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Freelander 1 IRD on the way out

Discussion in 'Land Rover Freelander' started by Avocet1, Sep 22, 2019.

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  1. Avocet1

    Avocet1 Well-Known Member

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    OK, it looks like MY IRD is not long for this world. When I first got the car, I changed the oil in it and there was a hell of a lot of metal swarf on the magnetic drain plug and in the oil. I knew the car had been horribly neglected, so I thought I'd leave the oil in for a bit and monitor the problem. This is what it looked like after about 1800 miles...
    20190921_182201.jpg
    Sadly, the oil wasn't much better...

    20190921_193822.jpg

    (There's also now a bit of radial play in the bearing that carries the right hand inner CV joint).

    So... the dilemma. There has t come a point where it's not worth throwing any more money at a car. I'm not sure if I'm there yet, or not! I've done a fair bit to it, and it's not rusty, but I'm wondering whether this is a bridge too far. I'm not going to do anything just yet, because it has its MOT on Monday, so I'll see what that throws up first. (Fuel tank cradle is pretty "crispy"! However, I'd be grateful for everyone's thoughts on the following:

    1. Can anyone personally recommend a good source of rebuilt / reconditioned IRDs, please?
    2. What might I expect to pay for one?
    3. What might I expect to pay someone to fit one?
    4. As a DIY proposition, are they a difficult job or do they require any special tools? (either to fit or rebuild)
    5. The bearing that carries the front of the propshaft has no play in it. I noticed that the right hand driveshaft bearing seems to have a separate casting to carry it, with the casting itself being bolted to the rest of the IRD. Is it possible to simply unbold the right hand end and replace just that particular bearing without taking the whole IRD out and replacing the cooler?
    6. What other big things tend to go wrong with Freelanders? (It's a 2001 TD4 with 150,000 miles on it). It has had a new clutch (but not DMF) and a recent propshaft / VCU.
     
  2. websun

    websun Active Member

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    Everything will go wrong on 2001. The fuel cradle might be a failed mot in some cases.
    I would get an used but checked ird in the 100 range. Or bell engineering.
     
  3. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure you will always get a build up on the drain plug when you remove it, however, that does look like 'chunks' rather than 'sludge' and I'd have thought that chunks wouldn't come from bearings, more likely gears. I'm not expert though on these things.

    Removing and installing an IRD is a job that can be done at home. How easy it is I recon depends entirely on how much space you have under the car - no a space = difficult, lots of space = quite easy. I have an inspection pit in the garage and its quite easy to remove and install an IRD. I wouldn't want to do it on axle stands. It really is just nuts and bolts, lots of them, some very awkward to get at and some very tight. I had a pole over the socket ratchet for leverage.

    It sounds like yours may have been damaged by the by the drive shaft failing. You really need to find out what condition the gears are in to decide what needs doing. If the gears are OK, then its 'just' a case of replacing bearings. I bought a kit that cost about £150 with all the bearings, a replacement oil cooler and seals. If you don't have the capability at home to replace the bearings, you might be able to get it done at work? I used a workshop to replacement for me. If the gears are damaged then you are looking at a recon (about £650 I believe) from Bells. You could be looking at a drive shaft as well.

    You may get away with just replacing the drive shaft support bearing, but I'd be worried about other damage it has caused inside.

    When my IRD went, I had previously taken the decision that I was going to do all my own maintenance on the car (having been shafted for years by garages with my Discovery). I had done servicing and such before but hadn't done any serious work on cars in many years. So when the IRD failed it was quite daunting for me. But I just set to and it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. It even worked when I put it all back together again and has done without any issues for 6 years as out daily drive and tour bus :D
     
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  4. Colthebrummie

    Colthebrummie Well-Known Member

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    I know there are many on here who spend much time, effort and money on their beloved cars but freelander 1's are neither rare or much sought after. Mine is a 2004 fl1 valued at a few hundred pounds. When the repair costs out weigh its value it will be time to part company. Mine has started making that creaking noise associated with a cracked rear subframe, if that is the case, I will scrap it.

    Col
     
  5. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member

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    This is true, but if maintaining the car as a hobbie and you like your Freelander, then the other way of looking at it is that there's lots of cheap parts available :D
     
  6. Avocet1

    Avocet1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all.

    Does anyone have any experience with the typical failure pattern? In other words, do they whine first for a few thousand miles, then growl and then go bang? Is it more of a knocking noise? Or a driveline vibration? Do they tend to give any warnings?

    Grumpy, the stuff on the drain plug looked like quite big flakes of metal, but when I went to wipe it with a rag, they were actually a very fine "paste", rather than individual filings or shards.
     
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  7. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    The crownwheel thrust bearing generally collapses first, unfortunately this allows the rear output pinion to jump out of mesh, which results in broken teeth and often case failure too. Running in 2WD will prolong the IRD for a while, as it removes most of the load from the thrust bearing.

    I'd be rebuilding the IRD ASAP, as the longer the gears are being lubricated by granular oil, the more damage is done. The IRD can be rebuilt at home buy a competent DIYer.
     
  8. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member

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    Mine gave no warning that I could pick up on until it went BANG big time. Actually I did get a rattle that I thought was the exhaust falling off its hanger, but that was only for a K or 2 before it went BANG - so the damage was well and truly done by then.

    I believe there are 2 main types of IRD failure. The first one which is what most chat is about is the wind up due to mismatched tyres or overly tight VCU. This will definitely destroy the bearings supporting the shaft through the rear pinion and its crown gear. I don't know how much damage it will do to other bearings. Once the bearings start failing, then the crown and pinion gears start getting damaged. As Nodge says, they won't mesh properly resulting is wear, then they will slip and snap off bits of the teeth. This is the problem I had, but if you're pinion feels on good condition, then this may not have happened on your IRD.

    The other type of failure is on the driveshaft support bearing. Presumably this is due to a failing drive shaft CV. Where as the other problem will start damaging the crown/pinion gears, this will affect the differential for the front axle and i believe is more likely to result in a shattered case when gears slip/jam. I would have thought that this type of problem would give warnings of problems with vibration, but I've never experienced it so can not say for sure.
     
  9. Avocet1

    Avocet1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again chaps. Grumpy, I'm lucky enough to have a 4-post ramp in my garage, which I converted to single phase. Takes a while but lifts the car easy enough! Sadly, the garage isn't tall enough, but I can lift the car high enough to at least sit cross-legged on the floor under it - which is a load better than axle stands! There's a jacking beam on it too, which is a real help.

    I'm going to see what happens at tomorrow's MOT - I might have other things to worry about by then! Hopefully not though. Front discs don't look great on their inside faces, but we'll see what happens. Took the rear brakes to bits yesterday and freed-off the adjusters and handbrake links and pivots. Went out today and it seems to hold on our handy nearby 1-in-5 hill, so hopefully that'll pass!

    Anyway, if it behaves itself, then yeah... I guess I'll go for the IRD rebuild. Nodge, I think you've mentioned some of that stuff before, but I guess that with it having dumped that much "metal" into its oil in less than 2000 miles, I'm probably on borrowed time! Did about 100 gentle miles in it today and although I can't hear any terrible noises, I thought the driveline perhaps wasn't quite as smooth as it could be, and fancied I got the odd vague whiff of hot gear oil every now and then... When I'm coasting slowly and go to full lock, it does slow down noticeably, but on level ground, the engine can easily drive the car on full lock at idle with no throttle. VCU has only done about 12,000 miles. It was replaced in 2017. It only feels lukewarm after a 100 mile run. Should I be worried? (Tyres same make, model, size, pressure and similar wear all round)

    Another question on the IRD rebuild: Do I need access to a bearing press or any other specialist equipment that I might not have?

    Also, there seem to be quite a variety of kits available online? Any recommendations of suppliers that are well thought-of in Freelander circles?

    These seem cheap, but no cooler: https://www.island-4x4.co.uk/bearing-fdk006-p-36635.html

    These have a cooler and a 2 year warranty: https://www.shop4autoparts.net/parts/gearbox/FREELANDER-IRD-OVERHAUL-KIT/

    These claim to be original equipment... https://www.paddockspares.com/repai...Ieb3x42pr8wvZLMMG3XP04H3P9J2sHNUaAq7eEALw_wcB

    These give a choice between "OEM" and "Original Equipment" (which I always thought were the "O" and the "E" in the same phrase)! They also claim to be original equipment but in a plain box... https://www.lrdirect.com/DA6440-Ird-Repair-Kit/

    None of them seem to come with any gaskets. Are gaskets for old people these days?!
     
  10. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member

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  11. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member

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    Depending on what's broke you may not need all the bearings. Also, you only need a new oil cooler if you replace the bearing that is hidden behind it and therefore the old cooler gets damaged removing it.

    There are no gaskets. The only place where there might be one is between the 2 halfs of the case and it doesn't use one.

    The "OEM" IRd was made in Germany I believe, but the bearings would presumably have been purchased in by them. Basically, if you use good quality bearings, you should be OK. Some of the bearings I got from the above co. were Timken (or at least that's what their boxes said), and others were in plain packaging.
     
  12. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member

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    That kit without the cooler doesn't contain the bearing that site behind the cooler - that's why its not included.

    A couple of those links use the same pic for the kit. I imagine they are supplied by someone like Britpart or Bearmach. They will collect together the correct spec bearings, seals, cooler and the junk to use instead of a gasket on the case. What quality they are, you have to hope they do actually use OE quality!
     
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  13. Avocet1

    Avocet1 Well-Known Member

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    Ta. YEs, there's a world of difference between a decent Timken, SKF, NTN etc bearing, and something that looks absolutely identical but is actually made of fudge!
     
  14. Avocet1

    Avocet1 Well-Known Member

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    Right! I'm running out of excuses now. Grumpy, I went with the place you used. Tried phoning the other places and they couldn't tell me what make of bearings they supplied, so I didn't fancy taking the risk. As you mentioned, these guys sent quality stuff - Timken, Koyo, NTN, NSK.

    So the next question - the Haynes manual is telling me to drop the subframe. Is that actually necessary? Can I drop it (a bit) and leave the front wishbones still attached? (Just being lazy here....)

    Also, is it necessary to drain the cooling system, or can I just disconnect the pipes to the cooler and shove a bolt in them quickly?

    Last question (for now!) the manual is telling me to drain the gearbox (as well as the IRD). IS that necessary? (The oil s only a few thousand miles old).
     
  15. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member

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    That's cool, as I say, mine's been OK for 6 years using their kit so hopefully you should be good :)

    As for subframe, I've heard people on here saying you need to, but I've removed IRDs from L and K series cars and have not needed to. It would have been easier if it weren't there, but its a lot of effort for not much return I recon - unless the TD4 is any different. With the L Series, nothing had to be removed, with the K, the exhaust had to be removed I believe. As I say, you have to disconnect hub from strut to allow the drive shaft to be removed from IRD, or even replaced if that's what's caused the IRD problems.

    I used golf Ts to block the coolant hoses when I disconnected them. Wasn't very satisfactory though when they popped out showering coolant everywhere. But they held in the end, so basically if you can plug the hoses, that's what matters.

    The gearbox oil is an interesting one. It would seam sensible to do so because it should drain when the IRD is removed. However, I'm sure I didn't remove the oil when I did my L Series and it didn't drain (fall out). Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me because I did renew the oil in the gearbox when I put it all back together and I can't remember when I removed the old oil.
     
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  16. andyfreelandy

    andyfreelandy Well-Known Member

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    TD4 IRD can be dropped out without removing front subframe. Drain all oil, box and IRD else it leaks out. One bolt holding IRD is a bugger to get out, lots or joined up wobble extensions and out through the wheel arch opening, then grunt bar on the end does the trick. Only use 6 sided sockets, the thought of having to remove any of the bolts with rounded heads is really not something you want to be doing. The IRD weighs about 30Kg, be ready with a jack to support and lower or you'll sprain your wrist - don't ask me how I know.....!!
     
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  17. andyfreelandy

    andyfreelandy Well-Known Member

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    Drain oil into clean containers and replace it to save waste. You can clamp the IRD cooler hoses, bolt is tricky as they are low down and the pressure is shirt sleeve filling, easier to drain and replace I would say, take the stress out of the job as much as you can as space is limited and trying to fit a bolt in a short hose in a confined space with an eyeful of anti-freeze is best avoided....
     
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  18. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member

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    You do need a lot of extension bars (or a very long 1 I suppose!), I didn't need to go out through the wheel arch at all though. With the confined space (caused by subframe) you can not get much turn on the ratchet, especially once you have an extension bar over it for leverage. I was cracking and losening the main IRD bolts 1 click at a time.

    You are working 'blind' on at least 1 of those 4 main bolts as well, you can't see it, you have to feel for it.
     
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  19. Avocet1

    Avocet1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks both. Might get a bit done tonight. Probably not much more than the wheels off and undertray, but I'll see how the mood takes me! Might get the oils drained too. Not looking forward to undoing the exhaust, not after 18 years....
     
  20. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member

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    Put some penetrating oil on the bolts tonight then ;)
     
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