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MG MGB Technical - Axle seals, collar and bearing replacement

1973 mgb roadster

I have just pulled the rear wheels, brake back plate etc. to replace the rear axle seals.

I've removed and replaced the seal and have a new collar from Moss. The Moss tech told me to look for a black wear ring near one end of the collar and if I found such a wear spot to use a new collar. I do see such a scratch/groove so will put on the new collars as well.

The question is the bearing. I have new ones on hand but don't see how to pull the axle/bearing unit from the axle housing into which the bearing is inserted. I think the Shop Manual says to use a special tool. I've tried gently tapping with a hammer on a block of wood onto the back of the wheel nut, but there was no movement and I"m not too keen and whacking that too hard.

So, it's either ignore the bearing or find how to get the axle out.

Also, I found residue of a sealant on the face of the bearing hub square cap (held in place by the brake back plate bolts and captures the bearing). I don't see a gasket for this location in the Moss blowup and now wonder if I should use a sealant on this surface.

Sorry for the double post here and at MG Experience but I've got it apart and need to know what to do if I"m going to get it back together today.

BH Davis


Moss sells a puller attachment that threads onto the end of the axle that you can then hook a slide-hammer to. However, I just did this job and I found several descriptions of an alternate method in the archives that does not require any special tools. The trick is to put some kind of spacers between the back of the wheel hub and the axle casing and then put the axle nut back on and tighten it down. The spacers keep the hub at a fixed distance from the axle casing and so the result if the axle and bearing are pulled out of the casing. Works great. I was able to use two 1/2 drive sockets as spacers, others wrote about cutting wood blocks to fit(sockets work fine).

Cliff Maddox


Thanks.......that's exactly what I came up with myself.

I got the axle/bearing unit out by using the castle nut, splined hub and a couple bolts sticking out about 1 1/2" proud of the axle mounting bolt holes. The protruding bolts backed up the hub so it couldn't slip inward while tightening the castle nut pulled the axle/bearing assembly out. The spline hub kept the axle from rotating. Worked like a charm.......and once I worked it out took 2 or 3 minutes per side.

I've got the new bearings pressed on and am ready to pack them and put the whole thing back together.

Do I need to put a sealer of any kind where the bearing housing sides meet? That is, does the face of the free half with the seal get any kind of automotive sealant as I bolt it back on with the 4 mounting bolts?


BH Davis

There should be a smear of sealant under the square collar. Hylomar or similar.

The bearings have to be pressed off and onto the shaft, with a hydraulic press or similar. If they are not worn, leave them alone if you want it back together today.

(I used a slide hammer to snatch the half shaft and bearing out.)
Martin Layton


I just posted a related issue a few weeks ago. Remember to torque the bolts to about 60lbs/sqi.

It may be too late but if you had any play in your differential - this would have been an excellent time to change your thrust washers.


You should be able to get the half-shaft and bearing out of the axle case by loosely refitting the hub after back-plate remove and tapping gently on the back of the hub with a mallet or nylon hammer.

Like Martin I'd say if the bearings aren't growling leave them alone.
Paul Hunt 2

This thread was discussed between 26/08/2007 and 28/08/2007

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