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Date: March 5, 1995
Subject: Rear Axle Shaft/Spindle Modification... Seized Rear Wheel Bearings.
Vehicle: '91-on Range Rover (Classic), Discovery (all), Defender 90 NAS
Beginning in 1991 Land Rover made an attempt to cure the age old problem of "blown hub seals". This is where the main hub seal (protecting wheel bearings), due to a number of reasons, fails, thus allowing axle oil (90w) to blow out onto the brake disc & outer brake pad.
In an attempt to cure this problem, LR engineers thought they should remove the oil from the hub area, thus eliminating the possibility of oil leaking from the seal. Good idea in theory, but what lubricates the wheel bearings? Surely not grease. The end result has been a high failure rate of rear hub bearings, due to lack of lubrication. The problem is compounded further when the vehicle is engaged in off-road work under adverse conditions.
To back-date the specification requires a quick and simple operation;
1) Jack-up rear of vehicle, place suitable jack-stand & remove wheel.
2) Using a 17mm socket undo the five (5) axleshaft retaining bolts.
3) Knock axleshaft loose & remove completely.
4) With the use of a grinder, grind a small flat the length of the raised boss.
5) Polish raised boss smooth, clean axleshaft completely.
6) Refit axleshaft with new gasket & hilomar.
7) Refit five bolts using 10mm lock washer, torque to 28/30 ft lbs.
8) Repeat on opposite axle.
This modification will now allow differential oil to lubricate the wheel bearings, as originally designed on the Land Rover axle. Note: Once the axleshaft has been removed, rotate the hub and check the wheel bearings, they should rotate smoothly. If not, overhaul hub as required.
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