Lotus Elan

Rear Hub Removal

PostPost by: Matt7c » Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:42 pm

I am trying to get the rear hub off from the nearside because its fitted on squiffy. Trouble is, it won't come off. Its been on for 15 years, and sat idle for the last 13 of those and its stuck fast. I have a pretty robust hub puller and a huge breaker bar, but.... I am getting the horrible feeling that if I keep on pulling, something is going to break before the hub comes away.

Anyone had experience of this? Is something likely to go (studs, bearing circlips?) or can I tug with confidence?

Matt :unsure:
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PostPost by: Foxie » Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:11 pm

Matt,

What type of pullers are you using ?

Have you tried putting plenty of heat into the hub with a gas torch before putting on the pull ?

Have you used a heavy hammer on the pullers once the pressure is on ?

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PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:16 pm

The rear hubs can be a pig to remove. After taking off the centre nut (of course!) I used a 3 legged hub puller, tightened it up as much as I dared, and then left it on tugging away.

After 30 minutes or so, I heard a loud bang from the garage, and the hub was off!

So you could try this if you havn't already.


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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Mar 13, 2005 11:04 pm

Matt

The hubs are a relatively soft cast iron and if you pull to hard around the outside rim you can bend and crack them. Your hub may be bent already if its not running true, its unlikely not to be square on the taper or for you to have a bent shaft.

You really need a specifically designed puller that grips on the wheel nut thread if its a knock on hub or on the bolts if its a bolt on hub. Then you need to crank on the load and then heat the hub around the taper area and allow to cool. After a few heat / cool cycle it will pop off. Cover it up with a heavy canvas sheet or similar when you go away to allow it to cool as bits can fly around when it pops off.

An alternative to a special puller is a large bearing splitter that can fit behind the hub. If you use a standard 3 arm puller you will probably distort the hub before you get it off. When you get it off carefully examine the hub for cracks in the rear face.

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PostPost by: type36lotus » Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:55 am

Matt,

Dave Bean rents the proper puller that Rohan is talking about. What they actually do is sell it to you, then when you return it they charge a "re-stocking fee" which is essentially rent. This is the best and safest way and the route I took.
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PostPost by: miked » Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:25 am

Matt,

There is an Elan book by Paul Robinshaw. He has a chapter about pulling hubs. He show two drawings (baby & plus2) of an insert that fits over the shaft shoulder inside the hub. An old spinner is then fitted. The hub is warmed and is pulled off by the turning of the spinner. I have used this method succesfully and am just having some plus two and elan ones turned for some of my friends.

If you need the drawings emial me and I will attach a sketch, the page of the book etc and send it you.

Thansks Mike.
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PostPost by: pereirac » Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:53 am

If you are trying to get the hub off to change the wheel bearings, watch out.

Although the workshop manula covers this in about 2 lines (knock out the old bearings... or something similar). After straining for half a day to get my rear hubs off (with a suitable puller) and scaring myself witless when they came off with a very large bang! I still had to remove the whole rear suspension arm and take it to my friendly Lotus dealer (by foot as my car was now in pieces) and ask him to press out the bearings. It took 5 tons of pressure on his press to get them out... :o
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PostPost by: Matt7c » Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:41 pm

Thanks for the tips, guys. I have a hub puller that bolts onto the studs and then has a central bar that screws in to push away the spindle, thereby pulling on the studs. The puller looks robust enough for the job. From what I read above, I am clearly not the first to have this issue, so I'll get the blow torch out and try it that way. Thanks again.
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PostPost by: M100 » Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:27 am

One more thing to be aware of - when it comes to removing the bearings clean the area outboard of the circlip groove really well, remember to remove the circlips ;-) and then warm the bearing housing up in an oil bath - they should not need 5 tonnes of pressure to come out (nor for that matter to refit)
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PostPost by: type26owner » Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:52 pm

Hey Matt,
Give it many sharp mighty blows with a large ballpin hammer but not so hard you're denting the cast iron hub very much. The best place to hit is on the backside of the hub with the flat end of the hammer but the strut housing is close by and can get damaged with a missed blow so be careful. The other thing to do is use an air impact wrench on the main pushing bolt of the puller. Doing both at the same would be best procedure but that would require a helper. You're dealing with a gripping taper which is rusted together and the stored energy is enormous. You want to send a high-frequency shock wave through the metal which distorts the structure on the micron level. Making it ring like a bell will break the rust up. The rusting is likely from fretting corrosion. Read up on it in the archives cause it's quite dangerous to allow this to happen. The hub to axle interface is highly prone to fretting and the axle itself around the locking pin groove to breaking off from stress risers. Dave Bean's catalog has the instructions to reduce the stress risers. You should also apply a penetrating oil on both sides of the hub. One that dissolves rust would be best like Kroil Oil. The hammer blows assists the penetrating oil to infiltrate. Give it the juice then whack it a few times and walk away. Doing this a few times over a 24 hour period will help a bunch. Leave the loaded puller on it though while you do this procedure. It will likely pop off free while you're not there. Just as well cause it can let go with a really big bang and I'm sure shorts have been soiled in this way if you're not expecting it. :D

Oh, by doing this both bearings are toast. They get damaged by being brinneled. They must be replaced.
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PostPost by: type26owner » Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:00 pm

Matt,
The above instructions are assuming that the hub got installed dry as per the factory way. The Dave Bean way is to loctite it together . If it was done with loctite then heating up the hub to at 300 F will melt it. For sure, when you reassemble that stuff loctite eveything!
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PostPost by: Matt7c » Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:09 pm

Well, I've been faffing around with this hub for weeks! Never been top of the priority list, so its only had a spot of attention here and there. List now getting much smaller, so I gave it a concerted effort yesterday.

I heated it hotter than I'd dared before. I poured cold water on it. I twisted the hub puller further than I'd dared before. And I bashed it with a club hammer so hard the car nearly came of the trolley jack. Finally, the hub eased off gently.

The spindle didn't look bent and hub looked flat, so I just re-fitted it all back and it looks much better. No vibration when driving now like there was before. When I had new tyres fitted, the garage said that one of the wheels was a bit crooked, so I can only assume the DPO whacked the wheel on something and the hub moved slightly? I've done nothing except take it off and refit it and it seems fine now. The bearings seem fine, too, although I didn't loctite it back on yet, just in case that changes!

Thanks for all your help.

Matt :)
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