2.25. DISMOUNTING WHEELS
A wheel press with a capacity of 400 to 600 tons is necessary for dismounting wheels. The process is
exactly reversed from that of mounting wheels but the principle is the same. The wheel is held firmly in place
and the ram forces the axle from the wheel. The biggest job in the dismounting process is dislodging a tight
wheel. Neither the wheel nor the axle should ever be heated with a torch to assist in loosening the wheel. If
any evidence of the use of a torch is found, that part affected should be removed from service. A hole burnt in a
wheel plate as shown in figure 2.29 will cause the plate to crack and the wheel to fail. A burnt spot on an axle
generally causes the axle to break under load.
Figure 2.29. Cracked Caused by Hole Burnt in Wheel Plate.
Putting the right two wheels on the right axle to make a complete unit ready for service is a complicated
process. The wheels selected must fit the axle and match each other in size and type. In the mounting process,
protection and lubrication must be given to both the wheels and the axle while the high-capacity presses seat the
wheels on the axle wheel seats. To make sure that the unit will operate properly, the wheels must be exactly
centered on the axle and pressed to the proper gage. Once the mounting process is complete, the wheel and axle
units must be properly stored to protect them from damage and weather until they are placed in service. Finally,
the same procedure used to mount wheels is used to dismount them except that it is reversed and the amount of