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MG TD TF 1500 - Half-shaft replacement

It's beginning to look as if next year's bit of motoring might be about 7,000 miles worth. Our youngest daughter is getting married in California next July and I just might drive out there. BTW, my starting point is in Plymouth, Massachusetts, about 3,000 miles away. I'll probably redo the gearbox before heading off. I'm still running with the half-shafts and bearings that came with the car. I had the shafts looked at when the 4.3 gears were installed and they seemed okay. The cautious part of me says that I should spring for a new pair of the high-tech ones that Skip Kelsey has and install them with new bearings.
Anybody have an idea of how big a job it is to r/r unbroken half-shafts? Any good references? Thanks.
Bud Krueger


I have just replaced a broken half shaft in my TD which involved removing the other side as well and removing the stub remaining in the carrier. This was not a big job and should be infinitely easier if the shafts are whole to begin with. I would expect that you could do the complete swap in a matter of an hour if you have the parts at hand. The only area that you should probably consider is to buy replacement wheel bearings and have them pressed on prior to beginning the job then it is just pull and replace.

Brian Smith

Hello. Search archives- "axle", scroll down to "Broken Axle?". Read Bob Graneu's comments. An easy job to pull axles while in your garage. Just remove brake drums, brake line/em. brake cable, unbolt the four bolts, and pop the axle out. But you need a drum puller, brake fluid, jack stands, etc., etc. Not for me roadside. Maybe best to at least pull and eyeball and magnafluxed. I replaced mine (when 1st broke, other was nearly twisted off) in the early 80's- when I had out doing rear gears they appeared new (about 10K miles or so on them).
George Butz

How do I start??? I have driven T Types, as well as a few pre-war models for well over 35 years. In that time, I have run them here there and everywhere, to include a span of 30 something years of VSCCA - MG Vintage Racers, T-Register supported speed and Funkama events, without a single insult to an axle. As described in other threads, many of these have been in (don't we wish they still existed) $500 'crashers'. Lets move on. The axles are obviously well suited to spirited use. Let us not dissuade any casual, or new enthusiasts from taking their beasties out and 'exercising' them. Judicious operation and preventative maintainence is the key, (remember those PM leaflets we read in the Army). Run them, have fun with them, you do not need to fear, or baby them.
Safety Fast

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Remo Peter

I too, have been driving MG's for many moons. One year on the way to the GOF in Georgia I was 4 miles from the hotel on Friday afternoon in my TF-1250. Light turned green and I could not move. No snap no jerk. I was on a level road. fed-exed an axle next day from Moss. Problems arose on getting the wire wheel hub and bearing pressed off and pressed on the new axle. I would suggest that if your is a steel wheel car to have an axle and bearing already installed along as a spare. A good way to carry it at all times is to pack in with grease,wrap it securely and then find a simple way to tie it along side of the frame. Properly wrapped it will be there for a long time and you always have one ready to go.
Sandy Sanders
Hudson Florida
conrad sanders

Remo's philosophy is shared by Skip Kelsey. Looks as if I'm going to leave well enough alone. I do have a 'spare' axle that I picked up from Bob Baldwin on my Cleceland trip last July. I'll have it magnafluxed and, if it's okay, I'll have a new bearing pressed on and take it along, as Sandy suggests. Thanks for the input folks.
Bud Krueger

One last comment: Three TD's in town have broken or had nearly twisted off inner axle ends, all probably original with long-time owners. One TF1500 with 17K miles had perfect looking shafts- this car had been autocrossed, etc. If you have inspected them at some point, they are likely fine. Lot of chance to mess something else up by taking apart (breaking a banjo bolt, etc.- been there). Just drive and have fun! Make sure you order and install the spacer behind the bearing before pressing it on.
George Butz

Bud, I have experienced a broken axle while 500 miles from home. Luckily, I was flying for the ANG and could use their Motor Pool garage. I would have had a tough time trying to repalce the axle on the road with the spare (bearing pressed on) I took with me, just in case! The worst part was separating the axle case so I could poke the stub part out of the ring/pinion assembly with a coat hanger. I forgot to take the gasket that fits between the housing halves. In retrospect, I would never again hit the road using non-inspected axles (magnafluxed). If there the slightest doubt, go for the new set of axles.
Jim Merz

I too carry a spare ½-shaft, but wish I had bought the newer, tougher ones made of 60-ton tensile EN24T steel. These are available from Roger Furneaux ( for £75 each, and I expect, they'll last the life of the car and above all, give a sense of reliability, which I presently don't have.

I was told by an anonomous individual at Stowe in Sept., that Moss have stocks of the earlier ones made of heat-treated mild steel and that we won't likely be offered the newer ones, 'till the old stock is depleted. I don't know abt. Abingdon.

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.

Gordon A. Clark


I know Bob at Abingdon well enough that if he can get the newer shafts he would give you the option. He recomended against the newer rear seal that he sells for the least expensive one original slinger style. As he put it, as long as you put it in right, it won't leak. It saved me a lot of money and so far .... it doesn't leak. Call or write Bob, and ask him about the axles. You will be surprised at just how down to earth and helpful he can be.Bob was there the other day when I stopped in to buy all the wood for my tub. His main business is hay. Last summer I stop at his farm in CT. He took the time from haying to show me a collection of cars as well as things to look at when buying used parts.
Ron Boisvert

Just want to add one simple word of caution,,, when replacing a broken axle, make sure that you have adequate clearance on both sides of the car to enable removing the axles ie. no walls or supports or other immovable objects in the way, before you get it up on jack stands and start the job,,,,
Steve Wincze

Greetings all:
This has been a timely thread as I am just starting to extract the axle shaft on my 55 TF (fitted with wire wheels) to replace the wheel bearing. At this point the brake drum is off and the split pin holding the nut at the end of the axle has been removed. Can anyone tell me what size socket I need to back out the retaining nut? The biggest I have is 1-1/8" and that is clearly too small. Also, is it necessary to disconnect the brake line to move the brake backing plate out of the way. I generally work alone and would not like to have to bleed the brakes when I am done.

Mike Munson
Mike Munson

The brake lines do not have to be removed,,, just carefully move the backing plate and support it while the eplacement is being done,,,
Also, by using a piece of flexable brake line attached to the bleeder and extended into a glass jar 1/2 filled with brake fluid, bleeding the brakes is a one person job,,,

Steve Wincze

I have my axle apart on the bench right now. Takes a 1 1/4" socket for the nut. NAPA bearing # grw 118, seal # 16719(same as Chicago Rawhide). Rear pinion seal if you need it # 15142. Speedi- sleeve for pinion if you need that # 99149. Sorry but I tossed the boxes for the inner bearings and can't find the receit. Had to go to the local bearing shop for those as NAPA did show one. If you haven't bought any wheel bearings in a while be prepared for sticker shock. I know I was.
Good luck,


Thanks Steve and LaVerne.
Now I'll see how easy it all comes apart.

Mike, dont disconnect the brake lines. Steve is right. I simply hung my loose backing plate asssemblies with a coat hanger from the frame. Loosening the axle nut while the weight of the car is still on the wheels makes that job a lot easier.
Jim Merz

This thread was discussed between 02/12/2004 and 10/12/2004

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