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Thread: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

  1. #41
    Jedi Trainee Joe Schlosser's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Almost correct
    Sounds like I can just pull the diff out forward of the read end assembly, remove the broken bit, check the spider gears for wobble and slide it back in if all is good.... correct?

    Driveshaft is unbolted but remains in place. It needs to be lifted out of the way. do not take it out It is almost impossible to put back in with the engine in place. There are tricks to do this but don't worry now.
    Yes the diff assy just comes out. It is heavy.
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Could a telescoping magnet (5 lbs or 15 lbs) help to remove the broken spline and any particles in the differential? Retrieve the broken spline from the same side the axle was pulled from. Use strong lighting to help guide the magnet into place - wait for the "click" and start reeling back with your prize!

  3. #43
    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by gonzo View Post
    Could a telescoping magnet (5 lbs or 15 lbs) help to remove the broken spline and any particles in the differential? Retrieve the broken spline from the same side the axle was pulled from. Use strong lighting to help guide the magnet into place - wait for the "click" and start reeling back with your prize!
    In a word, "no". When the axle breaks at the inner end, there is some twist involved with the splines and, at least in my case, the stub gets pretty well wedged in the diff requiring some degree of persuasion to remove. It just won't slide out.
    Rick

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    I had thought about a really strong magnet, but had guessed you'd put a lot of work into setting it up only to find it's really wedged in there. Having said that... If I had a bitchin' strong magnet, I'd give it a shot! Maybe I'll look while I wait on my new axle! Such a relief that the entire axle assembly can stay in the car.... I can certainly do this job now...
    Thanks!
    M

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Ok... couple more questions...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_Gruber View Post
    for used axles you want ones saying EF17 stamped on the side of the hub.
    Should that maybe have been EN17 rather than EF? Can't see any marked EF.....
    And... how important is the left / right concern? None I'm looking at seemed to be marked left or right and I have a feeling that should I ask, most sellers will say 'sure' .... this one is the left one, rather it is or isn't! If it's just a matter of maybe not going in easily, perhaps I should buy a set that came from the same car... at least then I'd have another to try if the first is stubborn..... ?

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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeamondo View Post
    Ok... couple more questions...
    Should that maybe have been EN17 rather than EF? Can't see any marked EF.....
    And... how important is the left / right concern? None I'm looking at seemed to be marked left or right and I have a feeling that should I ask, most sellers will say 'sure' .... this one is the left one, rather it is or isn't! If it's just a matter of maybe not going in easily, perhaps I should buy a set that came from the same car... at least then I'd have another to try if the first is stubborn..... ?
    The EN17s are the ones you're looking for. Unless you have a tractor beam from the Starship Enterprise, forget about the dream of just yanking the stub out with some sort of magnetic force,
    Rick

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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    As someone who believes that the problem will still be found at the front of the drivetrain and not at the rear (but is happy to be proven wrong) a thought. It is easy to pull the axles on these cars. before you order new axles, before you open the pumpkin, before you do anything else jack up the car and remove the axles. If one is broken, then yes, do the rest. If they are fine button it back up and look elsewhere - at worst you are out come gaskets and an O ring.

    let's not over complicate this (or over expense it)
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by JPSmit View Post
    As someone who believes that the problem will still be found at the front of the drivetrain and not at the rear (but is happy to be proven wrong) a thought. It is easy to pull the axles on these cars. before you order new axles, before you open the pumpkin, before you do anything else jack up the car and remove the axles. If one is broken, then yes, do the rest. If they are fine button it back up and look elsewhere - at worst you are out come gaskets and an O ring.

    let's not over complicate this (or over expense it)
    Excellent advice as always.... and it's advice I already took... pic of the broken axle is a few posts back!

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Sounds right. Drain the oil first.
    Never express yourself more clearly than you can think.
    '48 Ford Prefect
    '67 Sprite (project)
    '74 Super Beetle
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    http://enfoprefect.org

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeamondo View Post
    Excellent advice as always.... and it's advice I already took... pic of the broken axle is a few posts back!
    oops my bad, slinks away quietly
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    JP You just aren't watching this forum often enough these days.

    Stay cool, sweating in Apollo Beach as BE Driving season starts in October down here.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Well... my replacement axle is expected Friday, along with gaskets and a new coffee mug from Moss. Had to get over the $10 min. But... I discovered a broken U-bolt on the suspension I thought I might fix while under the car. It's the smallest one, at the rear of the 1/4 eliptical spring, right behind the hub. One side is broken, the other is still place and holding the bottom plate in place. My question is this..... give that it's a spring, do I need to support something when I remove the broken one? Are the leaves of the spring likely to go SPRONG and pop out all over the garage? Ok.. I know they won't do that, but you get the idea.

    Also... I saw Bugeye Guy has them on that site for $25. Seems high for a u bolt but Moss doesn't even put a number on the diagram for it.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Answered my own question by reading a bit more on the Bugeye site... apparently they are often completely missing, which can lead to creaking noises.... Otto makes a lot of creaking noises. So do I for that matter! So I assume that any u bolt the correct dimensions should work and I should be able to pop it off there without the spring flying apart!

    Thanks for all the help... I'll update the thread after the axle job!

    Mike

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Bugeye guy gets $25 for the Ubolt as it is the only source unless you make your own. It is a very unique size and even if you find the correct width you would most likely need to add threads.
    However, this particular bit is at the end of the spring where it comes back on the eye for the bushing for the Axle bolt. So replacing it is not a big deal. Just put a clamp on the end to compress the spring a little and add the Ubolt.
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Makes perfect sense... but for $25 I can pick up a tap and die set and make all the u-bolts I want! I think a trip to the pawn shop is called for....

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    Jedi Trainee Joe Schlosser's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    I used a piece of 1/4" rod, heavy hammer and vise plus a 1/4 20 nut die. Getting the correct width was a bit of a pain. I made one as a backup when working on springs incase I broke the original one, I did not so the orig is back on
    Probably cheaper and better to buy the piece from Bugeye guy.
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    This was an unobtanium part until Davis found a source. I needed one of these several years back and it took two Spridget Firums to find one. This is a case of spending hours fabricating or simply buying the part and using time saved to fix something else on your BE so you can get out and drive. BTW I broke one of the other U bolt straps and fabricated replacement with a vise, hammer, and smaller spacer on the bottom. I may need to do that again as I am going to add 1 10 leaf spring on each side to replace 1 15 leaf spring to try and stiffen up rear springs. With two in the car and doing some spirited driving i’m Hitting the rebound buffers pretty hard. I’ve already cut the tops of the rebound buffers about 3/4” and will now add a stiffer spring leaf.

    The alternative was asking my better half to go on a diet but I was afraid that might not end well. I’n Just thrilled she loves riding in Bugsy.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Jim: glad to see that you're planning on not losing any body parts that you're attached to (the better half reference).
    JP: you're not alone in slinking. But it's always better to throw out some ideas and be thought a fool than abandoning some poor LBC type to a purgatory of Whitworth threads and banging his nose onto brick walls
    Mike: it's probably 30 years since I replaced an axle shortened like yours so I don't remember much, but I'm thinking that lots of rags and solvent and a decent magnet would be a good idea. I'm still running original specification bearings, but figure I'd go with the Subaru (?) choices if I was redoing stuff. Doug

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    I did have some challenge in getting the bearings to fit as I trashed one of the seal seats trying to pull out the old axle seal. But I finally polished it up and with some Hylomar got it to seal and not leak. Since Axle is currently sitting on axle stands I will pull the drums and make sure nothing is leaking before I reinstall the rear end. Will do some paint and cleanup before everything goes back in the car.

    I will say Radius arm rubber bushings are already showing deteriorating rubber after less than 2 years of use. And actual road use with my 948 and the few months I got to drive Bugsy with new engine installed before coming apart for paint, total road hours definitely < 50-60 hours of actual road time. Bugsy will go back together with Purple Poly up front. I needed to cut one of the inside mounting bolts out for the wishbones as it was totally frozen up and rusted in again less than 2 years of installation and doing lots of sitting. Everything was well lubed when I put it back together. I also needed to replace one of the SwayBay Arms as bolt came loose and ripped up the large end mounting bolt and rubber. New parts will be here tomorrow.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Well..... booger.
    IMG_2978.jpgIMG_2979.jpgIMG_2980.jpg
    So... as you can see... a good bit more messed up than the axel. The differential bearing cap cracked.... not surprisingly, on the broken axle side. Additionally, there are a series of bolts that go into the gear set and have a retaining bracket on each one. In the pic showing the crack in the cap, you can see one still intact. One of the bolts sheared off and the bolt head and retainer were rolling around in there... clearly somewhat chewed up. I can't tell what failed first, but I'll bet it all happened in the same minute or two.
    Moss doesn't seem to sell the bearing caps.... what thoughts do you guys have? Is the diff trashed since that bolt sheared off? Would it be better to swap out a new gear set?
    Also... I read in another post about upgrading to a higher ratio gear set....? Said it would increase the top end? Is that a possibility?
    Again, please remember my goal of getting on the road with the cheapest option first, and the fastest option second. I'm losing Bugeye driving days!
    Thanks!
    Mike

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