How to Remove My Lawn Tractor Wheels

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Owning a lawn tractor to take care of the grass and yard work is convenient until the tires need repairing. It is inevitable that sooner or later the tires will go flat and need replacing. You can replace the tires once you know how to remove the wheels on your lawn tractor. Unlike automotive wheels which have several lug nuts, the lawn tractor tire requires only the removal of a retaining ring to release the wheel from the axle.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Pair of jack stands
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Vice grips

Front Wheels

Park the lawn tractor on a level surface. It is better to park the lawn tractor on the driveway or solid shop floor rather than the lawn. Place a floor jack under the front frame and jack the mower up until the front tires are six inches off of the ground.

Place jack stands under the frame on each side of the jack and lower the jack until the frame is sitting on the jack stands. If the mower is on the lawn, place a piece of plywood under the jack stands to avoid sinking the jack stands into the lawn.

Pop the axle cover off of the center of the wheel. You can pry the cover off with a small flathead screwdriver or grab the cover with a pair of pliers and twist the cover off of the axle.

Pull the retaining ring from the axle with a pair of needle nose pliers. Grab the ring from the closed side and pull the ring straight from the side of the axle. If necessary, use a flathead screwdriver to aid in spreading the open part of the ring so the ring will slide off of the axle.

Slide the two washers off of the axle and then pull the wheel off of the axle.

Rear Wheels

Park the lawn tractor on a level surface and place the floor jack under the rear frame. Raise the mower with the jack until the rear tires are six inches off of the ground. Place the jack stands under the frame on each side of the jack. Lower the jack until the mower weight is on the stands.

Pull the axle cover off of the center wheel axle and remove the retaining ring and two washers from the axle.

Grab the end of the square key with a pair of vice grips. The key is between the notch in the wheel and notch on the axle. Pull the key out of the wheel and set it aside in a safe place. Pull the wheel off of the axle.

Tips & Warnings

  • To make reattaching the retaining ring, place one jaw of a pair of pliers on the axle and the other jaw on the outside of the ring. Squeeze the pliers handle together to slide the retaining ring back into place.
  • When reinstalling the rear wheel key you may have to tap the key in with a rubber mallet. Remember to leave at least ¼-inch of the key out so that the vice grips can grab the key later when the tire needs repair.

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