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Transfer/gearbox paranoia


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The other day I was under the Defender (1993 200tdi) replacing the front output oil seal which was leaking. I was checking for play in the prop UJ but found that the output shaft had oodles of play in it. So much so that replacing the seal hasn't done anything for the leaking.

When I got to about 60mph, there is a tap tap sound coming from underneath somewhere which appears to be in time with the prop going around.

Today, while parking up, I had to manoeuvre about quite slowly. On reversing, there was a double tap/knock which was repeating on going forwards (and was repeatable on changing direction again).

I'm due to drive to Italy in about 3 weeks and drive around the Alps with a number of chaps/chapettes from SLRC.

Is this likely to be terminal? Is there an easy fix? Is it likely to be just the transfer box?

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The fast option is to replace it, the slightly less heavy option is to "borrow" the front housing of my good one. Mind you, I haven't read up on how tricky or not it may be to just do the bearings that are causing the issue here - could be worth a look. We know a man with a nice big hydro press ;)

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If it is just the front output bearing, it shouldn't be too difficult according to the tech thread on here. I'm more concerned that there are more internals that may be on the way out.

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Why do you think there's more to it? Is it doing something or making a noise that would suggest so? LT230's are one of the few things Land Rover make that don't go wrong too often. I'd have a look at the bearing and maybe take a couple of the more obvious spares with you when you go.

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Why do you think there's more to it? Is it doing something or making a noise that would suggest so? LT230's are one of the few things Land Rover make that don't go wrong too often. I'd have a look at the bearing and maybe take a couple of the more obvious spares with you when you go.

That's just it, I don't know.

I know there is play in the output bearing. But are all of the noises related to that? There is also a clunk as if something is running on when I change up from 1st to 2nd. I don't know if this is also the transfer box, the gearbox or one of the diffs...

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With a long trip coming up it could be worth checking. Common sources of slack are the LT230 input gear (an easy win) and the drive flanges on the back axle (another easy win). You can locate many clonks fairly easily by dropping a prop off and examining things up and downstream from it, as well as the prop itself.

Salisbury axles can have a hell of a lot of slack in them but still be fine.

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Stop throwing the 'e' word around so much, it worries me...

Right, if I replace the output bearing and the input drive along with its bearings (that's the jobbie behind the PTO cover right?), that should put me in good stead...? I'm guessing one of the cross-drilled input drive from Ashcrofts would be best...

When you talk about the drive flanges (snigger :ph34r:) having slack, is that in the splines onto the shafts?

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When you talk about the drive flanges (snigger :ph34r:) having slack, is that in the splines onto the shafts?

Yes, the half-shafts wear the splines out of the flanges, you can sometimes catch it and replace them, some people weld them in.

A new x-drilled input gear is a good thought, assuming the input shaft itself is reasonably OK. I think the Ashcroft one has longer splines to pick up on an unworn section of the shaft but could be wrong.

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Yes, the half-shafts wear the splines out of the flanges, you can sometimes catch it and replace them, some people weld them in.

A new x-drilled input gear is a good thought, assuming the input shaft itself is reasonably OK. I think the Ashcroft one has longer splines to pick up on an unworn section of the shaft but could be wrong.

And if the mainshaft is badly worn too, then just weld the mainshaft and the input gear together. This gives a nice clunk-free solution... (The downside comes the day you might want to dissassemble the two gearboxes...)

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I'm thinking that your definition of "easy" is different to mine... :unsure:

I was actually thinking of different flanges (the ones onto the diffs), but I see what you mean now. Are they easy to check with all of the slack elsewhere in the drivetrain? Apart from taking them off and seeing completely-obvious-hit-me-in-the-face wear is it easily checkable? Or seeing as the drivetrain is 15 years old, should I just replace the flanges on the rear anyway?

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