Before I launch into the blow by blow, I have a question for the list. Has
anyone ever had an MGA lose a rear wheel bearing? These things look mighty
meaty for their intended purpose.
After pulling the axles and cleaning the bearings with brake cleaner, I
found that the surface of the inner race on the right side looked a little
frosted. This bearing was also noisier than the left bearing when spun.
Remember that this is after most of the lubricant was cleaned off. They
were both quiet as a church mouse with gear lube all over them.
I had borrowed some 3-jaw pullers from a friend to pull the hub. After
removing the axle nut (with a chisel- sorry) I tried to use one of these to
pull the bearing/hub assembly from the axle housing. Well, the bearing
housing is square and, as such, a 3-jaw puller would not fit well enough to
get any real tension. There was also a 1.5 inch wide by 5/16 thick steel
strap with some holes in it in the puller box. With some judicious filing
I was able to attach this to the 1/4-28 holes in the hub with the strap of
steel across the housing end. I ended up bending the steel strap before I
moved the bearing. I then tried putting the steel strap behind the road
wheel and using the lug nuts to pull the hub outward. This was successful
in moving the bearing on the housing (shorter lever arms meant less bending
of the steel strap) but I could not pull it far enough to remove the
bearing. Next stop- the tool rental store.
Armed with a goodly sized 2 jaw puller, I was able to dislodge the bearings
from their perch on the axle housing. I then used the same puller from the
other side to push the bearing out of the hub. Luckily, I had some really
big sockets to put over the center puller screw to span the axle housing (1
1/8 inch) and the bearing inner race (36 mm).
Next I soaked the bearings in solvent to get them good and clean so that I
could better assess condition. I had originally thought that the left
bearing was suspect so I was surprised when the right bearing made the most
noise. After thorough degreasing I found that the left bearing was indeed
in worse shape. Spinning it produced the classic "shimmy and slow down" of
a loose bearing whereas the right bearing was still pretty smooth but
noisy. I must not have gotten the left bearing as clean the first time.
This morning I called Gopher Bearing. They have the bearing listed at
36.00 which is about the same price as buying from a Moss distributor after
discount. They only had one in stock and it will take a week to get the
second one. Berry Bearing has a pair of self aligning SKF bearings but
they are 56.00 each and I am pretty sure that the bearing I took out are
not self aligning so I think I will pass on these.
For those interested, the bearings are double row (like 2 bearings side by
side) open (non-sealed) ball bearings. The balls are caged (there is a
retainer to keep the balls from rubbing against each other) but I think all
large bearings are caged so you probably wouldn't have to mention that.
Dimensions are 80 mm OD by 40 mm ID by 23 mm wide which is a European width
bearing. I don't know Why MG uses metric bearings but they seem to be
pretty consistent. Henry Ford used to use metric on his cars occasionally
because this would guarantee that the user would have to come back to Ford
for the replacement since metric was tough to find in pre WWII US.
One last question if anyone has read this far. How do I put these things
back on? the threaded axle housing end does not protrude sufficiently to
allow use of the axle nut to pull the bearing into place. I am thinking
that I will have to carefully "upset" them into place with the subtle
caress of my 2 lb hammer. As always, any suggestions would be appreciated.
One last thing- I bough a 4 wheel drive hub socket for a Dana 44 that
looked like it might work on those 8-sided axle nuts. No such luck. It
looks like Moss is going to have another customer for their axle nut socket
since I don't want to chisel them back on.
61 MGA with fewer parts attached today than yesterday :-(