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Swapping rear hub on a Midget


Senior Member
I need to swap out a worn rear wire wheel hub on my 73 Midget, and was wondering if anyone had done this before? I have heard two different sides on how to do it from folks around here, so I haven't done it yet for fear of screwing something up (I don't want my wheels falling off!) On one hand, I have heard that the axle shaft and the hub must be swapped as a unit, that I need to purchase a new axle to go along with my new hub. Other side says just pull the old hub off and press the new one on, as long as the splines on the axle are ok. Which way should I go?


Great Pumpkin
I'll assume you have a noisey rear wheel bearing and that's why your are working on the hub. You can replace the rear wheel bearing (and seal) and still retain the old axle....they are not a matched set.
However....the rear axle on Spridgets are a weak spot, so you'd so well to examine it while it's out. I've seen these axles twisted up to 90 degrees and still be functioning, so look carefully (I usually mark the axles in my race car....othewise, it may be difficult to see the "twist").


Senior Member
No, the bearing is not noisy. I am getting a big "clink" sound when I accelerate or decelerate sharply, so I am pretty sure the splines on the hub and possibly the wheel are worn, and are allowing a bit of free play. So I guess I can replace just the hub and not the axle (assuming the axle is in good shape)?

[ 09-22-2003: Message edited by: nathandarby67 ]</p>

Tom Bedenbaugh

Jedi Hopeful
If I were you I would take a close look at the drive shaft U Joints. I suspect that where your klink is coming from. As for replacing the hub, good luck. I have tried to knock the pin out that secures the hub to the axel, and have never been able to get it out. It's a tapered pin and it's really jammed in there.


Senior Member
I have thought about the driveshaft U-joints, but it sounds to me like the noise is only coming from one side of the car. In looking at the hub, I had figured that it would be a real pain to get the hub off the axle, I guess thats why I have hear to replace the whole assembly.

Mike H

Jedi Hopeful
The splined hub does not have to replaced with the half shaft. The hub can be pressed out. If you opt just to replace the hub, you will also need a new welch plug to seal the hub.

Before you start this, some of the manuals, and catalogs of suppliers, will describe what worn splines look like.

I suggest that you jack up the rear of the car, put it up on jack stands and apply the parking brake, and try to move the wheel. There should be no play at all. While it is up, it will be easy to check the u joints also. It may help to have a friend assist you and start the car, put it in gear and listen.

If you opt to replace the hub, check the half shaft also for signs of twisting. These cars have a habit of snapping half shafts. If you see a twist, usually at the differential end, replace the shaft. It is very easy at this point and will save a lot of trouble later. I recommend that you check both sides.

Also, do not switch half shafts from side to side.
The reverse rotation will put excess stress and cause the shaft to break easier.

A side hint. The hubs must be greased regularly to prevent the wheels from seizing. I use the silver colored anti-seize instead of grease. The color matched the wheels almost perfectly. The wheels require much less cleaning to keep looking good.

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Or, just buy a good used axle with a good hub already installed!
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