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Testing Shocks, Diffs and Axles


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Been browsing LR4x4 for years now. Love it. Have to put my hands up and admit I'm only really around when I need something - me Mum complains about me that way all the time. But I do try and give whatever I can back when I'm here.

I need to know how to test my shocks that I've just dropped off the truck. I also need to know how to figure out if the few mm of play that I can turn my hubs through before the prop shaft starts turning is in the half shafts, diff or what. It struck me when I was searching for any related keywords that I had no idea if the search engine was searching titles, sub titles and entire posts or what? Then I got to thinking, ok if I'm posting something new I should try and use as many related keywords as possible.

I read the 'how to ask a good question' pin but would love to know how best to craft a post with a tip of the hat to future searchers. Would a list of key words at the bottom of a post help?

Back to my ****... I've unbolted the O/S half shaft and when I turn it there's easily 2mm of movement before I see it having an effect on the prop shaft. I removed the half shaft totally and inspected the splines (10 spline) for wear. But I've no idea what I'm looking for. The splines are all sharp edged, they look very much unworn to me. I would assume they'd get a little rounded to the edges but then could they?

If it's not them then it the diff right? Booo, tell me it's not the diff and that it's something I can fix myself!


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2mm :o - I'd stop worrying if I were you.

It's most likely to be a combination of a very small amount of wear on all the parts, not one on its own.

You will know on visual inspection if there is a problem with spline wear worthy of concern.

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As above, 2mm is nothing at all. Are you sure it is a Land rover you are working on?? :lol:

Testing shocks - are they gas pressurised? If so, they should have expanded to their full length. If they did this and are not leaking and the shafts are in good condition then they are fine. Just make sure the bushes and washers are OK too and if you put them back on in the right combination and don't do them up too tight or you'll knacker the shock. Pay particular attention at the top mount of the rear shock (assuming it is still a standard eye) - the domed washer has the domed face inwards to allow the shock to rotate as the axle articulates. Doing it the other way round snaps the tops off the shock pretty effectively!

For non gas pressurised the same applies apart from the extending bit. They should also smoothly resist extension / compression as you cycle the shock.

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Thanks guys! Chuffed the play isn't anything abnormal but then worried that the noises I heard last week were in the transfer case. I do have a rear shock that's more or less loose at the top so maybe it just vibrated against something. Fingers crossed. I don't see anything else wrong. Nice to be working on the truck again actually.

Shocks aren't gas, they cycle smoothly / evenly but I just thought they seemed a little easy to cycle. One has a weep for sure so prob best to just change 'em while I have 'em out.

A supplier offered a choice of Pro Comp or some other brand I'd never heard of. After reading on here the consensus seems to lean away from Pro Comp? I read that the 3000's are too soft and the 9000 potentially too hard? What would the ideal shock (regardless of brand) be for a 2dr RRC with +1/+2" lift, standard 205 tyres. Mainly road driving but frequent beach driving including dunes and pebbles.

EDIT: Bish, wtf does your av. say? I can read "will you come to bed?, I can't this is important, What? and then 'Someone is ______ on the _______" internet maybe? It's driving me mad!

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I've used ProComp and been happy with their performance, but they rust. I also like DeCarbon. Avoid the cellular dyanamics, I found them crashy without handling as well as ProcComp. If you want a set I'll swap you some <_<

OME and Terrafirmer have good reputations, the Terrafirma have thicker pistons than the ProComp too. Money no object I'd look at Koni and Bilstein.

One the 10 splines they drive on the radial face of the spline, you should see a shiney "witness" area on the drive side. As they wear this witness will wear into the face leaving a step. they don't tend to round though and can be quite sharp. There is corresponding wear in the diff.

unlike 24 spline axles though excessive wear doesn't significantly weaken the spline, failure usually comes from twisting of the half shaft imeadiately outside the diff gear.

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