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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:05 pm 
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Location: Knoxville, TN
Hey fellas,

I bought some old Cat Trax and want to put some inner tubes in the tires. Simple enough, right? The problem is that I can't get the end caps off the axle. I don't want to beat them too hard for fear of breaking them. The screw has been removed. Since I didn't assemble them, I really don't know how they are put on there. I assume they're held on by friction and the screw. Is there more to it? I'd appreciate any suggestions.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:18 am 
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Location: Virginia Beach VA
Are the end caps flared with bumpers or something? If it is just a plastic plug or cap would it really matter much if you broke it? If the axle and end caps are aluminum they may be hopelessly corroded together like many Hobie parts used around salt water.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:28 am 
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Thanks for the reply. The end caps are plastic and are flared to prevent the hulls from sliding off the end of the axle. The wheel can't be removed from the axle without removing the cap. Does anyone know if the original Cat Trax instructions call for the end caps to be glued or epoxied onto the axle?

Thanks

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:12 pm 
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As I recall, the end cap is a 'press fit', with a small self tapping screw to ensure it does not go anywhere.
Sounds like the Aluminum has corroded enough that the end caps are 'locked' on.
You may have to hammer the end caps off, which might destroy them.....then you can get to the tyres.
I don't know of a gear puller that big!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:26 pm 
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If you just want to put new tubes in the tires, don't bother to take the caps off. Unseat the outer bead of the tire, and get it to the outside of the rim. A little plastic tire tool for bicycles works well-Walmart may even sell them. Take the old tube out, and off over the end cap. Before you put the new tube in the tire, put just a little bit of air in it to so it can't get pinched as easily as a completely empty tube.

The old plastic tire tool doesn't have as big a slot as these have in them, but it will give you an idea. http://www.amazon.com/Ventura-Bicycle-T ... B001KEH9MM

These are more like mine. http://www.amazon.com/Park-Tool-TL-4-Le ... d_sbs_sg_5

You put them inside the tire, using the rim as the fulcrum, slide them around a little, and pry the tire over the rim. Continue to slide one around, completely getting the tire bead to the outside of the rim.

When I was in a tire store getting new tires on a horse trailer, I saw one of the mechanics changing a rear tire on a semi-trailer. He never touched the lug nuts-just jacked the trailer up, and zipped the tire off the rim.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Thanks, Tom. I'd still like to get the caps off so I can put new ropes in through the caps rather than tie them onto the ends of the axle. If I can't get them off with some light tapping, I'll proceed as you suggest regarding the tubes.

Has your boat project come far enough along for you to make it to the NACs?

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H14 #47787
H20 #647 (sold)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:10 pm 
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Location: Rapid City, South Dakota
We put together a new set of cat trax this summer, and the end caps were a PITA to get on. Its going take some work to get them off, I would suggest a dead blow hammer and a way to distribute the force evenly to the end cap.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:39 pm 
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If the screw holes are distorted inward (which is often the case just from driling a hole in aluminum), it's enough to make removal of the end caps difficult. Some slide-hammer dent pullers come with interchangable ends, including hooks that go inside different size holes.

Here's one for 22 bucks. http://www.google.com/products/catalog? ... FMQ8wIwAA#

You might have to use a Dremel to cut away some of the plastic inside the holes to let the hook catch enough of the aluminum.

MVD, I was excited to find that I actually still owned the majority of a good 16, but I waited to close to the event to get everything done. It wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't already have other stuff that needed to be done.


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