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Spacer lenght for tapered front wheel bearings

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lindi R. Lindi
Munich, Bavaria, Germany   DEU
Hi folks,

our TC has the tapered front wheel bearings with no spacers. This I want to change because of the well known reasons.

I have spacers already here, always having thought that in case of a change of the bearing type from balls to tapered rollers, the original spacers have to be machined down. Now I read that it is necessary to have longer spacers, i.e. to add shims or another piece of spacer. To decide how to proceed, it would be good to hear how much additional length is needed. My spacers are 31,5mm long. Would be great to get some informations from the specialists.

Best regards from frosty Germany
Lindi

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Paul J Avatar
Locust Grove, OK, USA   USA
Never heard of putting spacers between tapered front wheel bearings and tapered bearings have been used in American cars since they first started building them, they are used today. Not saying that another type of bearing might be advantageous for durability, but for normal driving, I tend to stick with whatever the factory used. PJ

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ragtc Avatar
ragtc Bob Grunau
Mississauga, ON, Canada   CAN
Oh my GAWD, how many times do we have to say spacers and a tight nut are ESSENTIAL in a MG MMM and TA/TC cars stub axles when using tapered roller bearings. Spacer also essential when using original ball bearings. This has been known, and proven, for over 40 years!! Ignore what is done with American cars, that has no relevance. The complete set up requires a TIGHT stub axle nut, torqued to 70 or 75 ft-lbs in case of original 5/8" BSF castellated nut. The tight assembly has a larger effective diameter and therefore is stronger in bending. PLEASE, use a spacer and tight nut. Yes you will have to add shims to the existing spacer as the tapered roller bearings have a greater off-set. The shims are 20 mm bore, I don't think there is a specific dimension, add shims by trial and error. I strongly suggest crack testing the stub axles on the lower inside to check for cracks. It does happen even if the original tight set-up is used. A crack is much more likely if you don't use a spacer!!
Tapered roller bearings are much superior to original ball bearings, when using a spacer and tight nut.
If you find a crack, I can repair the steering knuckle with a new insert pressed into place.
Email o call me if more info needed. 905-274-4136, grunau.garage@sympatico.ca
Bob, .

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lindi R. Lindi
Munich, Bavaria, Germany   DEU
Hi Bob,

if have just waited for you ! And yes, this i have learned from you. Even here in Germany many say that no spacers are needed, but the arguments I red from you, are highly convincing. We already did a careful crack test, which was perfectly ok. Now it is time to rectify things. Do you have an idea how many of these shims will approximately be needed ? Have to do my grocery list.

Thanks a lot and wish you a nice winter evening.

Lindi

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Steve S Avatar
Abingdon West, Southern California, USA   USA
What Bob said. Running without spacers and shims will likely result in very bad things happening.

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lindi R. Lindi
Munich, Bavaria, Germany   DEU
Hi Folks,

job is done. Left side required 0,9 - 1,0 mm, right side 1,3 mm. Done with 0,1mm shims.

Everyrthing looks fine !

Best regards
Lindi

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Declan Burns Avatar
Duesseldorf, NRW, Germany   DEU
Lindi,
I hope you didn't fit a shim stack made up from 0.1mm shims. That is not, in my opinion, good engineering practise. I would only use a shim stack to determine what dimension a solid spacer should have.
A good source for shims is:
https://www.agrolager.de/index.php?cPath=271_350

Regards
Declan



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019-01-13 02:49 AM by Declan Burns.

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lindi R. Lindi
Munich, Bavaria, Germany   DEU
Hi Declan,

I know, but I did. I never thought that such a big distance has to be covered. Commenced with one 0,5mm shim plus one 0,1mm but then realised that the 0,5mm had a too big outer diameter so that it didn't work. Had to find out which lenght has to be covered, so I landed here. I think I will make a correct spacer on my lathe when I find the time. No big affair. Just a piece of a tube cut and formed at one side. It's a piece of cake for a lazy sunday afternoon. But these days there are no lazy sunday afternoons, so I am happy with this for a while...

Best regards
Lindi

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MG-TC ROGER FURNEAUX
LIFTON, DEVON, UK   GBR
hi Lindi - that does not make sense! The offset on the taper roller bearings is 1.25mm, so an extra 2.5mm + or - is required. I stock 2mm support shims, as well as 0.5, 0.3, 0.2 & 0.1. Quite often more than 2.5mm is needed, so start with 3mm and take out thin shims until there is no end-float and a very slight drag.

Even ball bearings need to be set up with shims because the distance between the internal shoulders of the hub do not match the length of the spacer. What a lot of people find is that the hub locks up when the nut is tightened, so it is wound back to free it and line up the split pin slots. This of course completely negates the point made by Bob G and can lead to bearing failure or worse, stub axle breakage!

Rgds

Roger

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xpag TC Wm. H
Odessa, FL, USA   USA
Guys,
If split pin hole does not line up with casallated nut slot, just reduce depth/thickness of nut on a lathe or surface grinder until alignment is achieved.

DO NOT back nut off as this will reduce optimum preload clamp necessary to exceed forces trying to separate joint, inducing potential for cyclic stub fatigue failure. If there is zero stretching & relaxing (bending) of stub axle there can be no induced cyclic fatigue failure!

Same holds true for any highly loaded critical fastener such as head studs, condos bolts, main cap bolts/studs, flywheel fasteners, et al.

WSH
TC 4926

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lindi R. Lindi
Munich, Bavaria, Germany   DEU
Hi folks,

thanks again for your news.

For explanation: I do not exactly know which bearings the preowner who restored the car, used. He has written it in his documentation, but in the moment, I don't have it by my hands. Maybe they are a bit larger. The spacers I got came from the MG MMMs. The do fit. Maybe they are a bit longer than those of the TC, TD. Surely I checked wheel turning, applied 100 Nm or so and did NOT turn the nut back. Slots are fine, everything ok. I did this really careful and with enough time, the car sitting relaxed on the lift and the garage was well heated. So, I am pretty sure that no fault has happened.

When I will do the lathe job, I surely make it so, that slight shimming is possible, because one day I will have to fit new bearings, and then exact procedure is required again. Hope that I will have so much time here on earth that I will have to do it.... Last year we covered som 5000 kms with our TC (how long do those bearings live ? -just a joke).

Finally I am very very thankful to all who don't get tired to mention how important those spacers are. Awful feeling that so many guys ignore that fact.

Best regards
Lindi

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Fsisson Avatar
Fsisson fred sisson
nashville, IN, USA   USA
1938 Morgan 3 Wheeler
1950 MG TD "007"
Interesting... can't imagine spacers with tapered rollers. Do you think the spacers strengthen the axle? Original ones don't that I can see. Please tell me more. I guess you could set tapered bearing pre-load with spacers but why? What am I missing here? What does the spacer do?

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Buckdendave David Hill
St Neots, Cambridgeshire, UK   GBR
1954 MG TF
See Bob Grunau's description above.
Dave H

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Fsisson Avatar
Fsisson fred sisson
nashville, IN, USA   USA
1938 Morgan 3 Wheeler
1950 MG TD "007"
Just installed Wilwood disks and tapered bearings on my TD... TD same as TC?... sold my TC 50 years ago & forgot what axles looked like.

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Steve S Avatar
Abingdon West, Southern California, USA   USA
No, nothing in steering or suspension is the same on TC and TD. But it's exactly the same principal, just with slightly different bearings and associated parts.

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