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Live Axle Rebuild - A Quick Update


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First of all a big thanks for the various bits of advise received via BC!


Following the wheel bearing moving on the live axle a complete strip down of the rear end of the car followed! Being of the poorer end of 7 ownership I needed to do the work myself...


This post is just a few of my thoughts/encouragement to newbies (like me!) that have had the dreaded "clunk" from the rear end of the car..!


Before you start doing anything - consider what you are going to do with the car - if you are considering hammering round a track every weekend and pumping 160+ BHP out of the engine then the ital axle if perhaps not the best bet.... My plan is the odd track day, lots of road use and a mildly tuned x/flow lump up front...


So - I broke it - bum *mad* - First thing IMHO was to get a Haynes manual (Ital 1.7/2.0 from E-bay 99p!), ring up a couple of specialists in LowFlying and have a read of BC....


Having done this and decided on the course of action I stripped the axle off the car - all i had was a jack, axle stands and a bagful of spanners in my council lock up - If you are thinking of doing it - yes it really is that easy to get it off. Took me about 5 hours on a Saturday afternoon from beginning to end. It is important to check the stability of the car and that you can remove the axle sideways from the car (EG have you got a wide enough garage!). Also a second person to lift is very helpful.


Once it was off I stripped the axle apart - again my advise is to RTFM, and then carefully take stuff apart - taking pictures if required. I then discovered the cause of my pain. Amazing bad BL design.........


Another tip - you can get the whole axle apart with conventional tools except for removing the hub with the wheel studs on it.... For this you need the services of a friendly local garage/engineering shop with a press to push off the hub. Mine did in return for a tub of biscuits to go with their coffee.


With everything in pieces it got completely degreased and de-rusted also making sure all the mating faces were completely clean. I then doused the whole thing in Loctite 7500 Anti Rust and when this had dried it all got (where appropriate) 2 cost of black hammerite.


Having decided what I was going to use the car for I then proceeded to get the axle rebuilt in the most appropriate way for usage.


After looking a various exotic mods (Quaife Parts, Billet Machined shafts etc) I decided that the best route for me was two new bearings from the local motor factors (About £30.00 for the pair), New brake wheel cylinders (About £25.00 for the pair), and then to have the halfshafts "shimmed" to stop it acting like a slide hammer on the bearing. Along with a new pinion seal bearing cos the previous owner had put the last one in with a hammer and wrecked it! (about £3.00 for a bloke round the corner from me - lol!)


As nobody locally had experience of shimming the half shafts I entrusted McMillan Motorsport to do this and reassemble the halfshafts and brake back plates to the axle (Cost £?? dunno - they havn`t billed me yet!! Around £30-£35 per side I would expect!


I also supplied (where they were not safety critical) S/Steel Fixings from a very helpful company called Grove Components - I sent them a box full of rusty parts and they sent me nice new ones - All to the correct thread rates.


Once I had all this done - all (!) that was required was to reassemble the brake parts and then bolt the whole let (RTFM Again!) back onto the car!


At the same time I also stripped off my fuel tank and gave the chassis a full work over to remove all of the dreaded tin worm. Again - all new (Where appropriate) S/Steel fittings - oh so nice and shiny..... And made up some rust free copper brake pipes.


The whole thing - by the time I had stopped grumbling done the research and bought the books took around a month and it even passed the MOT the next day.


Total costs? I reckon round about £200 ish for all the component parts and associated works (including the tin of biscuits) + Quite a lot of labour hours from me :) so about another £2.25 on top of the first price.....!


Also - I have worked on a variety of cars over the years - and the 7 has got to have been the easiest for a long, long time!


Sorry the post is a bit long (or perhaps brief depending on who is reading it!!) I will try and answer any questions it raises!!


Happy Blatting


Haz :)



..... Just the engine to sort out next........ :)


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Nice write-up! Could you pls do me a favour and let me know what the torque is for the diff-to-axle nuts and the brake-backplate-to-axle nuts?


Also, I got one paper gasket with my bearing kit - I assume this goes on the inside of the outer oil seal housing?




Bite me 😬

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Hi there Ferrino,


According to the little book of lies (Haynes 😬 ) the torque specs are as follows:


Diff to Axle nuts (round the edge I presume you mean) = 20 lbf ft (27Nm)

Brake Backplate = 18 lbf ft (24Nm)


The paper gasket (assuming the backplate is in good condition and not too pitted) goes between the axle and back of the back plate - if too pitted use a little silicon sealant instead. And then I was told to use a little sealant on the inner plate aswell.


Hope it helps





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