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Bearmach LT230 2WD re-design


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Well, what can I say, but the Bearmach 2WD conversion for a LT230 is tripe!.

I've had one in an LT230 of roller 1.003 ratio for 2k miles now and it has been awful from the start. The start of my troubles and suspicion started with the Ashcroft bearings I got which unfortunately to say, were a lower spec. than what I normally use. At this point I will say that I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to engineering, so I will point out that I don't have an issue with Ashcrofts at this point.

Anyhoo, from the begining after matting an LT230R to an R380 I had a vibration from the front propshaft that I put down to being a bad quality front output bearing. After having the R380 out for a warrentee job, I stripped the LT230R to solve the output bearing to only find the bearing was OK........ I then felt the Bearmach bearing for the support of the front output shaft to find that it was sloppy!.

OK, here comes the technical part. The special beairng for the Bearmach 2WD isn't a bearing! well, it is a bearing, in the fact it is steel againt steel, but it is configured as follows:

A steel inner race with splines for the output shaft is fitted with a outer circlip. This circlip is then used to retain the inner race into an outer race via two spacers that are pressed into the outer race against the circlip. The inner diameter of these spacers clears the inner race by 18 thous of an inch, while being an interference fit in the outer race.

This means that the inner race is very sloppy and allows the output shaft to move around like a phaelic object in a shirt sleeve. No ball bearing will stop this sort of action and results in my cause a severe vibration at 70mph that led me to thinking that I had a wheel loose and was about to depart the road via the first tree!

So, to solve this the original item can not be used. The original outer race is a top-hat form that is pressed in place of the planetary gear for the front output shaft, this item is scrapped and the diff housing is slightly machined to remove the 45^0 taper at the end. A thrust washer is placed at this end for good design and the orignal inner race is machined down to fit to the original dimensions of the planetary gear. Another thrust washer is then fitted on the other side of the modified gear and a retainer spacer is fitted to go against the spider shafts:




This week I'll be getting the bits machined by an ol' friend of 50 years experience in the trade, but as in his words, "theory is good, but practice is the only proof of whether it works".

To be honest now, if someone was to ask about fitting an LT230 to a series vehicle, I'd say, "either fit CV joints anf the kit, or buy a defender-esq vehicle". The kit that is on the market is of poor design and quality, once again my vehicle is off the road and I have events coming up where I need it. I'm happy to see that the likes of X-Eng et cetera are actually producing decent kit for the market!.

Apologies if my dyslexia has come through somewhere, but thought I'd publish my problems

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aiy, I don't know why they even designed it that way, it's just bad design from the start. The only good bit seems to be the cast inverted sun gear that mates with the rear output sun gear very nicely.

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