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MG MGA - Front wheel; 6 o'clock-12 o'clock play

My right front tire/wheel has very slight play when grabbed at the 6 o'clock and 12 o'clock position and push/pulled back and forth. I have no problem fixing things once I know what the problem is, it's my troubleshooting skills that fall short. Where should I direct my attention and/or what component(s) should I look at given the indications above?
L.R. deOlazarra

It is play in the wheel bearings. They are non-adjustable. First check the retaining nut of course.
Ball bearings come in different"fits" typically C3 etc. For these bearings you should ask for a closer fit, I think mine was "normal". If you look up the SKF site I think it is explained.
Art Pearse

Could also be top and bottom swivel links, normally wear in the bronze bearing that takes the tube for the shock absorber arm or lower wishbone bolts.

If it is wheel bearing you should have the same movement at 9 and 3 o'clock. Easier to feel with brake pads removed if it's on discs.

Neil McGurk

Thanks for the help; you've saved me from confusion and wasted time...
L.R. deOlazarra

I have exactly the same problem except a right side (free-play) in the 3 - 9 o'clock axis. The wheel seems to be solidly locked on and when wiggled the looseness seems to be in the rack & pinnion. The upper and lower trunion bushings were replaced (as per Mr. Gaylords website) and all rubber bushings were replaced. I feel it is the inner R&P shims but could it be bearing related.
Gordon Harrison

Stop guessing. Look underneath the car, move the wheel, and see what wiggles.
Barney Gaylord

Clamp the tie rod with a vise grip or something, then test again.
Art Pearse

I agree with Barney, but rather than looking, simply feel each component for play. Put your fingers on the swivel pivot points, tie rod, brake drum, etc and you will be able to feel how much play is in each component. From there you can decide on how to proceed with adjustments, if necessary.
Steve Simmons

You need to get the car jacked up and on stands. You then ned one person under the car to look where the problem is. Then you need another person to rotate the steering wheel lightly from side to side just enough to take up the play you are feeling. It will be very obvious underneath what is moving and what is not. It's at the point where the movement stops that you have the issue that is causing the play.

If the play cannot be seen, then you take the road wheel at 6 and 12 o'clock and try to lift it away from the car. also try again at 3 and 9 to move the wheel as if the steering wheel was moving it. This will help you identify play in the bearings or trunnions. Rotating the wheel will also give you an indication of worn out wheel bearings if they are noisy or running unevenly.

If the wear is on the steering rack's internal ball joints, this will be concealed by the bellows, but as nothing else will move when jiggling the steering wheel. that too is an easy diagnosis.
dominic clancy

This thread was discussed between 12/11/2009 and 14/11/2009

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