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play in rear hubs

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well I think its time to do the rear hubs as I can feel the play and theres about 2mm movement at the rims.


I've got a couple of good used hubs as replacements but I'd like to open them up and re-grease the bearings before fitting. I guess I need a fancy hub puller


(which I've not got) but other than that is there anything else I should think about?


I may do UJs at the same time and I'll probably do both sides.


ps anyone local have a hub puller I can borrow please?





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The stub axle needs crack detecting and the collapsible

spacer must be renewed minimum.


As its a lot of work up to that I would change the bearings and rubber rings, too.


Just did this work last week and it was again very short that the puller could

open the axle.... without distortion of the flange......

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Personally I wouldnt bother despite the fact I have the correct Churchill puller. I replace with new Bastuck hubs from TR Shop.


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Hi Gary,

consider that the hubs are 50(ish) years old. You do not know what they have been up to and they are now showing signs of wear.

If you got them apart (really don;t bother) you could crack test the stub axle but what will it tell you. It will not tell you when it will crack.

Good today broken tomorrow.


I believe recon hubs do not use new stub axles - so you will not gain anything going down that path.


I was going to replace mine last week with new but ended up doing the clutch.


Looks like next week now.



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The people who recondition original hubs use a very large (80 tonne) press and special tools to separate the flange without damage. Opening up to regrease is not worthwhile and not really a DIY proposition. I would suggest there are only two choices:


1. Fit the secondhand hubs without regreasing. They will probably last well on a road car.


2. Fit new hubs as suggested above.


If it was me, I would try option 1, as it really doesn't take long to swap the hubs over.




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Hi Nigel,

option one means using 40-50 year old stub axles - that could be painful.


New is available - fit new.


Using refurbed parts that are only partly refurb'd flies in the face of the TR GOLD project. Apparently people will pay for quality :o:lol::lol::lol:



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you could crack test the stub axle but what will it tell you. It will not tell you when it will crack.


I am not with you, Roger.

Cracks in the rear axle do not happen suddenly.

They start and after quite a long time the crack is grown that the rest will fail.

You can see that clearly when you watch a broken item.


The reason from my opinion comes from two mistakes:

The key does not fit in the slit properly or when separating

the flange from the stub a lot can be done wrong and create a crack.


When a rear bearing is treated properly I would rely on this more

than swapping for a cheap Chinese remake.......

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Some basic theory about fatigue:

Fatigue fractures typically occur at a relative low stress levels ( much lower then the yield stress), but always after repeated load changes (tensile to compressive) or load variations. Normally after several hundred rhousand or evwn a million load alterations.

If a component with a specific load and design has not failed from fatigue after several million load alterations, it will probably never fail from fatigue, as long as the geometry and load do not change.

The stubend on the rear is revolving, so the stresses will change every revolution.

Fatigue can occor from geometrical imperfections / discontinuities, like key pockets or too sharp radii.

Sometimes a scratch on the surface will do.

If the component like the stubend has seen a very high load, like a pothole in the road, or the dampers are replaced by much stiffer items, this may have initiated a hairline crack on the surface, that will grow over time, and finally can lead to a fatigue fracture.

This is why crack testing on components during overhaul makes sense ( to me at least).

There are several methods to do so, a visual inspection normally does not reveal small crack initiations.

Steel properties at relative low temperatures like in a car do not alter much in 50 years, but aspects like corrosion, wear and fatigue can play a role.

Hope this helps.

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Hi Gary,


Bottom line is if your rear hubs are currently ok it's likely the removal of the bearings (especially with a 20 ton plus press) and stubs which starts a miniscule crack that comes up and bites you after you have judiciously rebuilt the components with new bearings.


I've posted photos of hubs split asunder after being rebuilt and a hub that lets go can cause you to view the world from a different 180 degree to vehicle angle if you get my drift, not worth risking. The original hubs were good quality just not expected to live over 2 generations, and it's probable if split apart 30 years ago for new bearings they coped quite happily with the stresses, it's just the ageing of materials that's making them "time limited components now.


There are various sources for new hubs and some may take the opportunity to change to CV shafts also if they wish, choice is yours.


Mick Richards

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well theres' nothing like consensus is there?


thanks for the opinions above, everything from just use them to bin them! Mind you, Alan, I'm not sure which you are recommending I put in the bin or why.


Roger, you are of course correct I don't know the provenance of my 'spare' hubs any more than I know the provenance of the hubs on my car. I do know the ones on the car are well worn and need replacing though.


Nigel, I think your option 1 looks favourite. At least if they are not suitable then I can buy recon or new ones at a later date. I guess I'll just bung them on with the grease they contain


Thanks for the advice all



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