Knock off spinners - which way do they turn to loosen

Trying to get the wire wheels off my 48 1.5 Mk4. Got the right side, it loosened clockwise.
Can’t get the left side to move.
Looking at the left side of the car, rear to the right and front to the left. Which way would loosen the spinner, clockwise or counterclockwise?

Tks for your time.

Anticlockwise to undo. I.E. The opposite to the side you just slackened.

Tks for the info. Will give them another go later today.

Are there no arrows on them? I once spent several minutes hammering one in the wrong direction on my E and then gasping for breath shined a light and noticed the arrow and the word “undo” pointing in the opposite direction.

Now that’s funny.
Nope no arrows, however I did get the off, simple rule is reguardless of which side the loosen when turned toward the front of the car.
Left side counterclockwise, Right side clockwise

Remember it as - right hand side is left hand thread, left hand side is right hand thread. If your spinners are missing the impressions noting ‘left side’, ’ undo’ etc., then they have been re-chromed, and were buffed within an inch of their lives.

There is a very good reason for this, as it provides a self-tightening action. If you are doing major work removing hubs, make sure you don’t install them on the wrong sides.

Another hint is to have the wheels jacked up when tightening to enable the spinner to centralise the two tapers that seat the wheel.

To get to understand the way these work, try this. After you have tightened the spinners, put a small piece of masking tape across the edge of the spinner and onto the wheel, then draw a line on the tape, parallel to the axle. Now cut the tape along the joint at the edge of the spinner. After you have driven around for a while, check if the two parts of the lines are still matching. If any has moved, it will be in the spinner tightening direction. This will mean it was not tightened enough initially. It will only continue to tighten to its designed limit. If it has moved more than a few millimetres, then there could be a number of reasons why it was thought to be tight enough when it wasn’t.

The engineering principles about the wire wheel attachment design is an interesting one and is a subject in its own right and worth a presentation. It should include the particular points to be observed by the user or someone looking at buying a used wire-wheeled car. These points are not often known by users, but if ignored, can lead to premature wear of the splines on hubs and wheel centres, and on the taper of spinners.


Thanks for the info. Very, very helpfull.

Yes. make sure your spinners are in the correct orientations on both sides of the car. I have known of assemblies done backwards which came off on the highway. If correct, there is no concern.

Another easy way to identify which way to hit them is the ears.
The one side of the ear is nearly perpendicular to the center, and this is the side you hit to remove.
The other side of the ear is more tangent to the center, which is a strength design feature, so you can hit it harder in the remove or “UNDO” direction, which you generally need to do.

Tks again to everyone who replied, excellent info and advice gave me peace of mind as I wacked on the spinners way harder than I would have felt comfortable if I did not know exactly which way to go.
All’s good now.

I have witnessed two types of failure with knock-ons. The first was with my own car. I was slowing down to enter a roundabout when there was a nasty gronshing noise and the braking was much reduced. The splines on the hub and on the wheel had worn and the action of braking caused the wheel to rotate over the splined hub. This quickly unscrewed the spinner and it dropped off a few yards behind.

In the MkIV the handbrake only operates on the rear wheels but on my SS Jaguar it operates on all four and the spline failure was on my NS front. This was unfortunate because every time I applied the brakes I knew that the spinner would unscrew so on each occasion that I needed to brake I would get out and retighten the spinner and that got me home without further drama. If I had been in a MkIV I could just have used the handbrake to slow down without me needing to retighten.

I fitted new hubs all round and rebuilt the wheel with a new centre and checked the others for wear.

The second failure I witnessed was in a friend’s MG SA. He had employed a restorer and that person had fitted the near side hubs on the offside and vice versa. Fortunately we were only going very slowly at the time but the NS front wheel fell off damaging the wing as it departed and leaving us driving on the brake drum edge!


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