Replacing drive lugs on wheel hubs
This item relates to replacing drive lugs on hubs fitted with Houk (Buffalo) wire wheels but the principles are applicable to most hub styles.
The close up of the lug at left shows wear when held against a straight edge. The effect this wear has is that the hub will tend to move slightly before the driven wheel will start to move. This slight lash will tend to elongate the holes the lugs fit into on the rim. Once this occurs it is a lot harder to remedy the rim than it is to replace the lugs
The far left shows how the original lugs are held in place by being peened over into a countersunk area at the rear of the hub flange.
By drilling into the lug until the peened area just lifts from the countersunk area it frees the lug allowing it to be driven or pressed from its hole
New lugs are turned using the original sample (far left) as a guide. Additional length is added to the smaller diameter section to allow for peening them over when fitted. This smaller section is also center drilled which makes the peening process easier. This smaller diameter must also be a tight fit into the holes they will go into.
Peening / swaging should be done cold to avoid distortion or loss of temper to the bearing race if it is left in place.
Far left shows one of the new lugs pressed into place before peening and shows the center drilling. The peening is done cold with a ball peen hammer until the entire countersunk area is filled with metal. Care is needed to ensure that the lug remains fully seated as it will tend to lift with the blows. Any excess is carefully ground off.
Completed hub at right.