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Rebuilding Hub Splines

Rebuilding Hub Splines

Can anyone reccommend a service provider to repair rear splines for an XK 150?? Mine are soon to be removed. Also, is it remotely possible that Mark II rear splines might interchange. I do happen to have an extra pair from a sedan. Both cars are 1960s. - Thanx, Gary (gjhjag)

Gary, Wray Schelin has previously recommended John Fielding for repair of splines. 
From the XK-lovers web site (
   John Fielding
   37 Leominster Rd.
   Princeton, MA 01541
   Phone 508 464-2747
John rebuilds any Rudge type hub spline. These are the drive hubs that project out 
from the axels and the wire wheels attach to. John has rebuilt (resplined) hubs from 
every type of Jaguar. - Regards, Dick White (xk admin))

Gary: I don't have first hand experience swapping Mark II and 150 hubs; however, British Wire Wheel lists different rear replacements for the Mark II and the 150. Their (rear) replacement splined hubs, common to the 120,140 & 150, list for $210ea and only $152ea for the Mark II, E-type, S-type & 420. I suspect that repairing badly damaged splines would be almost as costly and not as wise as buying new or good used hubs. - Good luck, Dick Cavicke

Wray, Dick (White) and Dick (Cavicke)

Thanx for the all the information and the reminder about the supplier list on the XK website. I have been distracted by all the information by list members and just plain forget the XK Lovers website. Apparently the Mark II rear hubs are not interchangeable with the 150, considering the price differential from British Wire Wheel. I will give Mr. Fielding a call next week for a repair comparison. - Gary (gjhjag)

Wray, Dick, Bob; A few weeks ago I read the description of failed rear splines while under way. Sounds like something I'd like to avoid when the car's back together. Can you describe the appearence of worn hub splines or, maybe, how you determined that the hubs needed to be re-built? - Thanks, Sam Bell

Jack up the car, have Vanna White (or other letter turner) apply the brakes...feel if there is rotational play between wheel and hub. I've got a little and it has me worried (Vanna doesn't look too concerned though) - Jim Warren

I just sent a pair of 150 hubs to John Fielding for rebuilding the splines.. Before aftermarket units became available, rebuilding was the only source. I have used this service twice in the past: once for my 120 and once for another 150. Some new aftermarket hub prices: British Wire Wheel - $210 each; Bill Tracy - $175 each; Cost to rebuild from Fielding: $100 each or $200 for the pair plus $25 shipping. New versus rebuilding? Let's talk about silicone brake fluid versus non-silicone. - Bob Oates

Bob Oates-- now you are really stirring things up when you bring up the silicone v. non-silicone brake fluid issue! Next I suppose you will taunt us with what you and I learned at Hershey this year about brass v. stainless steel brake cylinder liners! It was good to see you at the car show! - Carl Hanson, '51 XK120 FHC

O.K. I'll bite Carl, what secrets have you unfolded on the subject of s.s vs brass cylinder liners, I'm a brass fan myself but I'd love to hear some comments and perhaps pick up some other ideas, that's why we do this stuff. - Regards, John Morgan

Sam: I'm certain that my experience is quite limited compared to some of the restorers and race enthusiasts on our list but here's an opinion. In a proper "spline" connection, there should be no relative play or looseness. One measure of wear then is to see if there's any rotational play at the suspect wheels. With the car jacked up, wheel in place (without its knock-off hub), and the brakes on; ideally, you should not be able to detect any motion when trying to rotate the wheel forward or backward. If play is detected, you may establish whether the wear is on the axle-hub spline or on the wheel-hub spline by switching wheels. If a different wheel is significantly tighter (less play) then you may assume that the first/other wheel-hub splines had more wear. The worn splines I have observed tend to deform at the apexes of the teeth. The teeth start to deform and lay-over opposite to the direction of the predominant (acceleration or braking) stress. The apexes get very thin and ragged. They will feel rough and sharpened as you draw your fingers over them. The greater the wear, the greater deformation. When extremely worn the splines get so short they barely engage each other and can withstand very little torque. I don't know exactly how much wear is too much. Obviously if only slight play (<3/8"?) is found (at the tire tread), deliberate extra tightening of the knock-off may be all that's needed to prevent more wear. If the car will be driven aggressively or there is more play, new components may be advised. Tight knock-offs and quality rust-preventing lubrication on the splines are still the best insurance against spline wear. Corrections and other comments appreciated. - Dick Cavicke

I'll just add to Dick's remarks with the following comments. Sight. Look at the front splines of the hub and compare profiles of individual splines with that of the splines on the rear hub. Usually those at the rear show wear first. Note the difference in height and width. If only slight wear, you may have to study carefully to detect wear difference between front and rear units. Also, mid-way on the length of the spline, you may note a height difference. I don't know the dimensions for each spline but if a careful comparison between front and rear reveals to your eye a difference, then you have wear. Feel. Carefully rub your finger on the top of a spline. If it is sharp and triangular you have wear. Also, in a wire wheel hub, note if a height difference exists on the length of the spline. If so, these hubs are worn.

Sound. When starting or stopping your car, especially just after engaging the clutch, you hear a clunk from the rear end, it is probably the sound of loose splines at a wheel. You have play between the wire wheel and the axle hub. Perhaps the knock off is loose. Obviously it has been loose at some time. Continued driving with this condition will grind away and destroy the splines. Wear pattern. On some cars, I have noticed splines on the axle hub showing a slight difference in the wear pattern from the splines within the wire wheel. I've seen cases where the axle hub splines seem to grind away and are nearly flat. Maintenance. I consider this connection of splines and hubs to be very important if not properly maintained. Periodic checking of the tightness of the knock offs and lubricating the splines is essential to long life of these components. We all have heard of the cost and inconvenience if we have to repair/replace these units. So, in my view keeping the knock offs tight and periodically lubricating the splines virtually eliminates any grief in his area. (Other folks may want to recommendation lubrications.) - Bob Oates

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