Replacing a diff pinion oil seal on Rover axles.
First take out the fill plug for your axle (just to check it will come out!) then take out the drain axle and let the oil drain into a suitable container.
Then remove the propshaft by undoing the 4 bolts holding it to the diff output flange. I found a propshaft tool wasn’t that easier than 2 spanners to be honest. Tie it up securely out of the way.
You should then see this, straighten and pull the split pin out.
Undo that big nut, it’s a 1 inch jobbie and should be farking tight. I used a big breaker bar and a wrench on the flange to hold it still. DO NOT tug on it if you have half the vehicle on axle stands as tugging this nut causes the vehicle to move and it could come down on you head and kill you. I had all 4 wheels on the floor for this, wheels chocked.
When the nut is off it will look like this
Pull of the drive flange, it should come off by hand, if not encourage it with a rubber mallet. Make a note of the order of any washers/spacers that come off with it. Now you can see the drive splines and the seal itself. I have lots of splines, some people might only have 4 chunky ones. That’s fine. My seal looks ok but the inner lip was quite worn. Have a look at your drive flange you just removed, make sure the surface the seal runs on is smooth and clean, if its pitted or ridged it will need replacing.
Now prise the seal out being very careful not to scratch the surface it mounts against. Some people have issues with this but I found a large screwdriver popped it out easy enough. Wipe down the faces and splines, I greased my splines with ep80/90 grease as i love nothing more than slipping a flange onto a greasy shaft (snigger snigger)
Its also worth checking the outer bearing at this point, so gently wiggle it out taking care to note how many spacers/shims there are and the order they go in. This is vital for reassembly to get the preload on the bearing right. Some more modern axles have a crush washer to set the preload. I don’t know about this but have been told that the easiest way to sort that is to mark the pinion nut before you remove it and then count the number of turns it takes to get it off, then put it back on the same number of turns till the marks line up. I don’t know, research this before you pull your landy apart! If you have the shim system then just replce the shims in the right order and torque it up correctly.
My bearing was fine so I greased it again and popped it back in with all its shims
Then I carefully drifted the new seal in till it sat just slightly below the surface of the flange it is going into
NB. If your new seal has the raised centre lip like the one that was removed, this raised centre lip MUST be level with or below the axle casting or it will be destroyed by the drive flange. If it isn't already, grease or oil the inner faces of the seal so that when your first drive it, it doesn't run dry for the first few hundred metres.
Replaced the drive flange
Put the nut back on, torqueing it up to 96lbs/ft and replacing the split pin and then re-connected the propshaft using new nylock nuts and bolts.
Its worth at this point checking your axle breather, undo this banjo bolt and check the breather is clear by blowing some air down it. If it is, great. If it isn’t then replace it of unblock it. A blocked breather will just make your new seal leak again as the pressure in the axle rises it forces oil out around the seal.
Then when you have done all that, refill your axle with ep80/90 (upto gl4) 1.7litres until it dribbles out the filler hole, then take the rover for a test drive and observe for leaks.
Hope that helps some people, this just took me around 1.5 hrs in my garage with normal tools.
EDIT: Apparently I have made a slight mistake by fitting the incorrect seal as I have the later mudshield. The problem is with the early seal and later mudshield ,is the later type mudshield will rub on the early type seal. Land rover sorted this my introducing the later seal that sits further in and is thinner and has a raised lip for the later mudshield to run on.
If you push the early seal (frc8220) in too far to compensate for the later mudshield, the seal lip wont engage the flange properly. The early seal is frc8220 and the later seal is ftc5258.#
Now I hadn't noticed any problem with mine (yet) but it would be prudent to fit the correct seal for your mudshield! Apologies everyone! Thanks to jamesmartin on Landyzone for pointing that out to me, of which I was unaware.
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HOW TO: Replace diff pinion oil seal on rover axles