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: Moof on November 10, 2006, 02:23:09 PM
I have a friend who works on city buses.  He uses the Ingersoll Rand Thunder Gun.  It is a 1/2 in drive with 650 ft. lbs. of torque.  He likes it because it has the power, and uses less air/smaller air hose.  Plus they are only a couple hundred bucks.

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: jjrbus on November 11, 2006, 04:26:50 AM
 After a few years of experience a torque mltiplier is really the way to go. A 1inch impact with a big compressor is great. But impractical to carry on the road (for most of us). Also when reinstalling a little antiseize on the mating surfaces will stop future problems. I use antiseize on everything I reassemble.

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: Dreamscape on November 11, 2006, 07:04:21 AM
Is antizeeze really safe for wheels? I don't want one passing me going 65 + mph.  ??? What do the experts think?

I use it on other stuff at work, and it is a lifesaver.


Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: Stan on November 11, 2006, 09:00:19 AM
Dreamscape: There is no satisfactory answer to your question. Over the years I have read so many rules and suggestions it makes my head spin. If you consider the vehicle and the wheel manufacturers as the experts they have a multitude of ideas. Everything from must be dry to using specific lubricants and altering the final torque according to the lubricant used. Since an antisieze acts as a lubricant, use your own good judgement after reading some of the published data.

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: DrivingMissLazy on November 11, 2006, 09:06:14 AM
Is antizeeze really safe for wheels? I don't want one passing me going 65 + mph.  ??? What do the experts think?

I use it on other stuff at work, and it is a lifesaver.

Dream scape

Everything that I have ever read indicates that no lubricant of any kind should be used on lug nuts. That includes anti-seize. They should be clean and dry.

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: H3Jim on November 11, 2006, 10:02:44 AM
The anti sieze affects the torque applied.  If the specs are designed for use without the anti sieze, with its use, the fastener will be tighter - stretch the bolt / stud more - than is desired.

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: Stan on November 11, 2006, 02:03:02 PM
An example of the confusion is this page copied from the Alcoa Service Manual. Note their reference to different recommendations if combining aluminum and steel wheels.

Stud located, ball seat mounting system.

It is recommended that stud threads on stud located mounting systems be lubricated
with SAE 30W oil and torqued between 350 and 400 foot-pounds. If threads are not
lubricated, torque to between 450 and 500 foot-pounds. Note: when dualing steel wheels
with Alcoa aluminum wheels, follow the steel wheel manufacturer’s recommendations
regarding the proper torque and use of thread lubricants to mount the wheel.

WARNING Application of lubricant to the ball seats can cause excessive
torque. Over torque can stretch studs causing them to fail.
Overtorquing can lead to wheel disengagement causing injury or death.
Do not allow oil to contact ball seats or mounting surfaces of the wheel, hub
or drum. Do not use aerosol cans for lubrication of stud threads.

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: jjrbus on November 11, 2006, 03:56:32 PM
I was refering to useing antiseize on the "mating surfaces"  of the wheel to the brake drum. I also use it on the mating surfaces of the brake drum to hub also the screws that hold the drum to hub!! I would not recommend useing it on the threads, it causes too much controversy. I do use it sparingly on threads, but I will never tell anyone that.

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: John E. Smith on November 11, 2006, 06:14:04 PM
Is antizeeze really safe for wheels? I don't want one passing me going 65 + mph.  ??? What do the experts think?

I use it on other stuff at work, and it is a lifesaver.


The MCI MC-9 Service Manual calls for 500 ft/lbs of torque on hub piloted wheels with LIGHTLY oiled studs.  The proper way to oil them is two drops halfway down the stud, and two drops in the bottom of the nut.  Spin them on with a gun if you want, but ALWAYS use a torque wrench -- and no extensions.  Extensions give a false reading when used with a torque wrench.  If you MUST use one, for a 3/4" drive 18" extension add 25 ft/lbs to your setting to allow for the flex in the extension.

Older busses which still use the Budd nuts are spec'ed for 325 ft/lbs for the inner nuts (called spools) and 350 ft/lbs for the outter nuts.  Again, the torque advice above applies.

A trick we use around here is to lightly coat the inside edge and back face of the wheel hub hole with anti-sieze; makes it MUCH easier to get them off next time.

Title: Re: wheel removal
Post by: Stan on November 12, 2006, 06:24:46 AM
Here is a link to Accuride (formerly Firestone Wheel) wheel nut specifications:


They also have an excellent pdf file on wheels: