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How do I remove the square key from the left rear tire of my Craftsman riding mower model #917270410. I am unable to get any type of vice grips or needle nose on it? Is a wheel puller required to remove tire?

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In theory, the wheel simply slides off after removng the retainer.

If yours won't shift after soaking in WD40 or similar, you will need some sort of puller.

Some craftsman wheels have holes drilled in them for this purpose. If yours don't, you will need to drill some.

DO NOT attempt to hammer the wheel off. You might get away with it, but there is a fair chance that the axle shaft will come out of the transmission. If that happens, the transmission will need to be removed and completely torn down to fix.

If it really won't shift, destroy the wheel and cut it off. It's a pain, but cheaper than a new trans. You can (just about) get the tire off with the wheel still on the tractor.

Use copper-based grease on the axle when re-fitting, to prevent it happening again. I always remove the wheels once a year - just to ensure that I can if I need to!

Posted on May 09, 2010


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