by Bob Adair

Raise rear end of car and place on jack stands. Remove wheels and brake drums.

Pull hub from axle shaft. If frozen on (tapered fit), remove four nuts on backplate bolts, and pull axle shaft with backplate as one unit using a slide hammer puller. The outer race of axle shaft bearing will separate from bearing as the axle shaft is pulled. You may have to cut the axle bearing off before you can get the backplate, shims, and steel plates off of axle shaft. Best take it to a machine shop. They sometimes have to put some heat to the hub as it is being pressed off of axle shaft. When pulling axle shaft out of axle housing, adjust the jaws of the slide hammer puller over axle nut and behind the large washer. Make sure you put the axle shaft nut on far enough so that the nut has a good grip and the threads won't get damaged.

Pull the seals out of the ends of the axle housing. To do so, reverse the jaws of your (rental shop) slide hammer puller, and pull the seals.

Remove axle shaft bearing from axle shaft with drift punch and hammer (if hub wasn't frozen on and you didn't have to cut the bearing off).

Check to see if bearing has been spinning on axle shaft. It should be a tight, press fit. If it has been spinning (like mine was on one axle shaft), you'll have to visit your favorite machinist and have him build up the surface of the axle shaft where the bearing fits, and turn it down to proper diameter.

Clean inside of axle housing where seal and bearing race fit. Clean out little hole where excess grease squirts out when you grease rear axle bearings (you do this don't you?). Lacquer thinner makes a good cleaner. No residue.

Tap new seals in axle housing. Install with lip inward. I put a very small bead of Permatex Aviation   Form-A-Gasket around seal before tapping into place. Old seal is "Retainers 3HA -027", Replace with BAP GEON seal: ITM 15- 39304. Cost is about $4.50 each. Readily available.

Tap new tapered roller bearing on axle shaft with drift punch. Make sure it's up firmly against shoulder on axle shaft. This two-part bearing (bearing and outer race) is Timken 14276 and Timken 14130. Readily available.

Now you're ready to install axle shafts and set up proper end clearance (float) between axle shafts.

Place axle shaft through seal into housing and into splined gear of differential assembly, being careful not to damage seal.

Tap outer bearing race in place over bearing with drift punch, leaving more than thickness of shims   protruding beyond surface of end flange of axle housing.

Put steel shims over the four bolts on each side, and both steel plates with thinner steel plate that has the smaller inside diameter on the inside next to the shims (leave the brake back plates off for now). Tighten four nuts evenly and tap the steel plates firmly with a hammer as you progressively tighten the nuts. This will "press home" the outer bearing race. The steel shims will give the clearance or end float between the axle shafts. With both axle shafts installed as described above and with the nuts screwed on the end of the axle shafts, use a hardwood block, and rap the end of each axle shaft with a hammer to ensure the bearing races are up against the steel plates.

With a dial indicator, check end float of axle shafts. You need to check one side only of course. End float shoud be .001-.005 inch. If you have too much, you'll have to remove a shim(s). Not enough, and you'll have to add shims. Chances are you'll be real close with the number and size of shims which you took off the car.

Once end float is accomplished, remove the four nuts, and steel plates. Reassemble on each side in  this order: shims, thin steel plate, paper gasket, backplate, paper gasket, thick steel plate, paper gasket, seal retainer plate with new hub seal {lip of seal turns in). Old seal is Retainers HA-O32-3. Replace with CR Industries 18657. Readily available. Torque all four nuts to about 35 foot pounds. Head of bolts outside. Before going any further, grease the axle bearing with your trusty grease gun until you can see grease filling around the bearings.

Put antisieze compound on tapered portion of axle shaft. If you have to remove the hub again some years down the road, it won't be frozen on the axle. Put key in keyway (groove) in axle shaft making sure taper is down and mated to taper in keyway. Line up key with groove in hub and push hub on axle shaft. Put axle shaft washer on and screw axle nut as tight as possible. With trusty grease gun, finish greasing axle shaft bearing until grease comes out of small hole in axle housing. Keep pumping until you get an inch of grease oozed out of hole. This will tell you that the bearing is completely greased and the space around the bearing is filled with grease. When car is off of jack stands, tighten to 125 foot pounds using shims to align castelated nut with the hole in axle shaft. Install cotter pin.

Morgan worked on was a 1958 +4 with Salisbury 3HA rear axle. Flat Rad Morgans might have different axle shaft bearings. The process should be the same for all plus fours.

Your Moggie now loves you even more than before, you've learned a few things about how she's put together, and in the process saved yourself a bundle of money in parts and labor costs. Now get out there and DRIVE that little beauty!