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.