etc

SPRIDGET “SUPERSTUBS”


GENERAL INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS


Thank you for your enquiry about SPRIDGET “SUPERSTUBS”, probably the only practical and AVAILABLE answer to your problems concerning old, worn out, cracked, bent or otherwise unserviceable Sprite/Midget stub axles.

The stub axles fitted to all disc braked Sprites and Midgets are now approaching 50 years of age and the owners of many road going Spridgets are unknowingly driving around on axles that are very probably cracked. This is even more likely if the vehicle has been used in competition. When the Austin A30 sedan was introduced in England in the early 1950’s, it had an 803cc engine pumping out all of 28 bhp, drum brakes, 3½” wheels and cross ply tyres. It had a top speed of about 60mph and was fine for pottering down leafy English country lanes. The stub axles designed for and used on that car, are the same ones used on the A35, A40 Farina, Bugeye and MK11 Sprite and Mk1 Midget. When the Mk11A Sprite and Mk11 Midget were introduced in 1963, they featured disc brakes with a stronger stub axle upright and thicker bottom kingpin diameter. However, the size and strength of the actual stub axle, and bearing size, remained unaltered.

Geoffrey Healey and his Dad could not have envisaged that half a century later their brainchild would still be tearing around racetracks, often running 10” wide rims and sticky rubber with more grip than they could possibly have imagined. Most drivers who crack test their stub axles, find they are indeed cracked. They then face a dilemma. New units are virtually unobtainable. Those few a year that do surface as old new stock, found in a dusty box in some obscure ex BMC/Austin Dealership or on E-Bay, are extremely expensive when offered for sale. Most specialist suppliers (AH Spares, Moss Motors etc) list them as No Longer Available. What to do? Do you replace them on your vehicle knowing they COULD fail at any time? If they do fail, Murphy’s Law states they will do so at the worst possible time and place. This could be as embarrassing as a major intersection at peak hour, in the pouring rain of course, with your Spridget down on one corner, bent front guard, chewed up disc, torn out brake lines, with the wheel rolling away down the road; to a major catastrophe at highway speed, putting not only your life at risk, but other road users as well. There are legal implications as well, knowingly driving around in a car with suspect components that directly affect its roadworthiness and public safety.

“SUPERSTUBS” could be your answer. For racing, they DEFINITELY are the answer! So what are “SUPERSTUBS”? They are modified and upgraded Spridget stub axles. The old axle upright is machined and ground to exacting tolerances; a new super- strong stub, in high tensile 4140 alloy steel, is CNC machined to bigger dimensions, precision ground to suit larger, fully adjustable tapered roller bearings, and pressed into the existing machined upright. The unit is then expertly heat treated and welded using compatible rod/wire and cooled under stringent conditions. The units are then crack tested to ensure no point of potential failure. New upper and lower kingpin bushes are then pressed into the upright and reamed to original tolerances using a factory stepped reamer.

The new units are considerably stronger and more robust than the originals. The roller bearings are larger and offer a far greater load carrying capacity than the old non-adjustable ball races. However, the new bearings still fit your original hubs and you only need to press/tap them in as usual. Your original steel thrust washer and castellated securing nut are re-used. The bearings have been accurately placed to ensure you can use your original calipers and rotors. This is especially applicable to those restoring a Spridget to original specs or those Historic Sb Racers where original discs/calipers are stipulated.

Please note that only DISC brake stub axles are supplied at the moment. We hope to be able to supply the earlier Bugeye/A30-35 drum brake type soon, on a similar supply basis, hopefully at a similar cost. The SUPERSTUBS are also suitable for any of the BMC vehicles mentioned above that have been converted to run Spridget front disc brakes. Each exchange stub axle unit is supplied with the following components:
• 2 new tapered roller bearings and oil seal
• 2 new upper and lower kingpin bushes, reamed to original dimensions using a factory stepped reamer.


HOW TO ORDER


All orders are to be made through SPRITE PARTS, 2 Parklea Close, Dural, 2158.
SPRITE PARTS can be contacted on 0414 789 263, or fax 02 9651 6703 from within Australia.

Shipping is at your cost. DO NOT SEND ANY MONEY WITH YOUR STUB AXLES. On receipt of your stub axles, we will inspect them as to suitability for refurbishment. Please note the following important conditions.
  1. A high percentage of examined axles have stretched, stripped, or worse, drilled out threads. The axle has 7 threaded holes: two for the caliper attachment, two for the grease nipples, one for the dust cover and two for the steering arm. We have found many axles have damaged or non-existent threads in the steering arm holes. This is due to the WRONG bolts being used over the years. EXAMINE YOUR AXLES BEFORE DESPATCHING!! If any of the threads are stripped, stretched or drilled out, a $30 surcharge per hole will be charged. Alternatively, you may repair by helicoiling all damaged threads at your own cost prior to shipping, but this must be done properly in a good machine shop. Home attempts with incorrect tools are not acceptable. Please remember, you will be getting back an exchange pair of axles that are NOT damaged in this way, so it’s only fair you supply a pair that are the same.
  2. The units you send should be clean. This means CLEAN. All traces of grease, road gunge and gunk have to be removed. Ideally an overnight caustic bath does the job, but elbow grease and solvent works as well. We’re happy to accept dirty stub axles, if you’re happy to pay an additional $30 each for us to clean them!
  3. Remove and retain the two grease nipples and the kingpin grease/dust cover by compressing the spring holding the two sliding tubes apart.
  4. Remove and retain the two seals from the top and bottom of the lower kingpin bush. If your seals are unserviceable, we can supply new ones for a small charge.
  5. We only want the stub axle with nothing attached to it.
On receipt of your stub axles, and after ensuring they are suitable to refurbish, we will contact you by email advising you that your units are either OK or what additional costs for fixing threads etc are required. You will be advised of direct credit details for payment. When payment in full has been made, we will dispatch your new stub axles to you next day by Express Post. Alternately, if you live in or near Sydney, you may wish to arrange to collect your stub axles from Sprite Parts at Dural.
As you will appreciate, precision machining and welding does not come cheap, neither does specialty alloy steel, and procuring some of the components required is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive as sources around the world dry up.

Once properly fitted, these replacement SUPERTSTUBS should outlast the life of the vehicle with regular, careful maintenance and service.

IMPORTANT: These units have been designed with Competition in mind and, as such, are stamped “FOR RACE USE ONLY” on the rear face of the stub axle, behind the kingpin. Under the rigours of racing, components can, and do, fail. While every effort has been made to use only the highest quality components and the best engineering practice in the refurbishment of these units, please be aware that the uprights are the original forged/cast steel units which are now some 50 years old. No guarantees are given or implied. Fitment to road going vehicles is ENTIRELY at the risk of the user. By purchasing these units you have read these terms and conditions, understood, and agreed to them. You further agree to indemnify the Supplier, and all his/her servants and agents, against all and any legal proceedings which may arise from the use of these units. Please ascertain suitability for your purposes before fitting to your vehicle. Once fitted, SUPERSTUBS are not refundable.
FOR RACE USE ONLY

Any further enquiries are to be made to our and thank you again for your enquiry.

Shop Search: