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Missing Drive Shaft U-Joint Lube Nipple

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Abington, PA, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget MkIV "Rodney"
Hello All,

Just got under my Midget for a short exam of the bottom side since it's 60F for the day and once more looked over the U-Joint for a grease fitting. It's not there. I bought my 76 new in June '77 and have serviced it myself since 1980. The chassis, trans and drive shaft only have 33,845 miles on them, but I've never had a nipple on the U-joint. Anyone else have a Midget without one? Did Leland start using permanently lubed U-joints at some point?

Richard

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oleanderjoe Avatar
oleanderjoe Gold Member Joseph Baba
Fresno, CA, USA   USA
LOOK Closely to see if there is a small screw of sorts where a Grease Zerk would normally be. When I first bought my 79 Toyota Pickup (USED CAR) it did not have Zerks. I removed the screws and installed Zerks. Still is a common practice.

In reply to # 3887016 by Richard P. Senatore Hello All,

Just got under my Midget for a short exam of the bottom side since it's 60F for the day and once more looked over the U-Joint for a grease fitting. It's not there. I bought my 76 new in June '77 and have serviced it myself since 1980. The chassis, trans and drive shaft only have 33,845 miles on them, but I've never had a nipple on the U-joint. Anyone else have a Midget without one? Did Leland start using permanently lubed U-joints at some point?

Richard



IN ALL SUBJECTS.: For those who believe, no proof is needed. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.

"Strive for perfection in everything. Take the best that exists and make it better. If it doesn't exist, create it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough"
Sir Henry Royce
co-founder of Rolls Royce .

"BENJAMIN FRANKLIN" >>(Expanded) The bitterness of poor quality (or Crappy Workmenship) remains LONG AFTER the Sweet Taste of Low Price is forgotten.


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dogeddie Avatar
dogeddie Silver Member Andy L
Kaukauna, WI, USA   USA
Richard - my 75 Midget does not have one either. I believe it might be 1977 they started? I could be wrong.

richdwillie Avatar
richdwillie Richard Williams
Waukesha, WI, USA   USA
If you look on Victoria British part number 14-964 it shows the zerk only applies to 948 midgets, not 1500.



Richard

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Abington, PA, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget MkIV "Rodney"
Thank you Joseph and Andy,

Over the years at every lube I've been up close to the joint and turned it around and looked for a screw where a zerk should be. Both my owner's original manual and my original shop manual say there should be. It wouldn't be all that unusual for Leland to make a change and not tell anyone, or some ornery parts maker just decided to screw some future US owner since it was an export car.

Back in '75 to '80 Leland workers were sabotaging stuff. Imagine, there were 412 worker strikes in the Abingdon factory just in 1976, the year my car was built. Though they were in different depts and some for just minutes to hours, they stopped all production. The Triumph factory was even worse: Over 90% of all TR7's failed to make it to ships due to break-downs in transit from the factory. That is when Lord whats-his-name made the ultimatum that would shut down the factories. Why? His ultimatum caused all the workers to strike, and that was it.

Also, as I recall, my 1966 Mercury Comet's drive shaft didn't have any grease zerks, either, and I gave it away in the 1980's with 167,000 miles on it to a NavAir CPO at the Navy's Johnsville Air Warfare Systems Development Base. He later took it with him to Puerto Rico where it is probably still running today.

Bests,

Richard

PS: Can anyone explain why there is only a wide plug on the Midget's steering rack's junction with the column, since it's where one is suppose to grease the rack? Why doesn't that have some sort of grease fitting? Even replacement racks don't come with one.

oleanderjoe Avatar
oleanderjoe Gold Member Joseph Baba
Fresno, CA, USA   USA
REPLY To the "PS" Footnote, now ya done it. Stand by. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>devil smiley

In reply to # 3887065 by Richard P. Senatore Thank you Joseph and Andy,

Over the years at every lube I've been up close to the joint and turned it around and looked for a screw where a zerk should be. Both my owner's original manual and my original shop manual say there should be. It wouldn't be all that unusual for Leland to make a change and not tell anyone, or some ornery parts maker just decided to screw some future US owner since it was an export car.

Back in '75 to '80 Leland workers were sabotaging stuff. Imagine, there were 412 worker strikes in the Abingdon factory just in 1976, the year my car was built. Though they were in different depts and some for just minutes to hours, they stopped all production. The Triumph factory was even worse: Over 90% of all TR7's failed to make it to ships due to break-downs in transit from the factory. That is when Lord whats-his-name made the ultimatum that would shut down the factories. Why? His ultimatum caused all the workers to strike, and that was it.

Also, as I recall, my 1966 Mercury Comet's drive shaft didn't have any grease zerks, either, and I gave it away in the 1980's with 167,000 miles on it to a NavAir CPO at the Navy's Johnsville Air Warfare Systems Development Base. He later took it with him to Puerto Rico where it is probably still running today.

Bests,

Richard

PS: Can anyone explain why there is only a wide plug on the Midget's steering rack's junction with the column, since it's where one is suppose to grease the rack? Why doesn't that have some sort of grease fitting? Even replacement racks don't come with one.



IN ALL SUBJECTS.: For those who believe, no proof is needed. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.

"Strive for perfection in everything. Take the best that exists and make it better. If it doesn't exist, create it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough"
Sir Henry Royce
co-founder of Rolls Royce .

"BENJAMIN FRANKLIN" >>(Expanded) The bitterness of poor quality (or Crappy Workmenship) remains LONG AFTER the Sweet Taste of Low Price is forgotten.


Member Services:
1974MGMidget Avatar
1974MGMidget Silver Member Jack Orkin
Grayson, GA, USA   USA
In reply to # 3887068 by oleanderjoe REPLY To the "PS" Footnote, now ya done it. Stand by. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>devil smiley


LOL, ok here ya go. Hopefully, not too contentious! I guess they want you to take it to the dealer for lube service, but you can remove the smaller bolt and screw in a zerk fitting to add grease to the rack. And, don't think my '74 had grease fittings on the u-joints either. But, when they were replaced, it was with u-joints with zerk fittings. With only 33,000 mi. they probably don't need replacing yet, but with no grease fitting, they will be soon!!

oleanderjoe Avatar
oleanderjoe Gold Member Joseph Baba
Fresno, CA, USA   USA
NOPE: That aint it, but it's COMING> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Continue to stand BY> devil smileydevil smiley

In reply to # 3887093 by 1974MGMidget
In reply to # 3887068 by oleanderjoe REPLY To the "PS" Footnote, now ya done it. Stand by. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>devil smiley


LOL, ok here ya go. Hopefully, not too contentious! I guess they want you to take it to the dealer for lube service, but you can remove the smaller bolt and screw in a zerk fitting to add grease to the rack. And, don't think my '74 had grease fittings on the u-joints either. But, when they were replaced, it was with u-joints with zerk fittings. With only 33,000 mi. they probably don't need replacing yet, but with no grease fitting, they will be soon!!



IN ALL SUBJECTS.: For those who believe, no proof is needed. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.

"Strive for perfection in everything. Take the best that exists and make it better. If it doesn't exist, create it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough"
Sir Henry Royce
co-founder of Rolls Royce .

"BENJAMIN FRANKLIN" >>(Expanded) The bitterness of poor quality (or Crappy Workmenship) remains LONG AFTER the Sweet Taste of Low Price is forgotten.


Member Services:
Abington, PA, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget MkIV "Rodney"
Thank you Richard,

I did check VB, and you are correct. The zerk is for 948 Midgets. Also, I noted the catalog states the zerk will fit the U-Joint offered on the same page for all years. My car is all original as I bought brand new, so I suppose my U-joint is factory installed permanent lube type. When the temp here goes above 55 + again, I'll get under the car for a last check of it and then move on to all the other part refits I started in August.

Richard

ajbowles Avatar
ajbowles Adrian Bowles
Westport, CT, USA   USA
Personally, I would be concerned about a "permanent" lube u-joint on a 40+ year old car. If the front u-joint fails the driveshaft will vibrate enough to shatter the end of the gearbox shifter extension/tailshaft housing. At that point you'll be pulling the engine and gearbox, hunting for a used housing, and replacing the u-joints. $40 for a pair of HardySpicer/GKN u-joints and an afternoon in the garage for peace of mind (and zerks) seems like a good deal to me.

Voice of experience - that's exactly what happened when my son decided that he could make it home with our '76 when he was 18.

BTW, there were other dubious choices made in the later years. When I had to replace the rear end I found a good one from a 79, and realized that towards the end they didn't have a drain plug in the diff. I don't know how much they saved by eliminating that plug, but it couldn't have been much.


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