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Maintenance Question

2383 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  TerryS
Does anyone have any experience with "Swivel Balls"? Apparently I have a leak and they need to be replaced or "overhauled" as they put it. The LR dealership is quoting 8 hours in labor and it is going to cost $2200 dollars. My D90 is a '95 with 15, 800 miles. Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks, Jeff
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Anytime you are faced with parting with cash of that magnitude, you should educate yourself. Get ahold of a parts manual ( the shop manual doesn't show the relationship of all the parts as well) and see where the swivel ball seals are. They're behind the swivel balls, necessitating the ball removal (a Ballectomy) from the axle casing.
I'd want to be sure that the balls were not pitted or scored.

8 hrs. to do both sides is actually a pretty good figure, if they intend to break the housing apart, from the ball. Doing this requires resetting the preload, and usually some trial and error shim selection, but it is the proper way to do the job.
At the average $100/hr, are they saying you need $1400 in parts? I never bought a new swivel ball from the Land Rover dealer, but they are not THAT expensive.

Get down on you back, and with the wheels crank full lock, slide your fingernail accross the ball surface, looking for scoring or deep gouges, then crank the wneel the other way and do it again, both sides? No damage, then ask the dealer why so much, but that you like the 8 hrs quote.
It is actually possible to replace the ball seal without seperating the ball and housing, but it's awkward and requires two people when you're putting it back together. the housing, ball, CV, and axle add up to some serious weight worse yet if you are dealing with rotor. Anyway you decide to go, do not reuse the bolts holding the ball to axle casing, always replace with new.
Replace your swivel lube with the reccomended grease, premeasured in toothpaste tubes.
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If all they are doing is leaking, what you do is spend $20 on two packets of Land Rover grease, which you drain whatever oil is left in the swivels, and refill with the grease. No problems ever again. To see if the swivels are ok, you to a parking lot where you have some room, turn the steering wheel to full lock in one direction, and drive slowly in a circle; then turn the other way and do the same. If you hear a distinct "clicking" noise, you CV joints inside the swivels are junk due to lack of lube. If not, fill with the cheap grease and never worry about them again. I use the grease in my Classic with the swivels and it has 190k on it / no swivel problems.
swivel pin housings

As troverman says drain the oil and put in grease. I had a 94 300tdi disco it had oil filled swivel housings.My current car is a 97 300tdi it has grease filled housings as standard from the factory. Saves you a lot of hassle. Also a good site for defender info is it is the australian landrover owners club those guys have a lot of experience. :drink1:
Thanks for insight

Thank you all for the insight. I am just concerned the dealership is saying I need all this work done when in fact I don't. I am a newbie with my D90 and am trying to learn as I go. I may take it to another dealership with some better questions as I am more educated based on these posts (after inspecting the swivel balls myself to see if they are pitted etc). My D90 only has 15,800 miles on it and is a standard 5-speed. Thanks all!!
Grease in the swivels

Would this work for a S11a as well? :eek:
Yes it is a common fix that has been used on landies for years, just use the correct grease

What is the correct grease? Can you buy it pre-packed in the tube in the uk? How much do you use?
Swivel Ball Grease

One-shot Swivel Grease Under Twenty Bucks P#stc3435 Good Luck ;)

If you want someone else to do the work: SKIP the dealerships alltogether and find a good independent shop that works on Rovers. Lower prices, and will most likely not try to pull a blanket over your eyes...

Kevin said:
Would this work for a S11a as well? :eek:
I would stay with 90-130 weight oil because series trucks have a conventional U joint instead of a CV joint. The grease is way more important to a CV joint since the balls and races have so much more surface area and internal movement.
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