Disassembly of Large Butterfly-Type Water Valve

I'm trying to disassemble a large (20" diameter) water valve, so that I
can separately scrap the steel housing and the bronze valve plate. I
removed the "steering" wheel and the worm gearbox, as well as a plug
located 180 degrees on the opposite side, and can see the ends of what
appear to be stainless-steel axles about 2 inches in diameter.
Each of these axles has a threaded hole in the end. I'm thinking this
might be arranged for a puller of some sort. If so, I should be able
to weld a matching bolt to a piece of pipe and yank the axles with a
jury-rigged slide hammer.
Am I on the right track? Anyone know if this stuff is just pressed
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I know this appears to be something that should be obvious, but I've been burned before. With my luck, there could be some sort of internal latch that only gets released when you bottom out a threaded rod in the hole, or some other such nonsense. Please reply if you know how these things are actually retained.
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