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Wheel Stud Replacement - Disco II
In the unfortunate (and unlikely) event that you break a stud in torqueing down the wheels on your Disco II have no fear! It is possible to replace just the stud without purchasing an entire hub assembly, it is just a total PITA. I decided to post my experiences because I searched for a thread about this and didn't find one with any definitive answer on whether it is doable or not. Hopefully some part of this lengthy write up will relate to some unfortunate bloke experiencing the hell that is a broken Disco wheel stud. Here is what I did:
Last weekend I installed the Terrafirma 3" lift kit on my 2004 Disco II. It was a pretty straightforward install and I finished in a day (albeit almost a whole day because I did it alone.) So at the end of the install in my excitement and haste to test drive the new suspension, the unthinkable happened. One of the studs on the front passenger wheel just kept spinning... Eventually the lug toppled out onto the ground with half a stud stuck in it. The other half of the stud was left sticking out of the hub. I think the last time the wheels were tightened, which wasn't by me, they were torqued down wayyyyy too hard as it was nearly impossible to get the wheels off and I ended up using a 3' breaker bar.
Probably the most frustrating part of this job was finding a replacement stud. You see Land Rover does not make them and instead wants you to purchase an entirely new hub assembly. However any good DIY-er worth their salt is going to question this principle and instead try to replace the stud (A $5 job vs. a $500 dollar job, yes please.) So after visiting 5 different auto parts stores and looking at nearly every wheel stud in existence here is what I know: disco doesn't use any of those. You may find close ones but they will not fit. It uses an M14 - 1.5 stud about 2 1/16" in length which is pretty standard. However, the knule/spline area on the disco stud is about 14.5 mm which is smaller than pretty much every other one (average was 15-16mm.) Eventually I found a seller on Ebay named tarheelrovers who was selling used Discovery wheel studs 5 for $15. Bingo!
So for the replacement*:
-First you are going to need to remove your brake caliper (two 12mm bolts), caliper bracket (two 19mm bolts), and your rotor (one large screw on the face of the rotor.) Lay your brake pads off to the side as well. This will give you access to the studs and hub assembly.
-Next I smashed out the old broken stud with a sledge hammer. It came out pretty easily after only 3 or 4 love taps.
-Once you have the broken stud out you need to put the truck in neutral so you can maneuver the hole where the stud used to be. Slide the hole around so that it lies in front of the slot where your ABS sensor plugs in.
-Then, you guessed it, remove the ABS sensor! It takes a 5mm allen key and should come out quite easily, just make sure the little black O ring around the end of the plug doesn't get lost or fall down into the ABS slot. Now you have a perfect space behind your stud hole to position the new stud for re-entry.
-Wait did I say "perfect space"? Of course its not perfect, its a PITA remember? Even using the ABS slot the stud does not quite fit right and in order to get it through without mucking up the threads I used a grinder and ground down one edge of the head of the stud by about 1/8 inch. You don't need to take a whole lot off, just enough to get the stud to lie flat and get started through the hub. Once through give it a few taps with a hammer to get the splines started.
Then you will pull the stud through using an impact gun, a metal spacer/washers, and one of your lug nuts. This is the standard method of repairing a stud and there are many youtube videos demonstrating this procedure. Look those up for a visual walkthrough of this final step, .
And there you have it, back to five wheel studs without buying an entire hub assembly! I'll admit it is an evil system, but with a little mechanical know-how and a lot of cunning you can overcome!
*This walkthrough deals specifically with the front wheels, not sure if the back are the same. But take it apart and check it out. If the ABS slot is the same it should work.
2004 Discovery HSE - 88,000 mi
Terrafirma 3" lift, 265/75/16 Treadwright Wardens, RN 16x8 steelies, extended steel brake lines, rebuilt driveshaft w/ Neapcos, Magnaflow exhaust, Voyager Rack, rear access ladder and light guards, D1 wipers... and more to come muahaha