Trac Vac Repair Help
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    Gebada22's Avatar
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    Trac Vac Repair Help

    I have a Trav Vac 880 which has been wonderful, but has started to burn quite a bit of oil. I am planning on pulling the engine off and going through it to find the culprit.
    First I have to get the impeller off which is where I am having an issue.
    The following pictures show the impeller, the impeller mounted to the engine shaft and the hex screw.

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    I have not been able to get the impeller off the shaft. The hex screw appears to be locking the key into the key seat. Off course I stripped the hex screw. Couple of questions. First how best to remove the damaged flush hex screw (screw extractor)? Second any thoughts on this set up and how to remove the impeller?

    I am guessing that the shaft might be tapered, but I am thinking the hex screw needs to be removed first.

    I appreciate any thoughts and suggestions. Greg
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    Ray_PA's Avatar
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    I don't believe the shaft is tapered. If it was tapered, it probably would not have a key.
    Getting the rounded out set screw out will definitely be a challenge. Since set screws are hardened, they are pretty hard to drill out although this it probably going to be your best bet. Sometimes heating the set screw red hot and then letting it cool off slow takes some of the heat treat out of them. This may help to drill the hole through it. Easy outs are most likely not going to work. Most times when a set screw rounds out, it is rusted fast so easy outs are most likely not going to work either.
    Good quality drill bits (you will need several), start with a small bit, probably about 1/8", run at high RPM, lots of lube and don't try to take too much at a time. Once you get the first small hole through the set screw, then step up in small increments.
    Once you get enough of the set screw drill out, you will probably need a two jaw puller to pull the impeller off the shaft.
    Spray lots of rust penetrant on it during the drilling process.
    Good luck!!

    When you reassemble, use never-seize on the set screw.
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    Before you drill it out its would be worth trying to heat it up and then try tapping a slightly larger torx into the stripped allen key hole. It might bite and save drilling.
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    Gebada22's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information. Do you think a gear puller could remove the impeller while the nut is still holding the key down. The reason I ask is because with the impeller in the housing it will be all most impossible to get a drill on the screw. Just curious on your thoughts before I move forward. Thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gebada22 View Post
    Thanks for the information. Do you think a gear puller could remove the impeller while the nut is still holding the key down. The reason I ask is because with the impeller in the housing it will be all most impossible to get a drill on the screw. Just curious on your thoughts before I move forward. Thanks.
    It's probably worth a shot!! Honestly, that is probably what I would try. The set screw is just a secondary method of securing the impeller to the crankshaft.
    If pulling the impeller off does not work, clayh, in another post, suggested heating the set screw and then driving a torx bit in it and try to turn it out. This may also be worth a shot.
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    I think a two-jaw puller set around the outer hub flange will pull that fan / impeller right off the shaft.

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    Once off you can heat the set screw, apply some penetrant and attempt to remove it.
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    Thanks guys. I will go that route and report back. First tool purchase of the new year 👍. Thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gebada22 View Post
    Thanks guys. I will go that route and report back. First tool purchase of the new year 👍. Thanks
    Buying tools is always fun!!!
    FYI....from looking at one of your posted pictures, it looks like you can hook the puller jaws right at the impeller hub. It would be best if you can hook the puller jaws close to the hub if possible. Pulling on the outside edge will cause the impeller to flex possibly bending it. GOOD LUCK!!! Getting these types of things apart is always a challenge and there isn't always one right answer as to how to get the desired results!! I have already resorted to cutting the piece off the shaft with a reciprocating saw. Hopefully you will not get to that level!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Impeller_Ink_LI.jpg  
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    You might be better off with a 3 jaw puller to prevent breaking the flange on the hub, if the flute spacing allow a 3 jaw.

    I'd still try the heat and torx first.
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    Thanks so much for all the help. I played with both a two and three puller, but no luck. The rib on the flange is so narrow you can't get any purchase on it. I wonder if the Trac Vac dealers have a collar (special tool) that fits around it allowing them to grab it. I purchased a Craftsman 2 and 3 way puller, but as I mentioned could not get ahold of it securely. I was tempted to grind the fingers to see if the would fit better. Instead I went to HF and purchased one of theirs and ground the fingers down. Much less expensive. I knew this would be risky as I weakened the fingers, but just had to try. I ended up breaking a couple of small pieces off the flange ring. At this point, I concluded that I would stop and just feed oil into the machine as needed.

    Fun project non the less and I learned about pullers. Thanks again for all the help. I am going to ring the manufacturer next week and pick their brain. Cheers and Happy New Year.
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