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Rear diff pinion seal on 300TDI Discoveries

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Here is how I removed the rear diff flange on my 1996 300 TDi discovery with the rubber 'rotoflex' coupling rather than a conventional UJ.

For safety ensure that the vehicle is onlevel hard ground, diff lock is engaged and that the handbrake is on as well as chocking at least 2 wheels.

First un-bolt the propshaft from the 'rotoflex' this is held on by three large bolts and will require 2x 19mm spanners. Now depending on the reason for removing the diff flange you can either slide the prop back of the central pin and tie it up out of the way or if the prob is be changed as in my case (to a wide angle douple U/J prop.) undo the 4 14mm nuts at the handbrake end (the bolts are captive.). It may be to release the handbrake and the diff lock to allow the handbrake drum to turn for access to the nuts, when they are all undone the propshaft can be removed.

This should leave you with a rear diff that looks like this:-


reapply the hand brake and diff lock to stop the vehicle moving.

Next to remove the centre pin I used a blowlamp to gently heat the pin to flange joint to soften the loctite used to secure the push fit pin. I then used a long (150mm) M8 bolt and large socket and the new drive flange to make a puller to pull the pin out.

Like this:-


Tightening the M8 bolt draws the pin out, I found that I had to add an additional spacer to the puller as the bolt seemed to bottom out before the pin came out on the first attempt.

With the pin removed you should then be able to see the 24mm nut that holds the flange to the diff, This nut is very tight, I found that I had to use the vehicle weight to undo it.


With this undone and removed the flange should then slide out of the diff casing.

At this point it is probably worth replacing the diff seal as per Les's thread here.

Refitting the flange or a new flange is just a case of sliding it down the splines and then re-tightening the 24mm nut to the correct torque setting. The pin then needs cleaning and re-loctiting and then gently tapping into the centre of the flange until it is flush. and then re-install the propshaft.



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