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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Help - Front Wheel Bearing Removal

1971 Sprite with Wire Wheels

I'm replacing my front wheel bearings but cannot remove the outer section of the inner bearing. The balls, cage & inner section have been removed ok. I can see the 2 indents in the hub but cannot get enough purchase on the bearing shell to drift it out.

I guess there must be a special service tool for this job if so any ideas where I can borrow / hire one from?

I've tried applying heat to the hub & trying to cool the bearing shell but to no avail. I've already trawled the archives for ideas but without success.

Any suggestions?


Paul Clark


One method is to run a weld bead around the inside of the race, it'll cause the race OD to shrink and a good chance the race will drop out on cooling.
David Billington

I do hope you have looked at the MG Car Club website here

Sadly I forgot to put an image of the tool I use for this job

Basically I have a large screwdriver that I broke the plastic handle off. Then I ground the edge of the blade to allow it to fit inside the indent better. The key is to tap at each side evenly.

I hope this helps

If you are still struggling tomorrow I will pop into my garage and see if I can take a photo of said tool.
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

David - Thanks for the suggestion, I saw this in one of the archive threads. I don't readily have access to welding kit so I'll put your idea in hold for a bit.

Robert - Thanks, yes I've seen the article you've linked. In fact I was reading it last night in preparation for the job & I already have the face adjusted bearing recommended. Just can't get the old bu&&ers out.

I too have tried modifying a large screwdriver to get better purchase but no joy.

Pictures of yours may help. Many thanks.
Paul Clark

OK Paul I went out and took a picture. Not a great shot but I hope it helps. If you have got the bearing scue wiff then knock it back in and start again

Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

I used some 15mm copper plumbing pipe flatened at one end as a drift and the wheel mallet to gently tap the bearing shell out.
Tim Dalton

Thanks for the photo Robert. It will be next weekend before I get to play again. I'll try to copy your design & give it another go.

I appreciate all the responses - Thank you.
Paul Clark

I used a "drift", part of a set from Machine Mart, come in different sizes and not expensive, very useful tool set.

Try knocking the bearing into the hub first to "shock" it loose, then tap each side in turn, if it starts to twist in the hub housing, it will jam.

Also, try a drop of Diesel as a penetrate, soak the hub till the weekend!

Andy Borris

i had a heck of a time removing my old bearings too! In fact I had to walk away, have a think, and come back when i was cooler to do it. I also used a home-made drift (retired screw driver) but the thing for me, is it helped enormously to have the hub clamped to something stationary. It sounds really simple, but just immobilizing the hub while i knocked the bearing out made all the difference. Maybe i am the only idiot who has tried to just place the hub on the work bench and knock out the bearings... a vice or a clamp is necessary.
Chris Edwards

They're out!

For the last week they have been standing off the car and doused in WD40 every couple of days.

Went at it today with my original drift modified a little & had them both out in no time.

If anyone else has to do this I thoroughly recommend soaking the hubs for a few days before starting work, preferably off the car & stood upright. This seems to have allowed the WD40 to penetrate making it easier to remove the remnants of the bearings.

Many thanks for all the advice.

Paul Clark


Thanks for posting this thread...I plan to do my front wheel bearings over the & the subsequent posters have surely saved me a lot of time & aggravation.

DL Rhine

David's method of the bead of weld works a treat every time for problem bearings. In fact it is the only way I've found for some very difficult access installations like the BMC 1100/1300 trailing arm fulcrum.
Paul Walbran

This thread was discussed between 18/10/2009 and 29/10/2009

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