Friday, July 15, 2011



Fri., 15 July, 2011 I finally got the flywheel off the crankshaft of my Dondolino. My friend Erik Green, proprietor of Works Engineering in Brooklyn, had a proper hardened 5/8 X 18 bolt from a puller that we used in the tool Jerry Kimberlin had made to thread into the flywheel hub. We hit it with two different pneumatic impact guns he had and it didn't budge. We heated it with the oxy-acetalyne torch: nothing. While periodically shocking the flywheel with a hammer, we used a 1/2" breaker bar and a 36mm box wrench with long pipes over each and pulled on them until we broke off the bolt. So, we removed the puller tool and set the whole driveside crankcase half, flywheel and crankshaft up in a 150 ton press. This involved stacking up a bunch of spacers under the flywheel, which touched the flywheel on it's perimeter at not quite 180 degrees. Definitely not the ideal setup. We pressed on the end of the crank and, I swear, one could see the flywheel flex. Finally, when I was sure the flywheel was going to break, it let go with a tremendous bang and the crankshaft ejected downward. Amazingly, nothing seemed to be damaged any more. The tapers of the crank and flywheel aren't that bad and I'm sure can be lapped. It looks like it's going to be a bit of a challenge to get the sheared key out of the crank and I'll have to check that the crank's not twisted, but I think it all can be used again. I'm really impressed with the strength of the flywheel. I can't say I recommend this method, but it did work and nothing (and no one) was hurt, proving once again that brute force and ignorance made this country great.

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