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Triumph TR6 - Front hub play

Hi Guys

I just got my car into driveable condition, and decided that after rebuilding the front suspension/brakes last year, I should go back and check I tightened everything up properly - it was the first job I tackled after I bought the car. I noticed that I have a bit of play in the front wheels - nothing if I hold the tyres at the sides and wiggle, but a noticeable movement if I hold the tyre top and bottom. It seems to me that this is likely to be the large nut holding the bearing not tightened sufficiently, and I reason that the caliper stops any movement from side to side. Does this seem reasonable? If so, how much should I tighten the nut? I have a torque wrench, but I don't trust it to read down as low as 5 lb.ft, which is what the manual says. Might be better than my totally untrained elbow measurement, though?

Thanks for any advice.

A good place to look for the play first is the wheel bearing. Keep the torque wrench in the tool box. Tighten the nut to the point that the disk brake is hard to turn then back the nut off one turn that is the amount for the cotter pin too go back in in the next "back" rotation of the nut. Have not said this very clearly. The nut (as you know) has a hole in it for the cotter pin to go through the stub axle. Go back (loosen) with the nut till the 2 holes line up again. Insert cotter pin and bend it over properly. If the ends of the cotter pin stick out too much they will hit the cup and knock it off the first time the wheel is rotated.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Alistair - from your description, it sounds as though the stub axle(s) may be worn. This is not obvious when the car is on the ground as the loading prevents movement in the vertical position.

You will need to remove the hub and bearings, being careful to note the way the inner seal is installed.
Check the underside of the axle on the 'flat'(not tapered) part of the shaft. A fingernail can do, running it towards and away from the vertical link but ideally use calipers or a vernier gauge. If there is a ridge, you will need new stub axles.

As you have recent re-built everything, it is likely you have drawn attention to this as it is and item seldom replaced during overhauls.

These cars are getting on a bit now and axles should be looked at carefully as failures can be very nasty. I got a pair from LBC Co and were around $32 each (from memory). Make sure you do the inner seal as well as a dodgy old seal would probably contributed to the wear. Years ago I read somewhere that the axles should be replaced every 100,000 miles as a service requirement, but I have no evidence of this......IMO it makes good sense to do it anyway.

A side benefit for me was that it also stopped the squeaky brake pad problem I had in one wheel.

A late thought ..I presume you replaced the top ball joints(?) as this can also fit the description of your problem, but the movement is of a bigger magnitude than the stub axle play.

Hope this helps


Roger H

Thanks guys

I just went and spent my lunchtime in the garage and I found that although the bearings were tightened to what seemed a reasonable degree, they could be tightened a couple more flats and it removed the play, so I am hoping that was the problem. Annoyingly those nuts were last tightened by a friend who is an ex-mechanic - I guess I now know why he is no longer in that trade!

I did wonder about replacing the stub axles while I had everything apart, but there was no wear that I could feel with a fingernail, so I just put them back on. Fingers crossed, I guess!

Thanks again. Hopefully the rain will let up before they start throwing salt on the ground and I can go out and see how the newly tightened bearings work!


Is it possible your bearing rebuild included the felt grease seal? If so, I'd expect the excess play to show up after a while as the felt compressed further between the hub and the spindle. But you've got the issue solved, so that's what matters the most.
Rick Orthen

This thread was discussed on 28/08/2006

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