A stuck lawn mower wheel – because of rust or heat- can be annoying especially because it sometimes won’t budge without you getting creative.
But you don’t always need to carry a magic charm- there are some easier solutions as you will learn in this how to remove a stuck lawn mower wheel guide.
Of course, you can call in the mechanic.
Sadly, they sometimes ask for a lot of bucks so he may not help either.
How to Remove a Stuck Lawn Mower Wheel : Step By Step Guide
The following steps work 99% of the time.
What you need
For my main method, I suggest you have the following:
- Blocks of wood (preferably several 2-by-4 boards).
- A hydraulic jack
- A hammer
- A socket wrench
- Penetrating oil
- Rubber mallet
- Jack stands
- Park the mower on a level surface like a driveway. As usual for such operations, disconnect the spark plug and set the parking brake as well.
- Next, if it’s a rear wheel that’s stuck, block the front wheel with a block of wood.
On the converse, if the issue is on the front wheel, you should block the rear one.
- For safety (you don’t want it to move or shift suddenly), place the blocks both in front and the back of the appropriate wheel (use wheel chocks, if possible).
- Remove the wheel cap with your pair of pliers. You won’t leave the washers, will you?
- You can now loosen (don’t remove) the center bolt with a socket wrench (if your mower came with this bolt).
- Now you’re ready to start working. First, fix the floor jack rightly. You should begin by sliding another block of wood underneath the mower frame (the side you’re working on) to serve as a base.
- Next, tighten the floor jack’s hydraulic valve by twisting the handle clockwise.
This will allow you to raise the jack until the wheel is elevated about 6” high (from the ground). Any other height can do as long as you have enough working room.
- Place jack stands under either side of the axle inside the tire (push them the nearest possible).
- Now lift the jack stand arms until they come into contact with the frame.
- You then lower the mower until the weight rests fully on the stands (you can test things by shaking it slightly to be sure).
- It’s now a good moment to apply penetrating oil where the rim and the axle meet–spray a reasonable amount. Note that you should soak the front side as well as the back side, all around the rim.
- Next, with your rubber mallet, tap the rim around the entire circumference of the mower’s axle (front and rear).
- It may barely move the first time so you might need to apply more penetrating oil again around the axle.
- That’s not all- it might take time for the penetrating oil to clear the rust so let it sit for about 15-20 minutes.
- You then hit the axle head with the hammer to knock away any rust sticking the rim to the axle. Also remove the loose center bolt completely, if there -use the socket wrench.
- Now grab the tire (both sides) and pull it off the axle. It’s best to use a rocking motion to avoid the mower falling off the jack stand.
- Don’t panic if it still won’t move- another dosage of penetrating oil and some more hammering will work miracles.
- If still unlucky, call upon a friend to help tap the rim’s back side as you simultaneously rock away the tire, if still stuck.
That should be it.
Tip: I know of a friend who sprayed WD-40 (instead of penetrating oil), left it to settle for some hours and voila, the wheel popped out effortlessly.
You can try it if oil lets you down.
How to Remove a Stuck Lawn Mower Wheel : Alternative options
You can still win the battle of wits with the stubborn lawn mower wheel by employing other tactics.
Take a look.
1. Heating and waxing
If the above doesn’t work at all, you can use a propane
torch to heat the wheel and the axle (moderately). You then melt wax (in between
them), allow to cool, and finally slide the stuck wheel off.
Heating and melting wax will be a whole lot less involving, than methods like removing the axle (Some owners take that route!).
Some substitute wax with engine oil here though that should really come as a very last resort.
2. Chaining hydraulic bottle jack to the wheel
Still, you can chain a hydraulic bottle jack to the stuck wheel then try to pull it out with maximum pressure- be careful as excessive force can be disastrous (to you!) if something goes awry.
Here is a complete video if you would like to try this.
It’s a pretty fairly straightforward method if you do it right.
How not to remove a stuck lawn mower wheel
Don’t be too desperate and attempt some crooked methods.
They mostly won’t help and could actually leave you with a mammoth bill.
Take for instance banging the wheel with brute force until it comes off without applying lubricants or its substitutes.
Well, it looks a no brainer but what if the axle or some other part break?
It sets you back significantly financially and you will have no one to blame.
Similarly, you may use a whole can blast and still not get the wheel off.
To cut the long story short, here are some don’ts:
- Don’t use extreme force.
- Do not even attempt to knock the wheel off the axle by striking the back side. Tap, tap, tap, tap, and tap…..it will eventually come off.
I was here to save you the trouble by taking you through a straightforward process showing you how to remove a stuck lawn mower wheel.
I had faced the same problem with my self-propelled Troy-Bilt TB330 Lawnmower and it worked like a charm.
I hope it helps you too.