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16.1 Hub Conversions

The conversion of steel wheels to wire wheels is done by replacing the front and rear hubs*.

Rear Hub Conversion

The rear hub conversion is a simple nut and bolt replacement, except that studs are used to locate the brake drum.

  1. The old hub was removed by taking off the drum and undoing the castellated nut and c-washer. It then pulled off from the drive shaft (photo 1).

  2. The studs were fitted to the new hub (photo 2). They are a very tight fit and require pressing or carefully supported, heavy hammer work!

  3. The new hub was slid onto the drive shaft splines taking care to line up the two holes in the hub with those in the drive shaft for the split pin (photo 3).

  4. The drum was secured with new nuts and the drive shaft castellated nut was tightened to the correct torque. The split pin was then fitted through the hole in the hub (photo 4, this is a bit fiddly but not as bad as I thought).


Front Hub Conversion

The front hub conversion is a little more involved as it requires replacing the wheel bearings and adjusting them.

  1. The old hub was removed by undoing the castellated nut and pulling off from the stub axle (photo 5).

  2. I used an old bearing (removed from the old hub) to drive the new inner bearing into position in the new hub (photo 6). This was repeated for the outer bearing. The spacer was retrieved from the old hub and re-used.

  3. A new brake disc was bolted on to the hub, having first smeared a little copper grease on the mating surface to prevent corrosion (photo 7).

  4. The hub and disc were then fitted to the stub axle and adjusted as described in the Haynes MGB manual. The split pin was then fitted through the hole in the hub (photo 8).

*Note: MGB rear axles are longer for steel wheel models than wire wheel models. It is possible to obtain conversion hubs which maintain the overall track. However, it is desirable on the NG to simply fit wire wheel hubs onto a steel wheel axle giving a slightly wider track so the tyres better fill the wheel arches..

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