It’s been a busy month at Dodgy Bros with lots of lit tle jobs on var­i­ous ve­hi­cles in­clud­ing a lit tle spot of re­pair work on my own ve­hi­cles. First up LR90 had play in the left front wheel bear­ing so it should have only been a 15 minute job to re­move the drive flange and ad­just or tighten the hub or wheel bear­ing. Well, it took nearly an hour to just get the drive flange off! The bolts came un­done easy enough, but the flange did not want to slide off the axle/ CV. It took sev­eral dif­fer­ent per­sua­sion tools be­fore the big ham­mers and crow bars came out and it was even­tu­ally forced off. What greeted me was a bit of a sur­prise; the splines on the axle and in the drive flange seemed to have ‘crum­bled’ in places with frag­ments jam­ming the splines. The axle was greased and not dry and rusty look­ing; sort of in­di­cat­ing it wasn’t so much cor­ro­sion that caused the prob­lem. But the wheel bear­ings weren’t look­ing too good and the axle and CV would def­i­nitely need re­plac­ing. With the splines in such poor con­di­tion it was amaz­ing that it still had drive. Re­place­ments came from a com­plete front hous­ing assem­bly sit­ting on the work­shop floor. The hub, axle, CV stub axle and drive flange were all taken for LR90. The stub axle was given a clean up and slight pol­ish with very fine wet and dry pa­per. The brake ro­tor was swapped over to the ‘new’ hub and fit­ted along with a new hub seal and ev­ery­thing re­assem­bled. Next up was the Range Rover clas­sic be­long­ing to De­nis, younger brother to Neville, my old side­kick who helped Dodgy Bros into ex­is­tence. It had failed a WoF on a cou­ple of small items. The prob­lem with the clas­sic was play in the top swivel hous­ing or pos­si­bly wheel bear­ing and an oil leak around the swivel seal. The leak could be be­cause of the play in the left front hub. Jack­ing the ve­hi­cle up and plac­ing on axle stands I was able to take a closer look. There cer­tainly seemed to be a leak around the swivel and the play was from the top swivel pin. Of­ten the play can eas­ily be taken up by re­mov­ing a shim or too from the top pin. The hard­est part ( of this job) was get­ting ac­cess to the top bolts due to the caliper brake line; but a lit tle ‘ tweak’ and it was un­done. There were sev­eral shims un­der­neath so I re­moved a cou­ple of the thinnest ones and re­assem­bled. The play was gone and ev­ery­thing seemed OK. While I was there the oil and grease was cleaned from around the swivel for a bet­ter look. The swivel looked all right with no ob­vi­ous pit­ting or cor­ro­sion that would dam­age the seal so it was de­cided to leave well enough alone for now and mon­i­tor it over the next week or so. Next up was check­ing the wheel bear­ing on a Dis­cov­ery that we had com­pletely swapped the front and rear diff as­sem­blies to change from 10 spline to the stronger 24 spline. The hous­ing and diffs came from a known ve­hi­cle that was al­ways sent to work­shops for ser­vice and re­pair be­fore it was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent and writ­ten off. How­ever, it was when re­mov­ing the front drive flange that it was dis­cov­ered there were only four bolts not the nor­mal five. The fif th had ob­vi­ously been bro­ken at some stage and rather than drill out and re­move the bro­ken bolt, sil­i­cone had been used to neatly fill up the hole in the drive flange. On check­ing the wheel bear­ings the nuts had also been butchered us­ing a chisel or screw­driver to tighten, leav­ing the nuts with jagged edges. A cou­ple of re­place­ment nuts sorted that out and a proper 52mm socket was used to ad­just them. Neville’s es­pe­cially machined drilling guide from a few years back would solve the bro­ken stud. While on the sub­ject of bro­ken drive flange bolts a good friend re­cently pur­chased a 2013 model De­fender that had sup­pos­edly been dealer ser­viced from new. Be­ing the fas­tid­i­ous per­son he is, the ve­hi­cle was given a full check over be­fore be­ing pressed into ser­vice as his daily work ve­hi­cle. On check­ing the rear brakes and hubs it was found to have rather worn splines in the rear axles and drive flanges. In ad­di­tion two bolts were also bro­ken and the bro­ken bolts were ‘glued’ in place to make it look as though they were still all there. There was also an­other bro­ken bolt on an­other hub as well. Need­less to say the stan­dard of deal­er­ship ser­vic­ing on a ve­hi­cle less than five years old is ques­tion­able, es­pe­cially when these are ob­vi­ous at­tempts to hide a prob­lem. The bro­ken bolts were care­fully drilled out and re­place­ment bolts fit­ted when the new HD rear axles and drive flanges were fit­ted. That’s all from me this month though be­cause I must get back to work. There is still the bent Dis­cov­ery track rod to sort out, a rear brake light prob­lem to in­ves­ti­gate and a ser­vice for LR90 ready for sum­mer.

The of­fend­ing axle and drive flange.

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