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ARB air seals signs of failure.....


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Not too long ago I installed a set of ARB lockers front & rear in my Disco but the back one now has an air leak after about 3000km only.

I have purchased a new set of seals from D4x4 and intend to fit them soon. I'm assuming that it's the seals that have gone because I can hear air coming from the axle breather pipe when I activate the locker.

Questions raised about the failure.

I used plenty of oil during the fitting and adopted the same procedure in the front locker which is still working fine. I was carefull not to twist them when I put them in.

Is there a chance that any oil that has managed to weep past the seals could effect the internal workings of the locker?

What tell tale signs should I be looking for when I pull the diff out next week?

Thanks Guys.



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Is yours the later type with pipe going into the bearing carrier end?

Mine had a problem, that was a bit of fun finding! :blink:

It would engage initially, if the vehicle had been stood for a minute or two, but after disengaging and re-engaging the air would leak past the seal?

The problem, was caused by the bearing locking peg (mine was the C' type lock). As the pipe carrier moved with diff revolving the peg would press down (only slightly) on the pipe carrier and press the seal.

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I used to have regular trouble with the seals going until Ciderman recommended a slightly different O ring cant remember what they were tho) and the now seem (touch wood) OK. Also had quite a bit of trouble with the copper pipe breaking off the air feed Banjo but I fitted new ones and left a much larger loop of spare pipe inside the diff housing and they seem much better now too!

Symptoms are as you say, Air escaping from the axle breather and also when the seals went as opposed to the pipe I used to get a fine mist of gear oil from the ARB solenoid hen they were disengaged.

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Thanks guys.

Spanners...I'm only familiar with the version I have so can't say if it's the earlier or later version. My locking system didn't use the C type lock but that's only relevant to the type of diff isn't it?

I think you are correct in saying that my copper pipe went into the bearing carrier though...perhaps this is teh later version then?

Steve. Could you find out a bit more about the seals that Ciderman reccomended please? Devon 4x4 sent me two sets of teh square section seals but I wonder of regular O rings would do a better job then?

I'm removing the rear diff on Saturday...hopefully it was just bad luck but if it stats to leak again after such a short time I won't be too pleased with ethe ARB design and will look at making small alterations to the seals used.

I'll only know the exact fault when the diff is out...it could be something as daft as the copper pipe rubbing against the gears!

I'll give updates as I get them.



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Older units had round section O-rings. I recall one time having to make a quick change of some on a friend's front ARB. Once removed the O-rings were obviously worn flat on the inside where they 'slip' against the ARB differential unit. Some regular rubber O-rings were sought and fitted as a replacement as there was no time for ordering ARB ones and AFAIK there was never any further issue.

The ARB 'air ring' changed a while ago, from needing three small bolts to hold it in place to using a clever little wire clip affair, they may have changed O-ring type from round to square then too?


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  • 4 weeks later...

So I changed the seals very carefully for new ones, put the diff back in the axle and the problem still exists. The air is coming out from the axle breather.

I checked the seal carrier and copper pipe assembly...looks fine. I also inspected the seals mating surfaces...again they look fine.

It seems to be a manufacturing issue with the ARB unit it's self.

Any one heard of the ARB units having manufacturing issues? This one is under warranty so I hope ARB Middle East replace it.

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