Wheelbarrow Wheel Transplant

The rubber in pneumatic tires / tubes rots when left out in the open for a year or three, so I volunteered to replace the dead-flat tire (on the wheelbarrow I rebuilt last year) with the “flat free” solid foam tire+wheel harvested from an irreparably damaged wheelbarrow. Which, as it turned out, had lost one bearing and the remaining bearing wasn’t in good shape:

Wheelbarrow Wheel - victim bearing
Wheelbarrow Wheel – victim bearing

The bearings in the pneumatic wheel were in comparatively good shape:

Wheelbarrow Wheel - donor bearing
Wheelbarrow Wheel – donor bearing

So I knocked the good bearings out, cleaned up / re-lubed them with squirts from my lifetime supply of genuine Mobil Vactra No. 2 Sticky Way Oil, and hammered tapped them into the solid-tire wheel.

Whereupon I discovered the two wheels have different hub lengths and, unfortunately, the axle clamps in the recipient wheelbarrow lacked enough adjustment range.

Well, I can fix that:

Wheelbarrow Wheel - axle clamp cutting
Wheelbarrow Wheel – axle clamp cutting

I briefly considered cleaning and repainting the wheel, but came to my senses when I considered the tire’s condition:

Wheelbarrow Wheel - transplanted
Wheelbarrow Wheel – transplanted

I suppose when the tread flakes off, the interior foam will rapidly erode, but we’ll burn that bridge when we encounter it.

The alert reader will have immediately noted the grease fitting on that rusty wheel: you’re supposed to periodically fill the entire hub with sufficient grease to push the crud out of the bearings. IMO, that’s so deep in silk purse territory as to be irrelevant.

The remaining useful parts from the defunct wheelbarrow will, most likely, come to good use next year …

6 thoughts on “Wheelbarrow Wheel Transplant

  1. Any Zerk fitting must be greased. Thoroughly. Even if doing so is a pointless exercise. It’s a unwritten law.

    1. It sure looks like the grease did a great job of keeping grit in that poor bearing!

  2. I bought a quart of genuine way oil from a hobbyist supply years ago. That supplier isn’t around any more, and Vactra isn’t stocked locally. Haven’t looked at the online prices, but have found that chainsaw bar oil does a tolerable job.

    1. Back in the early 90s someone told (in PC Magazine if my memory serves me right ) his noisy HDD. He added grease somewhere in his disk and problem solved. Placebo effect sure, but it worked. Or maybe he was ahead of his time? ;-)

      “Computer hard drives perform better, last longer with novel polyester lubricant”

      1. Wonder what happened to sterically hindered polyester lubricants? [grin]

        Two decades later, spinning hard drives and their lubrication problems are … ancient history.

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