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Is failing prop shaft bearings unsafe to drive?

Discussion in 'Land Rover Freelander' started by ajfarrell, Jun 1, 2019.

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  1. ajfarrell

    ajfarrell Member

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    Hey all,

    My 2004 TD4 80k miles is beginning to require allot of maintenance as expected.

    I just replaced differential mounts today hoping they were cause of unusual screeching sounds when driving. Alas not so although the front mount was broken and needed replacing (thanks to this site for providing walk through).

    I’m pretty certain the issue is actually from worn out prop shaft bearings (part number TOQ000040) as I can see no fluid leak from differential or VCU.

    I’d really like to fix this but beyond my expertise so will leave with garage next month.

    My question is - is it safe to drive with defective crank shaft bearings - could they impact on IRD or Diff? I’ve a few long distance trips planned, should I cancel until fixed?

    Thanks folks for your invaluable feedback which had kept my Landy in top shape for years!

    Anthony
     
  2. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I wouldn't drive it with defective crank shaft bearings!

    I think the thing is, whether it is the vcu/prop support bearings. I think they will probably let you know when you should stop driving. However, if its something else you might do more permanent damage.

    Have you checked you have 4 matching (make & model) tryes all pumped to the same pressure and done the 1 wheel up test?

    https://www.landyzone.co.uk/land-rover/tests-new-freelander-owners-should-do-on-their-car.312863/
     
  3. ajfarrell

    ajfarrell Member

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    Thanks G,

    When driving around the block today the sound is frequent, like grinding / screeching metal, and when turning especially full lock turns a loud ‘clicking’ or ‘clunking’ sound.

    I’ve checked:

    1. All tyres are same make same pressure; one rear tyer is new the other about a year old, two front are new.
    2. One wheel up test results attached, takes between 3.5 and 4.5 minutes to turn through 45 deg.

    Checked under car today:
    1. Front and rear CV joints have no noticeable movement with wheel off ground.
    2. Prop shaft bearings no noticeable movement on front facing, slight movement on reader facing.
    3. VCU appears in good condition (pictured) no traces of fluid leakage nor from diff and IRD.
    4. Hardy spicer on each prop shaft no noticeable movement, appear in good condition.

    Verdict?

    VCU is too tight? Can it be loosened or is a reconditioned replacement required? What’s typical cost expected for garage to supply and replace if so?

    I’ve thought about removing the prop shaft altogether but have an MOT in couple weeks and guess a blanking plate won’t pass as official car part not to mention insurance implications.

    Thanks folks for the feedback, invaluable!

    Anthony
     

    Attached Files:

  4. jedi

    jedi Well-Known Member

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    Could be the bearing metal dust cover thingys...they can work loose and start rubbing on the inside of the bearing carrier....try spraying some grease in there..or try to reseat them by moving about with a screw driver or somert....
     
  5. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    That VCU is shot - you need to get it off the car.

    I'd remove the props & VCU (leave rear pinion on IRD) and take it for a drive. See what sounds go and what remains. Just remove bolts joining props to IRD and rear diff, then the 4 support bearing bolts and its off. Lower prop end carefully and the VCU very carefully - its heavy, best to support on a (trolley) jack and lower.

    Best place for a VCU is Bell Engineering. If you get one with the support bearings fitted, its quite easy to fit - just takes a bit of aggression with a hammer and chisel to get the props off the old VCU.

    Before investing in a new VCU though, I'd check (change) the oil in the IRD. If its grey (metallicy) then the unit is stuffed and you'll need to spend on that as well as the VCU to keep it 4WD.
     
  6. ajfarrell

    ajfarrell Member

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    Thanks folks,

    Bell Engineering responded to my same query with photo and said it won’t be the VCU but most likely the Bearings.

    Thanks Jedi, Certainly worth a try -
    are they the large curved washer things on each bearing facing toward the VCU ? Should it be Grease or DW40?

    Best,
    Anthony
     
  7. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    The VCU won't be making any noise and it will look like new externally, but if those 1WUT timings are using a 1.2m bar, 5kg weight and the brakes are not binding, it is putting far too much stress through the transmission. It won't 'break', but it will be causing other things to get damaged.

    Try removing the props and seeing how different the car behaves. It doesn't take long and you can put them back on afterwards. Its easier if you have Torx sockets.
     
  8. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    If the OWUT result was in minutes, not seconds, then the VCU is shot and the noise of grinding metal is the gears and bearings in the IRD being destroyed. You need to get the propshafts off NOW and then send your IRD for refurbishment. If you delay, the IRD gears will fail to mesh, and cause the casing to split. If that happens, it'll be scrap, which means you'll need a second hand replacement.
     
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  9. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    As said above - check the oil in the IRD. Its colour will be a gauge of how much damage has been done.

    If you do drain the IRD oil - loosen the fill plug first with a tight 6 sided socket - they are very soft and not using the right socket will simply mash it up.
     
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  10. ajfarrell

    ajfarrell Member

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    Thanks G,

    I’m taking the prop off today - don’t have torx sockets - what size is needed?

    Thanks allot,

    Anthony
     
  11. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Fraid I'm not that geekie to be able to tell you the size of bolts.

    I just go through my sets till something fits, and hope the one I need hasn't fallen into the mass of leaves at the bottom of my inspection pit!

    The first time I removed and fitted props, I used standard sockets to remove the torx bolts - IIRC they're smallish ones about 12mm. You do run the risk of damaging them though which is why I now have a set of torx sockets.
     
  12. jedi

    jedi Well-Known Member

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  13. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    It's best to get a set, as they are easily rounded off.
    From memory an 8mm single hex will just about fit the 6 front hex heads. But only use this method to hold the bolt, while you undo the nut on the back, with a spanner. ;)

    You can use a similar method on the rear diff Torx screws too, although I don't know what socket fits.
     
  14. ajfarrell

    ajfarrell Member

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    Thanks folks,

    I removed the prop shaft today (front bolts are 10 torx and 13 hex, back 12 torx 17 hex, I just used torx to hold bolt bolt in place as I removed nuts using spanners).

    Just back from a spin around the block and not a sound at all, taking hard corners, roundabouts, lock reverse etc. handled very well, even felt more responsive on driving off than before though that could be just an impression.

    I plan on ordering a complete replacement VCU c/w 2 Bearing sets and while waiting on delivery try figure out how to remove the existing set - I’m reading a great post on this site which walks through it plus there are couple good you tubes, it’s just I don’t have a workshop so will be literally on garden bench doing it!

    I will now wrap plastic bags around the flanges / IRD to protect from dust ingress and wouldn’t be insured to drive it in mondo anyway !

    When I get the reconditioned bit back I’ll refit, do the one wheel up test and expect 35 second to min tops 45 deg rotation duration (with 1.2m broom stick and two of my 2.5 kg work out weights at end - I was getting 4.5 mins ! So would seem the IRD / system was under 4 times more stress than design ratings).

    Regarding the IRD, is it still necessary to do an oil change / check? If so where’s the lug nut and how do I fill it back up? Is there a good posting or you tube showing procedure?

    Some images below to help clarify.

    Thanks again folks,

    Anthony
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  15. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    It's a long time since I used normal tools for those, hence my memory was wrong.
    That's because the front and back can now turn independently.
    I'd hold off on the new VCU, until you know that the IRD is saveable.
    Yes. You need to drain the oil and check it's condition. If it's got a metallic silver appearance, then it's damaged and needs a rebuild. The filler is at the back, near the rear output flange. Use a 6 sided socket, as they're made of cheese. Also undo the filler before the drain, so you know you can refill it.
     
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  16. ajfarrell

    ajfarrell Member

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    Hi folks,

    Just drained oil from IRD, it’s a consistent brown colour - so looks good?

    Will halfords brand be OK for replacing?

    Very hard to get filler nut off (still working on it!).

    I’ll proceed to replace VCU and two Bearings and hopefull report back all good in couple weeks!

    Thanks again for your help, a freelander saver ;-)

    Anthony
     

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  17. ajfarrell

    ajfarrell Member

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    Hi,
    Finding it hard to remove the filler nut, is a hex spanner with hammer the way?

    Hopefully the bearings are the underlying problem - just to be sure - could the pinions or diff be cause of problem (clanking / grinding metal sound) and is there a reliable way to check before refitting?

    Best,

    Anthony
     
  18. kernowsvenski

    kernowsvenski Well-Known Member

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    Slightly off topic here, but your car looks nice and clean underneath
     
  19. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    I did say to remove the filler plug first. This avoids being unable to refill, an already drained IRD. ;)
    As long as it's 75w90 fully synthetic, then make is unimportant.
    Use whatever method you can, as it's now drained. You can replace the filler plugs, once you've got it out.
     
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  20. ajfarrell

    ajfarrell Member

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    I like to keep the undercarriage clean after beach or mud trips, just makes the bolts slightly more accessible :) mind you the filler bolt for IRD is the most stubborn I’ve encountered yet!
     
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