Old Britts

Removing the swinging arm spindle
by Fred Eaton


This article covers How to remove the swinging arm spindle and the MK3 welch plugs.


  1. Remove the securing bolt or pins.
    • Pre-MK3 -- There is one 1/4 X 28 bolt threaded into the top of the engine cradle securing the spondle.
    • MK3 -- There are two cotter pins holding the spindle. Remove the two nuts on the cotter pins. remove the steel and fiber washers from both pins. Remove the two rubber plugs. With a drift, gently tap the pins from the threaded side through the rear engine mount.
  2. Remove the end caps or welch plugs.
    • Pre-MK3 -- You just have to unscrew the end cap rod that passes through one end cap and threads into the other end cap, to remove the end caps.
    • MK3 -- The welch plug comes new as a concaved solid washer and to install you place the plug into the end of the swinging arm, concave side facing inward, punch the center to flatten out the plug causing it to tightly seal the swinging arm end. To remove you have to drill and tap the center of the plug and pull it out. Using a #7 drill, drill a hole in the center of the plug. Using a 1/4" x 20 tap, tap the hole. Take a piece of angle iron with a hole in the center and a spacer, thread a 1/4 x 20 bolt through the spacer and angle iron into the welch plug. As you keep tighting the bolt, the plug will be pulled out.

      Tapped Welch Plug Puller

      The puller in place over the end of the swinging arm.

      Tapped Welch Plug Puller

      The tapped welch plug just removed and the puller.

  3. Removing the spindle.
    • Each spindle is threaded on one end to accept a 1/2" x 20 bolt. You can make a puller by taking a 1/2" drive socket the same diameter as the end of the swinging arm, a 1/2 x 20 nut and a 1/2 x 20 bolt. If you have the factory Norton puller 06-4297, the puller bolt is 1/2 x 20.

      The puller pieces

    • Thread the nut to the end of the bolt and thread the bolt through the socket into the end of the spindle.

      The puller in place

    • Tighten the nut down on the socket and the spindle will be pulled out until it bottoms out on the inside of the socket.

      Spindle pulled into the socket

    • Remove the bolt and socket, thread the bolt back into the spindle using the nut as a jam nut against the spindle. You should be able to pull the spindle all the way out by twisting and pulling on the bolt.

      Bolt pulling the spindle

    • For very tight or rusted spindles, apply penetrating oil and let stand over night. If still tight, add heat.

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