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MG MGA - Replacing the Hub Seal - Report

Last week I completed the replacement of the hub seal of my car AND the rear hubs, which had very worn splines.
It was an interesting and frustrating experience with some ups and downs, so I thought I would share it with you in case you are going to be doing something similar in the near future.

I must say that I was glad I had Barney's page as a reference so I was mentally prepared for what I was about to do.

I had a very light oil leak in the hub which was oiling my drum brakes and dripping very slowly onto the wheel (mainly when the car was in use).

Taking the drum of the hub was easy, and pulling the hub with the output shaft too.

To take the bug octagonal nut, I used cheaper AMPRO socket with the four tabs. I had to VERY slightly file the tabs to get it on the nut but it is SOLID. Perfect tool for the job and only $13 from Advance Auto Parts!
And I confirm you can torque up the nut to +200lb torque without it slipping off. A good investment! Hence I recommend it as a cheap alternative to the expensive $90 moss tool. (I have seen some on ebay for $50 though).

Taking out the hub was a bit of a challenge as did not want to purchase a slide hammer just for this. The best method is to pack some washers or something between the hub and the axel and tighten the studs, this will just 'Pull' out the hub.

To take out the bearing, I would recommend to forget about trying to carefully pound it out with a hammer as suggested by Barney (It was impossible for me...) and just take it to a machine shop to press it out and change the seal. It takes 30secons and you are sure not to bugger the bearing and ensure it is re-pressed right.

The speedy sleeve was the easiest went in very easy. I bought a piece of steel plumbing from HomeDepot to drive it in, and used some gasket seal to seal the inner surface.
I was however surprised that there wasn't an actual groove in the axle (as Barney describes), but it was more or a surface roughness.
I found the right speedi-sleeves on for $28 each, which is nearly half of what moss is selling them at. The brand was SKF, which is good.

My biggest problem was to take out the output-shaft from the hub. This is simple on disc-wheel cars as it is separate by design but for wire wheel cars it is pressed together.
Taking the welsh plug out was a challenge, and I ended up cutting it with a 20mm hole saw.
Then go straight to a machine shop to press it out and press the new one on. I went through a night mare and developed an arrangement with a 3T car jack to press it out/in, and it didn't work...
The shop I took it to used a 55T press and was able to get it spot-on in about 30seconds and $5 cost.

I changed the paper seal and O-ring without any issues and topped up the differential oil (although nearly none was lost during the process). BTW is there a clever way to know how much oil is in there and how much should be added?

Now as soon as it stops raining in Miami, I will take it for a spin to see how it handles... No more Clunk on the splines! ; )

BTW if someone is interested in some old hubs I will be putting them on ebay soon to see if they sell.
Gonzalo Ramos

This thread was discussed on 07/07/2010

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