Discovery 2 power steering box swap
John Pearson looks on as Britpart’s Steve Grant replaces a leaky PAS box
The pool of fluid leaking from my Discovery 2’s power steering box was getting worse by the day. With an MOT test looming in a couple of weeks I had to get it sorted – a leak of this magnitude would inevitably result in a fail.
It is possible to replace the leaking oil seals on these boxes, but experience shows that this can be a short-term fix. The problem is that because the box is in a vulnerable position, it gets exposed to all sorts of crud and winter road salt, so the chances are that the shafts will be pitted. Fitting new seals to pitted shafts will result in rapid wear of the seal face and you’ll end up with more leakage in a short time.
We fitted the replacement box on the four-post lift in Britpart’s workshop – but the job can be done with the vehicle up on ramps, jacked up on stands or even on the floor. Your biggest concern is the weight of the box – it’s a heavy old lump to manhandle. So it’s advisable to have a helper to take the weight of it while you’re undoing and fitting the securing bolts.
We managed to keep the steering wheel in the straight-ahead position while fitting the box. Otherwise the wheel would have to be removed and turned on its splines.
When doing a job like this, it’s a sensible idea to check items that you’re removing for access – like hoses and the drive belt. We also took the opportunity to check for the cause of a whine from the front of the D2 – which turned out to be a worn bearing on the viscous fan drive. The idler pulley bearing was also worn, so we replaced both and will be showing how we did this in a future issue of LRO.