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Show Parts for Model:

hat rim repairs

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Author  [Modern View]

08-10-2014 08:14:08

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Finally got tires dismounted annd got a good look at my hat rims on the 45 2N. Luckily I dont think these were ever loaded with calcium chloride, and the only bad rust was around the stem holes, which aren't too bad. I am soaking the bolts to get them out of the hat channel. Probably end up getting all new bolts. I do have loose rust I can hear inside the channels, and wondering if anyone has ever tried to clean these out.
The only way I can figure is to cut an opening in each section between bolt holes, clean it out and spray some kind of rust protector inside, then weld the opening back closed.
The rims are very saveable, but dont want to hear the loose pieces every revolution of the tires.
I even thought about filling with expanding foam as an option. Any comments or ideas welcome.

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08-12-2014 06:58:13

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to corchel1942, 08-10-2014 08:14:08  
Tall T - not fabricating new channels - only replacing the metal band that is spot weled on the inside the the rims to keep the tube from dropping down into that channel.


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Tall T

08-11-2014 12:57:59

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to corchel1942, 08-10-2014 08:14:08  
Note to myself: Always ask "What do you mean?" before wasting time.
This post was edited by Tall T at 08:37:25 08/12/14 10 times.

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08-11-2014 11:43:16

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to corchel1942, 08-10-2014 08:14:08  
The best way I found to break these bolts loose from the rim (besides a cutting torch) is to back the nuts out until it is flush with the end of the bolt, then introduce it to a large hammer and good old muscle. Takes a few wacks but I have never seen one so stuck a sledge hammer could not persuade it. Remember - you don't tap on old iron - you beat on it!

BTW - I am refirbishing my 32" hat rims as well and am stuck trying to find something to work for the replacement band. Any ideas anyone?



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Tall T

08-10-2014 20:49:30

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to corchel1942, 08-10-2014 08:14:08  
The thread about cleaning out the channel holes etc. is titled"

Hat Box Resolutions and is on page 19 -- took forever to find it.

Here's an excerpt:

The best way, at least the quickest way, to clean out the holes would probably be by sand blasting, but i got tired of waiting for a reply from a friend re. his blaster.
Otherwise I'd recommend a narrow chisel -- hammered from both sides of the rim to chip out the thick scale. I also used a coarse square file. I used a cut off wheel on the file to leave me 4 sharp edges for scraping. I also put a sharpened hook on the rat-tailed end of the file to get at the four corners in each bolt pocket. Your blow gun at the ready is good too so you can always see what still has to be done.

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08-10-2014 21:06:17

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to Tall T, 08-10-2014 20:49:30  
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I dont know if mine are different or I'm reading this wrong, but the bolt holes seem to be sealed so you cant get to the channels from the opening.
I do like the idea of opening them up from the inside. It seems much thinner and easier to weld back up.
I will look at them closer this week, I still have a couple stubborn bolts to get driven out. Looks like I will be buying all new bolts too.

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Tall T

08-10-2014 21:24:51

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to corchel1942, 08-10-2014 21:06:17  
Can you post a couple of close-up photos?

I only know this type of hat rim, so I can't say.

Do the bolt heads look like carriage bolt heads?

Oh wait . . .
I think you're saying that there's a tight seal between the squared bolt passage and the hat channel innards. It seems to me that there are leakage points from within the bolt passage to the channel insides, probably filled with rust too.

Anyway, on the backside of your tire and rim, where the squared bolt boxed piece that's fixed in the channel, meeds the rim at one of the bolt passage corners, there's where I would drill a tiny hole for a spray wand. One could even seal that little hole with something before putting the bolt back in.

But if your hat channels look as good and solid as I thought mine looked and felt (dispite the pitting) don't even worry about putting anything in the channel . . . just dry it out and work at sealing your bolt holes so no more water gets in.

My bolts looked like nightmare Alice too but after a lot of work with wire wheel on bench grinder, chipping hammer and grinder finishing disk, they came up nice. I primered them too.


This post was edited by Tall T at 21:45:34 08/10/14 4 times.

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Tall T

08-10-2014 19:20:54

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to corchel1942, 08-10-2014 08:14:08  
I just fully restored my Hat rims not that anyone thought it worth mentioning but here's what I've learned:

Examine the inside of your rim for rust holes right behind the hat box channel into the tube area. I found a couple and welded or brazed them shut. The steel is only rim metal thickness there -- not like the channel itself which appears to be 14 guage -- maybe 16 at the least.

If you did want to get inside the channels, then getting in from the inside might be the way to go. You could weld up your access holes when you are done.

I wouldn't entertain the notion of removing the channels . . . massive job and miles of continuous welding bead. At least in my case there was loads of meat still on those hat channels.

I'd buy new rims before ever doing that. You probably don't have to do that at all and if there are holes in the side walls of the channel, then cut some nice holes and weld in some 16 or 14 gage steel. Those heavy rings give the rim itself tons of added strength as well, even if rusty inside.

If you want to see how I dealt with future rust inhibiting, with photos, the forum thread is titled: "No Hydraulic Action" and it is on page 2 of this forum.
In an older thread I rambled on about how I got the slabs of rust out of the bolt holes -- the insides of which are now primered and painted and the bolt shanks are primered.
No one else commented on my hat box theories and why those rims got a bad rap and how to stop hat ring deterioration in the future ... in short sealing up your bolt holes so that no water can get in in the future is the ticket. That is how the water got in! Don't fill them with foam whatever you do, or anything but solvents or oil or whatever. the two back doors on my step van someone pumped expanding foam into and it destroyed them with rust because of that.
And if your hat box channels are bone dry inside before you put your centers back in and seal the bolts (I used Permatex Ultra Blue cause I had some around) and oiled leather washers they will STAY dry inside and the rust flakes still in there will eventually turn to powder.

And don't leave your tractor sitting in the creek. LOL

But here's where you might do even better. See where between center and hat channel there is a very thin tough leather washer (typmany drum skin) . . . well . . . those mating faces are not too level at the edges so if I had used silicon in between there as I did behind the bolt heads, I would have had a guaranteed water-tight seal. I can still do that later sometime so all is not lost. when I torqued down the center nuts, oil squeezed out of a couple of the leather rings so I did get a fairly good seal on the thread side of those bolts too I think. I can't really put silicon on the backside there now because of the oil-impregnated leather washers. this morning i put the last silicon under the overhanging bolt heads so as to get that done before the rims got dirty.


This post was edited by Tall T at 08:38:30 08/12/14 4 times.

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Fuddy Duddy

08-10-2014 20:52:05

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to Tall T, 08-10-2014 19:20:54  
I agree with you to a point. Most likely if he keeps it dry on the inside the rims will last him a long time. Removing and replacing the band would be a lots of work.
But your statement, "Don't fill them with foam whatever you do, or anything but solvents or oil or whatever." I have a little problem with. I take it that you are saying to coat the inside with oil? That would help stop the rust. But the oil would deteriorate the rubber tube as it would leak on to it.

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Tall T

08-10-2014 21:03:13

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to Fuddy Duddy, 08-10-2014 20:52:05  
Very good point Fuddy Duddy!
So forget swamping the channels with oil because even if you thought you had all the pin holes to the tube sealed up, a new one could develop later.

I mentioned penetrating oils or whatever because he seemed to have his heart set on getting some rust inhibitor in there.

If I had elected to put a rust fluid into my channels I would have used Amsoil Metal Protector because it is incredible on rust and because the wetness eventually evaporates leaving a nice DRY rust inhibiting film. Ya, I know, I'm advertising again, but anyone with sense enough to try it will soon find out it is true.

The best way and with the least work would be to stick a spray can wand in to each channel section by using the bolt holes themselves for access even if that called for drilling a small wand-sized hole -- within that squared bolt passage.


Terry :)
This post was edited by Tall T at 21:41:04 08/10/14 3 times.

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08-10-2014 17:41:47

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to corchel1942, 08-10-2014 08:14:08  
Fuddy Duddy got it right. Remove the bands. Sand blast, prime and put new bands on them.

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08-10-2014 11:10:41

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to corchel1942, 08-10-2014 08:14:08  
If H Cooke sees this he may answer. He has fixed up more then one set including a set of 32 inch hat rims he got with a tractor I sold him. The hat area of the rims in that tractor had cement in them

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Fuddy Duddy

08-10-2014 09:12:13

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to corchel1942, 08-10-2014 08:14:08  
I'm a firm believer in sand blasting as the only way to truly deal with rust. That o'course would mean removing all the band and then replacing it with a new one. Just removing what is loose in there is not really going to do you much good. You won't hear it while the tractor is running. I have heard of people with rusted out bands to put concrete in there. But concrete is a corrosive. once the bolts are out you can most likely remove the loose scale thru the bolt holes and compressed air. You could then seal up all the holes with tape and put in some of the so called 'Rust Eaters' and roll it around to coat it. That is more of a feel good solution than anything. Not going to stop future rust. Others use electronics with some luck. Hopefully there is still enough good metal in there that it will last for years with just a good cleaning to what you can get to easily. Sand blast that part if you can at least.

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