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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Oh no, not......Front Hub Brgs! Wohoo!

This thread is not for those of a nervous disposition or for those who wake in the small hours, seeing Wheel Bearings drifting before their eyes!

For the rest of you - I could do with a bit of detective work help.

I am fitting new brake callipers. First side went fine. That was where the job started - bit of lift in the bearings; sorted that; didn't like the look of the callipers so job went from one thing to another. You know the score.

I am now trying to fit a new calliper on the other side and it won't go home. The new pad on the outside of the disk is jamming against the disk before I can get the calliper over the mounting lugs at the rear.

It suggests to me that the hub is not "home". Could this be the old inner bearing fillet radius issue? I did see somewhere a check measurement but can't find it at the moment. I have measured from the mounting pad on the back of the swivel to the inside face of the disk and it comes out at 22.9mm. Does anyone have a reference measurement I can compare that (or another) measurement to?

BTW I haven't pulled that bearing assembly off yet. Hadn't intended to. Probably going to be the obvious next step but feel I would like to know whether there is an issue here.

G Williams (Graeme)

Hi Graeme

Obvious question really but is the calliper piston fully retracted on the outside pad. You could try fitting the calliper without the pads to see if the disc is running in the middle of the calliper. If it is then its not a wheel bearing but a calliper problem.
Bob Beaumont

Sadly, yes it is retracted. The unit I removed had partially worn pads so there was a greater gap between the pad faces. One piston in the old calliper is further out than the other.

I could do some more measurement checks couldn't I. Find where the center of the disk is in raltion to the calliper. Back out in the cold then!
G Williams (Graeme)

I can only do a rough measurement at the moment. THe centre line of the calliper appears to be 25 mm from the datum I'm using (the faces of the mounting pads) whereas the centre line of the disk appears to be 26.8 mm. They are just rough indications at the moment and I wouldn't put much weight on them other they still suggest the same problem.

I presume that as long as the calliper can be fitted, being off-centre doesn't matter as one piston will work firther extended than the other. However, fitting new pads reduces the "free space" to play with and in this case doesn't leave sufficient to take up the mis-alignement.

I'm sure that critical disk assembly dimension is quoted somewhere! I can't find it again.
G Williams (Graeme)

I am trying to eliminate all other possibilities, other than the dreaded hub bearing. I guess the disc is bolted securely to the hub and the hub nut is nice and tight??

Your correct in that it doesn't matter if one piston is further out than the other except if you can't get the pads in of course!!
Bob Beaumont

I have still to investigate the mechanics of the hub assembly. Thinking about the disc bolts, if they were loose then I think the disc would move in not out. If the hub nut were loose, trying to fit the calliper would force the hub assembly further up the spindle in effect doing what the hub nut should be doing.

Unless the PO/rebuilder has done something really diabolical, I think this is a case of bearing radius/spindle radius interference which the rebuilder decided to leave and fit part-worn pads to overcome. We know the corner radius on the spindle varies so perhaps I have a "bad" one. My concern is back to the usual problem - where do I get a bearing with the "correct" radius?

I need to get it stripped out and see what's there.
G Williams (Graeme)

Graeme did you put this up so Lawrence has something to occupy his time while he waits for his ebay item?
Greg H

I do have a spare genuine RHP bearing set if required!
Bob Beaumont

Bob: that may be my life saver. Could I buy that from you? I think I have your email address somewhere.
G Williams (Graeme)

Greg: I think Lawrence has moved onto more cerebral issues than wheel bearings.

Bob: can't find your email address but I think I have a tel no for you. End in 7?
G Williams (Graeme)

Yes that is correct!

Bob Beaumont

Now what could be more cerebral than a discussion about FWB's?

For when Bob runs out of new old stock, Bull Motive ( ) sells Part No: SUS166A. They have theirs made to the same spec as the original RHP's. These were confirmed to have the correct 2mm radius, and correct internal clearances, ---- even though some here are known to believe that to be impossible --- for the price. lol.

Lawrence Slater

Ahh, but are the FACE ADJUSTED ? !!
Guy Weller

Just stop that Guy!I'm having a pleasant afternoon
Bob Beaumont

Sripped the hub out this morning.
The inner bearing is the original equipment RHP style (and numbered) with the nice large radius in the corner. Shame the bloke who fitted it put it the wrong way round!
The outer bearing broke as I knocked it out and I don't know which way round that had been installed unfortunately.
All that explains why tightening the nut didn't remove the bearing play (Presumably it would have "deloaded" rather than "preloaded" although whether this would also explain why the disk mas misaligned I don't know. Seems likely though.
G Williams (Graeme)

I am eager for someone to buy those Bull Motif bearings and confirm for us if they are the real deal.

Such a good price. It would be nice to be able to send everyone to one "best" place (like Peter Caldwell for dampers, and Barry King for wishbones).


Norm Kerr

May I be so bold as to show you these, not original, just better.

they look good

any downsides to having them on a road car?
Nigel Atkins

Thanks Nigel, no downside at all, as the best material has been chosen to do the job. The main benefits are weight saving and the use of quality taper roller bearings, doing away with the spacer and 2 degree spec bearing.



Can I assume that the hub in the picture is not properly fitted to the stub axle?
As in the picture it is not possible to fit the split pin due to the holes not lining up.

Nice piece of kit though
Onno K

I would say the downside is 240 quid (I assume that's for a pair).

There's now't wrong with the original setup, unless you really feel the need to save weight.

Of course if you haven't got any hubs to begin with then these might be worth it. But who, for road use, is going to dump the ones they already have, just to save a bit of weight?

Lawrence Slater

I was thinking of as at replacement time to save all this worry with bearings :)
Nigel Atkins

Onno, The hubs are not 100% fitted , its was loosely assembled for the photo.
Lawrence, The price is for a fully assembled pair of hubs, and I'd say very good value for money given the quality of the machining and components.
The reason I mentioned these hubs is purely that there has been long discussion and debate on the BBS forum as to the correct bearing and its availability. This kit negates this issue.
I did not suggest that you 'dump' your original equipment in favour of this kit, that would be silly. Simply pointing out that there is an option available for those who wish to take it.

take no notice of Lawrence he's got his table cloth dirty so is in a bad mood :)

I knew what you meant hence my question

but Onno has made a very good point, you've let your marketing down if you have a sales/promoting photo that causes a doubt or question like that, when you get the chance I'd suggest you replace with a photo of a nicely fully assembled one - suggestion given in good spirit
Nigel Atkins

Lol.... (prefer smilies, but believe they are not available on here)
Will take a new photo tomorrow and replace the misleading image. Rest assured they do fit, we have sold half a dozen sets so far with no fitting issues.

good stuff, I'm sure they do fit but it's all about presentation - mainly of the bill, mine will be in the post to you tonight as a Marketing and Sales Consultant, £265 plus VAT :)

I'll send Onno a finder's fee of a spare, unfinished, Rostyle wheel* if he pays the P&P on it :)

*balance weights not included
Nigel Atkins

Nice to see that you MG guy's have a sense of humour, I ask ya !!


If the inner bearing was fitted the wrong way round I assume you mean the radius was on the inside! this would mean the hub not going fully home and I guess would lead to the disc being in the wrong place! Whilst they would not have been properly preloaded they may still be ok if re-installed correctly.

Bob Beaumont

I wonder, Bob, whether running without preload would have caused bearing damage?
G Williams (Graeme)

An honest answer is I don't know. But if it was me, I would carefully inspect the bearings for any obvious damage and if all ok I would have a go re-assembling the hub correctly and fit it on the car and see how the bearing sounds.
Bob Beaumont

I agree with you Bob, but Graeme says he broke the outer bearing knocking it out. If on the other hand that only means that it came apart, I'd put it back together and re-use it.

JL. There isn't any issue to negate with the front wheel bearings. Imho, it's all smoke and mirrors caused by the sale of some good, but wrong spec bearings. Buy some sets on ebay, and you'll likely get a problem with the front wheel bearings not having the correct inner radius and too much internal clearance.

Buy a set from Sussex, Moss, Bull Motif, Front Line, Unipart, and there isn't an issue. If you do get a bad set, take them back for a FULL refund.

It doesn't matter how much is written on this subject, it has now become a "mythical fact", that unless you use NOS you can't get good new angular contact for less than 100 pounds per side. That's a shame for those that believe the stories, because it costs them far more than it should to sort out worn fwbs.

Also, the beauty of the original contact angular bearings, as opposed to tapers, is that the original setup can last over 100000 miles without any adjustment at all. Fit and forget. Not so with tapers I believe. But hey ho, nothing really matters, as the man said. :)

Nigel, have you understood what Chintz is yet? lol.
Lawrence Slater

I understand the pattern you showed and take your word for it as you’re into your interior décor and furnishings

chintz isn’t my choice of lifestyle but for those it is as I’ve put before fully embrace it

has my bill turned up yet, usually takes a bit longer as I leave the recipient to pay the postage
Nigel Atkins

Nigel, you still don't get it. Chintz isn't a lifestyle choice, it's a pattern. And on that basis, as I have no idea what your talking about, I'm out :).
Lawrence Slater

"Norm Kerr, Michigan, USA
I am eager for someone to buy those Bull Motif bearings and confirm for us if they are the real deal.
Such a good price. It would be nice to be able to send everyone to one "best" place (like Peter Caldwell for dampers, and Barry King for wishbones)."

Norm this is just for you. I've been trying to find it, and here it is.

Posted 08 October 2012 at 06:08:12 UK time
'Props' favourite subject again !!
Anyway fitted new bearings & spacer about 300miles ago and no issues whatsoever. Just for information I used a Kit from Bull Motive the moggy specialists. The bearings look the same as original RHP's (unlike the modern replacements which I took out )
I was very careful with the hub and did notice some bruising that could have made the bearings sit proud so dressed that to ensure the bearings sat flush. I used a new spacer and popped it all together, no play and still no play after 300+ miles on NSW roads which to put it frankly are crap (rough and full of potholes). So maybe the solution is these bearings or maybe it was a combination of ensuring hub faces were good and using a new spacer. Anyway maybe this will help a few of you guys out.

Ed, any update on this?

Lawrence Slater

Here's some news:

Bought a front bearing set from MGOC. I asked beforehand about the larger radius and was told: "The kits are supplied to the original specification"

This is what I got:
Box marked Powertune RGHK1142
Large brg Powertune F12c 72058
Small brg Powertune F111 7303
Country of origin Taiwan

All radii are approx 1mm. Using my LJT25 in comparison, I can clearly see substantial difference in radii between the original (correct) bearing and MGOC offering.

The crucial issue of inner race radius is not "as original spec". THe small radius will hold the bearing "off" the step on the spline.

I spoke to Bull Motif. They told me that their bearings do not have the larger inner radius either but that "wasn't a problem on A35 and Minors".

THe attached pic shows the MGOC bearing compared with the original (on right). The radius difference is clear!

G Williams (Graeme)

Send 'em back.

Bull motif have either changed the spec then, or were lying last year.

We need Ed to confirm what his were like.

I tested the radius of the Firstline bearings last year, and they were 2mm on the inner radius. I tested it with a home made radius gauge, and by fitting them onto a spare axle that I took with me to the supplier. Perfect fit.

I thought you were buying Bobs?
Lawrence Slater

Neither the Minor nor A35's have the 2 degree radius on the stub axle.As a result we have no problems with bearings.

I have bought a set from Bob now! I thought I'd do my duty and go for the MGOC set as a trial. On the basis of the one purchase they are not fit for purpose in my case as my spindle has a sizeable corner radius.

"Everyone" seems to sell Firstline on Ebay. Are you saying they are ok Lawrence?

For our Aus friends, someone is selling a genuine nos LJT25 for about $6 on Ebay!

I think JLH sums up the Bull Motif issue as they in effect told me the same thing. "They have a small radius but that's fine for the A35/Minor market".

Would be nice to try and summarize the market supply situation. Does the inner bearing have a large 2mm+ radius and are both bearings Face Adjusted?
G Williams (Graeme)

I am a firm believer that in al lot of cases the bearings are not at fault or the cause of the failure or excesive wear.

I have had plenty of trouble with "bad" bearings.
And all of those times changing the hub and using the "bad" bearings the problem was solved.
The hubs wear out and are nla.

So this set is imho very important to the continued parts supply for the spridgets (especialy for the daily drivers) not only the (boy racers)

Not having a proper heater switch available is bad enough.
Not having crucial parts like hubs would be a disaster
Onno K

Onno, no reason why we could not start production of steel hubs, to original or taper roller spec, if there was a genuine demand. These would be billet rather than cast.
Price per pair would be similar to the alloy sets, I'd imagine but I can look into costings further if required.

"Would be nice to try and summarize the market supply situation. Does the inner bearing have a large 2mm+ radius and are both bearings Face Adjusted?"

Yup Graeme, and that's what the long thread from last year was all about.

As for MGOC spares. On their website it says, quote, "Buy Original Specification MG Parts" As a potential customer, there's not much you can do. As an actual customer (as you are now), you can report them to trading standards for misleading claims, for selling goods not fit for purppose, and not as per description. GHK1142 is the accepted original designation for the original kit containing bearings to the original RHP specs.

Last year MGOC spares wrote this to me and Ed in Aus.

" Apologies for the delay we have been awaiting a comprehensive reply from the manufacture, but despite several follow up calls, they have failed to provide a satisfactory response to your questions. However we had been aware for some time, of the ongoing discussion on the BBS forum and had made previous enquiries with the supplier to verify their suitability on midgets and Austin Healey Sprites. We have continued to inspect our stock of midget wheel bearings and are carefully monitoring return rates.

Whilst we're unable to answer your technical query without first verifying the data with the supplier we have at least established that our supplier is the same as Moss Europe and that given the thorough reply you have already received and posted from their technical department, it should provide you with some confidence that both MGOC Spares and Moss Europe are supplying acceptable and crucially, affordable front wheel bearing sets for these vehicles. I would conjecture that the supplier in question feels that having fielded enquiries previously from the spares team and latterly from Moss Europe, that this issue had been put to bed and hence our request for further information has gone unanswered.

We are in the process of conducting our own analysis on the GHK1142 bearing set. However as we have confirmed that Moss and are supplying the same bearing kit, we should find that our kits containing 7205B and 7303 will return the same 1 deg radius. In the meantime we have ordered a supply of kits from an alternative supplier with bearings stamped MJT17/LJT25. Sadly the smaller of the two bearings (MJT17) is now described from NSK as coming from a terminal batch produced in 2008 and that this kit will soon be NLA. We have secured a limited number of kits, they are expensive but we will be able to retain samples for future use and allow a handful to go on sale.

The MGOC Spares team are dedicated to the marquee, staffed by loyal enthusiasts that restore, develop and drive these vehicles regularly. We refer to the discussion boards regularly, seeing them as a sounding board and adding to the wealth of information already in the public domain. We are receptive to your comments, responding where required and welcome your feedback on this issue but I would ask that given the technical nature of this enquiry and the seemingly large interest that it has created; that more time be given to gather all the facts in order that we can act in the best interest of the club and it's members.

Best Regards
MGOC Spares Ltd"

As regards Firstline. I'm saying that the kit I looked at in my local shop, came in a Firstline box, and had the correct 2mm radius. I didn't buy them, I just got the shop to order stock, so I could trial fit them and take pictures.

I don't buy the theory of worn hubs. The radius is one issue, and the "wobble" is another. I don't buy the theory of worn hubs, but for those with deep pockets, by all means have new hubs made, it's your money. personally I think it would be far better to establish a supply of the correct fitting bearings, and that's why I started the long thread last year.

Is the Graeme really the only customer to have purchased and fitted front wheel bearings since then? Is he the only one to have a problem with the bearings supplied? If not, then what have those other people done about it?

It needs a customer to make an official complaint to one of the suppliers and trading standards, to force the issue. -- Or not if nobody cares that much. I'm not a customer, I have 3 spare sets of originals, two of which are new unboxed.

Lawrence Slater

Lawrence, certainly agree that going for proper bearings is the way to go, and much cheaper than new hubs. just depends on who has the money to commission a batch as the cost to supply the numbers required might be prohibitive.
If these bearings do indeed last for 100,000 miles then maybe the return from sales would not really stimulate the investment.
A new hub with taper rollers may well have a place, as the bearings are relatively cheap in comparison and less likley to become unavailable.
Agree re folk complaining about parts not fit for purpose, we have similar issues with the Minor market. In our case the problem has been caused by owners refusing to pay a proper price for a proper part, so the good manufacturers go out of business to be replaced by those who simply do not care.
I do believe that numbers are key here though, a single complaint will get no where, however a quick poll of problem parts and a list of complainants would go much further.
We then have the issue of trying to encourage the manufacturers to re start production of quality parts. The will needs to be present from both sides of the counter though.

I thought that MGOC reply was pretty comprehensive - especially to a non-customer. Polite and not dismissive of your enquiry as many "Customer Services" replies can so often be.

It did leave a couple of s matters in the air; apparently awaiting further information from their suppliers who claim the bearings are to original spec (when they clearly are not). And the outcome of the MGOC's own in-house analysis of the GHK 1142 set.

Did you get any follow up from them on either of those points?

At some point in the evolution of this front wheel design, there has been a change in specification regarding these bearings. The Spridget arrangement was initially simply a "parts bin" item direct from the A35. If the A35 arrangement doesn't have a problem with the non-radiused bearing kits then it cannot have the 2mm radius at the root of the stub axle. So that has been changed, but when?

There were frequent broken stub axles on the early cars, both A35s and Sprites(Sprinzel mentions it) Apparently related to a casting anomaly but they were changed after that so maybe the radius was increased to 2mm at the same time. From that earlier discussion I recall that there seemed to be variations in the amount of radius on the stub axles which possibly explains why there is no problem reported with some installations of the small radiused bearing sets.
Guy Weller

Lawrence I remember the post from last year, but like most posts here they go round and round and eventually dissappear up their own thread. AS a result, I was left without a clear notion of whether anyone was supplying cosher bearings. It seemed to concentrate as I recall on Sussex Classics and their stock although I don't recall a conclusion to that either.

MGOC are a fair company to deal with. They accept returns freepost and refund whether there is a technical issue or purchase in error. Their currect stock may well suit some users if the existing axle has a small radius. Because I could only try the bearing if I opened the pack, and then I knew it would take some pulling off I decided to reject it on the basis that the radius was not right. I think threats of Trading Standards are a bit OTT and may well alienate a company which on the whole is "good".

I am not convinced that anyone is currently offering the correct bearings. Since the LJT series is dead and gone, the "7-series" numbering is on offer and I think their spec is 1mm radius.

So, let's see:

Who can hold up their hand and say they have managed, or not managed to buy the correct original spec bearings?
G Williams (Graeme)

I think the issue with the new bearings and whether they fit or not does depend on many factors. Graeme would not have known his hub was incorrectly assembled unless he undertook the reburbishment of the calliper. The inner bearing fitted the wrong way round had the same effect at 'new' bearing with the incorrect radius. If he had not had to change the pads he would not have been any the wiser!

I suspect a poor bearing set will not have any impact on drum braked cars which can accommodate the hub being in a different place. As long as it all rolls along and can pass a MOT who will really care?

The inner radius clearly varies on some production batches and allows some 'new' bearings to fit ok. This all adds up to uncertainty as enables the retailers to continue to sell bearings which may not be fit for purpose. I suspect as jonathan points out we wil get very far.........

Bob Beaumont

>>we have similar issues with the Minor market. In our case the problem has been caused by owners refusing to pay a proper price for a proper part, so the good manufacturers go out of business to be replaced by those who simply do not care<<
this is what I’ve been saying for many years, perhaps not as diplomatically as you but I’m not in the retail business, with classics for many years owner have only wanted to pay for cheap parts (unless it’s a bling item)

15+ years ago when I had my previous Spridget and I complained about parts quality I was told that most Sprideget didn’t want to spend and I was in a very small minority by frequently using and servicing the car

when I found the top metal heater pipe for the later c/b cars was being sold incorrectly by part number by all the retailers (that I checked) as it was for the earlier cars only – not because I was clever but because it was a b*gger to fit – when I complained MGOC Spares were the only one that wanted to investigate the matter and they then tried to commission the correct part but the cost was too high to retail – you can’t beat tight-fisted classic owners

so MGOC Spares do at least try (but you can't beat tight-fisted classic owners)

unlike Moss who I’ve found just blame the customer and say that the customer has ordered the wrong part

the staff at Rimmers I’ve always found to be at least honest even if the company policy just seems to be to accept the poor parts quality
Nigel Atkins

And there it is.

Nobody thinks it worth making an official complaint to a consumer body, and nobody expects any complaint to get very far.

Nobody wants to alienate a supplier. Personally I couldn't give a toss. If I buy something, I expect to buy what's been advertised, esp' if I've made exhaustive enquiries to establish what it is, and then it turns out to be something else. But that's just me, I'm a born complainer who doesn't take anything lying down.

They have no excuse for supplying the wrong spec parts, esp these wheel bearings, since they've acknowledged the problem. What however they do have, is customer apathy and reluctance on their side. So they can sell the wrong parts with impunity.

Nope Guy, I've heard nothing since, and haven't chased either Moss or MGOC. As I said, I don't need to, I'm not a customer for fwbs. Has anyone else? No? I didn't think so.

At my age, and with the stock of original fwb's that I hold, even with 2 Spridgets, I'm unlikely to ever be affected by this problem. Especially as I renovated a set and it's still in the drivers side hub on my Sprite and going strong with no wobble and no noise. Mot in June, so I'll check it then.

Lawrence Slater

you've asked a questioned and answered it in the same post which doesn't allow anyone to answer your question does it

it's WRONG OF YOU to assume that nobody complains and does not worry about alienating a supplier and I know I'm not alone

you've over simplified the situation with regards to specification and fit for purpose and the proving that these bearings are not, then there's the reasonable, expected or warranted period before wear and life of a part that will wear, the installation competence of some, state, quality and wear of associated parts and components, number of complaints, number of units sold without complaint, etc.

if the case was proven and all stock scrapped by that one supplier they have to stop supplying or look at very expensive alternatives that might mean they wont or can't sell them because of the cost

not everyone is convinced the problem is as bad as you, I've no idea as it's far too confusing for me and if my car has it it's not been a significant noticeable problem that I've noticed or been told about on my car by others
Nigel Atkins

But the reality, as has already been said, is that most of the bearings sold by Moss, MGOC etc actually do fit to the satisfaction of those buying and installing them. If every set that MGOC sell was returned at their expense there would soon be questions asked.

I suspect in a lot of instances it a case of someone demanding a 2mm radius because "that's what the bearing should have" even when their specific case is such that their spindle doesn't need it.

In my case it seems it is an issue but I suspect it's an exception rather than the rule.

G Williams (Graeme)

I don't buy that Graeme. All spridget Axles were specced with a 2mm radius, or at least anything past the first frogs were. Rob and Norm (and others) could/would tell you with certainty, that the axles have a 2mm radius and need a 2mm radiused inner bearing, and why they need it. I don't think that's in dispute is it? (Leaving aside the need or otherwise for face adjustment). My only disagreement was in respect of having to buy bearings at over £100 per side to get bearings that meet the specs properly.

Now, after all the comm's last year with Moss and MGOC et al, nothing has been resolved, and it seems that the wrong spec bearings are still being supplied by them.

And it now transpires -- it seems -- that Bull Motif, were bulling. I was told on the telephone, that they had an original QH kit copied exactly to the same spec, radius and all, and we were talkinjg about QH QWB105C at the time. If though Minors don't need that, then clearly Bull Motif aren't any good for Spridgets, and can be excluded from possible suppliers as far as fwbs for Spridgets are concerned.

As for Fisrtline and Unipart though, they both maintain(and with Firstline at least I've seen them firsthand), that the bearings they supply, DO have the correct 2mm radius on the inner bearing.

Nigel you said of me, "you've asked a questioned and answered it in the same post which doesn't allow anyone to answer your question does it". Is that a question or a statement? Sounds like the pot and the kettle to me.

As for the remainder of what you wrote, as you've said it's all to confusing for you, so I won't bother to answer the rest of your post lol.
Lawrence Slater

"All spridget Axles were specced with a 2mm radius, or at least anything past the first frogs were"

Is this established beyond any doubt? I didn't think it was as clear cut as that. Presumable a dated engineering drawing would confirm, if Bob or anyone else has access to one.

It doesn't alter the facts about what the spec for the bearings SHOULD be (i.e with the 2mm radius)as clearly a correct bearing would fit whatever the root radius of the axle was. But if some axles had a smaller radius, then this could explain why some under-specced bearings seem to fit OK. This, plus what I suspect as many owners (and garages?) not being fastidious enough to notice or even understand the effect of the wrong radius would explain the claimed very low number of "returns" claimed by the main suppliers.
Guy Weller

Guy, I've got 6 stub axles. None have a radius of less than 2mm. Like you I'm not keen on the archives, but I'm sure they contain a discussion on measurements done on the spindles, and the conclusion was that if any were less than 2mm, then they were a rarity.

I think the reason for so few returns or complaints is pretty much as you said. That many people don't get pulled on the mot for sloppy bearings. They(spridgets) are kind of expected to shake rattle and roll, and a lot of mot stations are quite forgiving of Spridget suspension and steering. Add to that, that as Graeme discovered, if you don't fit new pads, you probably won't notice, or mind even if you do notice, that the hub is off centre.

Lawrence Slater

I don't much feel like wasting 15 quid or whatever the cost, on fwbs that I don't need. However, if I had a free set from sussex or moss or mgoc, I'd pop the inner bearing into it's parts, and increase the size of the radius on the inner race with a grinder/dremel, and then install it in a hub.

That would solve the radius problem, and it would be interesting to see if there was excessive free play in the bearings once they were loaded up to the correct torque.
Lawrence Slater


yours end with question marks mine didn't :p

and no I didn't forget to put the question mark (well not that time anyway)

ETA: I do understand a little about consumer law or did 30+ years ago
Nigel Atkins

Nigel, I think your comment about owners not wanting to spend is just an easy answer for suppliers to give to shift the blame. If you only supply decent parts owners have no choice but to buy those (as long as you are not getting ripped off). The real problem is suppliers who appear to refuse to employ a good quality control department to check what they are buying in, not just at the start but for every delivery. Most of these companies appear to have no QC department as is born out by their replies to the questions asked, as frequently they do not appear to know there is a problem until it is raised. This is not just confined to car parts either as it appears everyone (or certainly most companies) now consider QC departments to be unnecessary. Just look at the horsemeat scandal as one recent example.

Whilst I accept that some people will buy cheap given the chance I am sure there are plenty of people who, like me, out of choice frequently pay more for top quality parts and complain if they are not up to scratch.

T Mason

I take your point that if a supplier was to take the lead some things might improve, MGOC Spares now note in their printed catalogue items and parts they have commissioned to be made for them so they must take fully responsibility for the quality of those

I agree with and made the comment that many owners only want to buy cheap parts and I labeled them as tight-fisted as this is my experience as a classic owner for 20+ years and I've also worked in supplying (other) parts to retail, trade and business and have dealt with the general public for a few decades

I've also bought many poor quality parts for my classics and have even tried dealing directly with manufacturers on occasion, last time I was very pleased with the company's customer service but even their product direct from them didn't work properly for me
Nigel Atkins

I think your view on parts spares would be correct if good quality parts are the only ones available.
The issue is that they are not, and are not, as a result of, as Nigel correctly terms 'tight owners' who have driven quality out of the market place ,so that we are faced in many areas with only poor quality goods.
We need to be aware too that the number of 'big' traders willing to invest in new or OE spec parts is tiny compaired to the number of outlets where you can buy these goods.
Good and bad items are produced my a dwindling minority of traders/manufacturers who in turn sell to the rest of the trade, so Moss, Frontline etc, etc, sell the same parts.
Changing supplier simply changes (hopefully) the response you get when having a problem.
Big mail order specialists may well employ QC, but not on every nut, bolt washer etc, more likely a check every month, or when an issue arises.
One can also have a great amount of dificulty telling poor pattern parts from OE parts just by looking at them, its only during fitting or use that a problem may arise. If a problem does arise and the only part available is the poor copy, then what do traders do?, the good ones will replace the part, in line with their sales contracts, but they know that the issue will most probably occur again.
Unfortunately if the traders , tell the manufacturer that the parts they make are 'not fit for purpose' the manufacturer will simply drop the product and that part would be no longer available, until some reasonably wealthy trader can convince someone else to start production of the same item but with top quality. Traders prepared and able to do this small in number, and as in the case of the Minor we went over a year without swivel pins, this took loads of daily drivers off the road.
I do not excuse poor quality at all, but in many cases especially in 'our' market there is no choice or alternative.
Many folk say they will pay a fair price for a good product, but when offering them prices for these 'good' parts, they simply accuse the traders of only interested in getting more out of their customers, you
simply cannot have it both ways.
If as has been suggested , customers employ trading standards or the small claims courts,simply on parts quality, then its most likely that the supplier of the problem part who suffers, rather than the manufacturer. This ultimately achieves nothing except from detering traders coming into out market or indeed may drive them from this business through no fault of their own.
Note :this only applies to parts sales, poor service,ie bodyshop or mechanical, is a totally different ball game

Interesting comments. I've had the case where Moss have admitted that a part has globally very poor quality, and have replaced one that didn't fit with one chosen to be the "best fit" out of the bin of rather poor quality ones. It's not great, but an example that service can help even when the overall part quality is dodgy.

BTW - I have a set of JLH's alloy hubs now - need to get round to fitting them. They look to be really good quality, and are quite a bit lighter (surprisingly so when you pick one up for the first time - I nearly threw it in the air I expected it to be much heavier :) ).

I agree about the old hubs wearing and being NLA, and am glad that alternatives exist - especially well made ones. They may be on the pricey side, but I guess they'll outlive much of the rest of the car.

Philip Dodd

I don't agree about the original hubs wearing, -- unless-- either, or either and, the bearings weren't previously fitted properly, were too small in outer diameter, weren't torqued properly. That's not to say that there aren't worn hubs out there, but I reckon it's the minority. My hubs are still a good tight fit. that's 2 on my Sprite, and 2 spare. And I reckon the 2 on my Midget as well.

The first solution remains the correct bearings for the job. That is, the original spec, which are no longer made. So this is only a solution with NOS, and there isn't much of that around anymore.

The next solution is equivalents. There are expensive face adjusted versions, but these don't appear to have the 2mm radius.

Moss, Sussex, Mgoc, all appear to stock Powertune bearings. These are NOT poor quality. They are simply the wrong spec bearings, in that, they along with the more expensive face adjusted versions, don't have the 2mm radius. However, it's not certain, that inspite of not being face adjusted, they will cause excessive play.

It's yet to be proven, but I've been told that although not face adjusted, modern standard bearings are made to a tighter tolerance than was the case when the original RHPs were made. Hence you can get away without face adjusted, hence the bearings can be cheaper.

As for Firstline, and as far as I know Unipart, they DON'T supply Powertune. I repeat. Firstline bearings do have the 2mm radius I measured it. Nobody reporting here appears to bought and tested these in situ. They may solve the problem for all we know. BUT, they are twice the price of Sussex/Moss/Mgoc.
Lawrence Slater

I'll add my 2 cents.
Ignorance is bliss.

I order bearing from Moss USA about 6 years ago, fitted them and drove on. I do not know if they have the correct radius, but the new brake pads fit fine. They do not have excessive play. I run sticky wide tires and drive aggressive. I have not yet had a bearing or stub axle failure.

I'm not saying there is not an issue, I'm just saying that I'm glad I wasn't aware of it when I replaced my front bearings or I may have driven myself nuts.
Trevor Jessie

And I should add. The remedy for excessive play, is either to reduce the length of the spacer, or shim the outer races of the bearings. Both methods bring the inner races closer together, effectively "face adjusting" the bearings.

Hence if the Firstline bearings are still supplied with a 2mm inner radius as required (can't see why they wouldn't be), but cause excessive play, the above should solve the problem. And once it's done, you can forget about it for circa 100k miles, or for some 30 years.
Lawrence Slater

Trevor. You might have been supplied with NOS rhps.
Lawrence Slater

Jonathon, I take your point about a dwindling number of suppliers/manufacturers and that some people want cheap parts. However it doesn't change my opinion about QC. I accept that 100% checks will not be carried out and indeed never have been for the majority of things, but there should be sampling checks of inbound goods. I agree that visual inspection will not always reveal faults, but I expect the big boys to also measure and test items when they first take a consignment from a new supplier and periodically after that. Also if they all refused to use that manufacturer/supplier of shoddy goods then those people would be out of business and this would allow the decent ones to thrive.

T Mason

Lawrence, I don't agree that modern bearings or anything else are made to tighter tolerances than the old ones. All mass produced items are made to tolerences so there will be differences in them and when there are two items such as in the bearing case the differences can be relatively large even though the tolerance of each may be small. This is because one may be at the extreme high end of the tolerance and the other at the extreme low end or any combination in between.

T Mason

Hi Trev,

It's what I was told by the tech department of SKF. They reckon their manufacturing procedures result in a tighter tolerance on standard bearings than was the case 30/40 years ago.

But there's only one way to find out. Someone would have to buy a set and fit them. The difference between a set that wobbles, and a set that doesn't wobble must measurable. It seems unlikely that SKF or any decent bearing maker can't make bearings to a closer tolerance than that, so that of two supposedly identical bearings in the same tolerance range, one wobbles and one doesn't. SKF says theirs wouldn't. I was quoted the tolerances, but can't find them, so I think it must have been in a telephone call rather than in an email.
Lawrence Slater

Simply Bearings are advertising availability of LJT25.
This is shown as as a 7205 on the picture of the bearing although the picture seems to show a "large" radius.
They are about £30 +vat (one bearing!)
I asked and they kindly checked and told me..... standard 1mm radius.

All the companies putting kits together have the same offerings from a handful of bearing manufacturers.
Bearings are generally made to common specs ie the bearing appears to be the same irrespective of who supplies it. This is encapsulated in what is called the "Popular Metrics"... standard items.
Some manufacturers work to better quality than others and anyone involved in bearings will be able to grade makers accordingly. Some are real crap quality although are identical specs to the leading makes.
Suppliers are putting togther kits using the modern bearing equivalent part numbers ie the LJT25 is replaced by the 7205. They are going out to suppliers and buying the same numbered stock of standard bearings.
There choices are limited to whether they go for cheap rubbish, or expensive stuff.
I don't believe anyone now makes this bearing with the larger radius and I don't think any supplier is interested in doing so because of changing manufacturing spec for very small runs.
Now nos stocks are exhausted this will be more eveident.

So in a nutshell, has anyone bought bearing sets in the last year? Did they verify the inner radius was 2mm? Particualrly the Firstline set!
G Williams (Graeme)


"Also if they all refused to use that manufacturer/supplier of shoddy goods then those people would be out of business and this would allow the decent ones to thrive."

Assuming that there is more than one supplier, and one of them produces good products.More often than not this is not the case. If it were I'd be in total agreement with you.

"So in a nutshell, has anyone bought bearing sets in the last year? Did they verify the inner radius was 2mm? Particualrly the Firstline set!"

For the third time in this thread. I got my local auto outlet (North Farm Industrial estate Tunbridge Wells), to order in a set of Firstline bearings. Kit is numbered FBK011. I measured the radius and confirmed it was definitely 2mm. I didn't buy them. That was 8/6/12.

Unfortunately I didn't think to take a picture of the correct side. But I can testify that the inner radius of the inner bearing was 2mm. This was all in the long thread from last year.
Lawrence Slater

How much would it weaken the spindle if the fillet radius were reduced from 2mm to 1mm?
Lawrence Slater


If you have the dimensions handy you could work it out and get an idea from the details here diagram C2 . Ideally the fatigue situation would be analysed as well as reducing the fillet radius will increase the stress concentration so increasing the stress and making fatigue at that point more likely.
David Billington

Since stub axles are known to break (-at least in competition) it doesn't sound like a good idea to start messing with the root radius.

Although as I commented before, in "Spritely Years" it mentions broken stubs being common on A35s and (early) Sprites, which may not have used the 2mm filet, later in the book it refers to similar breakage on a MK 3 Midget. By this time surely the 2mm radius fillet was being used so suggesting that even with this modification, it is still a weak point.

If it came to it, I think I would add a 1mm shim behind the bearing and accept that the disc would run slightly off centre wrt the caliper.

In reference to Graene's original problem of not being able to install his brake pads I am surprised that being off by 1mm is sufficient to be the cause of this problem. Just doesn't stack up to me. Of course, the bearing being the wrong way round could have had a greater influence.
Guy Weller

The Minor and A35 spindles are very much the same design, and neither have this 2mm radius.
I doubt very much that the strength of the spindle will be compromised as most automotive design specs at the time were very much over engineered.
There are no sheer issues with Minors, A35 's or indeed the Morris Oxford which uses similar legs but with a much heavier car.
We have put swivel pins and trunnions through very hard life cycles on track with no issues at all, using wide sticky tyres and very powerful AP racing 4 pot calipers.

Image shows Minor leg and stub axle.


Is it technically easier in production to machine the stub axle with, or without, a radius? If it is easier without, then why add it unless for increased strength?
Guy Weller

Surely if this radius is for increased strength it would have been even more important to apply it,to cars weighing more than 300 kilos more than a Midget and being loaded up with 5 occupants rather than just two in a very light car.
I do not say that the radius doesn't increase strength , simply that others of similar design do not have it and that removing just 1 degree of it would have little or no effect on its strength.
The A35 stub-kingpin interface is a very poor and week design and if indeed there werwe issues of sheer I can see this ,not the lack of radius as being the issue.

I don't dispute what you say, as I don't have the knowledge to do so. But in simple terms, why add the radius if not for added strength?
Guy Weller

JL Heap,

Why do you keep referring to details of the radius as degrees? also it's not a shear issue but a bending one.
David Billington

It might be interesting to look at earlier MG's ( not my field of in depth knowledge....yet) and see whether this 2 deg bearing has been employed before . It could be just 'lazy' design in terms of carrying over a known method.( not saying its a bad design )
Strange that from the Minor from 1949 through to the Marina in the 80's that despite all having very similar kingpin and stub axle designs none have this radius possibly indicating that the above theory could be the case.

Mention has been made before that the normal bearing standards specify a 1mm radius on the race in question but then these are for an automotive bearing application so anything the OE maker wants to do within reason is on. I've seen the same situation on some Porsche and VW taper roller bearings used on the stub axle and the corresponding radius is significantly larger than would be on a bearing that conformed to the normal standards. I would assume they use a larger radius for the same reason to increase the strength of the stub axle assembly.
David Billington


Must be excitement !
I correct myself, to 2mm radius, and I only mention shear, as it had been mentioned that A 35 stub axles were prone to this.
I appreciate your theory of stress and fatigue, but just take a look at the image I posted a while back and apply this theory to what you see. I'd expect you to theorise that all Minor stub axles would sheer, which certainly is not the case.
(apologies, all, for incorrect terminology)

As an aside, if the stub axle were deemed inadequate in strength then as a simple manufacturing fix why not increase the diameter of the stub axle. This was the case from the Minor to Marina, due to the increase in weight and size of vehicle. Surely this would increase strength much more than a 2mm radius ?.

JL Heap,

I seemed to remember that the MM had an inset stub axle and a quick search found this which seems to confirm it. That would allow the stub axle itself to be made of a stronger more fatigue resistant material so not requiring that annoying 2mm radius. That doesn't help the A35 though and I presume the mk1 sprite used the same stub axle. I presume the stub axles are forged but sometimes casting is mentioned although as they do get welded successfully I think that rules out a casting. In all likelihood someone worked out that increasing the radius at the base of the stub axle would be sufficient to reduce breakages significantly and obviate having to change tooling for everything involved in a stub axle size increase. Likely the increased radius didn't require anything other than changing the dressing on the grinding wheel that ground the stub axles.

BTW did the Marina use an existing Triumph hub using the 3.75" PCD and what are the MM and Marina stub axle and bearing sizes and was the MM upright changed for the Marina or was there enough meat in it to cope with the insertion of a larger stub axle pin to suit larger bearings. Also is the MM bearing assembly is the same as the spridget with a spacer, is the Marina angular contact or taper roller.
David Billington

Good forum you researched !!.
The Marina / Ital did use a Triumph syle hub with taper rollers, not sure if its a copy or bespoke item, as we seldom deal with Marinas (except for droping in Zetecs and our coil overs,and braking kits.
The kingpins differ quite a bit in size and no the Marina kingpins were never introduced to the Minor.
As an upgrade to discs we used to press out the Marina stub axle , machine the Minor leg and press in the larger stub axle which then takes std Marina hubs, bearings and bracketry.
Our development of Ford based disc kits 16 years ago , saw a change in approach and we manufactured our own hubs, and bracketry. These hubs, slightly modified to accept the 2mm radius of the Midget stub axle,are now the basis for our Midget 4 pot disc kits. The internal dimensions of these hubs has been transposed to the exterior measurements of the std Midget hub to create a taper roller std Midget hub, capable of utilising all original disc upgrades normally applied to this std hub.
I have a feeling that the current production of kingpins and stub axles utilise machined steel which is then hardened. I will follow up on this on monday as I know the manufacturers.

With new green stuff pads in a calliper and the pistons pushed back as far as possible there is about 2mm clearance around the disk when inserted in the gap. This mans than any more than 1mm "out of position" for the disk and it fouls the pad. My disk was about 1.5mm too far forward. Trying to force the calliper onto the mounting pad locked up the wheel.

Lawrence: I read what you say about the Firstline bearing kit. What I can't understand is the total lack of supporting evidence from anyone else about ANY make of bearing kit. You are the only saying that a modern kit was "ok". Has no-one actually bought a kit recently? Not much demand then, to encourage suppliers to invest in specials.
G Williams (Graeme)

I wasn't doubting that your re-positioned hub was preventing fitting the pads in your case. But on yours, the correct bearing was fitted the wrong way round and the chamfer on the "wrong" side of the LJT25 bearing is a much tighter radius. Probably around 0.5mm, certainly a good deal less than 1mm.

If you think about the geometry of it, using a bearing with a 0.5mm radius chamfer on a hub with a 2mm fillet would hold the bearing off by 1.5mm, just as in your case.

If one of the late market available "OEM replacement" bearings with a 1.0mm radius had to be used, then the disc would be aligned 1mm out and pads would probably just about fit into the caliper without binding. But only just!

Maybe another reason why wrong specced bearings are not generally being returned as not fit for purpose.
Guy Weller

Guy, in answer to your question "Is it technically easier in production to machine the stub axle with, or without, a radius?" the answer is it makes no difference as it is no harder to do one than the other. However cutting tool life is greatly increased by having a radius and therefore shoulders are usually designed to have one unless this is inpractical. Likewise the larger the radius the greater the tool life within reason. This obviously reduces machining costs and adds strength so is the usual way to go and although of no consequence to usability it tends to look better too.

T Mason

Thanks Trev. That answers my question.
Guy Weller

Just out of interest, the MGB has a much larger diameter stub axle, with an even larger radius.

Dave O'Neill2

It then uses a separate collar between the bearing and the upright, which is what the oil seal sits on. It is also easily replaceable if the oil seal wears a groove in it.

Dave O'Neill2

Reference the 2mm fillet radius.

On the engineering drawings for the inner bearing, BMC very deliberately specified a 2mm inner radius. That can't have been lazy design, cost saving, or error.

If standard bearings had a 1mm radius, then they went out of their way to spec one with a 2mm radius. So they must have deemed it better to have a 2mm radius on the spindle, than a 1mm radius.

I'm not going to cut mine, I just wondered.

If you looks at Norms great drawings --
-- you see he points out the effect of fitting a 1mm radiused bearing to a 2mm radiused fillet. Apart from displacing the hub, it creates a potential weakness. I'm not an engineer, but it's obvious that with a fitting like that, if it's going to snap, it will likely snap there. So I reckon it would be better to grind out the radius on the bearing instead. The off centre hub, may or may not matter much, but the spindle being weakened, would be a worry too far even for my "reckless" attitude.

Graeme. Yup I agree. Getting hard evidence of anyone fitting these bearings and precisely what occured then and afterwards, is a bit obscure. But not a total lack of info. Plenty of people do seem to have had issues, hence the frequency of threads about fwb's.

If we assume, that since last year, Firstline have reverted to a 1mm radius, then there ARE NO bearings on sale, other than nos, that are correct for Spridgets.

So where does that leave us?

If EVERYBODY could be persuaded to write to ALL the "decent" suppliers, and tell them that they WON'T be buying any of their bearings and give the reason, that might put sufficient pressure on the suppiers to go to the manufactures, and get a 2mm bearing.

Otherwise, simply put, when your fwbs are worn out, you won't be able to replace them without a bodge, or a new set of hubs.

Lawrence Slater

Forgot my picture taken from Norms modulus study, linked below. I added the arrow because I couldn't capture his text.

Lawrence Slater

I am in full agreement with you. I wasn't advocating accepting the 1mm radiused bearings, but pointing out that IF fitted it would only displace the hub/disc by 1mm and the pads would probably still just about fit. And many less careful owners (or mechanics) wouldn't at this point recognise that something was wrong! It could explain why the main suppliers are not flooded with complaints.

Graeme's PO was even more than just careless! In fitting perfectly good OEM bearings in backwards not only was the bearing itself wrong, but the hub was displaced by even more as the chamfer on the wrong side of those bearings is down to around 0.5mm. And he would appear to have had to totally bu66er up the fitting the pads just to get it all back together.
Guy Weller


If EVERYBODY could be persuaded to write to ALL the "decent" suppliers, and tell them that they WON'T be buying any of their bearings and give the reason, that might put sufficient pressure on the suppiers to go to the manufactures, and get a 2mm bearing.

This surely has to be the way to go, preferably along with support from your Owners Club.the technical argument for these is pretty well covered by those like Norm who has put in a great deal of work into his research.
Agree 100% re the stub axle, if the design spec is for a 2mm radius then why change it, much easier to source correct bearings.My term 'lazy' did not intend to mean bad design, simply that a lot of automotive engineering can be carried over from car to car as a proven design. As J Clarkson views Porsche as lazy designers with the 911 variants over the past 30 years.

Here you are Lawrence. Easy with Windows 7

Dave O'Neill2

Thanks Dave.

Guy, I was just reinforcing what you said earlier about the good reason for a 2mm over a 1mm fillet radius.

JL, exactly. The problem is, getting people to follow it up, and actually do something like write a letter. In theory it should be pretty easy. Moss, Sussex, Mgoc, and quite a few of the others, are already aware of the issue. I know this for a fact, because I told them, and got replies in email.

But as only 1 person, and a non-customer for fwb's to boot, they can safely ignore me -- after a courteous reply.

So can someone suggest how we, "all of us interested parties", motivate everybody else to write letters or make phone calls?
Lawrence Slater

Lawrence, one could simply run a poll on this forum, to both stimulate interest and action.
I'm not sure just how representative this forum is of the total number of MG Midget owners, or indeed of the membership numbers. As with most forums there is a core of 'active' members, posting regularily and maybe the take up of the poll would proove disappointing.
The MMOC official forum has around 12,500 members , yet only about 40 regular contributors. Certainly worth a try though.
In the meantime I'll be considering production of steel billet hubs as a stand by.

Its a problem that will escalate, but with wheel bearings lasting for 100,000 miles or more and few owners doing more than a few thousand miles a year (at most!) It is a problem that is going to be rare from an individual's point of view. Add in that the correct bearings were still readily available up to around 5 years ago, then the demand must be quite low. This doesn't ease the problem for individual repairs when the need does arise for proper fitting, but unobtainable replacement bearings.

But it shouldn't rely on someone having to organise a petition, as it were! The MGOC should be acting as more than just a commercial supplier. They should research, understand and accept that there is a problem and then act on behalf of their membership to ensure that the bearings are manufactured to the required specification.
Guy Weller

JL. New hubs to take taper bearings. But do your taper bearings include a 2mm radius in the inner race of the inner bearing?

Do they include a spacer? Part of the strength of the spindle, is deemed to be the "pipe" effect created when torquing the angular contact bearings against the spacer.
Lawrence Slater

JL. To answer my own questions, I see from your earlier post that you do away with the spacer and use a standard 1mm radius inner bearing.

Therefore, for those concerned about the disc running off centre, the stress point on the fillet radius, and the loss of the strength due to the removal of the spacer, the new hubs wouldn't seem be a good idea at all.
Lawrence Slater

Also from Norms other article.

"Here's an interesting thing: there should be no reason why tapered roller bearings could not be used in the Midget hub. If the inner bearing that is used has the necessary 2mm radius to clear the base of the stub axle, and if the whole assembly is shimmed properly, using the spacer between the two bearings (following the MGB shimming procedure)."
Lawrence Slater

Didn't I read in a post somewhere (from Norm I think, although I'm sure he can correct me here) that the grip between the bearings and the spacer was not high enough to support the idea that the assembly increases the strength of the spindle as it won't act as a contiguous single item. It needs a bigger spindle nut and thread to provide greater tension.

Aren't there a lot of threads on FWB!

G Williams (Graeme)


Our hubs are not designed the same as the original Midget ones. Our std replacement hub and the 4 pot disc kits have a spacer with a 2mm radius, this slides on before you fit the hub and its taper bearings. It would have been negligent to fit a 1mm radius onto a 2mm radius , and you should offer us a bit of credit here.
The hubs internal measurements create the positioning of the bearings which negates the need for the original spacer.
We do indeed use a 1mm radius spacer as this no longer sits against the 2mm radius.( see far top right in photo.)
I think that before passing judgement on these hubs you should take time to see exactly how they are manufactured, they are not the same as the Midget units and should not be viewed in the same light.
I find your supposition that the 'new hubs wouldn't seem be a good idea at all.' to be unfounded and rather misleading, let alone insulting.
I remind you that this design has been in operation for 16 years now,over 250 kits sold with a 0% failure rate of bearings,hubs,studs, seals and stub axles.Proven extensively on track and road use. So please, until you can make accurate educated and informed comment I'd rather you did not malign our products.


Speedwell seem to think the spacer is important for strength with their taper roller conversion
David Billington

Oooer! JL. If you think I've misaligned your product, --- sue me. If you feel insulted, grow a thicker skin.

From your post 19 March 2013 at 19:08:03 UK time.
"The main benefits are weight saving and the use of quality taper roller bearings, doing away with the spacer and 2 degree spec bearing."

From that, I made a quite reasonable assumption. And I'm afraid you can't remind me of the 16 year history of your product either, since I've never heard of you or your product before you posted it here.

So now you've explained it more fully, bully for you. I still wouldn't want it, and you probably wouldn't sell it to me anyway. lol.

Graeme, I've been trying to find the discussion regarding the strength of the spindle with reference to the spacer. As you say there're a lot of threads, and finding it is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack now.

Lawrence Slater

Yup, here it is, and the conclusion was that the spacer torqued between the bearings, does increase the strength of the spindle.

Here from norms article :
"1 Both the B and the Midget have a spacer between the two bearings. This is very important structurally, because it creates a "pipe" to carry the loads and has a much larger diameter than the stub axle alone (providing 1.7 times the section modulus). The shape of this "pipe" also smooths out the section changes along the length of the stub axle, helping to minimize the stress riser at its base.
2 When the hub nut is torqued, that "pipe" is carrying the load. If the spacer is too short (say, a previous owner sanded it down to take up worn bearing play), the new bearings will then be over tightened, leading to their premature failure."

So along with the link about speedwell engineering that David just posetd, it looks like the spacer setup between the bearings, does plays an important role. Hence it seems a good idea to stick with a design that retains it.
Lawrence Slater

Sorry, but if you had asked how,why ,or can you explain the design in an 'adult ' manner I would have satisfied your curiosity and put to bed your worry over the radius issue.
As for the rest of your comments ...................

No need to appologise JL, but accepted anyway. :).
Lawrence Slater

Geting a bit heavy!
I think the fact that a company has invested in time and effort to make a major replacement part for Spridgets is something which has to be applauded. It isn't an "arm twisting" component because originals are still available so there is an open choice. Pay more for a component which has a number of improvements over the original, or pay less for originals with their lower specs.
Unsprung weight is not an issue with me, but I can see there are some owners for which that matters. They have a choice now to buy lower weight hubs.
We need people to be prepared to make parts. We don't need companies to hold us to ransome by cornering the market and overcharging. It's nice to see here that alternatives exist. Strength to your elbow JLH!
G Williams (Graeme)

Thankyou Graeme,

As a relative 'newbie' to both MG Midgets and this forum I realise that not many have heard of us.I'm also aware that not all members take to traders posting on their forum.
Personally I think a trade participation is important and valuable to members as we know the 'behind the scenes' going ons and can help members with projects from a 'professional level'
I can assure all,(maybe not Lawrence):)that our products and workmanship are second to none and we are much respected in the classic car industry.
Anyway we have strayed away somewhat from the original question, so I'll retire from this thread to avoid the chance of 'fisty cuffs'

Don't be silly. No chance of "fisty cuffs" at all. Stay and post as much as you like. It's certainly not "my" forum, and I personally have no objection to traders advertising there wares in a thread. What else you got to flog?

Lawrence Slater

For information

Apologies if this has been said before but why not...

Use the current style of angular contact bearings. Make up a spacer 2mm thick with a 45 deg chamfer on one side. Inner and outer dia to correspond to the sizes of the spindle at the inner end where the bearing sits.
The spacer will allow the small-radiused bearings to sit against a face (chamfer against the 2mm fillet).

Machine back the step in the hub by 2mm at the inner bearing end and shorten the spacer by exactly the same amount (in order to maintain pre-load)
Make up a 2mm packing piece to fit between the hub face and the disk face.

Both these methods would ensure the disk finishes up back in its original position. I don't know whether loadings would change significantly to cause problems. Spacing the disk off would enable all components to be kept standard. The point of loading for the wheel would be 2mm further out so increase bending moment slightly.
On the other hand if the step in the hub is machined back, the wheel would be in exactly the same position.
G Williams (Graeme)


You wouldn't need to change the spacer length unless you altered the distance between the bearing seats in the hub as that is what governs the spacer length.
David Billington

That has been suggested previously in earlier discussions, though perhaps not explained as such on
this thread.
Because of the geometry of a 1mm radiused bearing fitted against a 2mm chamfer, the shim would work if only 1mm thick. It wouldn't need to be 2mm for the principle to work. And if only displaced by the 1mm, then the disc, though offset with relation to the disk, would probably still permit the pads to fit. So it might work without needing to get the hub machined out.
One other thing to watch for with this is that the lip of the oil seal will also move out so care needed to make sure it still runs on a smooth part of the sealing surface
Guy Weller


Sorry just re-read your post and I missed the bit about machining the seat in the hub, that would require shortening the spacer, my apologies. I was thinking you intended machining the stub axle face back by that amount to suit the shim.
David Billington

Graeme this is what we did to our Minor hubs to fit the Midget. Only we do not have a bearing center spacer.See 2mm radius spacer on the last photo I uploaded top right.

My two Pennerth no J L Heap he’s a bit like ronseal only better. The more MG components he develops the better

J Austerfield

I am still not at all convinced that replacing the outer sill is necessary, or even desirable. Replacing it adds a whole extra dimension of complexity to the job.
Guy Weller

Whoops, wrong thread Guy.
Dave O'Neill2

Here's a drawing I did last time the shim was discussed, but it never got uploaded.

Dave O'Neill2

Thanks Dave (X2)
Its too easy to end up answering the wrong thread on occasions!

And, your drawing is exactly the one I was remembering about the effect of the 1mm bearing radius on the 2mm chamfered axle. Its a bodge, but I think it would work and if the 2mm chamfered bearings are no longer available, it could be the only practical option.
Guy Weller

My thoughts were that a 1mm ahim would be a bit thin and insubstantial. Any thoughts about packing the disk to bring it back in line.
Shim + disk packing would be relatively cheap to produce.
G Williams (Graeme)

Hi Graeme, all of this was proposed before, and I reckon it's workable. The only problem is, who's going to produce the shims, and the packing to go behind the disc?

It all goes around in circles, and nothing gets done.

My own view is that it's better to retain the original design. If that then means having to pay for expensive bearings, then so be it. I'm opposed to being ripped off, or paying too much needlessly, but if there's no other choice, then you pay the piper.

The company trading as, apparantly has batches of original spec bearings made up, at 100 quid per side, or has plenty of NOS, not sure which it is now . Anyway, that was too much when nos could be found on ebay for circa 30 quid, or when it was thought that a cheaper modern could be found that would do the job. However, if it really is the case now that only the original will do, then 200 quid for the next 100K miles, ain't too bad.

Lawrence Slater

There is another option -- for those like me who take a chance -- and that is, used bearings.

Last year, from ebay, I picked up a very cheap complete set -- both sides -- of Spridget suspension. It included the hubs complete with original RHP bearings. To my great delight the bearings have no play in them at all.

Not only do I have a good spare set of -- albeit used -- bearings, I've got spare hubs too (for the unlikely event that mine wear out). I don't know how good the chances are that you'll get good bearings, but I reckon they are pretty/very good. When you think that most Spridgets get scrapped and broken because of rust and not mechanics, and given the longevity of the original RHP bearings, I think you stand a fair chance of getting a good set of original bearings with plenty of miles left in them.

Ebay currently has 99p auction for a set of Spridget suspension(wishbones axles and hubs). It won't go that cheap, but it might worth searching for it and maybe taking a punt.

Lawrence Slater

Used bearings is a very good source, because unless they are damaged (or mis-installed), they should last the life of the car, and it is relatively easy to confirm bearings are not damaged once they are removed and cleaned and dried.

According to John Twist (University Motors), he's never found an inner bearing (on any LBC) that was run dry. His theory is that the outer bearing's grease gets gradually "pumped" inward, to the larger diameter bearing, over time, by the rotation of the wheel. So, his observation that it is usually the outer bearing that runs dry, corrodes, and sees the most damage. Since the inner bearing is the really important one for us (with its 2mm radius we need), that might mean that some of the used inners are still good, sitting in scrap yards around the world!

By the way, to Dave's point about a shim: The 1mm shim does not need to have a fancy radius on the outer edge, simply make it 1mm smaller OD and stick it on the bearing with some grease before assembly.

The only real downside to using a 1mm shim is the grease seal might fall off of the sealing surface on the spindle (there is barely 1 or 2mm overlap in the original design.

1mm shouldn't make any meaningful difference to the disc brake operation, so just as long as you are able to confirm the grease seal is oK, the shim ought to work.

The challenge: how to confirm that lip contact. I think that you could put some bluing on the spindle, do a dry fit and spin, then check where the lip contacted, in the bluing ink.

The interesting thing about this bearing issue is that there are so many viable solutions (reclaim used ones, buy NOS from RHP, use Moss face adjusted ones with a 1mm shim, convert to tapered bearings and do your own shimming to control the running clearance like an MGB).


Norm Kerr

G Williams (Graeme), Kent, United Kingdom

You are my hero! HOW THE HELL DO YOU KEEP THIS THREAD GOING FOR 135 HITS! Oh no now its 136!

Ladies and gentleman,the worlds most mundane subject ever and still going strong! We changed dennes whole suspension out and we didnt talk this much about it!

I cant tell if Im horrified or just in slack jawed mind numbing awe! Its amazing! Who ever hosts this site should send a trophy!
Steven Devine

A good discussion Steven, but this is still only in the junior league compared to some previous threads.
Guy Weller

Steve, It's because I'm naturally BORING!
I took my outer bearing to the lunchtime meet of MASC (Kent) today. One or two, mentioning no names, took the p*ss!
G Williams (Graeme)

I feel like Im trapped in some kind of 1950s Science Fiction Movie....Junior league...Oh man, I cant find the exit...I wonder if the engineers that cooked up the design spent this much time talking about the terrible after effects it would have on warping minds 50 years later! Well Im putting a lead suit on whenever I see this thread again! I mean come on, Its got to be radio active! There just no plausible explanation for this phenomonon! Extraterrestrails
must be taking over there minds one wheel bearing at a time! Oh the horror!

Alright, Im going to settle down and have a nice cup of coco now, I need to pull myself together after this experience.
Steven Devine

Steven, as Guy said, you aint seen nothhin yet. Search the technical archive for "Front w/bearings. Sorry I can't reactivate." That one closed at 390 posts.

Norm, what you say about the inners not wearing is what I was told way back when I got my Sptite 35 years ago, but because back then a pair in a kit was so cheap, I just changed both for the hell of it. Wish I'd kept a stock of those old inners. Instead, I used to keep only the outer races as a drift for the new ones. But anyway, that's the theory behind my renovation of a "worn out" outer bearing last year, and just to keep plugging it, it's still in the hub and working well.

You also said -- "Since the inner bearing is the really important one for us (with its 2mm radius we need),---", and that leads us to a solution.

Don't change the inner bearing. Just buy the new outer on it's own. That way you could buy a pair of face adjusted outers, and do both sides for the price of one.

NSK 7303BEAT85SUN or in SKF no's 7303BECBP. As far as I know the NSK bearing isn't available anymore but the SKF one is. Simply bearings sell it for 34 quid ex vat and delivery, but I bet it could be sourced for less than that.

Or you could buy a cheaper "standard" outer from a good make, like SKF and use that. I don't know what Leacy sell, but they sell the outers on their own.

Lawrence Slater

Bearing boys sell it for £68.08 a pair, inc Vat and delivery. And, if you can claim the vat back, that's only £56.73 a pair.

PS Steven. I used to watch Quatermass on our b/w tv. I remember it well.
Lawrence Slater

Quatermass and the Pit !

I used to watch from behind the sofa !

richard boobier

Jeez though. Doesn't it look corny now. lol.
Lawrence Slater

Simply also sell the bearing for the other end adbvertised as the LJT25. Beware, it does not have the 2mm radius.
However, as the outer bearing doesn't sit against a radius, 1mm should be fine.
G Williams (Graeme)

how can one thread contain so much sh*te!!!!

Pete Moreland-Moore

Yes Quatermass and the Pit !
Saw it as a kid, It had the same effect as this thread!
I hid behind the couch and never new it was in color till now. Im surpized at how good the quality of film is! I may still have to hide behind th ecouch to watch it though!
Steven Devine

Easy Pete, just launch it and it collects the sh*t like a dog rolling down a hill. But when you look at the number of different contributors, sh*t must be popular and, in part at least, informative.
G Williams (Graeme)

x2 Graeme, except that I don't think the thread is full of crap. One mans meat and all that.
Lawrence Slater

Reading and participating in a thread is totally voluntary. Members don't have to do either if front wheel bearings are not their favoured topic. If it's boring, find another thread to read.
However, it is easy to lose the plot sometimes!
G Williams (Graeme)

"However, it is easy to lose the plot sometimes!"

Only sometimes?
Lawrence Slater


Managed to take a quick snap of the hub fully assembled (a better one will be used on the website and in promotion material)


Here's an update on the Firstline FBK011 kit, with reference to the inner bearing radius.

Last year I got a local supplier to order stock for me so I could take a look. I was hoping they still had the same bearing kit from last year (being unlikely to have sold it). It was a Unipart kit GHK1924, supplied in a Firstline package marked FBK011. It was a Unipart outlet in tunbridge wells, and sods law, it's closed down. So I went to another supplier and got them to order a Firstline FBK011 kit for me.

Here are the pictures of the inner bearings. Firstline 7205B, and RHP 39ljt25. As you can see there's a difference in the radius. I trialled the 7205B on the SAME spare spindle I took with me last year, and although it didn't fit, the gap was less than 1mm. I measured it with a feeler blade at about 18/20 thou. About 1/2mm. But still no good.

All I can say is that last year, with the 'same spindle', and a different (7205b) bearing, it did fit, perfectly and with no gap. This bearing doesn't look the same as the one I saw last year. I paid distinct attention to comparing the radius on an RHP, but as I failed to take a pic of the correct side, I can't back that up.

Irrespective of that, the radius "appears" to be larger than 1mm, but smaller than 2mm, according to my home made radius gauge, but anyway it wouldn't take much with a grinder to extend the radius. --- See related thread on this entitled, "New take on Front Wheel Bearings!" for the grinding discussion. -- "Grinding" may well be an appropriate word too, for some people. lol.

I now have my tin hat on, awaiting the "told you so bombs". Fire away. :)

Lawrence Slater

"I now have my tin hat on, awaiting the "told you so bombs". Fire away."

I think that is very brave to admit Lawrence! I am sure your reputation will have risen in some circles (perhaps not many) but that's not the point. You are confirming what I suspect - that stock of NOS is gone and now all bearings are only available with the small radius.

This could be the end of front hubs as we know them. Panic buying of second hand hubs will ensue and there could be fighting on the streets. We could be returning to our cars to find them on bricks, with the front hubs missing.
G Williams (Graeme)

Brave? Nah, I've got a thick head. lol.

Yup you're right. There is now no "out of the box", fully encompasing solution for front wheel bearings, other than new old stock RHP original bearings.

Everything else involves additional work or a compromise.

If you go tapered, even with new hubs specifically designed to take them, it seems you don't get the spacer between the bearings to torque them up, and add strength to the spindle.

If you go tapered with the spacer and ability to torque, you still have to deal with the 1mm/2mm radius issue.

Or if you go modern angular, face adjusted or not, you still have the 1mm/2mm radius problem.

Bob's stock of NOS rhp has just gone through the roof, and as you say everybody and their aunty will be looking for hubs on ebay, or stealing the hubs off our cars. lol.

So it's salvage, grind, compromise and or modify, and keep your eyes out for nos from now on.

Happy thoughts.
Lawrence Slater

And I should remind everyone of my other brilliant suggestion. As the inner is far less likely to have worn much, when compared to the outer, -- see discussion below -- you could just buy new face adjusted outers, and fit those. Thereby saving money, and avoiding any compromise or modification.
Lawrence Slater


"If you go tapered, even with new hubs specifically designed to take them, it seems you don't get the spacer between the bearings to torque them up, and add strength to the spindle."

You need to understand that the hub itself 'is' the spacer between the bearings, and play in the bearing is taken up by adjusting the hub nut, as per normal taper roller hubs.The 2mm radius is retained on the stub axle but eliminated as a requirement for the bearings via a special spacer/shim. This is not a compromise solution but a correctly engineered alternative.
For information, today I commissioned a batch of 'steel' hubs to compliment our current alloy hubs.Purely for those who wish to retain the look of a std OE part or do not require the weight saving offered by the alloy hubs.

J L,
I certainly wouldn't dispute that your alloy hubs are a properly designed solution in the way that they work, but unless the tapered bearings were clamped up so tight that the wheels wouldn't rotate, then they cannot perform the stiffening function of the spacer in quite the way that Lawrence is meaning.

I think you two are on different wavelengths on this one!
Guy Weller

J L.
Lawrence did post the link to Norm's notes on this issue earlier, but maybe you missed this bit? It has been discussed many times before.

Guy Weller

JL it's as Guy just pointed out.

In the original hubs, there are TWO spacers. One is cast into the hub, and the other is floating, until it gets clamped between the inner races. It's that clamping that gives the spindle the extra strength. Your hubs don't (yet) have that feature.

Lawrence Slater

PS, what's the expected service milage for re-tightening the tapers on the new hubs?

On the originals, it's reasonable to get circa 100K miles before any attention.
Lawrence Slater

As far as I can tell, with back to back tapered bearings the running clearance on the rollers is provided by having the spindle nut backed off, isn't it?. So it cannot therefore simultaneously be used to clamp up the spacer tight to the inner races and up against the base of the spindle to provide that extra "pipe" stiffening.
Guy Weller

Is it not the properties of the std Midget bearing requiring a spacer between them. Our hubs simply do not require this function to work,the bearing play is adjusted via the hub nut. Its a very simple and effective design which has worked without any issues at all over the last 16 years, be they fitted to a std car or 360bhp track Minor.
I agree the wavelength is becoming slightly clouded, just need to think outside of the box.

16 years fitted to a minor spindle, which as i understand it is inserted into the axle, and doesn't have a fillet radius.

"Is it not the properties of the std Midget bearing requiring a spacer between them."

There are 2 issues.
In order to add stiffness to the Spridget spindle, the inner races must be torqued against a spacer, to circa 55lbs. The inner races have to be held at exactly the correct distance to provide the apt preload.

No clouds on my waves :)
Lawrence Slater

That's where the wavelength differs!
The clamping is not to strengthen the standard bearings, it is to strengthen the axle stub, which is common to your system as well. Clamping the inner races of the two standard bearings, plus the spacer, effectively increases the diameter of he axle spindle to resist bending, especially at the root of the spindle.
Guy Weller


"PS, what's the expected service milage for re-tightening the tapers on the new hubs?",

Rather depends on how and where you drive. Initially a settling in period of about 100 miles, is advised, but not always a requirement. My race hubs have been on for 5 years now and covered about 6,000 track miles, equivalent to much more than on the road. They are removed and checked occasionally but nothing untoward yet. Under normal usage I believe a similar milage could be achieved, but as I say driving style and road condition all play a part.

I do not deny the good design of the std bearing set up , just see a market for a cheap upgrade which is a simple fit and if bearings are required the maximum cost will be no more than £45 per side.

Could the spacer that JL makes as part of his kit be used to dodge the 2mm radius issue if it were used with the currently available 1mm radius ball bearings?

C R Huff

Yes,you would need to move the inner bearing more outboard and shorten the original spacer. Easy but needs machining.


You mean make the bore in the hub deeper by the same as the thickness of the spacer?

C R Huff

Yes. This is what we did to convert our Minor hub to the Midget one.

JL Heap,

Did you get an opportunity to ask the MM upright maker about the stub axle material and heat treatment if any?
David Billington

Not yet I'm afraid, been manic at work with a few conversions needed to be ready next week. If I get a moment to myself I'll make the call :)

Ah I misunderstood the price then. 240 quid a pair of hubs, PLUS the price of the bearings, and a compromised non standard installation, which doesn't have the same long service interval as the original. Sounds good to me. ;).

The central spacer was used for a reason. Even on the B, where tapers were used, a spacer and shims were employed too, presumably to add strength to the spindle.

Why not simply remove the spacer from the original Spridget hub -- if it's superfluous?

After all, an angular contact bearing can be setup with the correct preload as long as you tighten the hub nut to the correct "low" torque. They operate in a similar fashion to tapers, but don't have much leeway for wear takeup, when they wear. (Although I hasten to add, that by grinding the inner face, off the inner race, of one of my outer bearings, thereby allowing the nut to be turned a little more, I have removed all play, and it's now been good for at least 3/4K miles and counting, on public, rough, pot holed roads).

Why not simply remove the spacer from the original Spridget hub? Because it serves a purpose.

I'm not a metalurgist, but I've heard of metal fatigue. Is it sensible to remove a strengthening component from a 50 year old spindle, and hope it won't make it weaker?

How's your liability insurance? What if someone fits a new hub without a central spacer to their 50 year old spindle, and one day it breaks killing them, or at least damaging someone elses car? Suppose on inspection, someone (an insurance company) says, - Oh look, there's a bit of metal missing from the insides of these shiny new hubs. Sorry mate, non standard alteration that weakened the spindle, and we're not paying. Bummer that.

Why not redesign the hubs to include a central spacer and use the same method used on B's?

Lawrence Slater

Probably worth rereading this thread:

In this one someone says (thought it was Norm originally - appologies but only just found it again) that advice from Timkin indicates that the axial compression which can be developed by the spindle nut is not sufficient to make the assembly with the spacer work as a cohesive unit.
G Williams (Graeme)


And of course my own innate genius and mechanical aptitude. But that goes without saying, as you'll all agree. Heh heh..

No not really, honestly I don't give a rats fart what others think, and sometimes,

Congratulations, so you understand why I really am not interested answering your comments. All power to your EGO.

Been off line for ages ....
Posted 08 October 2012 at 06:08:12 UK time
'Props' favourite subject again !!
Anyway fitted new bearings & spacer about 300miles ago and no issues whatsoever. Just for information I used a Kit from Bull Motive the moggy specialists. The bearings look the same as original RHP's (unlike the modern replacements which I took out )
I was very careful with the hub and did notice some bruising that could have made the bearings sit proud so dressed that to ensure the bearings sat flush. I used a new spacer and popped it all together, no play and still no play after 300+ miles on NSW roads which to put it frankly are crap (rough and full of potholes). So maybe the solution is these bearings or maybe it was a combination of ensuring hub faces were good and using a new spacer. Anyway maybe this will help a few of you guys out.

Ed, any update on this?

Yes update is all going well 1200 miles later and all good , and yes the roads are still bloody rough here !!!
Ed H

Just finished reading the thread and dug out an old response from one of the previous threads on bearings & radius measuements

this is what I found on the radius subject when I pulled apart and fitted the Bull Motif bearings :-
Radius on stub axle 2mm
Radius on bearing that came off 2mm
I used a decent Moore Large radius gauge to measure. The bearing that came off from memory was in a green & yellow box (Firstline ?) the bearing is marked 7205.
I then checked my box of old bearings for comparison, grabbed a Genuine RHP 39LJT25 & measured the radius to my suprise radius reads 1mm !

So I guess that the radius may have varied on the original RHP's anyway the Bull Motif one fits with no play and is still working.
Wow didn't think I'd have to comment on this one again !!

Ed H

I think the opinion I have now on front wheel bearings is that you can't rely on anything! If I were a betting man I would bet on the near certainty that the bearing would not have the appropriate radius. Some bought a year ago may well have been ok, but the same ones from thw same supplier nowadays won't.
You mentioned Bull Motif Ed, but over the phone the other week they told me their bearings are standard 1mm rad.
It's all a bit of a mess!
G Williams (Graeme)

Graeme, can't promise anything but I have a new set of bull motif bearings & some old rhp,s & frontlines. I will dig out the radius gauge and measure and take pics this weekend if I get time. The only thing I can't re measure is the stub axle but that was 2mm radius. All I know is the frontlines had heaps of play when fitted and I've now got bull motif ones with new spacer and no play after 1200 miles.
Ed H

Way to go Ed. Welcome back to the fray at a very opportune time. Were we misled by Bull? He(whoever) was very clear on the blower to me, -- Exact copy of a QH QWB105c set of original RHPs.

Looking forward to your pics. We who wait, do so with baited breath. lol.

PS. You could always pull a hub and show us a pic. LOLOL.
Lawrence Slater

Here's a long one. :)

JL. Please free to quote, unquote, in or out of context, and ignore my comments at your pleasure. :). It's your prerogative and this is only a discussion.

There's a funny thing about this subject. If RHP still made the original spec bearings, nobody would be questioning the need for the spacer, or the torque -- up to 65lbs -- on the hub nut. Having said that, that's a very interesting link you gave there Graeme. It tells me, that up until fairly recently, quite a few people (surprisingly to me) didn't have a clue which way round the bearings even went in the hubs. No wonder yours were fitted in backwards. Personally, and this is no big feat of intellect, I've never had a problem with this. I always thought it was obvious. Or maybe it's as Nigel often tells me, if you grew up with old cars, some things seem obvious.

But what I didn't understand or know about though, because of the previously easy availability of the original RHPs, was the problem with the "modern" bearings re the radius and the business of "face adjusting", or the precise reason(s) for the solid spacer. I did know of course -- because it was also obvious--, just as Guy alluded to earlier, that if you wound the hub nut up to circa 55lbs, without the spacer between the bearings, you'd crush the inner races into the outer races, and thus lock the hubs. So armed with that knowledge, I never questioned the need for the spacer, or any additional function the spacer may perform. I just accepted it was there and followed the book when installing the bearings. Then in 2011, I read Robs very informative article about the problem with the modern angular contact bearings, and subsequently read Norms and other peoples pretty comprehensive pieces too. From that I learned about the potential weakness in the spindle, and the most probable (by far)reason for the spacer. It adds strength to the spindle.

It's a simple enough question. If the spacer wasn't needed, and didn't achieve anything, why was it ever fitted in the first place? Were those BMC Morris/Austin chaps all fools? If it was needed only because a choice was made to use face adjusted angular contact bearings, and using the accurately machined spacer made it easy to set the correct clamping pre-load on the bearings, -- why then was it retained when using TAPER bearings on the MGB, whose hub nut torque can be as high as 70lbs? Why the need for such a high nut torque figure on either car? If it's only job is to keep the inner races pressed against the outer races, why not have the nut "relatively" loose? Instead the nut is done up far tighter than you would with tapers without a spacer, and you have to ask why. The B is complicated compared to other taper setups, because of the spacer. Having the spacer means you also need different thicknesses of shims, to add or remove, to achieve just the right pre-load on the tapers. Why do that if the spacer didn't add something, other than a more awkward method of adjusting the front wheel bearings? It (the spacer) clearly has to has to perform some additional function. And Norm argues entirely convincingly, that function is to add strength to the spindle, by being clamped over the spindle between the two inner races.

Maybe the chaps at BMC knew something that was never revealed about the design, production, or the material used to make the stub axles, and hence a potential weakness in the spindles used on Spridgets and Bs. Maybe they were wrong, and worried needlessly. Who knows?

Has anyone, other than by mathematical modelling, tested either a B or Spridget stub axle/spindle to destruction, under lab conditions, with and without the spacer clamped between 2 inner races? If so, what were the results? What loads induced failure. I haven't read about that anywhere. Is it reasonable to expect the spindles might/must be weaker than when they were new, some 50 years ago? If a Spridget was able to fly, would you consider removing a component from the wings for convenience or weight saving? If the airline industry took that view, there would be a lot more plane crashes.

Further to my suggestion to JL that the new "tapered" hubs incorporate a spacer, --having already gone to the trouble of producing new hubs that accommodate tapers and solve the offset and radius problems, why 'not' incorporate a central spacer. It removes all doubt, and might win some customers. And while you're about it, how about the following? It's all potential business after all. J.

1). Make available the 1mm : 2mm adapter shim, for those that wish to stay with angular contacts using either face or non face adjusted modern 40 degree angular contact bearings, wish to retain the central spacer, and aren't concerned about hub offset by up to 1mm, or possible oil/grease seal lip drop off. (You could always simply not push the oil seal in as far for a crude solution to this)

2). Make available the 1mm : 2mm adapter shim, for those that wish to stay with angular contacts, using either face or non face adjusted modern 40 degree angular contact bearings, and wishing to retain the central spacer. PLUS, offer the service of boring the depth of the inner bearing insert on the customers hub(s), for those that are concerned about hub offset by up to 1mm. This as I understand it, would also mean having to shorten the central spacer by the EXACT amount of additional bore depth, otherwise the bearings would be too loose.

3). Make available the 1mm : 2mm adapter shim, plus additional "packing" shims, for those that wish to convert to tapers, wish to retain the central spacer, and aren't concerned about hub offset by up to 1mm, or possible oil/grease seal lip drop off. (You could always simply not push the oil seal in as far for a crude solution to this).

4). Make available the 1mm : 2mm adapter shim, plus additional "packing" shims, for those that wish to convert to tapers, and wish to retain the central spacer. PLUS, offer the service of boring the depth of the inner bearing insert, for those that are concerned about hub offset by up to 1mm. This as I understand it, just as in the case for angular contact bearings, would also mean having to shorten the central spacer by the EXACT amount of additional bore depth, in order to get the adjustment right on the tapers. Else they could be too loose.

5). Have made an supply only, the 1mm:2mm adapter shim to allow people to use tapers of their choice, without the spacer, and who don't care about the potential consequences of either possible spindle weakness or hub offset.

But I'm still of the opinion that it would be better/cheaper in the long run, to install new angular contacts bearings with a modified inner radius.

Lawrence Slater

I'm thinking that some things need clarifying but whether anyone still has the information is another matter. I seems there is talk of 34LJT25 and 39LJT25, I have the 34LJT25 drawing and that specifies the 2mm clearance details. Earlier in this thread I think it was mentioned that the MM has the same bearing and hub arrangement but no 2mm radius, possibly due to the insert stub axle and better material, so it can use a smaller standard radius bearing but face adjusted so maybe the 39LJT25 is suitable for the MM but not spridgets.
David Billington

what the hell are you idiots doing...

170 comments on wheel bearings....seriously have you guys ever heard of porn, if you love the intracices of wheel bearings then then try this website and go crazy

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

This topic just goes on, round and round.
Guy Weller

Well, participating -even reading it- is optional. All BBS threads over 20 posts go round and round. Not that that is a good thing, it's just how these things often develop.

I lost the will to live on Tuesday of last week.
G Williams (Graeme)

I have followed this thread and the previous one on this topic with interest but without the engineering knowledge of others. Anyway, I had the idea that a shim or washer could be machined with 2mm radius to fit the hub and hollowed out on the other side with a 1mm radius to suit the new 1mm radius bearing. The distance piece would need to be reduced by the thickness of the washer. If that would work, it would not be very difficult to machine a batch of suitable shims and modified distance pieces?

I'm probably missing something here, but I don't recall ever replacing the midget front hub bearings.
Peter B

Peter, they last a long, long time. As far as most owners are concerned this whole thread is just an esoteric or hypothetical discussion. Just ideal for a cold, cold winter when its to chilly to do any real work on the car, or even go for a spin.
Guy Weller

Peter: you would need to machine back the step in the hub itself too. One issue is that the lip seal on the inner end of the assembly would no sit on a good surface.

But when you do have to do your front bearings Peter, think how well informed you will be!
G Williams (Graeme)

"All BBS threads over 20 posts go round and round"

But not as much as one about bearings. Or wheels. Or propshafts. Or flywheels.
Guy Weller

At least it's still about bearings as I've seen threads start in other places that meander off and end up talking about numerous topics seemingly unrelated to the original.


If you know what the thread is about please contribute something useful to the subject or don't, if you want to discuss porn sites then start another thread although I suspect the webmaster would terminate it pretty quickly. In looking up some information on the *LJT25 bearings earlier I turned up the earlier thread encapsulated by another site and missed some comments you had made about casting allowances and the changes of British seasons effecting the casting sizes, you were talking complete bollocks.
David Billington

Hi Dave

In answer to your comment about the prefixes on the rhp bearings, the 34LJT25 uses a brass cage but the 39LJT25 uses a resin cage. They are otherwise identical. The same is partly true of the outer bearing. The 3MJT17 has a brass cage but the 11MJT17 has a resin cage but the outer race is approx half the width of the brass caged bearing. It is otherwise identical.
Bob Beaumont


Good to know that although a bit worrying as Ed H in Tasmania mentioned he has a 39LJT25 with a 1mm radius which wouldn't be to specification then. Counterfeit parts? it wouldn't be the first time but difficult to prove I suspect.
David Billington

It is odd. My NOS 39LJT25 has the 2mm radius. A batch error perhaps?
Bob Beaumont


I did find a Chinese maker listing LJT series bearings so who knows whether they're R&M (RHP) or another without the full technical specifications but marking the bearing to suit the market. I don't know so I'll try to stick in future to better information and not supposition. I'm suddenly reminded while typing of the recent horse meat scandal and labelling, never tried it myself but have no Bambi quandries about it, was on the menu a few times when working in Lausanne in Switzerland but there were other things I knew so ate them.
David Billington

Peter B. Have you been reading my mail? I just said that. lol.

Anyway, welcome to the party, the craziest one there's ever been, your mama should have told you not to come. :). But now your here, keep adding your suggestions. No need to be an engineer to understand the basics, and even some(most) of the intricacies either. I'm not, and as Guy said, they just go round and round. :).

Interesting comments about the 2mm radius. If I look closely at one of my original RHP inners, the radius looks as if it was extended from a 1mm radius. I'll try and capture it on a pic. If it was, could the factory have taken the standard 1mm radius and machined it 'after' the assembly of complete bearings? Seems very unlikely. But if they did, then anybody could do it again, which as I said earlier, is what I'm tempted to have a go at, but don't have a bearing.

Suppose I were to put up a NOS original RHP inner, for the price of an SKF face adjusted inner(1mm). Would there be any takers I wonder? I might then be tempted to have a go at adapting the SKF to fit the spindle.

Lawrence Slater

You could try machining the "other" radius on the inner of one of your existing bearings ie the one on the other side which is probably 1mm. THat won't affect the installation.
G Williams (Graeme)

Just checking back in. You guys are talking as if machining a radius into a bearing race is trivial. Not exactly the softest metal.
Trevor Jessie

The saga continues ........... thought I had some pics from when I pulled it apart last time so here they are. The only pic I don't have to hand is of a Bull Motif inner bearing radius I'll sort that over the weekend.
This one is the Stub axle 2mm radius , the next will be Frontline 2mm radius and the last is a Resin caged RHP which reads 1mm !
I also have some other RHP's that came off the car years ago which I will check over the weekend.
The one thing I did do was replace the spacer and very carefully dressed any imperfections in the hub which could have caused a badly seated bearing. Therefore my frontline bad fit could have been caused by bad seat or incorrect / previous owner adjusted spacer. I could never check this because as usual the inner race fell apart on removal.


Ed H

Frontline pic

Ed H

Resin cage RHP. Harder to read but the radius gauge is at 1mm

Ed H

okay... I have to ask the obvious...I wasng going to contribute.. but there is an easy answer to this whole topic

40 degree angular contact bearings ...with brass cages not pidioemite cages

there... problem solved!!!

this is the answer to old non existant wheel bearings

dont like that answer...not a problem,

"Tapered bearings" ....

congratations now there are 2 proven answers, no really, its that simple

wow... that was so easy...its true, im a mortal god, you my bow before me and worship me, if you wish

whew...thank god for my presance, now we can but this thread to bed and be done with it

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Prop, you seem to have overlooked the small issue of the 2mm radius.
Dave O'Neill2

"Prop, you seem to have overlooked the small issue of the 2mm radius."

And everything concerning the spacer if you convert to tapers. :). But thanks for the input, keep it coming. I'm convinced that the more suggestions we get, the clearer the picture becomes. lol.
Lawrence Slater

Were bearings made for specific applications? I thought that at least in earlier years, designers selected the bearings for an application from a fairly small range of standard sizes that were available from bearing specialists. They designed the hub or whatever around the available standard sizes.

On this basis the original selected bearing would presumably just have had the normal slight chamfer - there to reduce stresses in the bearing. The available bearing also dictated the spindle size which maybe was a bit, umm, spindly. So the hub designer had a cunning plan. This was to add a spacer between the two inner races so that the hub nut would clamp that all up as one unit, making it stronger. That left the problem of not being able to adjust the bearing preload so this was got round by using face adjusted bearings and getting the correct relationship between the length of the spacer and the depth of the seating machined into the hub.

Life was simple. Standard bearing, thin spindle, spacer and correctly machined hub. But then they found that spindles sometimes sheared at the base. Solution? - machine these with a bigger radius (2mm) and get the bearing manufacturer to increase the chamfer on the inner race by a similar amount. Job done. Until some 50 years later when bearing supplies run out and the "aftermarket" and cheap "copy" bearing suppliers don't understand the significance of the 2mm chamfer, when in normal use that chamfer is only there to reduce stress and for this purpose a smaller 1mm chamfer serves perfectly well. Chaos!
Guy Weller

Hi Ed,

That pic of your RHP with the 1mm radius on the inner race, has been assembled backwards. (see my edit of your picture combined with one of mine). Note the ring at the point of my white arrow. That should be on the opposite side -- the thrust side.

The inner race I've shown is actually an outer bearing, but has the same feature as the inner. Both are copies of eachother, except the outer is smaller.

This also happened to me last year. I bought a "NEW" Unipart old stock set. When it arrived, (RHPs) the bearings weren't both sealed. Although very new looking, the inner bearing had obviously been installed, and then I noticed it had been assembled "BACKWARDS". Was this done by the fitter, or at the factory? I guessed it had been returned to the supplier and sat in stock until it was sold to me. I got it VERY cheap indeed, so I kept it, and bought the last kit of their stock, which was perfectly ok. I popped the inner race out, and put it in the right way round. It's sitting in a box in my stock now.

Take a look at the other side of your assembled bearing, and get a pic of that. It's probably 2mm.

Lawrence Slater

Guy 'Hercule Poirot' Weller.

Were you twitching your mustache when you wrote that Guy? Sounds eminently plausible to me. (except maybe when the 2mm radius appeared -- see my picture and notes below).

Stevens been wanting a picture of you, so here it is. :).

Lawrence Slater

PS Guy. Good suggestion about grinding the opposite face of an inner bearing, but I don't want to spoil a possible sale lol.
Lawrence Slater

Good point when took the pic of the RHP some months ago ,I just grabbed the 1st one to hand out of my box of old bearings and as we all know the inner race pops apart and was no doubt stuffed back together the wrong way round. I should have checked !!
Anyway when I take a pic tomorrow of the bull motif one I,ll check my RHP box again to avoid any confusion, more pics to follow.
Ed H

Hi Ed,

With reference to the discussion a little way back in this thread, (there, was little dissent and some significant endorsement) regarding "used" bearings.

Just to recap, the inner bearing wears very little, if at all. Because replacements (RHP) were once cheap and plentiful, everybody bought pairs and replaced both. -- BUT, -- you could ALWAYS buy the singles, either inner or outer on their own. It's just that most people didn't.

Hence, if you have a box full of RHP inner bearings, removed from car(s) about which you know the mileage history, you could well be sitting on some valuable kit there, with loads of milage left in the inner bearings. Goodbye 2mm radius issue for you.

And even if you don't know the history, as Norm confirmed earlier, it's not that hard to discern if the bearing is any good.

All you or someone needs then, is to purchase a single 'modern' outer bearing, to make up a perfectly fitting set.
Lawrence Slater

Good point I know two of the inners are worn but the others ???? I never throw out anything anyway so like you say I could be ok.
Got bored so went in shed rather than do other job's.
You were correct other side of the RHP measured 2mm but to add some more confusion I measured all my others complete and non complete and one has a inner race with a 2mm radius on both sides, I'd best stop looking now !!!
Anyway opened up my new spare set of Bull Motif inners and took a gauge and took some pretty poor photos ... you need 3 hands. You should see but with 1mm radus you get a gap under the gauge in the centre of the arc,with 2mm it s not flush 100% but its closest to fitting the radius.
Pic of Bull Motif below.

Ed H

Great Ed. Then that puts the Bull Motif bearings back in contention for the prize, esp as you are already running them.

That would then obviate the need to spend cira 300 quid plus postage, on new hubs that convert to tapers - even if the spacer wasn't still and issue --, unless you are racing and need to save weight, it seems to me.

How can we get Bull motif to take a pic of the current batch? That would clinch it.
Lawrence Slater

200... I have not read or contibuted to any of this, just wanted to mark the double hundred!
Malcolm Le Chevalier

Stick around for the next century Malcom. :)
Lawrence Slater

I guess you could give Bull Motif a call ? You're a bit closer than me!
Anyway I'll let every one know if I have any issues with BM set up on the frog but so far so good.
I still think for what its worth that the issue I had with the frontlines may have been more to do with spacer and bearing seat condition in the hub rather tan just a radius issue but I may be wrong.
I eliminated this by replacing inner & outer bearings along with a new spacer and very careful dressing of any high spots in the hub where the bearings sit (and there were some).
Ed H

I was visiting a customer a couple of weeks ago, who is situated a mere 300 yards from Bull Motif.

If only I'd known!
Dave O'Neill2

Hi Ed, did you see my post a little way back regarding the firstline bearings? On the new Firstline inner I looked the other day, the radius was less than 2mm, and it wouldn't slide fully home on the spindle. However, last year when I looked at a Firsline bearing (same FBK011 kit, it DID fit(I didn't take a picure), the SAME spindle. Same spindle, different Firstline bearing. I could have been wrong, but didn't think I was.

Now you think that your Firstline bearing may well have a 2mm radius. So that adds more confusion. Do you still have it? Picture?

Better than calling Bull Motif, we need someone to vist them armed with a radius gauge and a Spridget spindle, of known 2mm fillet radius. I think I'll put out a distres signal in General.
Lawrence Slater

Dave, is he friendly, and does he have a spare Spridget spindle?
Lawrence Slater

Frontline pic was the one I posted earlier today marked frontline it is clearly 2mm radius, but had too much play hence I think it may have been bearing fit in hub and spacer related.
Ed H

Is who friendly?
Dave O'Neill2

Your customer Dave. Would he/she mind popping in to Bull with a spindle, and taking a measure?

Ah thanks Ed. Then that vindicates my post from last year, and muddies the waters both, as it seems that the Firstline bearing radius is variable.
Lawrence Slater

Customer has no Spridget involvement, I'm afraid.
Dave O'Neill2

Just been catching up on this thread after a few days and something has just dawned on me that I had missed before probably because I was in the business and therefore understood it without thinking. Several people appear to be barking up the wrong tree about the radius by using a radius guage to check it. This is wrong as the drawing states a mininmum 2 mm depth of radius not a 2mm radius which is what the guage measures(i.e. the guage measures the curve not the depth). In fact the radius is I am sure greater than 2mm but the finished drawing doesn't show that and you would need to refer to other production drawings to asertain that or measure an old one or the actual radius on a stub. Also as the drawing states min 2mm some bearings will undoubtably have larger than that so the differences people are coming up with on old RHP bearings as well as newer ones are not surprising.

T Mason

Thanks Trev. Just when we thought it was now all as clear as mud, we find it's more like thick crude oil :).

If even the RHP bearings were variable, how -- and when -- was the radius cut/machined in the first place?
Lawrence Slater

So just to clarify this in my head Trev.

The convex shape we are measuring on the inner race, and calling the radius, is one small section of a circle, of radius greater than 2mm. Is that right? Now you've said that, it does indeed look it.
Lawrence Slater

I have had a reply from FIRSTLINE

This was my question:

Enquiry Type:technical_support
Message:FBK011 Front Wheel Bearing Kit /'71 Sprite Can you tell me whether the inner radius on the larger of the two bearings is a minimum of 2mm? This is the original standard for these components as is essential for the bearing to fit correctly. Most modern bearings have a 1mm radius, which can cause issues.

Here is the answer:

Hello Graeme,

Out Technical team say:

Inner race of larger bearing contained in kit FBK 011 is 3mm.


REALLY! There you have it.

G Williams (Graeme)

Lawrence, the radius is machined at the turning stage, i.e. the first stage. This is why it appears blackish in colour as that is from the harnening stage which follows.

Perhaps it helps if I give a brief outline of the production process. You normally start with high carbon steel tube which is turned to the shape required but oversize and parted off the tube. Stage 2 faces off the parted face to size and puts the radius on that side. It is then hardened and tempered and then has the external surfaces ground. Then the track is ground and then honed. An inner and outer race then come together and are measured to calculate the correct balls to use for the required fit. It is then assembled and greased and packed.

Face adjusted bearings require an extra process to grind the relevent faces together to ensure the inner and outer faces are flush before assembly.

As you can hopefully see several operations take place all with tolerances and although they are small (relatively speaking) they all impact on the final outcome. This is why a min radius depth is specified and not a max as larger doesn't cause a problem but smaller does. You may be wondering why not grind the radius. The answer is cost. If you disassemble a bearing you will see that none critical areas are not ground (e.g. outside of inner race, bore of outer and radii).

I can see that last statement raising questions as you will correctly say the radius in this case is critical. However it is not critical in terms of tight tolerance, it just needs to be big enough so provided it is turned large enough in the first place it is not a problem.

Hope that makes things a bit clearer, although I realise it is easy for me to visualise it and it may not make sense to some non engineers.

T Mason

Lawrence, to answer your last question yes that is correct.

T Mason

Thanks for all that Trev. Now I completely understand why earlier, you said that you were sure the radius we are measuring is likely to be larger than 2mm.

Earlier, Trevor Jessie mentioned the bearing being too hard to grind. Trev's last but one post, explains why that is, but actually I have been able to grind off the face of an outer bearing, using some wet/dry paper. So it's hard, but not so hard it can't be modified.

If that reply from Firstline Graeme just posted is really from a technical employee, either he didn't understand the question, he quoted the wrong figure, or Firstline have been supplied the wrong spec by the bearing company, and don't know it.

Graeme, lift a few pictures from this thread, and send them to Firstline showing the measurement you are talking about, and showing why it won't fit snugly on the spindle.
Lawrence Slater

Lawrence: why should they come back with 3mm unless it is based on some internal check? The question was clear enough.
G Williams (Graeme)

Because companies often employ dorks, who can't understand English even if they were born and bred here. Hadn't you noticed?

You can ask some people their own name, and they're stumped. The 3mm just doesn't make any sense.
Lawrence Slater

Firstline's response:
"Inner race of larger bearing contained in kit FBK 011 is 3mm."
What does that mean? To me he/she isn't being clear at all about what is measured as 3mm in that answer

What diameter balls are used? - Could they be referring to the curve of the inner race that the balls contact with as being 3mm radius?? !
Guy Weller

I agree Firstline's answer tells us nothing but to be fair the question wasn't clear (but I hasten to add Graeme hadn't seen my post when he asked the question). I suspect they are claiming that the radius is 3mm but I may be wrong and I'm sure they are probably none too sure themselves. This problem of understanding will only get worse as less and less people who understand it (i.e. mainly those that were around when the originals were made) survive.

To get a definitive answer requires two questions.
1. What is the radius?
2. What is the minimum depth of the radius?

If they fail to answer both these questions conclusively they have no idea what we are talking about.

Lawrence, you can and do grind them when hardened but before assembly. Your wet/dry paper is essentially a fine flat grinding wheel. In fact it is possible to turn them after hardening with the right tools but it is expensive and the scrap rate can be high. The only ones we did it on were non corrosive material for the nuclear industry where we re-turned the radius after hardening as the whole thing had to be bright finish to maintain the non corrosive properties.

T Mason

Oh for crying out loud!

THis is getting like those poor s*ds who innocently advertise their car for sale and get criticised because the "L" in the number plate "doesn't look right"!

I asked a question of the supplier, couched in relatively simple terms. I got an answer back which to my mind is unambiguous.

Buy a set. If it's wrong, send it back because you were told it was ok.

Or even better, order a set from Unipart or whoever. Explain at the time about the radius. If it's wrong when it comes in, don't buy it.

At least Fistline are indicating it should be ok. Who else is doing that? Don't say Bull Motif because they said "No" to the same question.
G Williams (Graeme)

...giggle *snort* ...
Trevor Jessie

Hi Graeme, you aren't being criticised.

You worked on the assumption that whoever answered your question would understand it. I understood it, and most people on here understand it. But as Trev pointed out, the term "radius" can be misleading in itself. So I guess we all have to be more precise and specific with what we ask.

That said, I've had plenty of ocasions when I've telephoned a tech department, asked a very simple and concise question, and got a very stupid answer. The reason being that frontline staff, (as opposed to back office staff) these days, are not actually skilled techies. They are call refers and filterers. They often enquire on your behalf, and come back with a version of the answer, because they prsented a version of the question.

Your suggestion of ordering a set (another set) from Firstline, was exactly what I did the other day, and the pictures are below. The radius was obviously NOT 3mm.

Bull Motif have told you one thing, me and ed another, and delivered a 2mm set to ed. So there's room for doubt.

Thanks Trev.
Lawrence Slater

Didn't take it as personal criticism Lawrence. Just frustration. Usual processes really: first 20 posts in any thread are useful and informative. After that it wanders about, does downhill and eventually disappears up it's own..... well you know.
It is very difficult to come to specific conclusions with a thread like this. Individuals are clear about what they have posted but in general probably dont register too much about what other people have posted.
G Williams (Graeme)

I wasn't Grame, I thought you were. You know me, I just find it amusing when I get slagged. I think I even enjoy it. lol. Yup long threads do twist and turn, and your right about comments being missed or deliberately ignored too. But that's just the trouble with more than 2 people having a discussion. But for all the wood obscuring the trees, for those that do actually read the posts, I think it's really pretty clear.

MGOC, MOSS, SUSSEX, and the usual Sprdget suppliers definitely can't supply (at present) a bearing kit with the 2mm radius. So there's no point buying their kits.

Firstline is probably dubious, pending further investigation.

Bull Motif, needs further investigation.

NOS is definite, if you can get it.

Conversion to tapers is possible, retaining the important central spacer, with Speedwell, if you ignore the 2mm radius issue.

Conversion to tapers is possible with New hubs, but leaving out important central spacer. It does though resolve the 2mm radius issue.

And if none of the above, you can most probably re-use the inner bearing ( the large one) and only buy a new modern outer.

There is though still one matter that hasn't been discussed quite as much this time around, and that is the issue of face adjustment. Is is needed or not, with the Firstline, Unipart, and Bull Motif bearings? -- Assuming the 2mm radius gets resolved that is. There's obviously still a question here. Although Ed is using the Bull Motif bearings and hasn't found them too lose.

But to be absolutely certain, buy only face adjusted angular contact bearings. This though means that you can't use the inner bearing (1mm radius), and should/could re-use your own part worn RHP inner, or try and modify a face adjusted inner.

I think it's all pretty clear now. Honestly I really do.
Lawrence Slater

I have asked Firstline again - copied you in on the email Lawrence.

"Didn't take it as personal criticism Lawrence" meaning I didn't, not you. I know you wouldn't!
G Williams (Graeme)

"didn't". Oh yeah, I didn't spot that.

Quick, slag me off for not reading english properly. I claim stupidity mixed with dyslexia. :)
Lawrence Slater


Thanks for posting the summary. It's very helpful and prevents the need to keep scrolling back through the posts. Carry on being "picky", that way there will probably (hopefully?) be answer.
Ray Rowsell


For interest, we are now producing a 'motorsport' version of our replacement hub, with, a central spacer.
For normal road use applications, we are confident that our current version does not compromise the stub axle strength and longevity.
I might make an 'option' of 'the spacer,' available for those who will feel more comfortable with the original type of set up.
Kits sold with the spacer will include a shim kit.
This should cover all bases, and hubs will now be available in either high grade aluminium or billet steel.

Very interesting JL.

How much is the full price of the kit per side, including bearings VAT and postage?
Lawrence Slater

£296.34 for the pair, fully built, plus a choice in length of wheel studs.Same price for Aluminium or steel.

Well now it meets the specs as a complete option, it looks like a real contender. I wonder how many you'll sell?

MGB owners seem happy enough with their setup, so this looks pretty good, even if it is a bit expensive when compared to angular contact bearings -- if you can get them.

What do others think? Onno, are you buying?

Worth remembering also, Orinoco/R&M will sell you NOS RHP originals for circa 100 quid per side, for as long as they have stock.

I still personally prefer the fit and forget of the angular contact bearings, so I'd persue the other options we've been talking about for days. :).
Lawrence Slater

If this new hub and taper kit from JL, does meet all the requirements, I wonder if it might be possible to use it's existence as a lever, to get all the Spridget suppliers to come up with a cheaper option using the correctly spec'd angular contact bearings?
Lawrence Slater

Well there are 40 sets on the shelf.
Considering that you get a new hub as well as the bearings into the price it seems to me, a bargain.
We shall see, MG enthusiast mag are coming over to do a fitting guide for the disc kits so may wish to feature these too.Official launch of these products will follow shortly ,just as soon as all permutations of set up are in stock
I agree. that if you can stay standard, then do. My hubs started out as purely a weight saving exercise for trackday or rally guys. So not outwardly designed as a replacement for the sake of it.
The disc kits are completely different as they are designed to replace the original set up. The two sizes offered are to accomodate std 13" steels or alloys or 14" alloys.

What persuaded you to include a spacer and shim kit then?

btw. What's the spacer made of, and what's the torque on the hub nut with one?
Lawrence Slater

Well, I'm still 100% confident with the hubs without the spacer, but as it could be seen as a potential stumbling block to some, its not too much trouble to incorporate it. As I say it will be on the 'motorsport' versions only, but available as an extra if someone demands it.
The spacer will be either EN8 or EN16T not decided yet, if I remember correctly the torque is around 45-50lbs.

Another option if the bearings with the 2mm feature are available even if not "face adjusted" is to measure the offset of the appropriate faces and work out how much shimming would be required to get the set-up correct to the face adjusted tolerance shown in the RHP data. The problem seems to be that the bearings are often too loose so shimming the spacer wouldn't work, it would require shimming an outer race to take up the clearance. If JLH would sell just a shim pack then the option of machining the spacer slightly shorter and shimming back to a suitable length is an option. I know there are companies that make shims but have never made an enquiry so don't know if they can make low volumes at a good price, it may be worth asking. I suspect that 1" milling arbor shims would do for the 25mm bore bearing as at 25.4mm ID it's pretty close.

I have a DTI that reads to 0.001mm and the RHP spec is 0 to 0.025mm so I can measure at this level and have slip gauges to check against but would have to make suitable measuring rig. The required measuring load of 24.5N mentioned in the RHP details equates to a 52mm diameter bit of steel 150mm long but would need to alter that to get the gauge in. Sounds like it might be worthwhile trying to measure some but I have no need of any wheel bearings at the moment as the sprite won't be on the road any time soon. Anyone in the Bath area changing their wheel bearing and wanting them measured.
David Billington

Is this thread dying... say it isn't so!

I just found an two inner wheel bearings in a pile of NOS parts. They are in an FAG box. I'm going to clean the hardened grease off them and see if I struck gold. ;)
Trevor Jessie

No, "Just resting" Not quite an ex-thread yet.

Cause for celebration in Kentucky then! In the UK such a find would probably hit national television news with Eye in the Sky helicopters hovering over the garage.
Over here we have a "National Collection" held somewhere in south London (location is secret) by an avid collector of wheel bearings called "Bob". I'm not sure that's his real name, for security reasons you understand.
G Williams (Graeme)

Firstline are taking my query seriously and having followed up the "doubts" raised it is being referred back to the wheel bearing technical team just to confirm. I also raised the issue of face adjustment.

When I get a reply I will post the outcome here.
G Williams (Graeme)

Excellent Graeme.

Since you seem to have a golden touch in emails :), if/when they confirm that the bearing kit doesn't meet OE spec in respect of the min 2mm inner radius, and is not face adjusted, perhaps you could persuade them to suppy one that does. :)
Lawrence Slater

I wonder how big the market is? The general view is that, unless subject to mishaps, a set of bearings will last "forever" so not much repeat business.
G Williams (Graeme)

I personally don't think its all that big. The problem really only affects disc braked spridgets, slightly loose bearings or hubs in the wrong place don't have the same effect on Drum braked cars providing they pass the MOT.So Minor,drum braked Spidgets, a35's A40's, Riley and Wolseley owners will soldier on happily. As Lawrence says properly maintained bearings last a lifetime and certainly most Spridgets just don't do the miles these days.

Bob Beaumont

Shhhhh! Don't make the sales predictions too pessimistic!
I'd buy a set. So that's........ one set. Guy, Trev, Dave? Anyone else?
G Williams (Graeme)

Hi everyone...Taking this opportunity to join this monster thread as my first post here....

I am at the point where want to replace my FWB's.

I have got a quote for 240 gbp for correct set of :
2 - Inner bearing 34/LJT25
2 - Outer bearing 3MJT17

for 240 gbp i could also get the alloy hubs/bearing set (taper roller) from JLH.......

so its a choice of:
1. keeping original and knowing everything should be ok,

2. Taking the new hubs and the associated reduction in unsprung weight and having the slight 'risk' of the taper roller bearings not supporting the stub shaft via the tension induced by the bearing spacer.(must admit to being tempted by the 'bling' aspect also)

3. Buy off the shelf bearings locally, have a spacer made to fit against the back of the stub axle and have another spacer same thickness to put between the rotor and the back of the hub so that the rotor stays in the same position. This would increase the front track slightly, but i have wheel spacers fitted anyway....
This should give the same bearing/spacer/tension arrangement as with the original design, but also use of std off the shelf bearings.

After seeing JLH's website and having some email exchanges i have no doubt about their quality....

No.3 would be the far cheaper option, i am a mechanical engineer and could make the drawings required, and my local machine shop can produce the spacer...

Been watching this thread with great interest... waiting to if theres a definate outcome (not holding my breath though!)
A phillips

THat price for bearings is top end! I hope they are exactly the right ones for that price.

An issue with the spacers as a concept is that you need to consider where the lip seal finish up. If it is too close to the point where the spacer meets the axle it could reduce the life of the seal.

On ebay recently someone in Australia has been advertisings the (apparently) correct bearings nos for about $6.

I should have an answer back from Firstline middle of next week.
G Williams (Graeme)

A Phillips, welcome,
get a load of sets of spacers made and sell them for a good profit and then all is solved for those that believe in the spacers, you've solved a problem and have been justly rewarded -(?) (or have I missed something :) )
Nigel Atkins

The spacers for your Option 3 need be no more than 1mm thick shims - and the same for spacing the disc back to the centre of the calliper. And with only moving the hub out by 1mm the seal lip would probably still be ok and you would not add significantly to the stress on the axle.

If you did go for a wider spacer you might be able to use a "speedisleeve" to give a surface for the seal lip.
Guy Weller

i'll get the drgs done and have a word with my supplier of laser cut parts. should be able to cut out quite a few sets from a 1mm thick sheet of steel.
If they are laser cut there will be no burrs and they will be flat.
Get then cadmium plated and should be good to go...

I'll pull my hub off this weekend.....

a thougth on the rear seal... could put a spacer behind that also, so it dosent push as far into the hub and hence retain the original sealing land.... this one could be made from plastic.

mmmm should i order the swimming pool, or maybe get another sprite with the massive profits i'll make ?
A phillips

A Philips,

Thailand uh? Fantastic, there can't be many Spridgets in Thailand. Where are you? I didn't spot one on my travels in and around thailand.

Anyway, back to the bearings. Personally i prefer the original setup, even if the taper conversion was cheaper. I much prefer fit and forget.

As you are an engineer, you can solve the problem for yourself very cheaply.

1) Buy a GOOD set of face adjusted bearings. I got quoted far less from China, and I bet you could get a good deal in Thailand

2) Make the 1mm-2mm adapter shim to accomodate the standard radius.

3)Instead of spacing the disc back off the hub, increase the bore depth of the inner bearing by the same amount of thickness of spacer. That negates the offset.

How much play is there in your hubs? The other thing you might consider is that your inner bearing is probably ok, and you might well be able to get away with only replacing the outer. Thus no offset worry, and no play if you use a face adjusted bearing.

Also, are you aware that I've successfully renovated an original outer bearing, and removed all traces of excess play? I did this by grinding a thou or so, off the inner face, of the inner race, of the OUTER bearing. See pic. Nobody other than me appears to have done this before, so you only have my word that it has worked. But then again you have nothing to lose except a bit of time, and it is extremely easy to do. It's by FAR the cheapest solution. Have fun

Lawrence Slater

Hi, i'm in Suphanburi, north of Bangkok, its 40 degrees here today... f''ín hot...
Been here for 13 years.
Not many midgets or MG's here, apparently only two frogeyes, mine (which isnt actually a real one...) and another which was imported from UK about 5-6 years ago....
Makes it interesting and challenging to do any work as there are no spares availability.....
A phillips

Wish I'd known, I'd have popped in to see you in 2010 when I went up from BK, to Chang mai and Chang rai and plenty of places on the way. It would have been cool to spot a Spridget in Thailand. As you say, unsual, they don't really like that kind of temperature do they. Have you fitted AC? I can't imagine sitting in the hot sun with the roof down. It's scorching enough on 2 wheels, but at least you get the airflow and don't have to sit in traffic jams.

Start a thread in General, and show us a Pic?

btw. moss and sussex ship to everywhere, so as long as you get the chance to plan, you should be ok for spares. -- at a cost including postage of course.
Lawrence Slater

If you go for machining out the hub so the position of the inner bearing is moved "out" by the same thickness as the shim, you need to remember that the spacer will need shortening by the same amount. I think you would get away with spacing the lip seal out. It sets in flush with the hub face normally.

Do you have drum brakes on the front? I have been told by Frogeye Bob (Beaumont) -see about 20 posts above- that bearing alignment is not the same issue.
G Williams (Graeme)

No, its a "fake" frogeye. actually a MKIII with the disk brakes and semi elliptical springs but with a frogeye bonnet, doors and rear shroud........
A phillips

any chance of pics to see how the frog doors fit to the later front scuttle and A-post?
David Smith

i think its got an earlier scuttle fitted, the work was already done by PO.
Picture is from a classic car rally last year in Hua-Hin.

Bulge on bonnet is a toyota pickup intercooler bonnet scoop installed back to front to suck hot air from engine bay (i had issues with vapour lock).
headlamp trim fell off on the way!!!
This was actually the shakedown run as i only installed the rebuilt engine 2 weeks before, and got the back brakes working the previous weekend...

Don't want to hijack this thread !! i'll put together another thread about thailand and my car....

A phillips

seperate thread started on general about thailand and my car....
dont want to corrupt this thread....
A phillips

good idea - thanks!
David Smith

Been sorting out a new PC and only just put the BBS back into favourites.

We have Midget disc braked hubs on our Minor - they were fitted 15 years ago and the RH bearings have had noticeable movement (MOT advise) for a while now.

I fitted some 'face adjusted' bearings, but the problem was worn internal faces in the hub itself, so they were never really likely to solve the problem.

Looking at my son's MGB front bearing set-up, it uses taper rollers, fixed spacer and shims, so not wanting to lose the strength of the clamped bearing set-up, I decided to do something similar with the Midget hubs.

Bought a selection of MGB shims (0.002" - 0.010") from Moss and very carefully machined 0.010" off the length off the length of the spacer, making sure that the two end faces remained exactly parallel.

After trying a selection of shims, I found that 0.006" gave a good solution - no play and free rotation.

Fitting them is a bit fiddly, as they have to be placed between the outer bearing and the spacer, and then held in place with grease, whilst carefully sliding the hub on to the stub axle - the 'B' is much easier with the 'loose' inner race that slides on after the shim!

This was all done a very short while ago, so I have no experience of the longevity of the solution yet.

Richard Wale

Hi Richard. What size is the internal diameter of the MGB shims then? Aren't they sloppy on the thinner Spridget spindle?

Are you saying you shimmed the face adjusted bearings, or bought tapers and shimmed those?

How much did it cost (per side) to purchase the shims, and whichever set of bearings you now have in the hubs?
Lawrence Slater

Richard, I agree that your idea (the MGB approach) works fine, and avoids the need for using face adjusted bearings, but I also agree with you that it requires more steps to do it that way.

The key is to use the spacer between the bearings, for spindle strength (my calculations showed something like 1.7x the stress handling capacity of the system with the spacer between the bearings, compared to without), cut down your 1.5" bearing spacer and use the MGB shims to provide proper bearing clearance (target 0.002~0.004" play, after the nut is fully tightened) and finally, make sure the inner bearing has the R2 for fillet clearance (the MGB, as you pointed out, has another spacer which goes over that fillet, and provides a sharp corner that a typical bearing needs, but the Midget doesn't have the room for one). If you can't find R2 bearings, then a 1mm shim would work, but check that the grease seal lip doesn't fall off of its sealing surface on the spindle after it is moved outboard 1mm.

As long as these things are OK, then everything will turn out fine.

Norm Kerr

Got a quote from a bearing shop around the corner today for the SKF 40 degree angle bearings,,,

more expensive than i was expecting at about 1500 baht each (30 quid)..! so thats 60 quid each per wheel....although a lot less than i was quoted for the original type bearings with the 2mm rad..the price from Victoria British for a bearing set (incl oil seal) is 34.95 usd (about 23 quid)..

so what bearings get supplied as std ? are they not the 40 degree angular ones ? or is the issue with the normally supplied ones that they have too much play as well as the wrong rad ( hence the low price)?..

A phillips

Hi A Phillips,

The issue isn't with the type of bearing (20 degree or 40 degree angular contact ball bearings, and tapered roller bearings all can work fine).

Whichever type of bearing is used, you want to make sure it is face adjusted, or if it is not, you must then use the shim method talked about above to manually dial in the 0.002" ~ 0.004" free play necessary for long bearing life.

The inner bearing needs to clear the fillet radius at the base of your stub axle / spindle. As long as it does, you are all set. If it does not, you have several choices: machine down the stub axle fillet (weakens it), or try to grind a bigger radius into your bearing (difficult to do with the hardened race, but can be done), or use a 1mm shim and double check where that puts your grease seal lip after it is installed.

Norm Kerr

"A" - I am not confident at the moment that anyone is supplying the correctly radiused and face adjusted bearings.
Those bearings you quote I have seen before and I believe they have the 1mm radius. I think if you Google them you can find catalogue-style engineering drawings for them. I don't think the originals are 40 deg contact angle either.

Currently we are waiting for a company called Firstline to come back on this issue. Should know next week. I know from personal experience that the MGOC bearings are not correct spec.

Kits normally contain two bearings, seal and a pack of grease.

You can always go the taper-roller route. Well documented and Norm has added more details above.
G Williams (Graeme)

Just to cofirm, the SKF 7303BECBP and 7205BECBP, are face adjusted 40 degree bearings, but the inner bearing only has a 1mm radius on it's inner race.

The originals were RHP made, -- Inner 39/LJT25, and outer 11/MJT17, and were face adjusted. They are 20 degree contact, and have the important 2mm radius on the inner race of the inner face of the inner bearing.

As Norm says, the contact angle is not the issue, either will be fine.

60 quid per side is a good price for the SKF bearings.

How much were you quoted for originals with a 2mm radius?
Lawrence Slater


It is the RH hub SKF 40° face adjusted bearings that I have shimmed. The MGB shim is about 2mm bigger on the i/d than the Midget/Minor stub axle, but at at total of 0.005" thick I didn't think it should affect the wheel balance too much!

They are the SKF part number that you quote and it was about 4 years ago that I fitted them. I seem to remember they were ~£100 from Brammer bearings for both sides.

The shims from Moss are £0.40 each + VAT and postage, and I bought 2 each of 0.003", 0.005" and 0.010". In the end have only used one of the 0.005". Great care needed when sliding the hub on, as the shims are only held in place with grease until the hub nut is tightened to clamp it in place - I damaged one of the 0.003" ones during the trial set-ups.

Richard Wale

If you look at the SKF engineering drawings on their site (just Google the bearing number plus "SKF" there is a bit of a discrepancy. It shows different radii between the single bearing drawing and the double bearing drawing!
G Williams (Graeme)

" This thread is not for those of a nervous disposition or for those who wake in the small hours, seeing Wheel Bearings drifting before their eyes! "

Now i am beginning to understand the opening comment above....

if my understanding is correct... then the cheaper sets of bearings from the usual suppliers are not face adjusted and therefor allow more play in the wheels, this is apart from the 2mm/1mm radius issue ?

This being the case then the SKF bearings from posts above are face adjusted but have the radius issue, but i can get around that by using shims/spacers..? and this provide the closest solution to the original spec arrangement.

beginning to regret opening this thread... !

i was quoted 240 gbp for a complete set (two sides) of bearings to the original spec, If i get these then its fit and forget for another 100,000 plus miles, a bit pricey, but they will last for ever...

alternative 1 is get the SKF sets and mess around a bit with spacers but it comes in at about half price compared with the original spec ones.

alternative 2 is to spend the same 240 pounds and get a full set of taper roller bearings plus some new aluminium hubs from JLH which also has the advantage that it saves me the hassle of knocking out the bearings etc from the old hub....

alternative 3 is get taper roller bearings myself and use shims/spacers as with alternative 1, taper rollers should be cheaper, but need more care and attention.

alternative 5 is to try and forget about FWB's as i have just bought my MOT certificate for this year for 30 pounds including the road tax and 3rd party insurance.
Before opening this thread i didnt even know i had a FWB problem (when i came across the issue of the calipers not fitting last year i ground a few mm off the lugs of the caliper where they fit to the sub axle). however now i know there is something wrong i am compelled to put it right.....everyone has their cross to bear!

As i have new brake disks arriving next week and new brake pads, i have to take the hubs off anyway so i'll do the bearings at the same time... looks like alternative 1 is the way to go and take some care over it as per richard/norms advice above.
Andy Phillips

And alternative 4 is . . . . ?
Guy Weller

errm... alternative 4...dont change the bearings that are installed now, just put a spacer behind the inner one....
just thought of that one... and its not a bad option
depending on what bearings are fitted and the state of them, however i strongly suspect they are just plain ball bearings..
Andy Phillips

Thanks richard.

New alloy hubs from JLH are 240 quid, PLUS the cost of bearings if you haven't already got them. Plus postage of course.

You didn't say (I think, but I may have missed the clue if you did) if the bearings in your hubs are original RHPs. If they are, then just change the outer for a new SKF face adjusted bearing. This is very likely to solve your problem, because the inner is often not worn. -- See earlier discussion about this lower in the thread.

Note: The 2mm radius issue only affects the inner bearing.

PS. have no regrets about keeping this topic alive. It's life blood for some, and even for those who complain about it. LOL.
Lawrence Slater

from JLH website

Light weight alloy high quality front hubs, made from H15 alloy with best quality taper roller bearings. Wheel studs and seals.

This kit is a direct replacement for the standard Midget Hub, each hub weighs 1.23 kilos fully built against the originals 2.35 kilos.

Finished in black 'Ecoat' which offers excellent long-term protection against the elements.

yes, keeping it going and a little tongue in cheek too.... people on this forum seem to have a sense of humour....
Andy Phillips

just to add a little more in to the fun and confusion,
i have taken my hub off,.
It has a NSK sealed for life bearing (and with plenty of grease packedin there as well for good measure..) type 6205V- which is a deep groove ball bearing....

Andy Phillips

Well that's a different bearing. Is there that much play in the hubs? Do the wheels wobble unduly?

As for the hubs, JL posted a while back (26 March 2013 at 19:49:27 -- just scroll down to that date and time),

" -- and if bearings are required the maximum cost will be no more than £45 per side."

So you should clarify the costs, to make sure the 240 quid does include the hubs, shims, spacers and bearings, -- just to make sure.
Lawrence Slater

If they are deep groove bearings, the spacer can't be working properly (assuming you have one) and thereofre the contribution that the correct bearing/spacer set up makes to spindle strength is missing.
I think I would replace those!

But don't ask "what with!"

The confusing issue about the SKFs is that the drawing for the single bearing has the radii swapped around compared with the double bearing pair. Im sure the bearings are the same in both cases, but the issue is that one radius seems to show at 2mm an the other at 4mm. But is one drg its the inner that's 4mm and in the other it's the outer. Have a look and you will see what I mean. One is wrong...... but which? Have you seen that Lawrence?

The thing to remember about bearings is that they are sold at enormous discounts. 60/70/80% discount is not uncommon in industry so prices will vary if you are seen as "joe-public" coming thro the door.

Interesting comment from Thailand about buying MOT. Can you buyone for Nigel?
G Williams (Graeme)

yes vibration at about 60mph....but i wouldnt have said there was a lot of play in them, but there again i have never had a spridget before, so hard to know what is normal and what isnt on a 40+ year old car...
(this is the first restoration car i have tackled).

however i did think (before coming across this thread) that the vibration was due to mismatch of the PCD of he wheels i have with 100mm pcd against the correct 4", i still expect its mainly that, but the bearings seating on a radius instead of a flat face and being the wrong type wont help either.

Because of the vibration and the work ive been doing on the back end the cars not been doing any high speed cornering.. thankfully..

Andy Phillips


Andy mentioned a 6205 bearing, if he has a 6303 on the outer end then as the overall bearing dimensions are the same as the RHP angular contact bearings then no reason for the spacer not to work as intended but there is still the 2mm radius issue. The deep groove bearings won't handle the load as well but are cheap as chips.
David Billington

I noticed somewhere else that you have some correct pcd minilites to swap back to. I would be inclined to replace the studs at the same time. They will have been stressed by tightening into the wrong pcd wheels. Cheap and easy to replace and I think a worthwhile safety measure on 40+ year old and stressed ones.
Guy Weller

yes, a few quid each for these bearings, and yes, correct, its a 6303 as the outer bearing...

Acccording to a bearing site i was looking at, deep grooved ball bearings are rated at 50% of their radial for the axial strength, i would have no doubts of the radial load ability of these with our small light cars, but unsure about the axial if cornering at 1G...
If BMC thought they could get away with the cheaper ball bearings then i'm sure they would have used them , so for my peace of mind i need to change them...
which brings us around in a big circle again...

For my MOT i just put some masking tape over the engine number and chassis number, then rub lightly with a pencil till you get the impression of the number, just like doing a brass rubbing.
Then i give it to the local guy who sorts these things out and pay the money, a few days later all the docs are ready to go....
this could explain the state of some of the cars on the road !!
Andy Phillips

good idea to replace the studs, they arent the original ones as they are larger diameter, but i'll replace them while everything is stripped apart.
I notice that one of them has been welded at the back which is another thing thats nudging me towards the new hubs....the new wheels i have on order are being drilled specially.
Andy Phillips

If the hubs were drilled to take larger studs - a common practice in the USA I gather - then it is possible that they were drilled out to the new metric pcd at the same time. Which would then give problems going back to the 4" pcd minilites. Worth checking for!
Guy Weller

David: IIRC isn't the 6205 a standard deep groove radial bearing unlike the correct bearings which are angular contact bearings? The latter are intended to be pre-loaded axially by the spacer and the end-nut on the spindle. Standard radial bearings don't work like that. They will takie a limited amount of axial thrust but not by pre-loading.
Rear hub bearings are of this style.
G Williams (Graeme)


My comment was in regards to yours about spindle strength. The bearings Andy has fitted are a 6205 and 6303 so if clamped along with the spacer the axle strength won't be effected. What may be effected is the hub support.
David Billington

I think what would concern me David is how the bearings would behave when you start loading them up axially. By the time the spacer was gripped adequately there may be a lot of side load on the bearings.

I would also be concerned about side loads generated when driving. I haven't looked at a rating comparison between the two style bearings (it's a long time since I did bearing calculations) but I would imagine the angualr contact are much stronger axially.

If you could get away with the so called "popular" range, I sure that would hwve been done, if only because of the availability and cheap as chips pricing!

G Williams (Graeme)

Time to pitch in! You reckon you will pull 1G in an MG Midget on tiny wee 145 section bicycle tyres! Good luck to you! ;-)

Do you know how long you have been running 6303 outer bearings OK?

Also, if I remember my research rightly the inner bearing takes the axial load inward toward the car. So if and when you pull 1G if you have the proper inner bearing that will take the load on the heavily loaded outer wheel in a corner.

The car will roll thus relieving the load on the inner wheel and thus the load on the 6303 outer bearing trying to pull the hub off the spindle.

Does this make sense, it did to me at the time!

Malcolm Le Chevalier

Hi Malcolm,
i have deep groove bearings on both inner and outer.
6205 on inner and 6303 on outer....

no idea how long these have been on the car, they were on it when i got it...
however when i got the car it wasnt roadworthy and the PO said that he hadnt finished the restoration yet (understatement!) so i think they may have been put on by him and never been used more than a couple of times round the block. Since i got the car on the road (on and off) ive probably done 1000 miles in it, but 99% just A road cruising, so not much cornering at 1G...;-)

Just to put the cat amongst the pigeons..and i'm not seriously considering this, but lets say i decided to keep these bearings.
A. if i use a shim/spacer on the inner face to get over the 2mm/1mm rad issue then, as these bearings are the same dimensions as the original, the spacer will lock up and support the axle as with the original design.
B. As the bearings are sealed for life the oil seal is no longer required so no need to worry about the seal face being offset because of the spacer.
C. A spacer/shim between the rotor and the back of the hub would reset the rotor position back to std if required.
D. These std bearings are easily available at any hardware shop and so cheap they could be replaced once a year as part of a service.
E. i have wiggled the front wheel on the side that is still attached, and the play dosent seem excessive, in fact i couldnt feel any movement at all.

so the question is.. are these bearings up to the job, particulary the axial loadings during worst case when cornering at 1G ;-) then suddenly braking whilst using slicks off a formula1 car and carrying two 15 stone passengers ...
this should keep everyone amused until Greame gets his result back from firstline which could then just stop this thread in its tracks....
Andy Phillips

ok, very quick and dirty calc... its a long time since i did this sort of stuff but i'm sure i'll be corrected if wrong.

from SKF website:
If deep groove ball bearings are subjected to purely axial load, this axial load should generally not exceed the value of 0,5 C0. Small bearings (bore diameter up to approx. 12 mm) and light series bearings (Diameter Series 8, 9, 0, and 1) should not be subjected to an axial load greater than 0,25 C0. Excessive axial loads can lead to a considerable reduction in bearing service life.

Also from SKF website 'Co' static for 6205 bearing is 7.8KN. so allowable axial force of 50% is 3.9KN per bearing.

Given a weight of 900kg for car and occupants, cornering at 1G(so no need to do calcs to work out the centrifugal force etc ) this gives approx 8.8KN.(900 x 9.81)

So given the extreme case of all the force being put on one bearing whilst cornering at 1G, then these bearings are not suitable.
However for straight line cruising and more relaxed cornering where the load is spread amongst 6 bearings, 2 at the back and 2 each side at the front, then there should be no problem.

As i plan a few trackdays and to try and introduce the sport of hill climbing to Thailand i'd better upgrade to the correct type.....
Andy Phillips

While i've got the hub off, i thought, i might as well disassemble everything in readiness for the new bearings (whichever they may be).
So i assembled my biggest hammer and some other stout tools expecting a bit of a fight.
However, the larger bearing just came out by prying it from the side with a screwdriver, and the outer one just came out with the weight of my medium sized hammer with the handle going through the hub to press it out...

Spacer there, but shows evidence of past conflict....
Andy Phillips

"B. As the bearings are sealed for life the oil seal is no longer required so no need to worry about the seal face being offset because of the spacer."

I reckon you'd still be better with the grease seal. So much crap gets in behind the disc, I'd be surprised if the bearing seals could cope forever. But you never know. And anyway, just don't sink the oil seal in all the way to it's seat, and it wouldn't "fall off" the lip.

As regards fit in the hub. If the outer races outer diameters are correct, then you have worn hubs. (or someone has deliberately opened then up). If they are worn too much, that may allow the bearings to move within the hub. And if that's the case, sounds like you might as well go for JL new hubs, because new original hubs are no longer available.
Lawrence Slater

Having retensioned on side and replaced the bearings on the other, running the car out today I have to report that the behaviour on the road is transformed! Everything on the front is much more taught and the annoying rattle on the steering column on a bumpy road has gone! And there was only a minimum of play - enough for an MOT advisory last year but not enough to fail.
G Williams (Graeme)

greetings gents,well i front hub bearing kit GHK1142,
supplied by Sussex classic car parts.
every thing seemed to go together fine, the
rebuilt caliper went on without problems.
after fitting peter may trunnion kit the steering
arm seems to be at a strange angle but that,s another
story regards Pete
P C Knightley

Thanks for telling us Pete. Did you think to check the radius on the inner race on the bigger bearing? One side should have a larger radius than the other (quite noticeably) to allow for the root radius on the step on the spindle?
Was there a manufacturer's name on the box?

I'll say it before anyone else does (don't take offence!)- you have got the trunnion the right way round?
If you are worried about torque settings for the nut, Nigel can tell you (see his mot post in "general").
G Williams (Graeme)

So Graeme,
when you replaced your bearings as your post above... which ones did you use ?
Andy Phillips

Can some one tally up the highlights on this and give me the overall finding in this investigation!

When Kennedy was assisinated the Warren commission didnt do as much Q&A as you guys have here!

Just give me the findings!

Whats the final summary!

Lord forgive these sinners!

They no knot what they do!
Steven Devine


Short Summary.
Apart from RHP originals there appear to be NO angular contact bearings on sale, that meet the ALL the correct specs. (Face adjusted and 2mm radius). Graeme is waiting for a reply from Firstline, who are investigating the bearings they supply. And Bull Motif, still 'might' be correct, as Ed in Australia has them fitted, and doesn't have a problem. -- That's it. Period.

Slightly longer summary.
If you wish to use modern angular contact bearings, you might have to shim non-face adjusted versions, or buy more expensive face adjusted bearings. And in both cases you have to compensate for the lack of the 2mm inner radius.

There are also no taper bearings that meet the 2mm spec either. If you wish to use tapers, you have to buy new hubs, complete with the new spacer and shims, or you can adapt your own hubs using shims to compensate for 2 mm radius.

If you have a "part worn" set of original RHP bearings in your hub, and a little excess play, don't discard the inner bearing. You can try just replacing the outer bearing with a modern face adjusted bearing. This is likely to work because the inner bearing often isn't worn much, if at all. You can also "renovate" your own original RHP outer bearing, by grinding a thou or so, off the inner face, of the inner race, to compensate for wear. I've done this, and it works. The bearing is still in the hub, and I drive the car pretty much every day.

Pete from Devon has just muddied the waters again -- slightly, by buying a set from sussex, and says he has no problems with them. These are likely 7000 series modern non-face adjusted. But he fitted them apparently without issue. -- That's it. Full stop.

So PETE. Thanks for posting that here. Can you confirm, that with the GHK1142 bought from Sussex that :

1) The inner bearing slid fully along the spindle and sat flush against the axle. Was there a 2mm radius present, on the inner face of the inner race of the inner bearing?

2) Your discs are running in the centre of your calipers.

3) You have no wheel wobble -- at all, due to play in the wheel bearings.

Lawrence Slater

Andy: I bought a nos set from someone who had bought up a few sets over the years.
G Williams (Graeme)

i went back to the bearing shop today to order the SKF 40 degree type,
The larger one(for the inner of the hub) is in stock at the warehouse and i can have them in a few days, but the smaller one is on 1 month leadtime as its a none std size (if you look at the SKF selection chart the smaller one is greyed out.)...
same story for the NSK brand but they are more expensive.
Koyo do these bearings as well, i'll see if i can get hold of some of these.
Andy Phillips

I think Koyo is a reasonable make.

However, (all this prob wont help you Andy)....

I was in Unipart today and while I was there, as the lad was very helpful, I asked whether they had a fwb set in stock. They did, and he brought it out.

It was Unipart own brand. It contained bearings with the appropriate LJT25, MJT17 markings and one side of the inner was definately of a larger radius than the other! Could be on spec! I realised in my excitement I forgot to check the make but will go back tomorrow armed with a correct bearing (accompanied by Securicor). I will report back. Around £36/set.
G Williams (Graeme)


Just buy them! They sound like NOS! The normal Unipart bearings don't have those markings!! Beware you don't get mugged by a series of spridget owners with wobbly front wheels.
Bob Beaumont

300! YES! Stolen the big 2-0-0 and the big 3-0-0! ha ha

Malcolm Le Chevalier

Okay, we need to send someone over to break Malcolm's typing fingers!

C R Huff

In October 2008 I bought 2 sets of Unipart FWBs, boxes marked 1142, containing sets of LJT25, and MJT17 bearings from my local motorfactors. I am guessing it is the same sets that Graeme has found, still available.
Guy Weller

So are we ready to pop the cork on the champian and declare victory! Somebody help the dumb guy in Boston please!

Thanks for your help Big L!
Steven Devine

Graeme,, if their ok, and you dont mind...please buy me 2 sets,, i'll transfer you the money.....

or maybe better, give me the address/contact details and i'll get them to post me two sets directly which means i dont have to pay the VAT....

However cant help feeling a little sad that the 300 posts seems to have been for nothing !!!
(although i learned a lot)
Andy Phillips

I wouldn't get too excited. All the evidence shows that available new stock of these correct bearings has come to an end. If Graeme has found some at his local factors, as I did in 2008, then they are almost certainly some of the last ones available. Others may continue to turn up, forgotten and gathering dust on various suppliers' shelves, but the "usual suspects" suppliers will have long since sold all of their stocks.
Guy Weller

So let me report back on the Unipart bearings.

Unfortunately I naively reported the information here, stating I was going back today. So "someone" rushed over to Maidstone, obviously knowing my locality in Kent, and bought up all the stock. He was remembered by the staff there because he tried to swear them to secrecy -4 or 5 times apparently - asking them not to reveal his name. Suspicious eh!

That is underhanded in the extreme but a salutory lesson for me about what I reveal trying to be helpful.

So Andy, I can't get you your two sets I'm afraid. Someone from this area may offer you a set. I believe they have plenty!
G Williams (Graeme)

Graeme,,, your joking... right ?
cant believe someone would do that ... seems FWB'S brings out the worst in people !
Andy Phillips

No, I'm suprised too. I feel really p*ssed off about it, particularly the way it was done. The not wanting me to know the name would suggest I would know the person involved! And guess what ...... but enough said!

I'll let you know if I find out about Firstline.

G Williams (Graeme)

I was just in time to buy the lot, now have to tripple the prizes to pay for my ferrycrossing to the uk and fuel...
Just kidding Graeme!!
im not gona triple the prise, maybe just double it. LOL!!

Just shows you cant doubt when being confronted to a good deal.
Since a couple years I buy straight away when in such situation, life is to short for regrates.

Dont mind him/her buying the other sets but he/she should atleast leave one set for you to pick up today.

All we can hope now ist that the person who bought them all will use them for proper reproduction...

Cant believe non of the big guys(MGOC and Moss) is jumping in for proper parts.
I dont mind at all to pay more for bearings that will go another 10 to 15 years.

I need my 3rd bearing replacement now since 2008 and ive already tryed a other good condition hub but still no good with the sh*te bearings.
Arie de Best

I think you would find that the person who bought them has spares anyway.
G Williams (Graeme)

well c'mon then who was it?

there's no law against them doing as they did and there's no law against you naming them

I'd have thought they'd be proud of their 'business acumen'
Nigel Atkins

You won't hear it from me Nigel. But the circumstances, which you won't necessarily be aware of, are such that, as you would gather, I'm really p'eed off about it.
G Williams (Graeme)

Well the individual may have bought them up to conserve the stock and be prepared to sell them on at cost price to those that need them.

Or it may be one of the local suppliers or an individual buying them up as a Thatcher tribute to the get rich quick ethos nurtured in the 1980's that they bow to in adoration. In which case, time will tell as they will no doubt surface in due course at inflated prices.

There may of course be other sets out there, but they won't be on the shelves of the specialist classic car parts suppliers who have long since run out. If they do turn up it will be on the shelves of motor factors in provincial towns who overstocked some years ago and now get few requests. So, try locally, you never know your luck!
Guy Weller

He's (sales person) exaggerating. I didn't swear the bloke to secrecy, and I only said it once. I said with a smile, something like, -- best not tell anyone who I am, it might cause a stir, lol. -- He said they weren't reserved for anybody, and had been on the shelf for months. I double checked them (RHP), paid and left.

I'm sorry you feel pissed off Graeme. I didn't read your post as saying you wanted to buy them (having only just done your own anyway), only that you were going to confirm the correct spec, and then report back for everybody here. In which case anybody could have bought them.

When I got home I had meant to post it here that I'd bought them, to save you or anybody else the trip. But got distracted by something and forgot.

So for that I do apologise Graeme, -- for wasting your time.
Lawrence Slater

So which is it Lawrence,
For the greater good or the Thatcher tribute?
Guy Weller

Guy's right there probably will be sets knocking around collecting dust. that's what found when I did a trawl of S london factors. I collected 7 sets but have since passed 3 on to 2 spridget owners at the price I paid for them.
Bob Beaumont

be rather ironic if they turn out to be the wrong fit/size/spacer/shim

I'd have thought Lawrence would have been proud of his quick thinking and not bothered about what others think, they had similar opportunity to do the same

I'd guess if you want a set Graeme under the circumstances Lawrence might offer to sell you a set at cost plus P&P

you can recover the profit lost on others sets, if you're not intending to keep them yourself, I can help you with the costings towards P&P and work out net expenditure :)
Nigel Atkins

Well Lawrence, under the circumstances I think that was extremely underhanded. You had my email, I would have thought you would have the courtesy to at least have checked first. We have been exchanging information freely and then you duck in. I would have thought a "are you buing them because otherwise I will?" would not have been out of the way.

The two blokes at the trade counter thought it was like M15 had come in to buy something. You obviously realised the issue other why tell them not to divulge a name? They didn't, by the way, only revealing the car and town.

Enough said. Damage done.
G Williams (Graeme)

So, Lawrence, how many sets did you get ? and what do you plan to do with them ?
Andy Phillips

...giggle *snort* ... giggle
Trevor Jessie

Andy: thinking about this problem logically, what's wrong with buying a set of the modern "equivalent" 7 series bearings. I'm fairly sure these are face adjusted.
Make up two equal thickness spacers say 1mm or thereabouts. One fits behind the inner bearing inner race, and the other packs out the brake disk.
No need to play around with any other components and the space between the bearings is unchanged, so preloading is unaffected.
When you fit the seal, leave it about 1mm short of "home"
so it clears the join between the spacer and the spindle.

Engineering wise, your wheel will be about 1mm further out than previously but as a lot are being driven around with the bearing not fully pushed home due to the radius, loading-wise it is only the same as those.

The only other issue is whether you can still get the split pin in.

(Ive not separated brake disk from hub so I don't know whether there is anything there like a locating spigot to cause problems.)
G Williams (Graeme)

well Graeme, as it just so happens i have just got back from the motor factors after deciding to do just that...
great minds think alike.

I thought, if i buy new bearings they will be to a higher standard that some old ones from 30 years ago, so whats to lose by giving it a try.....

At the motor factors (one of the old fashioned places where people just 'know' where the stuff is and spend hours rummaging around in old box's for you) had some NSK 7205CTYP5 and Koyo 7303, as they were only 30 quid for the 4 off i just bought them, after all they will be angular roller bearings at least, which is a step up from the ball bearings i had before....

just switched on the computer to see what spec ive ended up with, but couldn't resist looking in on this post first...
i'll let you know
Andy Phillips

well Graeme, as it just so happens i have just got back from the motor factors after deciding to do just that...
great minds think alike.

I thought, if i buy new bearings they will be to a higher standard that some old ones from 30 years ago, so whats to lose by giving it a try.....

At the motor factors (one of the old fashioned places where people just 'know' where the stuff is and spend hours rummaging around in old box's for you) had some NSK 7205CTYP5 and Koyo 7303, as they were only 30 quid for the 4 off i just bought them, after all they will be angular roller bearings at least, which is a step up from the ball bearings i had before....

just switched on the computer to see what spec ive ended up with, but couldn't resist looking in on this post first...if theyre no good i can return them to the shop
i'll let you know
Andy Phillips

from what i can see theyre 15 degree bearings... but otherwise the same as the other bearings we have looked at from SKF etc, with the 1mm rad....

i can get the more modern 40 degree ones by friday, so i'll return these and order those, then fit using spacers.
Andy Phillips

Ans 1. Neither Guy. They're not for sale. Personal consumption on my midget. Which coincidently I started work on this week, and discovered worn and waterlogged fwbs. The original felt oil seals were doing nothing anymore, to keep the grease in or the water out.

Ans 2. Nigel. No irony involved, and no "profit lost on other sets". I have no idea what you mean by that. But you have it right in one respect. I'm not over burdened by an excess of social needs. – As an ex American boss of mine once explained to me, when describing how he, "got things done".

Ans 3. Graeme. I don't agree that it was underhanded. I'm sorry you feel that way. As for emailing you. Really, it just didn't occur to me that I needed to clarify what I read in your post. I thought your intentions were clear enough. And believe it or not, I didn't read your post until around 11 am yesterday, and figured they might well have already been snapped up by then by one of the many people who might have seen the post too. So I rang first, and then drove there. I wouldn't have had time to email you, even if I thought it necessary. As for the acting like M15; as I say "HE" singular, -- ( only one bloke on the counter, I didn't see or speak to anyone else) is exaggerating. The sentiment of the exchange was that he didn't care who he sold them too, and as I've already said, I thought it might cause a stir, ( although not with you ). I would call it cheeky, not underhanded. If anything, I was anticipating and trying to save myself the effort of, typing this.

Ans 4. Sorry, Andy, I'm using them on my Midget. Whilst I'm personally happy to drive around on reclaimed bearings in my Sprite, judging by the complete lack of reception that my renovation techniques have elicited on here whenever I mention it, I rather suspect, that a future prospective buyer of my midget would be similarly impressed . Hence rather than deceive, I prefer to sell it with a new set of fwbs.

Lawrence Slater

>>I'm not over burdened by an excess of social needs.<<
absolutely no one has suggested you are

>>So I rang first, and then drove there. I wouldn't have had time to email you, even if I thought it necessary.<<
so you didn't think to say to the retailer "reserve them and I'll be with you in x amount of time" which would have given you time to send an email if you'd thought about it - and if you wanted to

didn't they used to call Thatcher the milk snatcher
Nigel Atkins

"absolutely no one has suggested you are" ---- Yes Nigel, I was agreeing with you.

Nope Nigel, I didn't think they would reserve them long enough, as when I asked if I could pay on the phone, the answer was no. They would have sold it to the first through the door.

Yes they did Nigel, innacurately. Are you aware that In 1968, under Harold Wilson, the Labour government scrapped free milk for secondary school pupils? Anyway she was never a bearing snatcher, and I'm not aware of anyone else who is. As far as I'm aware, all bearings are bought and paid for in full.
Lawrence Slater

Andy - do you mean roller bearings? I think those numbers are angular contact ball bearings. Have you seen this item:

You would be better sticking to angular contact ball because the spacer bewteen the bearings should work ok. You can get these face adjusted. Are you going to opt for the end spacer and brake disk spacer idea?

Don't forget you will need to replace the lipseal.
It's 1 3/8 x 2 1/8 x 0.313 single lipseal with spring. The point on the lip looks to be about 1mm back from the inner face so unfortunately it will sit on the edge between the spacer and the spindle. I think you should have room to leave it a little proud so it stays on the spindle.
G Williams (Graeme)

>>They would have sold it to the first through the door.<<
time for a covert mission then, dut der der, dut der der, dingaling, dit der dit . . .

just a snatch of the theme music, bearing in mind I'm no musical

then we hear a quick fade-in of 'My way'
Nigel Atkins

7205BECBP and 7303BEP bearings being delivered tomorrow,
7303BECBP on 4 weeks leadtime so i am mixing the face adjusted 7205 and the non face adjusted 7303.

The 'CB' part of the bearing code means face adjusted to give normal axial clearance when placed back to back with another bearing of the same code.
The 7303 is non, face adjusted, but basically the same bearing and has normal clearances. Given modern manufacturing methods etc i'm quite certain it will be ok...and by using one face adjusted and one not,it should average out any clearance issues due to the non face adjusted one...(thats my theory and i'm sticking to it..)

i'll get some spacers made and tackle the job as to Norms excellent instructions.

With this i've gone full circle and back to the original post i made... but its been educational and a bit of fun with some drama and suspense thrown in...

Its new year in Thailand starting tomorrow so 4 days off, Plans are to finish off my rear spring hangers and fit them together with the new poly bushes and shackles.
Refit my hubs with the new bearings (hoping i can sort out the spacers in time) and my new brake disks from EBC and new greenstuff pads. Then fit my new(ish) alloy wheels (expecting clearance issues from the rod end).
then if all that goes well want to look at an anti roll bar for the front( i picked up something which should be close enough to use from a scrapyard about 6 months ago and its just been sitting in my shed.)
Then if i get bored maybe even go for a drive (whilst avoiding water bombs...)
Andy Phillips

Give it a rest Nigel. I bought the bearings. Big deal? No drama! --- GET OVER IT :).

This is a thread about wheel bearings.

Andy. You said, "The 7303 is non, face adjusted, but basically the same bearing and has normal clearances. Given modern manufacturing methods etc i'm quite certain it will be ok -- "

I've been arguing that since last year, It's hotly didputed, but the evidence suggests it could be true. Most recently P C Knightley, Devon, bought and fitted a Sussex supplied GHK1142 kit. The cost of which is less than £16 per side, plus postage.

The only absolute, is the issue of the 1m vs 2mm radius, on the inner face of the inner race of the inner bearing.
Lawrence Slater

i'll be sure to let everyone know what i'm sure everyone is on the edge of their seats...;-)
but, yes, i think it should be ok. I nearly went for the non face adjusted 7205 also as its half the price, but decided after some deliberation to go with what i said above.

if we required closer tolerances (i.e. a CA type rather than CB) then that would be a different story as the bearings would have to be machined specially to give a pre-load, but as we require just normal tolerances then that is what the normal bearings will be made to.
Andy Phillips

YOU brought it up again, guilty sub-conscience, no I doubt it

if you're asking me then fine it's dropped but TELLING me wont work and you certainly don't TELL me what I can and can't post in any thread, subject drift is common and you are sometimes guilty of it yourself

sorry guilty isn't the right word to use with you, scrub that replace with – you sometimes do it (subject drift)

get over it yourself


Nigel Atkins

As a disinterested, third party, I may be off here, but it looks like Nigel posted here about some bearings he had found, and then Lawrence swooped in and bought them out from under him before Nigel could go back and buy them.

Carefully re-reading the posts, I can see how Lawrence could have miss-understood Nigel's intention, at first, but it is clear now, that Nigel's intention was to buy them.

In that case, Lawrence, can you stop attacking Nigel about it?
The most considerate thing to do, among friends, would be to offer them to Nigel, or at least to be apologetic about how things turned out. Being a dick about it now is just mean.

Norm Kerr

Wasn't Nigel, Norm
G Williams (Graeme)

"You ain't seen me . . . right"

(apt in more than one way)

Nigel Atkins

See new thread, I'll not ruin this one by answering Nigels bollocks.
Lawrence Slater

woops, OK it was Graeme.

In either case.

Norm Kerr

I am thinking that this thread is about burned out, but thought I would post this anyway.

I have an unused Unipart set bought in 2008 from my local Partco branch. It contains the correct 39/LJT25 bearing and is intended for my Frog when I get to that stage of the rebuild. But I will need another set so on the off-chance of old stock I went in yesterday, taking the Unipart box with me. I explained the issue and he checked on the computer and said they had a set but at another branch and would get it in for me. (according to their records he was also able to tell me that the 2 sets I bought in 2008 were the last ones they had sold, so as expected, there isn't a great demand!)

When I collected today it is a First Line kit. But we checked the bearing visually and it appeared to have the larger radius as required, so I bought it (£27.93) I have double checked, and although the 2mm radiused bit is slightly less apparent than on the LJT25 bearing because it isn't as dark, I measured it and it is most definitely the proper 2mm required. In the photo, the Firstline one is on the left, the LJT on the right.

The Firstline box is marked 12J4041A and FBK011. Handwritten is GHK 1924. The inner bearing is marked 7205B which I believe is the face adjusted version. I am happy with it.

Guy Weller

how ironic
Nigel Atkins

Save it for the other thread Nigel, ---- please don't ruin this one with your puerility :).

Thankyou Guy for confirming what I posted last year, but failed to photograph as you have done. Namely that "at least some" of the 7000 series inner bearings FL are providing as FBK011, do indeed appear to be the correct spec. So as the radius is correct, it will be interesting to see if the internal tolerance is correct when you bolt them on to your hubs.

Assuming it fits, then there's no need to buy expensive new hubs, or shim anything, and the fact that NOS is drying up, will no longer be a concern. It seems after all, that cheaper NON-face adjusted bearings are available which is what I sought to establish last year with the other long thread I started. So far from being a waste of time, I think these threads have been a very worthwile venture. Irrespective of how others may disagree.

All that's required now is to ensure that FL supply the correct bearing. The email reply Graeme is waiting for might shed light on this.

Here's my picture showing the same markings on the box that you mention.

Lawrence Slater

Lawrence, I wasn't actually attempting to confirm anything other than I had bought and checked a currently available First Line bearing kit and found it to be correct. I thought it might help others looking for bearings for their own use just now.

It seems that the First Line outlets, if not First Line themselves, are recording and selling this as a direct replacement for the GHK1924. Both yours and mine have this added freehand to the printed First Line label.

For others, rather than Lawrence as I am sure he knows, the side of that bearing in his photo is the smaller radiused side of the bearing, - the side away from the stub axle.
Guy Weller

I know you weren't Guy, but confirm it you did. And it highlights the fact that the bearing I saw last year would fit, whereas the FL bearing I saw this year wouldn't fit. Clearly FL believe that the bearings they supply are the correct spec, but they need to establish a consistant spec for the bearings actually sent out in the FBK011 kits.

Hopefully when they reply to Graeme again, we'll have the answer to the discrepancy, if there is one.
Lawrence Slater

>>please don't ruin this one with your puerility :)<<
you beat me to it by buying those bearings and asking the guy not to tell anyone who you were, rather childish at least

quit telling me what I can post and where, it's not your site to do so
Nigel Atkins

Guy: I saw a set of Firstline yesterday - same bearing numbers (7***) and they were totally unsuitable. One side of the inner had virtually no radius and the other had a 1mm rad. I also noticed that the "thickness" of the inner race itself was much less.

Could be they source from several suppliers.
G Williams (Graeme)

I think they must do Graeme. It would explain a lot!

I lost track of why you were looking for some. I thought you needed to replace worn ones but then somewhere I picked up that wasn't the case?
Guy Weller

ok, got the new bearings and seals.
prepared everything and decided to measure things just to check...according to Norms instructions and data.

Spacers are supposed to be exactly 1.5" after being ground to size by the production process.
No 1. measured 38.13mm (1.5")
No.2. measured 37.78mm ( 1.487"or 13 thou undersize)

looking at the "machined in" spacer in the hub (which is more difficult to measure using equipment available), this measurements should be..1.496"(37.9984mm) ~ 1.498"(38.04mm)

Hub 1.= 38.38mm (oversize)
Hub 2.= 36.4mm (dramatically undersize, measured this several times to make sure)

So, no matter which bearings i fit (except perhaps for the deep groove single row type that were on it before) then i will not get the correct fit/preload/axial clearance etc.

bearing in mind that every other part i have worked on on this car( everything!) has been messed with in some way, i shouldnt be suprised.

But , maybe there is something in this,... some people seem to have no end of trouble with bearings (Arie de Best from holland has had 3 sets since 2008) and others have no issue with the std bearing kits from the 'usual sources' and cant see what all the fuss is about.

maybe its just down to pot luck as to what tolerances you have and to what sort of luck you will have with bearings, from whatever source...

most people will not go to the lengths that people from this thread will go to to check the fitment.. they will just buy the std bearing set, slap it on without measuring anything and get varying results..some will get good results, some bad.
and , apart from the 2mm rad issue, it wouldnt matter which type of bearings they were supplied with , face adjusted or not...
Andy Phillips

Hi Andy,

Is it likely, that however much the rest of the car has been mucked around with, that someone would have gone to the trouble of re-machining the "fixed" factory spacers in the hubs?

The "floating" spacers, yes, more than possible, because this has been done my quite a few people. It was the early fix when the RHPs became difficult to source.

But the Factory cast/forged? spacers? Seems less likely.

As such, I'm wondering if there isn't more tolerance in this setup than we have all been thinking.

Maybe your findings are "normal" in the hub?

Norm, where did you get the "standard" hub spacer measurements?

I've got 3 "empty" hubs at the moment, I'll try and match your measurements Andy.
Lawrence Slater

of the two hubs, one is decidedly "dodgy" looking, the cast-in pockets that the the screw heads for the brake disk go into are misshapen and the radius on front of the drive flange (where it goes to the central spigot ) is much rougher than the other hub... makes me wonder if it is some sort of cheap copy item... this is Thalland after all... want a cheap Rolex ?
its this hub that is 1.6mm or so undersize...
Andy Phillips

There was a pair of Hubs on Ebay the other day. They went for about 50 quid I think. They come up quite often. It might be worth you looking if one of yours is that far out.

I'll be in my garage tomorrow, so I'll measure mine.
Lawrence Slater

Hi Lawrence, sorry I have not replied.
I bought recon King pin from sussex MG and bearings
and just smacked it together. did not check 2 deg
there is no i shall see how it goes.
stupid getting the trunion back to front but there.
Still not happy with the steering arms with the
camber the Peter may trunion has given. but im back
at sea so that will have to wait. Pete
P C Knightley

Hi Pete.

Thanks for the update.

Well even if your discs are offset by 1mm due to the smaller radius that it (probably/possibly) on the bearings you bought from Sussex, if you aren't getting wheel wobble, that at least suggests more evidence that Face adjusted bearings aren't neccessary if modern bearings are used.

How does the Midget like the water then?
Lawrence Slater

hi Lawrence, yes the sprite lives in devon but
I go backwards and forwards across the irish sea
on stena super fast 7. But water is a sore point with my wife, her GT is out side whilst the sprite is in
the garge, must get it finished and on the road.
regards Pete
P C Knightley

Hi Pete,
You might come home one day and find the Sprite in the Pond. lol.

I measured the internal machined spacers in two of my hubs yesterday.

I placed a large flat washer in in one bearing seat, and used the depth bar on my vernier caliper to measure the distance between the 2 seats.

I measured them a dozen times to be certain, at various locations around the seats.

Reading my vernier as accurately as possible -- if it's accurate. -- MITUTOYO - .02mm/0.001" resolution.

Hub-1. Pretty much dead on 38mm -- nothing either side to make a note of.

Hub-2. 38.4mm ( or 1.512" as best as I can read it ). -- So this hub is apparently oversize.

But BOTH of these hubs had RHP bearings in them, and had the ORIGINAL tin cased felt oil seals in them, when I stripped them apart. Along with there being no visible signs that they have been "played" with in any way, this suggests that the accuracy of the internal spacers at least, may not be so critical after all. After all, these bearings must have been in there a long time, and obviously didn't cause anybody a problem.

Lawrence Slater

agree's with my figures.. for one hub at least...
for my other hub, that is 1.6mm undersize.. i have decided to take the ' floating spacer' to a machine shop and get it reduced in length to match .......
Andy Phillips

And, if anybody wants to be able to insert and remove these bearings -( for whatever reason ) - without having them come apart, you can always modify the spacer to allow access to the drift pockets at one end of the hub. I suggested this before, and finally got around to doing it to a spare spacer. The spacer isn't brittle, and is very easy to file/grind.

Here's the one I made earlier.

Having "butchered" it, I'm going to trial it in a hub for 6 months/1 year.

I wonder why BMC didn't do this? Do you think it weakens the system as a whole, with respect to the spindle that is?

Anyway, I've already test inserted and removed bearings using this spacer. Works a treat. You just drift one side, rotate it around 180 to the other pocket, and repeat until the bearings out.

PS, I also tourqued the nut to 45lbs to test, and the spacer didn't collapse.

Lawrence Slater

Measured my "floating" spacers today too. Both are longer than 1.5".

I'm going to try and get my caliper checked against a known inch. I might use my micrometer to check them. Just in case I'm misleading myself -- and others.
Lawrence Slater


I had always assumed that the spacers would be matched to the hub due to the design and the face adjusted bearings but in a previous FWB thread it was mentioned that new spacers were available and nominally 1.5" long. Now with these various measurements and their variance I am again thinking they should be matched and kept with the hub they belong to. Not much point having RHP face adjusted bearings with a specification of 0 to 0.001" if the spacer length can be so variable. The length variance if put in the wrong hub could lead to a very loose wheel or the bearings being overloaded and destroyed in short order.
David Billington

Your Mitutoyo vernier should be fine Lawrence, unless you have been opening stubborn paint can lids with it of course :)

My Mitutoyo 0-1" micrometer made tooling suitable for aeronautical and automobile fasteners back in the sixties and seventies.

No aircraft failures have been traced back to Mr Mitutoyo or me, since then

Great equipment, I would have anything they make in the measurement field. As good as anything made by Moore and Wright.

if you don't want it...

Hi Lawrence, I did not mention my spacer was new as
well also obtained from Sussex MG.
I had to change the stub axle because the shaft was
goosed and the spacer was busted. So you can say
every thing is new. No she can't get in the pond
no wheels at present till the steering arm issue is sorted !! Back home in a week for 2 . Pete
P C Knightley

When you get on the road Pete, don't forget to remember to update us on the bearings. Sussex have said all along that there is no problem with the bearings they sell. And if it's true as David says about the spacers being matched to the hubs, we'd all better take care not to mix and match. -- And I've just trashed one. lol.

Thanks for vote of confidence in my Vernier caliper Bill. That's good to know.

And quite by coincidence, I have a Moore & Wright 1" micrometer -- the vernier model 961B. I bought it on Ebay in january this year, for £10.37 including postage. I think it was a bargain, as it looks like new and came in the original case.

Lawrence Slater

got my bearings, seals and now spacers...

pic of spacers attached.
smallest one to go behind the inner bearing to overcome the 2mm rad issue.
middle one to go behind the oil seal to make sure it sits in the correct place on the stub shaft.(i did try just pushing a seal in but not to the full depth but wasnt very happy it was straight so had the spacer made so you can just press it in as normal)
large one to go between the hub and the disk to move that back to the correct position.

Thickness is 2mm (actually 1.96 when measured)
Material is mild steel sheet.
Production method is laser cutting(so needs a little dressing with a file to remove the "pip" you can see at 6 o'clock)

Will be fitting this weekend.
Had 4 sets made, so if i don't screw them up somehow there will be 2 sets available.

Votes for the most interesting photo ever posted welcomed...

Andy Phillips

O M G, Andy why didnt you start a new thread? Impressive work! The shims that is!

The car looks good, whats it like to drive over there?

Ive been watching this thread almost go away and you revived it! Ha ha ha.

It will never die!
Steven Devine

i've been missing the suspense and intrigue.. thought id revive it before such a mammoth effort was forgotten...
Andy Phillips

Hi Andy,

Is the shim behind the bearing (the smallest shim) shaped, or is it going to be "crushed" into shape?

I like your shims photos, but can I vote for my cut-out spacer for most interesting photo? LOL.
Lawrence Slater

Smallest spacer is 29 inside dia, so it sits on the land of the stepped face of the stubshaft and not on the radius .
25mm dia shaft +2 +2 for the rad each side.
Outside dia matches that of the inner race of the bearing.
Theory is that the spacer will centre itself once pushed against the radius. i will also "break the edge" of the inside diameter with a small grinding wheel as well so as not to have any sharp corners possibly pressing into the radius if the radius is out of spec and to help with the self centreing movement.
Andy Phillips

A dab of grease would locate the shim prior to pushing the hub home.
Lawrence Slater

new bearings and spacer kit fitted, no problems encountered(with the bearings anyway!). Caliper sits nice and central to the disk.

Brand new EBC disks fitted with greenstuff pads.

pic of final assy...

Andy Phillips

pic of caliper,,(just noticed pads arent quite straight)

Andy Phillips

pic of spacer between back of hub and disk..

Some issues with wheel fitting, but i'lll put that on my 'wheels' thread to keep everything straight...

Andy Phillips

What does it cost to get the spacers made in Thailand Andy?
There has been a lot of talk about spacers in the past and it had occurred to me as well. I think that this could be the future for resolving the front wheel bearing issues.
Have you done both sides? If not I would appreciate a few more pics perhaps showing the spindle and hub.
Could you let me know your email by mailing me on
(my first name) at
G Williams (Graeme)

Wouldn't it be just as cheap (cheaper?) to get the spacers made here, rather than in Thailand and shipped here?
Lawrence Slater

Graeme, mail sent....
Andy Phillips

Thought I'd put my 2p worth in.
We have a frog and a midget, the frog is slightly modified and used on the road by my wife, the midget is somewhat more tweaked and used for regulation rallies. Both have worn hubs / bearings.
I do not like the idea of machining a bearing to the correct radius as this could break through the case hardening with disasterous results, I also do not like "reconditioning" bearings, once they are worn out they are worn out ( I've spend 30 plus years as a marine engineer so know a little bit about bearings etc.).
My choice has been to buy two sets of jlh hubs, one for each car.
Delivery is due Thursday so hopefully will fit at least one set next week. I'll photo everything and post the results in a new thread once done.
I have no association with jlh, just like the idea.

d brenchley

Hi David.
Why would increasing the chamfer ruin the case hardening? As for not liking my idea of reconditioning. It works. They are still on my car, running smoothly. No disasters. :). Not for everybody and not for racing, but it works.

Most people don't have worn hubs, and nice as they may be, those new hubs are a lot more expensive than just buying bearings. So if the spacers for the spindle and the disc are(become) available, that sounds like a winner.
Lawrence Slater

Case hardening is very "thin", once you start filing or machining the surface and break through the hardening the subsurface will be ordinary metal- possibly quite soft- this will wear quickly.
As for your reconned bearing, if it works for you fine, but for myself I would be very wary of any potential failure.
Had a Daimler Dart some years ago that suffered a wheel bearing failure, if it had been in the uk I probably would not be writing this, the results were dramatic to say the least.
d brenchley

David B, still don't understand where you are coming from; the grinding of the radius would be on the outside not on a bearing surface, and in service it simply abuts the upright, it does not move so it is not a wearing surface. Please elaborate....
David Smith

I see number 400 coming up around the corner put your seat belts on Im not sure we are all going to make it!
Steven Devine

Beat me to it David Smith. :). The only argument I've seen against machining the inner face(radius), is the potential risk of brinelling on the balls and raceway.

Also David Brenchley, in "reconditioning" my bearing, all I did was take a thou or so off, the inner face of the inner race of the outer bearing. i.e, the face that sits against the spacer. I haven't touched the raceways. You previously said when they are worn out, they are worn out. But I don't agree that they are "worn out". Just part worn. Just as tapers wear and need adjusting to compensate, so too with angular contacts, you can move the inner race inwards slightly to compensate for wear.

When the angular contact bearings wear, they don't suddenly fail. I drove for years on "worn out" fwbs, back in the days when they didn't get failed at MOT for a minute bit of play. There was no sudden catastrophic failure. If that was likely, then it would have been known about long ago, and a warning issued by BMC to change the wheel bearings at the slightest sign of play, to avoid a dangerous failure.

I reckon there's lot of life left in "worn out" bearings, for want of a bit of adjustment. But unlike tapers, it's not a simple job, and not worth the hassle if there are plenty of NOS, or correct reasonably priced bearings around. But if you're a tight wad like me, and even like to squeeze the pips of a lemon for the juice they might contain, then its worth it LOL.

Last year, Norm I think, suggested that I might get accelerated wear, but I can't see why the wear rate will be any different to what it was before, and so far they are still the same as I did them. I agree though, there must be a point at which they have worn so much, that the raceways become so thin and the bearings do break up, but you'd have a huge amount of wear at that point. I'm not suggesting doing any more than you'd do to tapers by adjusting them --- up to a limit. I'm going to extract them this year and take a look to compare them with the pictures I took last year. -- If I'm still alive, and haven't died as a result of bearing failure. lol.

Steven, last year mine reached 390, I think this one will beat it.

Lawrence Slater

Lawrence, David's point is that the case hardening is very thin (microns), and once it is worn through the raceway will quickly wear. After you have put 20k or 50k miles on your experiment, then you can say that your idea has merit / recommend it to others.
Norm Kerr

No Norm, Dave B is not talking about 'wearing' through the case hardening, he specifically says 'filing or machining' and this is all in the context of increasing the radius of the back of the inner race so it fits on the spindle correctly. Nobody's talking about monkeying around with the raceways where the balls fit, at least Lawrence isn't. It's entirely possible for people to be discussing at cross-purposes though.
David Smith

Hi guys,

Just got my new front wheel bearings from Moss - they appear to have a large radius on one side of the larger bearings.

Is this good news ?

Kit costs £20/side.


Malc Gilliver

Thanks Dave.

But to take Norms point about the hardening on the raceways having worn through. "and once it is worn through the raceway will quickly wear." But it doesn't, and hasn't Norm. As I said, I used to drive a lot on "worn out" fwbs, because nobody (MOT man) forced me to change them. Nowadays, they seem stricter than they used to be. Many people here only report their "worn out" bearings because the MOT man told them. Until then they were blissfully ignorant.

Clearly there is a time/mileage (100000?) when play appears in the hub due to wear in the bearings. You say I assume, that is because the case hardening has failed on the raceways. But it's my experience that this play doesn't then increase exponentially. Therefore even if the hardening has failed to some extent, the raceway remains hard enough to continue driving for 10's of thousands of miles, --- with play in the hubs. --- I've done it.

All I've done now is to remove the play. I expect to get at least 20K miles more out of the bearings -- Because in the past I've driven that amount easily on worn bearings (About 2 years worth when I used to drive to work). But I can't be sure until I've done it.

Why shouldn't I suggest others do the same thing? All they have to lose is a little time and effort. And if they only do 2K miles a year, that 1 hours effort will last them 10 years.

All my life it seems, I've been hearing and ignoring "it can't be done". :)

Sounds like very good news Malc. Seems like Moss may have responded to my emails from last year, --- if they fit properly. Interesting suffix to the part number -- "2C" Get it slid on the spindle and let us know if it goes all the way home.
Lawrence Slater


My AHS has 71k miles on it, and yes the MOT man said NO !

otherwise I wouldn't have swapped them.

I'll be fitting the FWB's on Friday, so I'll post piccies on the fitment then.
Malc Gilliver

Malc: what's the bearing number engraved on the bearing? And manufacturer?
G Williams (Graeme)


Engraved around the edge.



Malc Gilliver

Like I said, interesting suffix -2C. I wonder if Moss have contracted to get some "specials" made?

Only 71K miles? -- Since you've had it or from new?

FHBC is American, they import bearings from KOR (korea). -- according to a quick google search.
Lawrence Slater


The odometer shows 71k.

I bought the car in 1992, it had been off the road since 1979.

So 1965 to 1979 gives 14 years on the road, which gives 5k per year - which seems about right ?

It took me until 2008 to get it back on the road - basically everything below the door handles was ferric oxide.

Malc Gilliver

Fantastic Malc. That's a loooooooong restoration. :)
So it's a Mk3 right? I bought my Sprite in 1977, mine was already rotten by then too. But I just filled it up with paper mache and drove it. lol.

When you post a pic of the bearing/spindles, post a pic of the car too. :).

Lawrence Slater


the box they came in has on it.
Malc Gilliver

Its entirely possible that some MOT testers are failing on "wheel bearings" when in fact the movement that they detect at the wheel rim is caused by worn kingpins. A much more likely area of wear.

It will be ironic if this thread, together with its forerunner, are so long that the suppliers have in the meantime resolved the original problem as identified. We have now had two different manufacturer's bearings apparently now conforming to the required spec.
Guy W

King pins and the lower fulcrum Guy.

Ironic or a result? In the last year suppliers have had quite a few enquiries as a result of these threads. Maybe these threads did the trick?
Lawrence Slater

Yes, we all know it is pretty straightforward distinguishing between king pin wear, wheel bearing wear and fulcrum pin wear. But an MOT tester isn't there to helpfully identify for you precisely where the wear has occurred, just for your benefit. In fact the way the online system now works only certain options are available to record. I wonder if the system even has king pins listed as an option?
Guy W


On the SCH website, under bearings, they list

"• Special bearings manufactured to drawing". Maybe Moss are stocking these as specials now?

If they are, and they solve the problem of the 2mm radius, then this will probably be the last significant front wheel bearing thread. And at 20 quid per side, makes NOS redundant, and new hubs/tapers completely unneccessary. -- Unless you have some wear in the hubs. Be even then, there's probably a work around, with a bit of peening and bearing glue, which is a whole lot cheaper than circa 300 quid.
Lawrence Slater

The new taper roller hubs are an 'option' and no one is saying you must buy them . If they are not for you thats perfectly fine, but those wanting light weight can go for alloy versions or if this is not important the steels will do fine.These hubs also offer a choice of stud pattern too, or indeed 101.6mm with a larger Ford stud. Just think of them as another product rather than just an alternative to the original hubs and bearings.


Plug plug. heh heh.
Lawrence Slater


In the spirit of community to keep this going to 400 replies...

Anyone try Rattray Motor Spares in Glasgow recently for front wheel bearings? I note another thread that said they had the correct NOS in stock a while back?

Similarly any other Spridget owners scoured the motor factors in the West of Scotland with any success for such parts?

M Wood

Did there not used to be more leeway in the MoT test with angular contact bearings, due to their construction?
Dave O'Neill2

No not a plug Lawrence, just offering a balance to this subject and the perceptions of those, who seem set against new 'alternative' products.
Also full knowledge of the product is useful for either comparison or decision making.

Dave O'Neill2

I'm sure there did Dave, but todays guys don't know about it. I guess.

Mike, I bought a set from Ratray last year, and tipped it here for others. Maybe they still have some. But if moss are pucker, they won't be needed, and neither will expensive tapers and hubs. lol.

Lawrence Slater

yawn, yawn. Needles stuck again !

Damn you Dave! I had been trying to watch this thread in order to steal the 400 to add to my 200 and 300 post steals! But been too busy tho and missed out.

Actually slightly upset... :-(

Malcolm Le Chevalier

Never mind Malcolm. There's always 500. ;o)
Dave O'Neill2

Yeah Dave lets go for 500, but Malcom will have to fight for it! :)
Arie de Best

JL can contribute with more advertising for something superfluous ;).
Lawrence Slater

Maybe by the 500 th Lawrence you will have 'grown up' and become an adult.But I doubt it.Can you cut the 'jibes' its getting tiresome and is not really very clever is it .

I'm not tired, and nor are you, of the free advertising. lol.
Lawrence Slater

yawn , yawn.

Time for bed said Zeberdee. :). You can dream about the hundreds of hubs your going to sell as a result of this thread. lol.

Lawrence Slater

Just fitted a Moss bearing on the off side after MOT failure. We'll see how it goes.

I Ball

Just fitted the first Moss kit, the hub appears to fit correctly but I have play in the hub assembly.

I've measured the 'thickness' of the bearing / spacer / bearing assembly and the length of the stub axle and it looks like the bearing radius is sitting up against the stub axle radius, then fitted the washer and tightened up the castle nut, but there is a distinct 'clunk' when you 'waggle' the top and bottom of the road wheel....any suggestions as the blindly obvious whatever I have missed...

Malc Gilliver

Be sure the clunk is coming from the wheel bearing. You can do this by having an assistant firmly applying the brake while you check for play. If the thunk is still there with the brake applied, then you need to look for play elsewhere in the suspension.
Trevor Jessie

It's definitely the wheel bearing, it feels like the centre spacer is too long and the bearings are not being loaded onto to the thrust sides
Malc Gilliver

Even if the bearing isn't sitting tight against the upright on the axle, you still shouldn't get wobble.

So the questions are.

1) Are the bearings tight in the hub? -- (worn hubs)

2) If so, as Trevor said, are you sure you haven't got play in the king-pin or top or lower fulcrum?

Then, assuming the play IS coming from the bearings, that only leaves the problem of possibly NON-face adjusted bearings.

So first eliminate the king-pin or top or lower fulcrum by doing what Trevor said.

As regards the inner bearing fit on spindle. Did you slide the inner bearing onto the spindle first, -- before installing in the hub, -- and look to see if there was a gap between the bearing and the axle face? If not, can you check the other one before you do it?

Cheers and good luck. :)

Malc you beat me to it.

In which case the bearings are no good because they aren't face adjusted. So you have to get back on to Moss I'm afraid, and Rob will be saying "told you so" lol.
Lawrence Slater

Malc, i had that issue, and had to get the centre spacer machined down.. seems that the tolerances from the factory werent that great...
Andy Phillips (frankenfrog)

If the hub body and the spacer are made to controlled tolerances and face ajusted bearings are used the components can be assembled once and the required preloading will be achieved. Shimming between spacer and bearings or between the bearings and hub can achieve the same end result with "out of tolerance" components but necessitates either precision measurement before assembly or a "trial and error" approach. The problem with trial and error is that the bearings have to be removed several times to refit shims and this can't be good for the components. In my experience both bearings are a drive fit into the hub.

I'm sure the original components from the factory were in tolerance. It's probably either after-market manufacturers or POs who have let things slip. It seems throughout this post that after-market suppliers have not apreciated or ignored the original bearing spec and the same lack of understanding has probably been applied to hubs and spacers.

My experience of after-market parts is that quality is generally inferior to that of the originals (and the quality of the orignals was not to the same standard as is produced today for modern vehicles). These new parts often don't fit or fail quickly. We are fortunate that we can buy most parts we need for our cars but this whole fwb saga illustrates what we have to put up with in terms of quality and understanding.
G Williams (Graeme)

Well that is what Rob has been saying all along. And if that's the case, then the only bearings that will cut it, are face adjusted 1mm inner radius, used with shims to compensate. even though there others who have fitted non-face adjusted and gotten away with it.

But given the cheap cost of a spacer, -- (£6.24 from sussex) -- it still seems much cheaper to do as Andy did, and with the use of shims, make the non-face adjusted 1mm radius bearings fit properly.
Lawrence Slater

i have two spare sets of spacers as per my photo lower down the thread available if anyone needs them.
It takes 1-2 weeks for the mail from thailand to uk...
14 pounds perset incl postage cost.
I would recommend fitting two at once as the kit pushes the hub out by 2mm, so fitting to both sides keeps it equal.
Andy Phillips (frankenfrog)


Was watching with interest!

Can I have first refusal please? Nick at parrmail dot co dot uk

N Parr

I can no longer see the point of using spacers - other than maybe to use up "recent, old stock" bearing sets. The Firstline ones I got a month ago, and now the Moss ones that Malcolm got last week have the correct inner bearing radius so there's no need for the spacer solution.

The unknown remains regarding face adjustment, but that is resolved by attending to the big spacer in the hub, between the bearings

This lengthy thread has been interesting, but is now apparently just history. Other than to alert owners as to what to look out for when buying and fitting FWBs.
Guy W

But it seems to be a bit hit and miss Guy. Because although the Frontline bearing I saw last year, WAS -- I'm certain -- 2mm radiused, the one I saw this year, definitely wasn't, -- it was 1mm. So whilst you got a 2mm radius, others may not.

If Moss ARE definitely now 2mm radius, then I agree, just shorten the internal free spacer, but as Graeme says, you will probably have to remove the spacer at least a couple of times to get it right.

This doesn't have to ruin the bearings though, if you have a "spare" spacer and modify it as I have. Then you can remove the inner bearing using the drift pockets, instead of seperating the races. You could also modify your spare spacer to allow removal of the outer bearing. Either one will allow you to remove the spacer to remove more material from it.

The problem might be, if doing it at home, not getting the end of the spacer square.

PLEASE, don't let this thread die. What will become of those addicted to this subject? LOLOLOL.

Lawrence Slater

Unipart sell Firstline. The ones I saw a couple of weeks ago had the small radius, not large. If Firstline were making them correctly they would have come back to me. After a lot of promise in emails, it died when their engineer responsible for fwbs went to check the production drawings. That's a "no" then!

Don't know about Moss, but the set I bought and returned to MGOC had small radius. It seems brgs with LJT25 numbers are more than likely ok those with the 7 series number are probably not.

But this is going round and round and round.....
G Williams (Graeme)

OK then, next question.

Does "face adjusted" mean that the lip of the inner and outer races of a bearing are ground to be exactly level? (i.e. in the same plane)

If this is the case, then some measurements and some maths would readily enable one to set up a renovated hub without repeatedly having to repeatedly dismantle on a trial and error basis.

One would need to measure:
A. Back to back distance between the bearing race seats in the hub.
B. Length of the internal hub spacer
C. Deviation from the face adjusted ideal for the bearings being used.
D. And one needs to know the ideal pre-load figure (+/- ? thou.)

I presume that if face adjusted bearings are used, then A and B are the same, or maybe differ by the required pre-load figure, D. So in theory, one should only need to know the measurement of C and use a shim of this amount, or grind this off the spacer or inner race. But in practice from what others have mentioned, A and B may not be accurately matched anyway, so it is probably necessary to measure and allow for their deviation.**

** This rather defeats the original argument that OEM bearing sets were specified as face adjusted to speed up and simplify assembly during production. If hubs and spacers were not machined to the same degree of rigour. Alternatively, maybe they were assembled by experienced fitters that used a "mix and match" approach with a bin of spacers made to slightly different lengths? I don't suppose they are stamped A, B, C grades are they?
Guy W

Graeme, My Firstline ones came from a Unipart suppliers, bought on 12 April this year, and have the required radius.

Either they have attended to the problem with new stocks (but maybe haven't recalled old stock?) Or they are sourcing from different manufacturers and/or different machines, and there is variation in what is being produced.
Guy W

my understanding of face adjusted means that if you clamp two bearings back to back on both inner and outer race then you will get the correct amount of internal play/preload.
there are three settings that you can specify,
small amount of play, normal amount and large amount.
for our application we need the medium amount of play.

see the CA, CB, CC descriptions on this link

so, in the ideal world, the inner spacer and the outer 'hub' spacer should be exactly the same length, then this would allow the bearings to work within the manufacturers tolerance rather than putting some extra load on them, or not depending on which spacer is longer than the other.

Andy Phillips (frankenfrog)

Hi Guy and Andy,

You are correct, if you can get ahold of the right measuring equipment (note that a simple pair of digital calipers are not going to be accurate enough), and a surface plate to work on, it could be possible to pre-measure everything in order to put it together just one time.

However, the dimensions needed are very tight, and the number of components that need to be measured are several (the inside of the hub, 2 bearings, and a spacer), so there is rather a lot of opportunity for error/tolerance to creep in.

The proper fit is 0.002 ~ 0.004" free play after the nut is torqued.

The bearings should be measured (face adjustment target is +0.001/-0.000') when there is a 5 lbs load pressing the outer against the inner race.

The MGB avoided the need for this aerospace level of accuracy by adopting tapered rollers (they just fall out, so it is super easy to adjust the number of shims each time), shims and measurement of the free play by torquing the nut, and putting the wheel on to feel it. Very low tech, and a very high degree of accuracy.

Bringing us back to the difficulty of removing our (pressed in, ball bearing) inner bearing each time, to adjust shims. And, so, back to the face adjusted bearings as the easiest possible solution, to avoid the need for shims.

Since there are bearings sold today which are face adjusted, I agree with whomever said it earlier, that our only issue is the lack of the 2mm radius, which is overcome by using a 1mm shim/spacer on the inner bearing when assembling the hub to the stub axle, and another 1mm spacer behind the lip seal, to keep it on its sealing surface, as Andy did.

Norm Kerr

and another spacer between the back of the hub and the brake disk, to keep the disk central in the caliper...
Andy Phillips (frankenfrog)

Thanks Norm,
So in theory what I say is correct. Using non-face adjusted bearings one could do all the measurements, do the sums and work out what needs adding or subtracting from the hub spacer. And, again in theory, this could be done before assembly so that there was no need to remove the bearings again, risking damage, in order to make adjustments.

the level of accuracy in the measurement required is such that it isn't really practical. So use face adjusted bearings and accept that the 2mm radius issue is probably the easier problem to deal with.

2mm radius bearings are apparently available, we just don't know if they are face adjusted, or alternatively manufactured to a sufficiently close tolerance not to need specific face adjustment.

Even if using face adjusted bearings, this only works if the hub and spacer are similarly machined to the same fine tolerance, and are matched for the particular hub. Otherwise it is back to the "whop it together and hope that it doesn't still wobble" approach.
Guy W

Norm, that was me. I said -- "if that's the case, then the only bearings that will cut it, are face adjusted 1mm inner radius, used with shims to compensate"

But that's no more than you said in your study ages ago. It's just that now, someone -- Andy, has actually gotten around to doing it, albeit with non-face adjusted bearings.

Guy, the original RHP bearings are face adjusted, and using those as replacements hasn't resulted in wheel wobble in the past, unless someone has a knackered hub, --not common to very rare.

So if the correct face adjusted bearings are used with the 1mm-2mm adapter shim, even if one doesn't bother about the 1mm disc offset, that ought to solve the problem. It's just that it will be more expensive than Moss/Sussex/Firstline etc.

But how about Bull Motif? The last word on those, was that as they were aimed at M/minors, they didn't need the 2mm radius, but the specials they had made, WERE said to be face adjusted. And they are comparartively cheap up against the SKF face adjusted versions.

And, there's still NOS rhp to be had. I can't believe that all the old motor acc shops have been fully harvested yet.

Lawrence Slater

Bearing boys are selling face adjusted SKF 7205-BECBP, and 7303-BECBP, for £66.80 for the pair, including VAT and delivery to the UK, standard postage.

That's a lot cheaper than last year I think, when it was costed at circa 100 quid per side.

How much would it cost to make a shim? A bit of 1mm sheet, and I'm sure most people could knock one up in the garage to deal with the radius issue. The offset shims might need an engineering shop to do it for you.

Someone could ask their local place how much they would charge to make the set of shims Andy had made.

Lawrence Slater



Lawrence Slater

Thanks Lawrence, agreed.

Guy, you are correct, the spacer which goes between the bearings is ground to 1.500" so that its faces are within a very small tolerance (less than 0.001"), and the steps in the hub were also machined with the correct spacing. In the end, the stack up of tolerances ought to keep the system in the range where the OEM bearings will last and won't be too tight/too loose.

One more thing: when pressing an outer bearing into the hub, it is a good idea to confirm that it is driven fully home before installing the spacer and the inner bearing.

Norm Kerr

No news today on the facinating world of wheelbearings? ;)
Arie de Best

Lawrence, where on SKF's website does it say that those bearings are face adjusted?

I looked them up, and found the Technical Information link, but no mention of it unless they are using a different terminology.

I would think that if they WERE face adjusted, there would be a tolerance given, like 0.025mm max.

Norm Kerr

its the 'CB' part of the part number, see my link a few posts below.
The 'CB'means face adjusted to give the normal internal tolerances.
Andy Phillips (frankenfrog)

Hi Norm,

I quoted those SKF bearings (SKF: 7303BECBP and 7205BECBP ) because you and Rob both quoted them as being the modern 40 degree face adjusted versions of the original RHP bearings.

I haven't followed up the spec myself, but I did ask in the long thread from last year which part said it was face adjusted, and was told it was in the letters following the first B in the letter sequence. So somewhere in the ECBP is the spec for face adjusted, and Andy has confirmed it as CB.

How's that Arie? lol.
Lawrence Slater

Hi Norm,

SKF use the term "Universal Matching", instead of Face adjusting I think.

"Basic design SKF single row angular contact ball bearings for single mounting are produced to Normal tolerances. Standard design universally matchable bearings are manufactured to better than Normal tolerances."

"Bearings for universal matching
Bearings for universal matching are specifically manufactured so that when mounted in random order, but immediately adjacent to each other, a given internal clearance or preload and/or an even load distribution will be obtained without the use of shims or similar devices, refer to the section Internal clearance and preload. Universally matchable bearings carry a designation suffix to indicate the internal clearance (CA, CB, CC) or preload (GA, GB, GC) of a set of two, prior to mounting."

"SKF Explorer angular contact ball bearings are manufactured only as bearings for universal matching with P6 dimensional accuracy and P5 running accuracy."

7205BECBP and 7303BECBP are both SKF Explorer range bearings. See here:

Lawrence Slater

P5/P6 definition can be found in this pdf.

See pages 4 and 5.

Is that what you are looking for Norm?

Lawrence Slater

3um is 0.0001181102"

Lawrence Slater

Norm Kerr

Spacers for one side (spindle, hub/disc and hub/seal) around £7. Probably excludes vat and delivery. Based on 4 sets.
G Williams (Graeme)

How much is the offset really going to affect people?

If not a lot, then just get the one spacer made for the 2mm/1mm radius issue. This could easily be made at home from a bit of 1mm sheet metal, using a hole cutter, and snips. I'll make one for the hell of it. :).

Then the total cost of modern face adjusted SKF bearings would be £66.80 for the pair,(one side) including VAT and delivery to the UK, standard postage.

£133.60 to do both sides, fit and forget, for the next 20 years or so -- and maybe even longer given the lower mileages these cars are seeing now.

If you are affected/worried about the offset, I don't think it would be too hard to make the other shims at home either. But if you did get them made, take Graemes £7, add Vat and delivery,--- say £25 for both sides?.

Total £133.60 + £25 for shims, circa £158/£160, for new correctly spec'd and fitted, modern face adjusted, fit and forget for 20 years plus bearings. That doesn't sound too bad too me.

Lawrence Slater

Here's a 1mm thick shim I made earlier.

It took about 15 mins using 25mm and 35 mm hole cutters, a mini grinder to reduce the outer size, and a file to smooth. Needs a tiny bit more dressing to remove any sharp edges, so the oil seal isn't damaged if it touches it.

Otherwise perfectly serviceable, cheap, and easy to make. The other shims (disc offset and oil-seal depth reducer) would be easy enough to knock up at home too I reckon.

Lawrence Slater

Hi Malc Gilliver, What's happening re the Moss bearings you fitted? Have you spoken with Moss, and if so what's the response?

Since it would appear that ALL the suppliers are still selling bearings that they claim are OEM spec, and in fact ARE NOT OEM spec, shouldn't we at last, as a collective, do something about it?

If we all do nothing now, then this situation will prevail, and others will buy bearings that don't fit, and have to play around finding a solution.

One can of course adopt the attitude that it doesn't matter. Does it matter?

I don't even need the bearings, but it pees me off a little, that suppliers are able to dupe people into buying something that clearly doesn't fit properly, and nobody (it seems) is batting a useful eyelid at this.

You can buy JL's hubs as a way around it, but it'll cost you relatively quite a lot more, and is simply not as convenient as the original setup (That's not a dig JL, its just a fact ).

You can go for the cheaper option of the SKF face adjusted bearings, but still you have to faff around to make them fit properly. And for those who don't or can't work on their own car, that means a greater expense getting the garage to first understand what you want, and then to source and fit the needed shims. In the end, this will cost far more than those bearings on offer by the major suppliers, -- which don't fit properly. -- Noted exceptions, Guy and a couple of others recently, which suggests that common bearings on offer, tend to vary in specification.

I think the suppliers should be pressed into at least stating that the bearings they supply, DON'T meet OEM spec, and MAY NOT fit correcly.

If that was done, the suppliers would then have an incentive to stock bearings that do fit, correctly and consistently. Perhaps they would stock the SKF face adjusted versions, with a shim kit to correct the offset and the radius issue. This may(would probably) mean, that the bearings they supply will be more expensive than the current cheap bearings, but hopefully less than the cost of an individual buying the SKF face adjusted bearings and sourcing the shims for themselves.

So would anyone care to join me in group letter with multiple signatures, to ALL the suppliers, demanding that they stop claiming the bearings they sell, fit properly and are OEM spec?

Lawrence Slater

I'm in the position that my car resides in the girlfriend's garage and so access tends to be weekends so updates are likely to be weekly !

I've had a chat with Moss, they tell they have supplied two hundred sets of these bearings and at the moment, I am the only person who has gone back to them with a problem.

We had a good thirty minute chat about the history of the bearing, the supply issues, the fact that even BMC gave up on the design and changed it for the MGB, the plentiful forum threads etc...

In summary, I'm going to dig out my micrometer before changing the bearings on the second side, remove the old parts, measure everything and knock up a quick drawing, then assemble the second side and see if it fits.

Moss have agreed to supply me more bearing sets until I get one that fits.

When all is said and done, it should be possible to measure the stub axle, the spacer and the bearings and work out if they'll work on the bench....I look forward to eating those words !
Malc Gilliver

Hi Malc. Thanks for the update.

So in summary, by agreeing to supply bearings to you, until a set fits, they are admitting that nothing has changed since last years communications, and that they have no idea of the "actual" spec of the bearings they are supplying.

Since MGOC -- as stated by them -- supply the same kits as Moss, they too have no idea of the "actual" spec of the bearings they are supplying.

And yet, both are claiming oem spec, MGOC directly on their website, and Moss by implication of using the accepted OEM part number GHK1142, for the kits they supply.

Clearly nothing will change until they are forced to make a change. So I ask again, does this matter?

If not, then perhaps these threads truly are pointless, even if they are interesting.
Lawrence Slater

"the fact that even BMC gave up on the design and changed it for the MGB,"

Is that true? I wasn't aware that BMC gave up on the design. That would imply that there was something wrong with the design for the Spridgets, and yet it stood the test of time exceedingly well.

Also, if you had a new set of RHP's to put in, you wouldn't have any play. Ergo, there is nothing wrong with your hubs or spacer, and the problem is with the bearings supplied by Moss.

Do you still have the RHP bearings you took out? Comparatively, is there more or less play with the Moss bearings vs the old RHP bearings?
Lawrence Slater

For my sins, I work in the automotive industry, (S.U, MG Rover, Ford, Bentley and JLR) I currently calibrate ECU's, but have in the past worked as a production engineer, CAD engineer and product engineer.

This might be why I look at 'OEM' spec differently to other people.

While developing a new car, even today, a lot of the 'spec' is not written down, and with time gets lost. This is because company 'A' makes their products a particular way, might be the direction the grinder runs, the time between heating and quenching, I've even seen an issue where one company made a different batch size that caused a problem.

Then the obvious stuff, they buy a new machine, old 'Fred' leaves and the product changes

I had a long chat with Moss and I'm sure they are sourcing to original drawings, but I also suspect those drawings have a degree of 'custom and practice' attached.

So as I don't know enough about my car to be sure that it has 'OEM' spec anything fitted, the stub axles, the spacer, the bearings I have removed, I'm very happy that Moss have agreed to help me through this issue and subject to getting it to work, will publish what I find on here and drop a copy to Moss.

I don't think this thread is pointless, as without it I wouldn't have found out as much as I have as fast as I have, clearly there is an issue and by discussing it someone might decide there is better solution - service exchange hubs would be one way, JL Heap has his desirable taper bearing hubs, which, if I was going to tune AHS I would be liable to buy or the various spacer based solutions.


While typing all the above, I noticed you posted, I had R&M bearings in my car.
Malc Gilliver

Malc: there are drawings here:

These clearly show the larger of the two bearings with the appropriate radius.
G Williams (Graeme)

Malc, R&M are one of the forerunners to RHP hence the R. The others were Hoffmann and Pollard.

I don't see where you are coming from with "a lot of spec is not written down". I would agree with that at the prototype stage but for production whoever makes it needs a drawing and that is the spec. If you make it to the drawing nothing changes whoever makes it on whatever its made on.

I agree with Lawrence about "BMC giving up on it" as the MGB was in production in parellel with the cars using this system (not just the Spridget dont forget) for many years.

T Mason

The original bearings are still available from R&M
this is the reply i got to my enquiry
We can offer these bearings from stock
2 - Inner bearing reff 34/LJT25 £65.00 EACH
2 - Outer bearing reff 3MJT17 £55.00 EACH
Carriage £10.00
Card payments welcome

And when I asked about the spec this was the answer....

We can offer original OEM replacement Inner and Outer wheel bearings with 2mm radius.

so they are available, just much more expensive than the ones from the usual suppliers...
Andy Phillips (frankenfrog)

Lawrence wrote :-

You can buy JL's hubs as a way around it, but it'll cost you relatively quite a lot more, and is simply not as convenient as the original setup (That's not a dig JL, its just a fact ).

Not taken as a 'dig' just wonder what the inconvenience is
So it appears that the answer is a set of bearings for £250, plus seals and vat and your 'old' hub and studs, against £240 plus vat for all new and the option of billet steel or light weight alloy.(oh, and inc spacer and shim kits )

Spoilt for choice ehh !!

Where did you get "£250, plus seals and vat and your 'old' hub and studs" JL?

SKF face adjusted 66 quid per side, including VAT AND DELIVERY. And who needs new studs? All that's needed is a home made 10 penny shim for the radius, and perhaps a couple of quid for home made shims for the offset. Otherwise, perhaps 25 quid for shop made shims. Oh and 5 quid for a pair of oil-seals.

And the inconvenience with your taper hubs, is that tapers have to be adjusted periodically. With conventionally fitted tapers, this is very quick. Just pull the split pin and tighten the nut, until all play is gone. With the setup needed for Spridgets, and MGB's, it involves selecting a correct shim for removal/replacement, so that the nut can be torqued back to the correct value, and play removed. It's trial and error, and therefore time consuming and inconvenient, as compared to the original angular contact bearings, which are fit and forget for circa 100k miles.

As for the price of the originals Andy. Those are original NEW old stock RHP bearings, that the chap calling himself R&M purchased, and is selling at high prices. But at least if you buy them they will be fit and forget, and there's no need for shims.

Malc, I was devils advocating. I think this thread and other related ones are brilliant, -- if only everybody would agree. :)
Lawrence Slater

Andy: the story goes that all the stock was bought up by a company (who's name I don't recall but someone will remind us) and is then being resold at "healthy" margins.
G Williams (Graeme)

R&M (RHP)?

This is who.

Or is it
Lawrence Slater


Thanks for the drawing link, looks fairy easy to measure the parts before assembly.


I wondered if RHP is now actually now called NSK -

from their site, "the Newark plant, established in 1991, manufactures high-precision bearings for machine tools.
The plant has a history of over 100 years, including the period before it became part of the NSK Group, and the company has continually striven to address environmental issues by means such as installing the latest machinery.


I can't really answer your post without a long winded and fairly boring answer, so I'll try and keep it short.

We don't work to the tolerances on the drawing, we work to a process capability of typically 1.67, this is to ensure all the parts are within tolerance not just the ones measured at random, if you are interested google 'process capability' and 'normal distribution', the assembly drawing doesn't show any geometric tolerances, which locate features to each other, these things tend to be covered by company standards, machine tolerances and the like, take the comment on the drawing about the 20 degree angle - no plus/minus.

Only one bearing drawing has the 'gauge load requirement' does that not apply to the other bearing, I would assume it does.

I've learnt the hard way, that's it's quite easy to make something to drawing that doesn't fit.

Malc Gilliver


I've got the set of 3 RHP drawings (2 x 3MJT17 and 1 34LJT25) covering the inner and outer bearings and both the inner and outer have the gauge load specified but one of the drawings for the 3MJT17 doesn't so maybe that's the one that was shown elsewhere.
David Billington


Here is the source, the post just before mine:-

The original bearings are still available from R&M
this is the reply i got to my enquiry
We can offer these bearings from stock
2 - Inner bearing reff 34/LJT25 £65.00 EACH
2 - Outer bearing reff 3MJT17 £55.00 EACH
Carriage £10.00
Card payments welcome

This adds up to £250 which may or may not inc vat.
Our hubs used on std Midgets will not require the spacer and shim arrangement, but for those who prefer to have it, or drive in a more flamboyant style, or do trackdays, racing or road rallies, autotesting etc there is the option of adding this. Simples !!!

Yes JL, I read that, and I already know about the prices RM are charging for NOS RHP bearings. We discussed it last year, and I already mentioned it way down in this thread. Not many people, but some are, are willing to pay for that tune. But if they do, they get a fit and fotget bearing setup.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but way down in this thread, you said the 240 quid you are charging -- EXCLUDED -- the cost of the taper bearings. Are you now saying that the 240 quid for your hubs includes, 2 Hubs and full set of spacers and shims, AND the taper bearings, VAT and delivery? Even if it does, that is still circa double the cost of using SKF face adjusted, and shims to correct the radius and offset, and is less convenient than angular contacts. Not many people actually want new hubs, they just want bearings that don't wobble, and that they don't have to service for the next circa 100k miles. Just like the originals.

"Our hubs used on std Midgets will not require the spacer and shim arrangement, " Huh? So how will you retain the strength in the spindle without the spacer. I thought you conceded it was desirable? BMC certainly thought so, as we discussed way back when. :)

This and previous threads isn't(wasn't) about expensive alternatives to the original perfectly good fw/bearing installation on Spridgets. It's about trying to get accurate replacements for the now mostly unavailable RHP originals, and not having to pay someone like RM/Orinoco a fortune for the priviledge. I'm in the camp of trying to get the good replacements, not fit a less convenient and relatively expensive alternative.-- Racing advantages aside.

But even there, some people might give you an argument that angular contacts are better than tapers. But that's a whole new can of worms. lol.

Lawrence Slater

yes RHP was bought by NSK. The Newark site was originally one of the Ransome & Marles sites.

The 20 degree angle shows no tolerance as this is the assembled drawing, but it would have been shown on the turning and grinding drawings.

As for not working to the tolerances that is not the way we used to work. If everything is machined to the tolerances it has to fit. If it doesn't then the tolerances were wrong in the first place.

You infer that only random QC checks are now made. We had random checks for some applications but if a check came up out of tolerance everything back to the previous good check was then checked and I would have thought that this was still the case. If not it doesn't say much for the company.


T Mason

To avoid confusion Lawrence see here I think it clear enough. The spacer and shims are offered to those who want them but are not required for those who drive their cars in a mild manner.

Think it says on the site that prices are plus carriage and vat.

I'm under no illusion that just replacing bearings will be cheaper than buying our hubs, and never claimed that this was not the case. As said before they are an alternative to original units, which work every bit as well.

Won't mention them again so as not to cloud the long search for a current bearing which is actually what its supposed to be.

"The spacer and shims are offered to those who want them but are not required for those who drive their cars in a mild manner."

With the greatest respect JL, I think you are misleading people. All the evidence says that the internal spacer is an essential component in the hub assembley. It's required to ensure spindle strength. To suggest to people that it can be discarded without consequence, if they -- "drive their cars in a mild manner" --, is to make a potentially dangerous claim. What would you do if someone did discard the spacer, and their already possibly weakened through age spindle, fell off on a motorway at 70MPH, killing themselves and maybe others too? Or is mild driving sub 30mph?

If the spacer is superfluous, why did BMC include it in the MGB design, even though it uses taper bearings? I thought this was a settled and accepted argument.

It has been known for some time, -- see Norms article ( ) -- that shimming can get around the issue of non face adjusted bearings.

If the spacer is indeed optional/superfluous, as you are suggesting, then the solution to the problem of replacing original front wheel bearings, using non-face adjusted modern bearings, is both extremely cheap, and staring us all in the face. It will Cost £37.95, including vat and postage, to replace the front wheel bearings on BOTH sides of a Spridget, or indeed a Morris Minor. SUSSEX CLASSIC MG CAR PARTS.

All shimming does is to bring the faces, of the non face adjusted raceways and centres of the bearings, to the correct alignment, thereby correcting the internal clearance. This is so much easier if the spacer isn't present in the first place. All that's needed in the absense of the spacer, is to tighten the hub nut until the correct pre-load is achieved, and move the nut to the closest split pin position. Therefore allowing the cheapest bearings to be used, and the setup as easy as the originals, without the use of shims.

Since, if there is no need to worry about the spacer to strengthen the spindle, then there is also no need to worry about the 2mm fillet radius on the spindle, and the possible stress fracture that might result in using 1mm radiused bearings.

So instead of paying £240.00, Plus Tax(vat):£48.00, Plus Shipping £11.99. Total:£299.99, for special hubs for tapers, one could pay £37.95, including vat and postage, and not have to adjust the bearings again for a very long time. This would make the new hubs and taper bearings a very expensive unnecessary option.

But of course the spacer shouldn't be left out, and the 2mm/1mm radius issue is important too, even if the disc offset factor is ignored. So that leaves the best solution on the table at the moment, being SKF face adjusted bearings, at £66.80 per side (inc vat and delivery), plus the cost of shims circa £25, to do both sides. Or NOS RHP if you can get them at a reasonable price.

Lawrence Slater

FWIW, After much messing about, I had to shim the Moss bearings to get them to work.

Malc Gilliver

Did they refund you?

Does the inner race of the inner bearing have a 2mm radius?
Lawrence Slater

I have had three axle sets of bearings and a set of shims for the cost of one axle sets, so I'm fairly happy, Mike at Moss could't have been more helpful, and I think is now looking into the face adjusted side of the bearings.

At least I can swap the bearings with my eyes closed now !

Yes, the inner races have the 2mm inner radius.

Malc Gilliver

Cheers Malc. Good news that they're looking at getting face adjusted bearings then.
Lawrence Slater

This thread was discussed between 17/03/2013 and 09/06/2013

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