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Rebuilt Swivel Axle Tightness

Posted by Frank 
Frank Puccio
Bayville, NJ, USA   usa

I am in the process of a total front end rebuild on my 79 MGB and acquired rebuilt swivel axles as part of a Ultimate suspension kit from the Proper MG. The swivel axles are uninstalled and ungreased currently. When holding them by the top or bottom they are almost impossible to turn by hand. The gentleman at the tech support department stated that new rebuilt units can be tight and difficult to turn by hand until installed and greased. I was wondering what was the groups experience and if I should go ahead and install and see?
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moreso74 Avatar
David Maples
Augusta, Georgia, USA   usa

I had the same problem. Tom B. said the shims weren't right.





David

autoist Avatar
Tony Barnhill
Gurley, Alabama, USA   usa

Hang on till I can update my web site again..JDW just sent me a tech tip on the subject





Tony Barnhill
Supplying Member: Used Parts for All MG's ~ New Parts for all LBC's
MOSS Distributor & VICTORIA BRITISH Dealer


MG's? YOU NAME 'EM, I GOT 'EM!
http://www.theautoist.com

--------
In addition to the MG's listed on the left:
1971 VW Karmann Ghia
1972 Norton 750 Commando Motorcycle
1973 VW Bug
1982 Mercedes 380SL
1985 Jaguar XJ6
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Mark Jones Avatar
SW, Ontario, Canada   can
1970 Triumph Spitfire MkIII
1995 MG MGF "Barney"

Is the top knuckle installed? Without the top knuckle you should be able to turn them by hand without grease. Once they are shimmed correctly you should still be able to turn them by hand, but it will be a bit more difficult.
Frank Puccio
Bayville, NJ, USA   usa

Mark,
If you mean the upper trunnion...yes it is installed and is held on by a lock nut (not the castle type nut on the original one). I asked the tech person if I should loosen that nut and he said no...just grease the axle and once it is installed I would be able to get better leverage to turn it. It still seems too tight to me off the car. He stated their professional rebuilder has been doing this for them for many years and they have not noticed any significant problems with them.
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Mark Jones Avatar
SW, Ontario, Canada   can
1970 Triumph Spitfire MkIII
1995 MG MGF "Barney"

My rebuild kit also did not have a castlated nut at the top. I had a shop press and ream new bushings for me, which I checked and foundto be within spec according to the manual. Before installing the top trunnion I was able to rotate the king pin. It was tight but could be rotated by hand. I was still able to rotate the king pin once I had shimmed and installed the top trunnion. It was hard to turn but I could do it.
Frank Puccio
Bayville, NJ, USA   usa

Mark,
Thanks for your response....could you help me better understand your definition of hard to turn...was the swivel axle mounted to the car...held in a vise and it could be turned with force by hand. I am trying to decide whether to mount and try these or just send them back. Had you greased them prior to trying to turn them?
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When I got mine, they turned by hand without significant effort but had no free play in any direction. This was before greasing.





Brian LaVoie
Stratford, CT
72 B
autoist Avatar
Tony Barnhill
Gurley, Alabama, USA   usa

Check out my web site's new tech tip by JDW:

http://www.theautoist.com/spacers&shims.htm





Tony Barnhill
Supplying Member: Used Parts for All MG's ~ New Parts for all LBC's
MOSS Distributor & VICTORIA BRITISH Dealer


MG's? YOU NAME 'EM, I GOT 'EM!
http://www.theautoist.com

--------
In addition to the MG's listed on the left:
1971 VW Karmann Ghia
1972 Norton 750 Commando Motorcycle
1973 VW Bug
1982 Mercedes 380SL
1985 Jaguar XJ6
Tom Bedenbaugh Avatar
Memphis,Tn, USA   usa

I have built more MGB frontend than I can count, and I never call them right unless they are very free without any vertical play. The problem with the kits is they come with only a couple sizes of shims, and they never seem to have the low .050"s shims which more times than not is what you need. As for the king pin being tight before installing the upper trunion. That is wrong as well. If you use the correct reamer there is absolutly no drag what so ever.





http://www.importandsports.com/
Tom Bedenbaugh Avatar
Memphis,Tn, USA   usa

That the wheel bearing shims. He's talking about King Pins.





http://www.importandsports.com/
John D. Weimer Avatar
Cape Girardeau, MO, USA   usa

Not knowing how an MGB should be done at the time that's how my king pins were set up. I could move them with one finger, but there was no looseness or play anywhere. That's the way I did king pins in everything else.





My Motto: Clean Body, Clean Mind...................... Take Your Pick.

Victoria, BC, Canada   can

There does have to be room for grease, so if they are dragging, there is a problem!!
Frank Puccio
Bayville, NJ, USA   usa

I have contacted another of my MG parts dealers and asked him to check his rebuilt units. His also are rebuilt in England like the ones I received from Proper MG. His also were very difficult to turn by hand, requiring a screwdriver in the trunnion hole to turn it. He also noted like mine that the surface on the stub axle the bearing runs on had been bead blasted raising up small imperfections in the metal which make it difficult to slide the bearings on. Although I know this can be smoothed down with emery cloth it still to me represents less than ideal technique in the rebuild process. I am now thinking of having my own swivel axles rebuilt...anyone know of a competent technician/expert in this field stateside?
Victoria, BC, Canada   can

Tom Bedenbaugh!!!
Tom Bedenbaugh Avatar
Memphis,Tn, USA   usa

If you want to send me your swivel I can build them for you.





http://www.importandsports.com/
Frank Puccio
Bayville, NJ, USA   usa

Tom,
I have sent you a separate e-mail but just wanted to respond here as well. Unfortunately the down server meant I was unable to read yours as well as several other recommendations that I get you to rebuild my swivel axles and I made arrangements elsewhere. I hope I don't regret this but very much appreciate your offer. Will certainly keep you in mind for the future and thanks to all that posted in response to my dilemma.
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