Removal of Rear Axle – Bigger Brakes and 3.9 Differential

In addition to a general clean-up and painting, it is our intention to replace the original Sprite MK 1 Bugeye rear brake assemblies with later rear brakes from a MG Midget. We had transitioned to disc brakes from a later Sprite or Midget in the front of the car shortly after it was purchased in 1998. The larger rear brakes should provide improved braking in concert with the front discs.

A number of owners had suggested switching out the 4.22 differential that was in the MK 1 Sprite for a later 3.99 diff. Dad was able to locate a good 3.99 in North Carolina so we purchased it. We then had Glenn’s MG in St. Petersburg go through the new diff to ensure it all looked good and we also had him install a new pinion seal and set the pinion pre-load to factory specification. 

New bearings, gaskets, “O” rings, and tab washers will be installed in the hubs. A 1 7/8″ socket is used to remove the axle nuts. One must remember that the LH wheel nut loosens by turning clockwise while the RH wheel nut loosens in a counterclockwise direction. New radius arms were recently installed so they will be removed and then re-used. Bilstein tube shocks were installed several years ago and they will also be removed and then re-used. The propshaft universal joints will be checked.

The handbrake cable must be disconnected and the connecting rods were removed as new adjustable rods are required with the later MG rear brakes. The rubber rebound straps  were removed and will be replaced with new straps. 

The half shafts were replaced a number of years ago with hardened steel shafts. They will be re-used. 

The Episode Seven video is rather long but it details the removal of the rear axle and all of its related components.