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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Beginners Propshaft and Universal Joint Fitment

First try at changing UJs on midget propshaft; what went wrong and what to avoid.
Removal of propshaft was not a problem so on to the more technical bits.
I watched a couple of online vids both from the US and UK to gain tips and tricks.
Took propshaft to friends garage as he has a vice which seemed like a necessary piece of equipment.
Tap end of bearing cap with ball end of hammer or nip with small socket in vice to take any pressure off the circlip prior to removal of both circlips.
Place socket over bearing cap and move the spider and cap each way to break contact in the yoke.
A problem now occurred in that the 4inch vice (width) would not open far enough to take two sockets and the yoke; a small socket to push out (partially) the end cap of the opposite side into a larger diameter socket. In theory once you get 4mm of the bearing end cap beyond the edge of the yoke it can be removed by nipping it in the vice and tapping the yoke with a hammer or screwing it off with a pair of mole pliers. A small socket can then be used to push back the exposed end of the spider to push out the cap on the other end.
What I failed to do was read the bleeding instructions in the manual which shows a different method of cap removal. This is where you hit the yoke with a copper hammer and the caps come out at the end that you are hitting (obviously after removal of circlips). For some reason I simply cannot get my head around how this works and would be grateful if anyone else has used this method and can verify that it does work.
So, back to not reading the instructions and making a buggeration of things
J Sloan

John I have used my copper hammer on ujs for years, if the opening is clean, yes it works nicely

It uses to shock of movement against inertia

A little finger preloaded with grease helps keep the needles in place before you reasse... hammer the new needle races /things back together

But as you discovered the preassembled method has lots going for it

But working under the car beats a couple of hours in the pub after all
Bill sdgpM

If your vise is small and your sockets too long, a couple of large nuts (the threaded type) will work just as well.
J Bubela

Yes, a bigger vice is recommended. I used the big socket and little socket technique to push one side out. When I got that cap out I swapped the sockets around with a bolt in the end of the small socket to push on the spider to remove the other cap. It seemed to work.

To reassemble, I used the vice to push one cap in using the spider to keep the needles in. I pushed it into the yoke enough to enable one circlip to be inserted. I moved the spider across enough to keep the needles correct in the other cap as I inserted it into the other yoke. Again I inserted it enough so I could also get it's circlip in place. I then used a socket to push on the circlip and pressed it into the yoke until I heared the circlip ping into place. Turned it around and did the same on the other side.

All went ok until I realised that at the diff end I put the UJ in backwards. OOPS!!!! I didn't even consider they needed to be one way!!!

When flexed in one direction it was ok, in the other it bound such that it only got as far as the straight ahead position!! It was the type with grease nipple and the greas nipple and casting where it screwed in that was binding.

Not wanting to destroy the new UJ's by taking them out again I drilled a big hole in the middle of the part that bolts to the diff. It worked, just. I had to remove the bleed nipple and replace it with a bolt to seal it.

Next time I'll RTFM!!!!


MG Moneypit

Big vice--no hammer on your machined/balanced tailshaft
MARK the shaft, flanges etc to get everything back where it came from
Large /small sockets and push em out
To reassemble- fit the first cup in a bit and fit the spider into it- locate the grease nipple hole towards the shaft and fitted so that the nipple will be in the compression position under load- using the sockets push the assembly in till the cap has gone further in past it's normal finished position,-fit the first circlip, this allows a bit extra spider poking through so you can fit the second cap well onto the spider-without damaging needles etc then push the assembly through till it hits the circlip, then fit the second circlip-
Repeat for the flange and then do the other end
No hammering needed

John S----1 plus a half for the size of the writeup and minus 2 for buying three u joints
Rob-----6 minus 2 for drilling a hole and unbalancing your tailshaft
Bill--9 for mentioning the pub--well done
J Bub.--not sure about putting my nuts in the vice but I'll give you a--8 as I feel it would be an incentive to get the job done very quickly--

William Revit

As others have said, grease will help to keep the needle rollers in place. Also, you want to locate the yolk so that the needle rollers are partially covered by their caps as you press them on. A bit fiddly but I'm sure many have done it with a 4" vice, including me. Also many will have dislodged a needle roller including me. It'll be better next time.....
Bill Bretherton

Update; removed other end of propshaft universals, again with some difficulty but refitted the UJ in less than 10mins without removing skin or crossing needle rollers.Steep learning curve or what.
Prop back on car and awaiting receipt of 'spare' UJ and new nyloc nuts before taking it for a blast to hear the delightful wail of the SC dog box.
Thanks for the comments and explanation of how the copper hammer trick works,will try it next time.
Following Willy's comment, does no one else like to keep spares in stock? I don't like paying postage for just one item so stock up on potential consumables if placing an order (2 midgets to run into the ground).
John S
J Sloan

I always keep lots of spares. . . just in case. You never know when you'll need them.
Dave O'Neill 2

Or just pay a pro $30 and pick it up the next day...worked for me.

Been there ...i wont do that job agian

1 Paper

My apologies if I have offended you, not my intention at all,just a bit of fun ,please don't take it seriously
spares are always good to have about---
William Revit

Good grief willy ...

that was really was over the top repugnent ... id be offended by that also..this isnt the skank and slut how to website!!!

((( the spider into it- locate the grease nipple hole towards the shaft and fitted so that the nipple will be in the compression position under load.)))


1 Paper

lol - Prop

Honestly though mate, I hope no-one took the score thing seriously, I'd hate to think I'd offended anyone

It's going to be hot here today and I have to go and do a job for a friend,- much rather sit back with a nice cold beer, but, that's the way it goes eh.
William Revit

This thread was discussed between 05/01/2017 and 07/01/2017

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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