Rear Hub Removal Tips

Contributions from Tom Hall, Ramon Spontelli, Dan Walters.

Edited by Mark Olson

The following is a collection of hints and ideas related to the removal of rear hubs of Sunbeam Tigers:

Tom Hall writes:

Here is the Safe and correct method to remove rear hubs from the Tiger/Alpine.

1. Locate a chaser die and solid nut for the Axle threads. Tiger is 7/8-14
2. Plan to remove hubs from car prior to pulling rearend from vechicle (strong recomendation)
3. Raise and apply stands as required for the full job you plan.
4. Set Hand Brake.
5. Remove wheels.
6. Remove cotter keys washers and Nuts from Axles.
7. Chase threads to remove burrs and any existing thread damage.
8. Reinstall nut (solid, not slotted, If available until flush with end of Axle. Must have clearance between hub and nut, 1/8 inch is OK. if no clearance, find a thinner nut (jam nut)
9. Loosen Brakes and remove Rear Drums.
10. Install Puller using minimum of 3 studs.
11. Tighten assembly until slack is gone, and puller is IN LINE WITH AXLE.
12. Tighten center bolt with Hammer socket and 5 plus pound hammer, until it will not rotate any more.
13. Remove Hammer socket and strike end of center bolt toward Axle. (Be very careful NOT to strike other parts of car).
14. Three or four hits Max. If hub has not poped loose (you will Know) re install hammer socket and continue to rotate center screw.
15. Repeate 12-14 until hub pops loose.
16. Remove nut and hub.
17. Re chase threads. The nut prevents the puller from collapsing the cotter key hole.
18. Re install using anti seize compound to make the job much easier next time.

Ramon Spontelli submitted this:

If they haven't been removed in a long time, plan on a lot of grief getting the hubs off the axles. Last time I did the Mk II, the biggest machine shop press in town wouldn't do it, and they bent my backing plates in the process.

It took a special tool from Dan Walters and a 12-pound sledgehammer to get 'em off. I'll give you the details on "the tool." I had my son draw up a sketch of the thing on his CAD system at work.

Click here to view a 12K gif of the hub puller tool drawing.
Click here to download a .dgn drawing.
Click here to download a .dxf drawing.
Click here to download a .eps drawing.

It was a pretty hefty piece, made out of maybe 1/2-inch steel. It clamped onto the hub using the lug bolts, then you screwed a center piece up against the end of the axle and applied as much force as you could using hand tools--at this point it's sort of just like a hub puller. Then you lay the thing down on your lawn, put your foot on it, and whack it with the biggest sledgehammer you can find--sort of like shippin' your opponent's croquet ball out into the weeds.

I had been messin' with mine for almost two weeks. The machine shop had bent the backing plates, and I had drilled, chissled, and Dremmel-tooled the bearings off so I could get the backing plates and seals and stuff off. With this tool, the first hub came off after three whacks. The second hub came off after one.

The contraption consists of a round piece of 1/2-inch steel plate with a 3-inch hole in the center and four holes for the wheel studs. To that is welded a pair of 7-1/2 x 2 x 3/8-inch plates, standing on end. And across these two is a 4 x 2 x 1/2-inch plate. This is the piece that you whack with the hammer.


1. As constructed, when you bolt this thing onto the hub, the 1/2-inch plate that you whack on does not contact the end of the axle. You have to put a piece of scrap stock between the two to apply some stress when you torque down the nuts on the wheel studs.

(Perhaps this piece was built for some other application. The "fix" would be to simply change the position of the whacking plate when it's welded on. Definitely my remembrance of some sort of screw-down gizmo yesterday was another case of pre-Big-Five-Oh brain fade!)

2. I didn't have time to check the dimensions on the drawing against the piece. If I were to build one, I'd double-check the dimensions before manufacting holes in half-inch steel plate.

Tom's puller seems to use the same principle as this thing I got from Dan. And yes, I think a couple of stout blows with a light hammer would be cool as a first-shot with the axles still in the housing. I don't think I would want to whack it like I had to whack mine, with that big of hammer, without removing the axle first. When mine broke loose, the hub and the puller stayed with me, and the axle went shooting out across the lawn!

I wouldn't have any trouble taking the whole thing out and dropping it off at a rear-end shop to have a posi installed. That's what I did with the Mk I a couple of years ago.

They don't really have to take the hubs off the axles to install the posi. I asked them to remove mine, because I wanted to replace the wheel bearings and seals, and I wanted to press in new wheel studs. I told them about the "problem" I had had with the Mk II, and told them I could get a special "tool" if they had a similar problem. I think they probably knew what they were doing, 'cause THEY didn't have a problem.

Update: 7/18/2000

I have arrived on the Internet and I saw the info on the hub puller. I want to add some notes about the ordeal. The puller I use has changed over the years, it has been beefed up. The original steel is hot rolled and soft. If you go through the trouble to make a puller, start with cold rolled steel. I would use 1/2" thick for the main disk and thicker (!) for everything else. I did not make the puller I have. I have revised it several times. The inside hole is too small, it should be 3.25+ inch. The distance to the part B is more than it needs to be to make up for differences in axle lengths. Too short makes the tool almost useless. Too long lets you use it on more cars like Alpines with knock off wheels and cars that have short wheel studs. The only thing you need to add is a spacer of the right length that is hard, at least cold rolled. I try not to use a hammer unless all else fails, a hammer will mushroom /damage the axle even with a nut on it! I limit torque to 50 ft lb, any more and you bend the hub and/or stretch the studs. Good luck!

Dan Walters

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