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LT230 O Ring Bodge

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Like so many others, my Defender had a slow drip from the transfer case and the cause was the usual O ring on the intermediate shaft. Unfortunately this requires the removal of the transfer case to fix it, so I put up with the leak for a long time before it finally got the better of me.

Having read some comments in the past about having to do a full strip down of the LT230 to fix the o ring, I though I'd show my (successful) bodge effort to solve the problem.

I was happy to remove the TC, but didn't want to do the full strip down, so I replaced the o ring simply by undoing the intermediate shaft and moving it forwards in the casing just enough to replace the o ring.

First step was to remove the TC and you'll be able to clearly see the leaking end of the intermediate shaft (the small round black end in the photo):


The shaft is held in on the other side of the TC by a staked nut that looks like this:


You need to use a small chisel, old screw driver or a variety of pointed knockable instruments to "unstake" the nut by knocking the bent bit back out of the slot until you get this:


Then use a felt marker to mark the nut and the end of the thread so you can do it back up to the same tension:


Now loosen the nut (30mm socket) and carefully count the turns until it comes off completely, and you'll get this:


Use a soft faced mallet to tap the shaft through until the end of the thread is flush with the case:


The other end of the shaft will clearly show the culprit o ring:


You will need to do a bit of juggling to remove the o ring completely because the casing is too close to the shaft to remove the o ring from the groove and get it off the end of the shaft in one go. So it becomes, knock the shaft through enough to get the o ring out of the groove, knock it back a bit to get clearance between the shaft and the casing to get the o ring off altogether and fit a new o ring, knock the shaft through a bit more to seat the new o ring in the groove...you get the idea...

Anyway, in my case you can clealy see how much the old o ring had compressed compared to a new one:


New o ring fitted, and you can see how close the shaft gets to the front output housing:


To ensure I don't end up doing this again for a looong time, I coated the shaft and new o ring with some Loctite 567 sealant, which will hopefully help the o ring seal better, and being teflon based, also helps the shaft and o ring slide nicely back into place:


Final step is to tap the shaft back flush at the front, re-install the nut and tighten back up to the marks and re-stake the nut:


The biggest pain with this job is having to pull the TC out because the o ring end of the intermediate shaft is partly covered by the back face of the gearbox. If it wasn't for that, it would be an easy job to do in situ, but it wouldn't be a Land Rover then would it?

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  • 1 month later...

Paul, How is this fix working out? I'm considering doing it on mine. I cant decide whether to cut my losses and replace the box or not as, if the hole in the casing as gone slightly oval, i'm guessing this fix will be temporary. Would Hylomar sealant be better/worse/equivilant to than the loctite you used?

What do you folks think is the best way to assess the 'ovalness' of the hole in the casing where the intermediate shaft sits to determine whether to do this or replace the box? My thoughts are that it might not be visibly oval, but still enough to cause the leak and allow sidewards motion of the intermediate shaft as drive is taken up and thus quickly screw up any replacement seal/additional selant that is put in there.

Lastly,is there a crush ring of some sort on this shaft that needs replacing when the shaft is moved? or is that only when the bearings and gears that sit on the shaft are removed from the box completely?

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's been a few months and quite a few miles down the track since this fix was done, and so far not a drop of oil has appeared. In fact (here's tempting fate) the old barge doesn't leak any fluids of any type from anywhere. I know that can't go on forever - it is a Land Rover afterall.

The reason I used the Loctite 567 is because it is actually a thread sealant that remains slightly flexible and has some good gap filling qualities. I don't know if the Hylomar would achieve the same thing.

Whether the hole in the casing is too oval for this bodge to work is something you won't know until you try it, but removing and replacing the transfer box isn't particularly difficult, so it's worth a go to save the cost of a rebuild. If it doesn't work all you've lost is a bit of time really - and maybe some skin, sweat, a few swear words and a few cups of coffee.

As long as you do the stake nut back up to exactly the same point, then you shouldn't need to replace the crush spacer. Obviously if you do a full strip down then the whole lot gets replaced.

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  • 3 years later...

I've just done this fix on my transfer box. Instead of completely removing the box I replaced the standard bolts with long bolts which allowed me to slide the box back enough to gain access:


Seal replaced, leak stopped. You can see here how flat the old seal was:


Thanks for the thread. I really didn't fancy removing the box completely again having just had it off to overhaul it. Typically the one thing I didn't do was the intermediate shaft seal because I didn't have the locking nut.



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  • 1 year later...

Ive just done this and I've a couple of questions ...

Do you knock it to flush or through until it stops ? Mine has gone in beyond flush and I can't remember how it sat before .... does it sit on a seat or is it a floating shaft ?

Also and possibly connected - I counted the turns off and marked it but I can't help but worry a little that it's gone on an extra turn when I've put it back. It fell off just before 5 turns taking it off - going back on 4 turns seemed very loose and 5 seems very tight

.... Though if it's supposed to only be flush at the front then would that affect the turns before it got tight at the back - or would tightening it simply pull it it through anyway ?

As an aside the o ring went in nicely and the old one was completely flat.

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Just bear in mind that repalcing the O ring doesn't always fix the leak as the shaft tends to ovalise the bore in the case.

I did the O ring bodgie fix a long time ago when replacing the clutch, and it worked for a while, but after pulling the t/case last week to give it a thorough rebuild (including Maxi Drive low range gears and an ATB to minimise backlash in the driveline) the bore needs rebushing with a steel sleeve, which I'd planned on doing anyway, but the wear in the bore and on the shaft is significant.

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also don't forget the "O" ring that's on the other end of the shaft , that one sits in the casing rather than the on the shaft its self ,

this one should be changed at the same time :)

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...

Resurrecting this thread as I reckon it’s a job I’ll need to do soon. Unfortunately I can’t see the OP pictures which would have made my head understand it that bit more. Does anyone have the original pictures or similar? 

I’ve got a fair idea of what’s involved bar one thing.... how to get the Transfer box separated from the gear box to allow access to the intermediate shaft? Or am I missing something? 

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  • 5 months later...
On 6/16/2010 at 4:21 PM, FridgeFreezer said:

Putting my anorak on, early LT230R's you can pull the intermediate shaft in-situ, it's only the later type (vast majority) that this fix need apply to.

Hi,  I think I have an LT230R as there isn't a stake nut on the back of the shaft.  Does anyone know how to remove the shaft to replace the seals on these older cases as reference above?

Photo here:




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You undo that nut holding the small piece of metal, remove the metal and the shaft can be pulled out - but the intermediate gears WILL fall into the transfer case and the shims will fall out so you need to open the transfer case to catch it.

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