Sunday, 27 July 2008

Wire Wheel Axle

A wire wheel back axle was found at a local MG scrapper in Chichester on the advise of a friend of a friend. The yard has another two in stock.

I collected it last Monday and then went to Stockholm for the week (Nice place).
This weekend I stripped the axle of all the parts ready for a cleanup. I’ll fit new bearings and seals. Not sure at present whether to stick with the diff it came with or use the one currently on Jemima.

The brake adjusters are worn out on this “new” axle so these will be swapped over. Maybe I’ll be able to do it without breaking the brake lines so I don’t have to bleed the brakes again.
The hand brake rods need a clean up too.

The splines will be replaced as they are slightly worn and wouldn’t like to fit them in a new wheel. The problem now is trying to get the half shaft out of the old one.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Wire wheel installation hits a snag.

The tyres were fitted and the conversion kit collected.

In the excitement I rushed on with the job in the hope that this will mean she can finally drive off down the street with good tyres and the correct number of nuts on each wheel (I've lost quite a few over the years!)

The front wheel conversion kit and wheel was easily installed but the wheel studs do need to be trimmed to ensure the wire wheel fits snug on the splines. The wheel looked a little proud and the spinners had that Boadicea, ankle chopping, look about them.

The rear kit was then fitted to give the overall impression on that side. Again chopping a few millimetres from each stud was required.
I sat back and admired my work and the gleaming wheel, black tyre and sparkly spinner.

I lowered the trolley jack and had another look.
The rear wing was sitting on the tyre!


I got out the tape measure and pondered. Maybe if I had 145 profiles tyres? With this tyre I would lose 12mm in width (6mm each side) my overhang was 5mm. It would squeeze in but almost any cornering action would result is a scuffed tyre as well.
I think maybe I should have gone for minilites…

A sleepless night was had by all as we pondered the options.

  • 145’s may help but the tyres can’t go back (Wonder if M&S do tyres!) Some web reports from folk say that the 145’s don’t make for a nice handling car either.
  • Chopping back the wheel arch isn’t an option.
  • Hydraulic expanding gear also no way.
  • Minilites don’t look good on MKII’s.
  • Wire wheels are nice.
  • Steel wheels aren’t.

Any body got a wire wheel back axle spare?

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Minilites, wires and tyres

One Job on the list complete this week. The washer bottle was fitted! I didn’t fill it with water so maybe it is still only half a job.

The main thing this week was a decision making exercise.
Minilites or wire wheels?
Miniltes are cheaper but wires look so much better.

Years ago, when the wife was about to buy the car in 1974, a friend said “You should buy one with wire wheels, if you don’t you will regret it for years after”.
34 years later and still regretting it, a chap at Moss was helping the wife with the pros and cons. The Minilites came out on top until he said “Of course, you will regret not getting the wires for the rest of your life.” We may not last the next 34 years so we know we can cope with that…

We then had to visit our local shop and touch the two options. We came out with 4 new chrome wire wheels. The conversion kit is to follow later.

Tyres are also a problem. Dunlop SP Sports were the tyre of choice but during the last big MOT failure (We left her in Findhorn in 1985 when we moved jobs) she was fitted with cheap Courier Steels which were like driving on jellies. Now you only seem to be able to get Dunlop SP Sports in the right size in South Africa. Odd.

There doesn’t seem to be many opinions on the web of which tyre to choose. So I had a look around for tyres the right size and this site helped with the new fangled tyre profile stuff to work out the relative tyre diameters. 155 / 80 R 13 seems best choice.

I thought a British name on the tyres was better than a foreign one. Not realising that Avon tyres are now owned by Cooper Tire and Rubber Co, I chose Avon CR322’s .

Getting a local supplier of these tyres was trickier than expected. One shop with an Avon logo on its signs and big Avon stickers in the office didn’t stock or supply Avon tyres!

Littlehampton tyres could order the tyres in so I should be able to fit the new wheels next weekend.