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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Group, A while back I was looking for ways to add counter weight to the front of my Ingersoll 4018 after installing a scraper blade to the back. The blade is mostly for the wintertime and with the snow caster there is not much room to add weight to the front of the tractor. After researching the easiest way was to add weight to the front wheels. To start this project off I purchased 2 used case wheels. I also purchased a used set of Bolens 8" front wheel weights that weigh approximately 35 lbs each. This would have give me a total of 70 lbs, using Bart's formula I am going to need about 100 lbs, setting my sights on 100 lbs I have hopes of exceeding the 100lbs to help with steering when using the snow caster on a slippery driveway.

Case Front Rims



Bolens 8" Wheel Weights





My plan was to melt lead and pour it into the inside of the front rims. I purchased a bucket of used tire weights, melted them down and scooped out the tin clips out that floated to the top along with the non-lead weights.









To retain the lead in the rim, I drilled the rims and used some 3/8" x 2" carriage bolts (I used carriage bolts because these were available) with a metal block held up to the head of the bolt with a nut and washer. The bolt is then inserted through the drilled rim with a nut on each side of the rim. The retainer is about 1.5 inches above the rim. I realize that the grease fitting is going to get buried in the lead. I will be drilling and installing a new fitting on the front side of the rim.





The problem I had was maintaining the heat to get a smooth surface as I scooped the lead into the rim. If I was to do this again I would use 2 burners / heat sources one under the rim and one under the lead pot. This way the lead would not solidify before I was finished with my pour.



The surface is rough and I tried to re-float it with a propane bottle torch, I could not get enough heat out of the torch so I placed the rim on the burner to heat the lead up to try to re-float it. I was afraid I was putting to much heat into the rim and turned the flame off. I was able to re-float it better then what you see in the picture. I am not happy with the appearance so I am going to bring the rims to a friend's house that has a cutting torch to float the surface out smoother.



The batteries on my scale are dead I am estimating I was able to get at least 25lbs of weight per wheel with the lead. I will be weighing them soon and will post the weight of the lead and pictures with the final finish of the surface that I hope will look better with a hotter torch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bart said:
How hard was it to release the lead from the wheel? Looks like it will work out quite nicely and if you fill the tires you should be pretty close to your 100 lb target.
Hi Bart, I am not sure what you mean by how hard is it to release the lead from the wheel? With the retainers / bolts the lead is there permanently (at least I hope it is) so I will not be removing it from the wheel. Actually I think the lead is going to be at least 25 lbs each wheel that give me 50lbs plus 70 lbs for the bolens weights, I think I can fit 1.5 gallons of ballast in each tire which should add another 10lbs per tire should put me around 70lbs per tire or 140 lbs total.
 

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Ok, I didn't understand that the lead was to be permanently attached and that you would also have the other weights installed. How are you going to grease the wheel bearings?

It looks like you have a good setup for melting the lead. I have a large quantity of lead, approximately 300 lbs, that I want to melt down for weights but haven't collected the necessary equipment. The lead I have is old roof flashing in large crumpled up sheets so I need a fairly large container to melt it in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bart said:
Ok, I didn't understand that the lead was to be permanently attached and that you would also have the other weights installed. How are you going to grease the wheel bearings?

It looks like you have a good setup for melting the lead. I have a large quantity of lead, approximately 300 lbs, that I want to melt down for weights but haven't collected the necessary equipment. The lead I have is old roof flashing in large crumpled up sheets so I need a fairly large container to melt it in.
Hi Bart,
The lead you have if it does not have any asphalt or sealer on it should be much cleaner then what I used. I had a lot of smoke especially from the stick on weights. I tried getting all the valve stems and caps out of the lead before I melted it but a few got through. I used youtube.com to learn about melting the lead down having never done this before. One of the youtube videos refers to fluxing the lead before molding it. After getting all the impurities off the top by skimming with a spoon with holes in it they say to drop a piece of wax into the molten lead and the finer impurities will stick to the wax making it easier to scoop out. That did not work for me. The wax ignited and I had a flame on top of the molten lead. For what I was doing the lead was clean enough for me without the fluxing.

I put the setup together over the last couple of weeks. I had the turkey fryer burner. I placed a wanted add on craigslist for a cast iron dutch oven or a heavy pan without the non stick finish. A lady responded and gave me both the cast iron fry pan and dutch oven which had the tags on them for a Dunkin Donuts gift card. She had them for years and never used them. I kept the lead melts small, I melted about 50% more then I estimated I would use because I was worried about too much weight and having everything fall over. The first melt was slow taking about 30 minutes. The second melts go much faster if you keep a puddle of lead in the pan an add lead to the puddle. The lead melts almost immediately when adding it to the puddle. When viewing youtube on melting lead I seen some people are using loaf pans and muffin tins as molds for the ingots. I actually used a dollar store loaf pan to mold the extra lead I had in. See picture below. I am going to drill and install new grease fittings on the front side of the rim
Mark





 

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Thanks for the tips and clarification. I was thinking of using a cast iron fry pan but I like the dutch oven with handle which should make it much safer to pour from. Your ingots look very nice--too bad they're not yellow! :sidelaugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bart,
at 1500/ounce i wish they were yellow. That would be great!!

Ted,
I am far from an expert on this but from what I understand the concern is mostly with the lead dust and ingesting it. I was more concerned with the sooty smoke from the adhesives on the stick on weights and from the occassional valve stem or cap that got through. When I was finished I threw my clothes in the washer by themselves and hung them on the line to dry, at the same time I took a shower to keep it as much of the lead out of the house as possible. This is something I probally will never do again. I tried staying up wind whenever possible, washed my hands frequently so I am sure my exposure was minimum. When the rims are completed they will have a heavy coat of primmer and paint. Lead is something we are exposed to everyday, our water pipes are soldered with it, Jewlery is soldered with it electronic equipment with circuit boards such as televisions, radio's and computers all contain lead.
After leaving General Dynamics and graduating college I took a job for a company that made test fixtures for electronic circuit boards. Many of these boards go through a wave solderer that has a molten pool of lead with no special ventilation. Operators were working without respirators, many of the tall capacitors and other tall through hole components were hand soldered again the operators did not have any special equipment on. The biggest danger was the flux being used and the cleaning fluids to wash the flux residue off the circuit boards.
When I was at General Dynamics the submarines had the bildges packed with lead bricks. Many times the bricks would be cut or lead wedges would be used to pack the lead bricks tightly into the bildge. When working in that area we had to undergo lead handling safety, wear special overalls along with safety googles and respirators. The training expressed the importance of not ingesting the lead and washing well, changing clothes before going home.
 

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I read on another forum that if you overheat the lead it can begin to vaporize and that can be very dangerous if you inhale it. When I start cooking lead I will definitely be staying upwind to preserve the few brain cells I have left.

An idea I picked up several years ago is to use the lead to fill steel tubes so that the lead is enclosed and you can weld hooks and/or handles on the tubes to hang them on brackets. I plan to use 3" square tubing about 12" long which will result in a weight of about 40 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bart said:
I read on another forum that if you overheat the lead it can begin to vaporize and that can be very dangerous if you inhale it. When I start cooking lead I will definitely be staying upwind to preserve the few brain cells I have left.

An idea I picked up several years ago is to use the lead to fill steel tubes so that the lead is enclosed and you can weld hooks and/or handles on the tubes to hang them on brackets. I plan to use 3" square tubing about 12" long which will result in a weight of about 40 lbs.
I was originally thinking along those lines. I was thinking a pipe of tubing or even a piece of u-channel filled with lead with a couple of eye bolts on it. I would then lay this across the tractor frame between the front PTO and hood hindge and fasten it with a turnbuckle. If I need more weight I may add this option.

I should have given more thought before pouring the lead into the rim. My original plan was to drill through the rim and lead and use a 10 or 11 inch 5/8 bolt to hold the steel / bolens wheel weights on. Looking at it now with the leverage created by the wheel weights and the distance I think the lead is going to be to soft to be able to keep the bolens wheel weights tight. I fear it is going to be a never-ending battle constantly tightening the mounting bolts. My original plan and thought was if I did it this way it would be ok if the lead did loosen up I would have the wheel weight bolts to hold / draw it tight again. I think I would have been better off with a stud going through the rim welded on the lead side. My only way around it now is to drill the rim for the bolens weights and weld the stud into the rim and hope that is holds.
 

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You can cut flat discs that fit into edge of the rim in the "lead side". Drill center of discs for hub and three or 4 bolts that run through the disc, lead, rim, and Bolens weight. The disc will give a solid surface to clamp with. That will also help hold the lead in in case they work loose some how. You will be hiding the lead, so you wouldn't have to float the surface for appearance sake. 1/4" plate could work nicely for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Group, for those interested here is an update on the wheel weights. I weighed the rims and one weighed 31.3lbs, the other 32.4lbs. The Bolens mushroom weights weigh 31.8lbs each. Before painting the rims I put a bead of chaulking around the rim were the lead meets the steel rim both on the outer edge and the axel hub. The rims are painted, it has been damp and cool for the last week so I am going to let them dry another day or so in the sun and put the tires on. I was planning on moving the grease fitting to the front side of the rim. I do not think this is going to be possible because of the depth of the rim. The drill is at too much of an angle to get a hole started. I am going to try grinding a flat on the rim and hopefully I will be able to keep the drill bit from walking. If that does not work I will be greasing the bearings by hand. I did get a better float on the lead, not as nice as I wanted but good enough especially since there is nothing I can do about it now. Pictures below.





 

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Good job. :thumbsup:
One question though,and maybe it has been covered already.I did not read all of the posts.
I notice on the 8" Bolens wheels,you poured right over the grease fittings in the wheels. How are you going to grease the bearings now ?







Never mind,I just went back and found where you talked about them. Carry on. :mrgreen:
Maynard :canada:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Billygoat said:
You can cut flat discs that fit into edge of the rim in the "lead side". Drill center of discs for hub and three or 4 bolts that run through the disc, lead, rim, and Bolens weight. The disc will give a solid surface to clamp with. That will also help hold the lead in in case they work loose some how. You will be hiding the lead, so you wouldn't have to float the surface for appearance sake. 1/4" plate could work nicely for that.
Billygoat, sorry for the delay in replying. I gave your sugestions some thought and would have like to proceeded as you suggested. The problem is I do not have the equipment to cut the plate and then make the inside cut. I liked the idea because it would have given me some extra weight also. I could have mounted everything to locate all the mounting holes then welded the plate around the perimeter of the rim also. Would have looked great ground smooth and painted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
InTroubleAlltheTime said:
Nice work Mark.
:222: :446: Best Regards, Rich
Did you notice on the wheel weights the birds had a party on the far side of one while the paint was drying. Once the wheels are mounted and tested with the blade it is back to working on the cab.
 

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Could have ran tubing from original grease fitting location to an area that would end up outside the poured section before pouring. Would stand a good chance of getting knocked off though. The other option would have been run tubing through the wheel to the bolt on weight area. There's also the option of drilling the axle for grease purposes. I don't know how much it would weaken the axle though. The actual hole lengthwise through the axle could be very small (1/16" would be plenty) along with the cross axle hole. A shallow hole with a #3 bit for fitting threads is all that's needed.
 
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