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The blower motor on my air conditioner is shot & needs to be replaced. I've already identified and ordered the replacement motor. The problem is, the old motor's shaft is seemingly FUSED onto the blower wheel itself (Carrier/Bryant LA22LA108) by rust.

I'd really hate to buy a new blower wheel, too... they're not cheap ($125+) and the old one appears to be fine (aside from being inseparably-fused onto the old motor by rust).

Is there any reasonably straightforward way to get them separated without damaging the wheel so badly it ends up having to be replaced anyway? Maybe some semi-magic chemical available from Home Depot/Lowes (or at least a well-stocked Ace Hardware or some other store likely to exist in South Florida) that quickly eats through rust without doing too much damage to the as-yet unrusted steel?

I contemplated trying to cut away the motor shaft & drill it out from the inside until it falls away from the wheel's hole, but I have a hunch that the motor shaft is superhardened steel that won't cut easily.

  • Penetrating oil and time. – isherwood Apr 18 '18 at 19:27
  • Heat, if the torch won't damage anything. You'll be in for a wait with propane, but it should eventually pop loose. – Matthew Gauthier Apr 18 '18 at 20:38
  • My personal favorite is PB Blaster and time, (like several days of soaking). Seems to work way better than WD-40 and slightly better than Liquid Wrench. I doubt the shaft is hardened steel. I would cut it off then drive the stub of shaft out with a punch after it has soaked a while. Make sure there isn't 2 set screws stacked in a single hole. – mikes Apr 18 '18 at 22:14
  • Hmmm... I'll make a stab at drilling into the shaft now & see whether the drill can penetrate it. – Bitbang3r Apr 18 '18 at 22:22
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    Cut the shaft behind the wheel (if you can) and codge up a puller to push the shaft out (or pull the wheel off the shaft). Use penetrating oil first and heat if necessary. – Jimmy Fix-it Apr 19 '18 at 4:24
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Soak the rusted area in a penetrating oil. Wait a day or two. Cut the motor shaft from the motor, drive the shaft out using a hammer.

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The above answers may work. I will also add to be sure and sand off all the rust on the shaft tail so you aren’t dragging the hub through any more rust than necessary. I use plumbers cloth and WD-40 but any sandpaper will work. I also use a good hub puller but a good one will likely cost almost as much as a new blower wheel.

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