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Installing the Driveshaft
A-Series MG Midget (and Austin-Healey Sprite)

by Paul Stewart, London UK

At 02:48 AM 5/8/05 +0100, Paul Stewart wrote:
Reading your MG Midget Tech Tips for installing the drive shaft I thought I’d let you know of the method I discovered (after having previously tried both of the methods described on your site). The method with an assistant is fine if you have one - but the taping up method tends to result in a loud ‘bang’ as the tape lets go just when you’ve forgotten it’s still there.

I discovered this alternative method whilst ‘resting’ under the vehicle during protracted efforts to install a driveshaft. It works like this:

  • Thread a length of strong nylon cord (or similar) through the universal joint so that it goes around one of the ‘legs’ of the UJ ‘spider’ which is connected to the FRONT section of the driveshaft (the splined socket). The diagram illustrates this.
    propshaft with rope loop
  • Run the cord - both ends - all the way back to the rear of the shaft.
  • Insert the shaft into the tunnel - placing a torch in the tunnel also helps here.
  • Reach into the tunnel as far as is comfortable with one arm, grasp the shaft and raise the front end allowing the back end to rest on the bottom of the tunnel.
  • Rotate the shaft until the cord loop is at the top of the shaft ­ ie with the UJ bearing under which the cord is looped at the top.
  • Grasp the two ends of the cord with the other hand, and it will now be possible to manipulate the front part of the shaft up and down by pulling on the cord.
  • Pull the cords to raise the shaft end - release to lower.
  • By manoeuvring the shaft with one hand, and pulling the cords with the other, it’s quite easy to locate the splined sleeve on the output shaft.
  • When this has been done the cord can be removed by pulling on one side until it’s all free.

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