> If you have washers that are too thick, some quality time with a grinder
> would make them thinner.
Sure - when I used to have access to one I could do that easily. And if I
need to, I still might, but now I'd have to pay for the service, and I bet I
could buy a hundred washers out of a drawer at a parts store for the same
> Some other thoughts : Why do you suddenly need a thinner washer? Could it
> be something is not seated properly? Or do Midgets perhaps use a felt
> seal like the TRs do, that could be holding the inner bearing apart?
I left all that explanation out of my first post, having initially written
it and then edited for brevity. You asked, so here goes...
Midgets were built with precision, thrust-type ball bearings in the front
hubs. There is a spacer between the cones, and the axle nut is torqued
tight rather than adjusted. The ball bearings are supposed to be installed
and just assembled, with no means of adjustment provided. And once you need
to remove the bearings, you pretty much have to push on the cone of one or
the other bearing because the distance piece prevents inside access to the
outer cup. The bearings pop apart and are then junk, though lots of people
do indeed just reassemble and reuse them. Ball bearings aren't the best for
wheels anyway - a roller has more contact area and is less critical for
I converted her Midget to roller bearings, and Timken even notes the
possibility opf making the conversion by listing the bearings in their
catalog and directing the converter to discard the spacer and use a thinner
washer. I wanted to retain the spacer for the additional rigidity (like
Jack Drews' modification for TR axles). I got MGB shims to make the job
easier, though I wound up needing so much shimming that I made thick shims
to get it close and then fine-tuned with thin shims.
The final assembly dimensions just happen to take up a bit more space than
the original setup. I can and will make the proper groove in the
castellated nut a bit deeper, but I need more than that. The nut has just a
bit more space than necessary to install a cotter pin with no washer. I
could just skip the washers, as it's a torqued assembly and if it starts to
turn something is very wrong anyway, but why not use all the safety I can ?
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