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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Axle Rust

Hi, I am new to the MG midget although most definatly not to the marque, my current intentions are to build a Sebring Sprite replica and have already bought, dismantled, sold/scrapped the unwanted detritus and am about to embark on the reconditioning of all the necessary parts.

My rear axle is in pretty good condition except the box section area's that the retaining straps and bump stops are mounted.

My question is are these repairable, if so where can I get them done? and as these items seem to be the weak link in the axle are they available as a repair section.

Or do I need to find a decent bare axle case.
mc Wilks

Either find another casing, or fabricate repair sections for the box sections - not too difficult.
Dave O'Neill 2

Funny you should bring this up.

I acquired a rust induced pin hole in my diff casing. Small amount of oil escaping.

As a temp measure, I've plastered some fuel tank leak fix on it. But I'd rather have a perm solution.

Has anyone ever managed to permanently fix that?
Lawrence Slater

I have repaired both of these problems on my back axle.
I made up replacements for the rectangular bump stop/ axle strap boxes and welded those on. If you don't have the kit for welding, any competant welder / metal fabricator should be able to do it.

So, for the pinholes in the domed cover for the diff itself, I degreased it and then applied a complete layer of an epoxy resin metal based filler - I think I used J B Weld. That was 15 years ago and I have had no problems since. The filler was smoothed over and sanded pretty easily and then painted with black hammerite.
Guy W

I think I will probably have to tackle both of these issues. The initial plan is to fabricate and weld the bump stop area. I was wondering, however, the pin hole (or crack) that I have in the Diff housing is the rear section (the domed bit). On my Diff housing this area is very thin and I was assuming that it wasn't cast, however i haven't had a good look at it. Can someone enlighten me if the whole assembly is indeed cast? At the back of my mind was the idea to attack the domed portion with a welded patch, obviously not a good idea if it is cast.


a reid

Alan, the section with the pin hole is thin -ish plate. I too was wondering if it could be welded.

Thanks Guy.
All it is, is a cover. The pressure escapes via the relief valve, but I was wondering if it needed more than a sealant. Now I know it lasts, I'll do what you did to fix it. Btw. Noted your use of the word "so", to wind me up. ;).

Lawrence Slater

It wasn't to "wind you up" Lawrence. It was to attract your attention so that you didn't miss my valued experience of bodging a diff cover plate.
Guy W

Ha ha. Guy. You always have my attention. ;). Seriously though, if your fixes work, I'm happy to copy them.
Lawrence Slater

As i will be stripping the axle and its off the car, ill report back if the weld approach works... If it doesn't ill pretend I didn't do it and keep quiet...

a reid

Axle casings are made up of three mild steel pressings, top, bottom and dome welded together. The hub ends are castings welded on. (I only worked on the press tools). I mig welded the pinholes in the dome on my Sprite. Wire brush, Jenolite and black Hamerite.
L Langley

Thanks L Langley.

Do you happen to know the nominal thickness of the 'dome' section.? I assume it must be reasonable, as it holds the welded in filler plug rigid enough.
Lawrence Slater

It has been a long time ago, but I would say the dome is 16 gauge (.065) and the casing is 14 gauge (.083). Using the least amount of metal is a major objective but obviously heavier vehicles will require heavier gauges. The hub ends would be drop forgings where the molecules are compressed together, castings would not stand the stresses (thinking about it).
L Langley

I can supply powder coated axle casings fitted with new allen key fill and drain plugs from 85 you can contact me on 07749838528. Richard
rj woolley

Hi Richard.
Are you the same Richard Wooley involved with Rover/MGR design?

Aside from that, if I can't make a permanent fix to my own axle, I could well be interested. The price seems very reasonable.

Cleaned up and powder coated, very nice. Do you have before and after pics of the powder coating, I'd like to see the case before it was made to look pretty, if that's possible.

The other important factor would be the condition of the threads at the ends of the axles.

Just another thought.
Are there any differences between the axles over the years? -- (Post the MK2 Sprites/MK1 Midgets that is.) Mine's a '66. Didn't the later ones(1500s perhaps) have a different handbrake fixing or something?

Lawrence Slater

Hi Lawrence no I am not I wish I was , I have lots of midget parts I break midgets that are past saving I specialize in rewrinkling dashs , restoring heater systems , and getting all parts powder coated for midgets I have no before and after pictures of axles I will have to get some more powder coated I can send you pictures of a selection of parts I have powder coated . I advertise on the MG site if you drop my an email to I will send you pictures.
rj woolley

OK, thanks rj.
Lawrence Slater

I can give a glowingly good reference for Mr. Wooley. Over the past few years I have had a number of Midget and MGA parts from him. The quality has always been excellent, and he is honest and easy to deal with, with extremely fair prices.
dominic clancy

I think this is not a place for commercial advertisement, but in this case I have to support Dominic in his testimony!
J.W. Vlaanderen

This thread was discussed between 06/07/2015 and 24/07/2015

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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