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Other Will a leaking steering box fail MOT?

Discussion in 'Series Land Rovers' started by Webley1991, Apr 8, 2019.

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  1. Webley1991

    Webley1991 Well-Known Member

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    Although I had the steering box on my Series 3 rebuilt with new seals, it has started to leak oil around the output shaft again. It seems to have dripped since while it has been stood over the winter.

    The box still has enough oil in it. As the level was still ok, the leaked oil looks a lot more than it actaully is. Would this leak be grounds for an MOT failure? From what I have seen, these boxes are notorious for leaks and it seems to be a common problem.

    From reading online, apparently the steering box leaking oil is now a minor fail. "Leaking to the extent that oil is dripping" is a major fail. By "dripping", does that mean visibly dripping while the test is taking place?

    Thanks for any replies.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  2. rob1miles

    rob1miles Well-Known Member

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    Top the box up and jet wash it before the MOT. Its not dangerous; you know it has a small leak ( a weap) and so you'll keep it topped up and its not like a transmission leak where it cal all go prear-shaped quite quickly..
     
  3. saxavordian

    saxavordian Well-Known Member

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    Yes a failure in some garages because it a vital part of the car function. If the seal have been put in by a garage recently I would take it back as faulty goods. If the parts were cheap there's your staring pointer. Or the shaft is slightly worn at the seal end therefore not seating well. Leaks denote wear as much as brakes line joints leaking. Or if my memory serves me you could mask the drip by sticking a smearing of axel grease on the steering joints before the MOT.
     
  4. biketeacherdave

    biketeacherdave Well-Known Member

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  5. Colthebrummie

    Colthebrummie Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on the tester. My old Toyota had a seep on the steering box and it got through 3 mot's like that with just an advisory. On the 4th test, I took it to a different garage and they failed it. It was no worse and there was plenty of fluid in the reservoir. I questioned the tester, saying it had been like it for some time and always past and he just said, in his opinion it was worthy of a fail. I took it back to my original garage and they passed it with an advisory as usual.

    Col
     
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  6. wireman

    wireman Well-Known Member

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    The MOT guidance says a vehicle should fail an MOT if the leak in 5 minutes it creates a pool bigger than 75mm. If it's that bad I wouldn't be driving it never mind insulting an MOT tester with it. As said above either fix the fault or clean up the box and smear with grease as a temporary measure. Oh and try not to steer round many corners on the way to the test station!
     
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  7. rob1miles

    rob1miles Well-Known Member

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    I don't see a problem, its a gear box that could work with grease if the oil ran out, its not like a power sterring box where the fluid is under pressure and forms part of the control system.
     
  8. Webley1991

    Webley1991 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    This is on a Series 3, so is not a pressurised power steering box. It is filled with EP90 via a plug in the top, so the level is easily checked.

    I had the box rebuilt and it sat around in the workshop for ages before I was at the stage to fit it. By the time I noticed the seeping oil it was too late to go back to the place who did the work.

    I know that the shaft is sealed by a simple o-ring. When I fitted the box I was doing a complete rebuild, so built the vehicle up around it. Removing it now looks like a far worse job.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  9. Extreedoc

    Extreedoc Well-Known Member

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    If it's just weeping it shouldn't fail, if you notice the oil level dropping on a weekly basis, it needs fixing sooner rather than later. You should be able to extract the rocker shaft without removing the whole steering box. The most difficult part will be pulling the drop-arm off the rocker shaft.
    When I checked my own steering box over, on the bench, I bought a suitable 'O' ring from a plumbers merchant, it's been in there for 9 years so far.
     
  10. Webley1991

    Webley1991 Well-Known Member

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    I don't drive it enough to notice it dropping with use. I just checked and it did a total of 120 miles in 2018 due to some other problems. The first I noticed it was when there was a few drops under where it had been parked for two months.

    I did think that I may be able to get the shaft out with the box in place. the problem I can see with that is cleaning the oil off the sealing face for the cover plate to get a decent seal. It will be impossible to clean all of the EP90 out without removing the box, and I am sure some of it will end up on the gasket sealant before it can set.
     
  11. Land Raver

    Land Raver Well-Known Member

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    Until you get round to replacing the seal, you could fill / top up with the swivel grease. It's just a little bit thicker than the oil (still runny) and should stay in there. Mine had a weep on the back plate and I got an occasional drip (only about a drip a day). Mine is filled half ep90 and half one shot swivel lube. It works fine, stopped the weep.
     
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  12. Extreedoc

    Extreedoc Well-Known Member

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    A few drops after standing for two months? I think you are worrying over nothing. Expecting a Land Rover not to drop a bit of oil is a forlorn hope.
     
  13. dag019

    dag019 Well-Known Member

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    That was my reaction! I would love to have any part of my series only produce a few drops after two months of standing! I am slowly trying to improve it but even having replaced gaskets and seals, they don't last for long before it is dripping again. It is not just Land rover though, anything British and of that vintage is the same!
     
  14. Webley1991

    Webley1991 Well-Known Member

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    I know that completely stopping all the leaks would be a never ending task.

    I was asking as I had seen it mentioned that leaking steering boxes were now a failure under the new MOT rules.
     
  15. steve2286w

    steve2286w Active Member

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    My mot man advised giving a jet wash and clean underneath , a fail is a small puddle after 5 mins with engine running, mine still drips hoping to sort the filter leak this weekend , maintains and improving for me seems a never ending task !
     
  16. Bobsticle

    Bobsticle De Villes Advocaat

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    Drain it till after the test. Then top it back up. :oops:
     
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