Easy swivel leak fix? - Land Rover Forums : Land Rover and Range Rover Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Easy swivel leak fix?

My passenger side swivel on the front axle is "dribbling" very slowly. The ball itself seems smooth and undamaged - no obvious rust or pock marks.
It seems odd that you have to remove the front hub and remove the swivel ball to replace the seal on the ball. That's quite a bit of work. Surely it should be possible to just pull out the leaking seal, cut the new seal on an angle, slip it into the slot in the inner face of the hub (with the cut at 12 o'clock) and put the ring back + a tube of "one shot". Certainly a lot less effort...


Someone must have tried this before or am I over looking something very important?

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2014, 03:40 AM
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Garage
it could be done im sure but most likely a wast of time...i used this link to do it the right way
if nothing else its interesting...
mike
UpShift: DIY: Replace CV Joint and Swivel Ball Seals on a Range Rover Classic or Discovery I [RRC/D1]

im an american i dont speak english
1991 range rover
now parts
92 LSE



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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2014, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a link to someone's attempt to cut the new seal and install without removing all the hardware. Seems reasonable and so I'll try it to see if the process goes well. I hadn't realized that the spring around the lip of the seal isn't continuous and in fact the spring loop can be opened and re-closed easily. I'll see if that is true for the seal I ordered from Atlantic British.
Replacing Land Rover front swivel ball seals

Pavel

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2014, 10:19 PM
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You people want to do it the hard way. There is no need to disassemble the hub at all. Just remove the brake calliper and unbolt the swivel housing from the diff housing. Slide the whole hub assemble out, bringing the axles with it. Then just remove the out seal and fit the new one and slide the whole assembly back in and bolt it up. Takes only about 30 minutes a side.

Cutting seals just defeats the purpose of fitting a new seal.

Finally, Land Rover did not go to grease because it is better than oil, they did it as grease does not leak as easily. Oil is a lot better to use.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2014, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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I've read about this technique. But, when you try to get the end of the axle back into the splines in the differential while holding the heavy outer assembly, can you "manipulate" the shaft - lift it up enough inside the axle tube for engagement?
Any tricks you can relate p76rangie?

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by pavel View Post
I've read about this technique. But, when you try to get the end of the axle back into the splines in the differential while holding the heavy outer assembly, can you "manipulate" the shaft - lift it up enough inside the axle tube for engagement?
Any tricks you can relate p76rangie?
The axle is easy to engage as the spline length keeps the swivel housing an inch or so out for you to fiddle around with it until it slots in. The hub assembly is not that heavy and you can ten to let the axle take the weight with it resting on the bottom of the diff tube until you find the spline gears in the diff centre. Then you just lift up the hub assembly and finish feeding the axle into the diff centre. I have never had any difficulty in doing it and it only takes a few seconds. Just don't do both sides at the one time as the prop shaft and the other wheel being on the ground holds the spider gears in the diff centre in place while you turn the hub assembly to get the axle to engage in them.

It is the same if you were changing a diff centre, you would pull the whole hub assembly apart just to disengage the axles from the diff centre so you could remove it.

I also forgot in my last post to say that you have to disconnect the track rod from the hub assembly if you are doing the driver's side, or the track rod and steering rod on the passenger's side.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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p76rangie: I'm convinced! I'll do it your way which should be much, much less effort. I will salute you with a Foster's substitute from one of our local breweries once it's all done! Thank you for the direction! Pavel.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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p76rangie,

It's not nice to take advantage of a gullible northerner like me! It took me 30 minutes just to clean up the caliper bolts and the two that hold the top of the swivel.
Kindly permit some questions... when you try to take the caliper off, you discover that a lunatic (Brit?) engineer designed a bracket to hold the flex brake line that has to be removed first....You can't just uncouple the brake hose from the bracket!!! The front-most swivel bolt head is right under the brake line. It's a "Catch 22" situation. I suppose I could pull off the ABS sensor that's in the way, and then perhaps be able to get a 17mm spanner on that bolt, but is there some trick to do this I can't see?
As usual, the Haynes manual isn't much use for this type of detail.

Second question: when at first I pulled off the little plastic cover dust cap, there was a little pressure released and oil immediately began dripping out. Is this normal? This is the other side of the vehicle and amazingly doesn't leak around the swivel after 17 years - it still contains the original oil (no "One Shot").

Thanks for any advice, Pavel

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by pavel View Post
p76rangie,

It's not nice to take advantage of a gullible northerner like me! It took me 30 minutes just to clean up the caliper bolts and the two that hold the top of the swivel.
Kindly permit some questions... when you try to take the caliper off, you discover that a lunatic (Brit?) engineer designed a bracket to hold the flex brake line that has to be removed first....You can't just uncouple the brake hose from the bracket!!! The front-most swivel bolt head is right under the brake line. It's a "Catch 22" situation. I suppose I could pull off the ABS sensor that's in the way, and then perhaps be able to get a 17mm spanner on that bolt, but is there some trick to do this I can't see?
As usual, the Haynes manual isn't much use for this type of detail.

Second question: when at first I pulled off the little plastic cover dust cap, there was a little pressure released and oil immediately began dripping out. Is this normal? This is the other side of the vehicle and amazingly doesn't leak around the swivel after 17 years - it still contains the original oil (no "One Shot").

Thanks for any advice, Pavel
You can't hold me responsible for the rust on bolts caused by your countrymen putting salt on the roads.
Besides, you are going to have to undo the calliper no matter which method you use to replace the seal.

Where the brake lines go from metal to rubber on the bracket you are trying to remove, you will find that the junction is only held onto the bracket by a clip. If you remove the clip you should have enough play in the pipes to get to the bolt. You can bend the metal part of the brake lines a bit, just don't kink or dent them. I have never had any real issues getting to them.

The plastic dust covers were only really designed for grease. A small amount of oil can work its way along the splines and into that area. Nothing to worry about though.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2014, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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There's absolutely no rust on any of the threads but the factory used blue "loc-tite" liberally and so it takes a little time to get each bolt out (right up to the last threads, you can't undo with your fingers).
I'm amazed there are no split lock washers or star washers anywhere... obviously the factory thought thread locker is better.

One more question. Has anyone cut the brake pipe hose bracket that is held in place by the two top swivel bolts? Surely someone has figured out a better design.... it's pretty annoying to have to take the two swivel bolts out to free the calipers!

I figured out that if you turn the swivels to full lock, you can access the "hidden" swivel bolt more easily and got it out. The design is outrageous.

Pavel

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-20-2014, 06:17 PM
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I've done the method that Ian outlines a few times and it works fine.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Finished the job today - I'd estimate it took me over 6 hours. Of course, I'd probably be a bit faster the next time, but not much (5 hours?).

I'm not counting the time to read the Haynes manual/watch Youtube, jack up the vehicle or to go to the parts house to get grease, Blue Loctite #243, seals, clean up etc.

1 clean surfaces of dirt - 30 minutes
2 remove caliper/ ABS sensor line and suspend to one side:
if you undo the brake line - 20 minutes; if you undo the top bolts to the swivel bearing housing to release the brake line bracket - 30 minutes*
3 release the drag link and track rod ball joints from hub (the cotter pins were difficult to pull out - too tight a fit - 30 minutes
4 remove the hub for re-greasing of conical bearings/new seal - 15 minutes
5 remove swivel hub (7 bolts) and extract axle assembly - 20 minutes
6 replace swivel ball seal and axle seal (clean all rust from rebate and retaining plate) - 30 minutes
7 clean all threads of old loctite, clean & regrease hub bearings - 60 minutes
8 reassemble swivel housing into axle housing & reconnect steering (holes for cotter pins are fouled and too small - drill out to 1/8" - 30 minutes
9 reassemble hub (remove rust around spindle neck, set end float) - 30 minutes
10 drain old swivel oil over night / fill with new one shot grease - 15 minutes
11 clean & paint (let dry over night) backing plate, attach - 45 minutes
12 re-attach caliper and brake line bracket at top of housing - 20 minutes
13 clean, install wheels and lower the vehicle - 20 minutes
14 Double check all work - 10 minutes
15 bleed brakes if caliper disconnected, clean up

I wonder how much the dealer would charge for this work.. $500 + parts?

* actually took much longer as I had to support the housing by putting wooden blocks under the disc rotor to prevent the housing from moving downward since it has no upper support! Outrageous design to have the brake line bracket held by the swivel bolts. Spent time devising plan to improve design - cut bracket diagonally "next time".

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Out of interest, I called up an "Indie Shop" and two dealerships to get a quote on the work.

Indie shop: for swivel housing seal replacement only - 2 to 4 hours work depending on what they find. $125/hour plus parts, shop supplies (he guessed parts would be $100). So that's $350 - $600 range plus taxes.

Dealership No 1 (known to be expensive): doesn't want the job unless it is a complete R & R job, probably including new brake flex hoses. Both sides including swivels seals, calipers, rotors, pads etc. $2750 minimum + shop supplies, taxes.

Dealership No 2: 2 hours absolute minimum at $117.50/hour (he said to expect much longer) for swivel seal replacement alone if they are replacing calipers, rotors and pads at the same time ($2361.50 + taxes). The swivel work would add whatever parts are necessary, shop supplies. That's probably $350 plus taxes minimum for both swivel seals - he said parts are hard to find in town, they don't carry them in stock any longer. Add the two costs together comes to $2711.50 + taxes.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 04:22 PM
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Finished the job today - I'd estimate it took me over 6 hours. Of course, I'd probably be a bit faster the next time, but not much (5 hours?).

I'm not counting the time to read the Haynes manual/watch Youtube, jack up the vehicle or to go to the parts house to get grease, Blue Loctite #243, seals, clean up etc.

2 remove caliper/ ABS sensor line and suspend to one side: if you undo the top bolts to the swivel bearing housing to release the brake line bracket - 30 minutes*
3 release the drag link and track rod ball joints from hub (the cotter pins were difficult to pull out - too tight a fit - 30 minutes
5 remove swivel hub (7 bolts) and extract axle assembly - 20 minutes
6 replace swivel ball seal and axle seal (clean all rust from rebate and retaining plate) - 30 minutes
8 reassemble swivel housing into axle housing & reconnect steering (holes for cotter pins are fouled and too small - drill out to 1/8" - 30 minutes
12 re-attach caliper and brake line bracket at top of housing - 20 minutes
13 clean, install wheels and lower the vehicle - 20 minutes
To replace the actual seal would be under 3 hours and quicker next time.
Undoing the brake calliper or installing it should be no more than 10 minutes and only 10 minutes max to undo the ball joints.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2014, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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I hold you Aussies in awe... is it the great tucker and warmth? Up here in Canada, with only rations of aged pemmican and frozen fingers, we'll never match your speed!

Cheers, Pavel.

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