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Hi All,

Can someone please give me the spec on 1983 Range Rover Classic axles. How many splines do they have for the various shafts and are they a strong axle? Are the axles on Range Rover Classics the same as those on the Defender 90. If not what are the differances?

I'm building an Ibex off-roader and trying to find out what the best and strongest axles for the job are. The Unimog Portal axles are probably the best for the job but are expensive and hard to find so im trying to work with Defender or Range Rover Classic axles

Any information would be greatly appreciated.


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Thanks alot for that. Much appreciated.

If these upgrades were carried out would the axles be as strong as any other Land Rover/Range Rover axles around or would I be better off starting with axles from a different vehicle/year. For example, I have a 1994 Defender 90 200Tdi, Would the axles out of her be a stronger axle then the Range Rover axles or is there no differance.

Also, is there any gearing differances between Defender, Disco or range rover axles.


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For example, I have a 1994 Defender 90 200Tdi, Would the axles out of her be a stronger axle then the Range Rover axles or is there no differance.

I am not sure whether the 200tdi front axle really is stronger, the halfshaft of it certainly is. I think there was a change-point from 200tdi->300tdi axle wise, with 200tdi´s still with 10spline axles. But I could be wrong or this might only apply to the Disco1, or change point to 24spline was some years before. From 1994 on, i.e. 300tdi-times there were 24splines all over. Though I doubt that their front axle´s CVs were stronger. The rear halftshaft should be better from your 200tdi. Dunno precisely, but there are options beyond "stock" that are really worth considering:

You could just take the ´83 axles, hope for the best, drive it and upgrade "on the go". That was what I did with my 200tdi 88" with 255/85 tyres. I didn´t wheel that rig a lot off-road, nor did I punish it. And I have had no failure with them. But I think there was not much "safety margin" left. So it all depends on what tyre size you chose, what kind of use you have in mind and at last how much you are prepared to take the risk of damage and work (on the trail). I usually do not want to do so, therefore with my RRC I upgraded to parts that are so strong and withstand demand of people´s rigs with much larger tyres or stronger engines so that I need not worry any more. Oh, of course it´s a question of how much you want to spend from the start.

That said, with the REAR axle upgrade step 1) will be a 24spline diffs and 24splines halfshaft. Step 2) is a 4-planetary gear diff center. But I´d prefer to buy a locker as the money you give out of hand here will be about the same and you gain some more advantage than just strength. Step3) Upgraded halfshafts (this is kind of "must have" if you got a locker). For GB the natural choice will be Ashcroft-transmissions.co.uk (See their website for all the choice). Option 1) is to use a 110" rear axle. This is bigger and stronger, though the halfshaft could still benefit from beefing-up. OTOH this axle will reduce the ground clearance, to regain that you would need larger tyres again that put more strain on components. So for a relatively light vehicle as the IBEX the Rover axle will be really fine. I´d say you get a locker and the heavy duty shafts and H/D drive members and you´re fine. If you want to remove the last weak point then you can have =step 4) the diff "pegged" (see Ashcroft). Don´t think it´s really necessary in your case. But then there is nothing left to desire (if you´re still not satisfied, there´s only this one left: http://www.rovertracks.com/products/driveline.html (See Toyota centers) or axles from another manufacturer). If you can get Mog axles - great. But one could debate about them being overkill in weight and strenght. And IIRC they need quite some modification work to fit. Furthermore the are not best suited to long distance high speed driving. There are people with Rover axles who made these "fit" for 37" tyres, so we should be able to rely on the Rover axle, too.

With the rear axle set, you could just drive the ´83 front axle. Step1) will be to use upgraded halfshafts here, with step2) the same diff-options as for the rear. Step3 would be to buy H/D CVs from ashcroft. They have parts for these old-style RRC-axles (while my impression is that the later, 300tdi> axles are a little bit more straightforward to modify. But nothing major). Still the ´83 CV is pretty tough. I remember a guy who threw away the "stronger" AEU2522 (isn´t that they number? They are the early Defender CVs, and standard in military defenders I think) because the eary RRC-CV (like the ´83) was plentyful and cheap to source (though usually "used") and if the AEU2522 bust, it´s pieces would destruct the swivel ball from inside and likely "block/lock" in it so the wheel cannot be turned any more. Don´t know if that is true, but I haven´t heard of a ´83 CV and outer shaft to fail. Though I heard of quite some people to not treat them carefully and still not suffer from a defect.

Also, is there any gearing differances between Defender, Disco or range rover axles.


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Later axles are weaker - end of

Whilst there is a big improvment in strength from 10 spline at the Diff end to fine 24 spline (defo better) they (LR)

also became stupid and made the CV inner side which is on yours / was 23 spline a stupid small 32 spline.

This always confuses people, as they think "If 24 spline at the Diff is stronger than 10, then it follows

32 must be better than 24" :) WRONG :(

In really simple terms a 23 24 Shaft is FAR stonger than a 23 10 which in turn is stronger than a 32 24

think of it this way :

Get a empty loo roll, cut 24 fine splines into it

Now, get a packet of Polo mints and Cut 32 splines into it

23 is far far stronger as the metal is thicker


there is much nonsense sprouted and talked on axles,

IMHO early RR and 110 stuff is the strongest in standard form,

easily made even stronger by upgrading to 23/24 shafts and 24 spline diffs, which can be done cheaply

From there any upgrade is going to cost you :(

With a 23/24 shaft, 2 pin 24 spline diff, and 23/10 CVs and stubs the weak link will be the diff

so, next step to upgrade diff, to a 4 Pin unit Quaffie, Mcnamara, KAM, ARB, 4 pin can be either open, locker, LSD or

a combo, its the 4 pin that makes it strong so say you now have a pair of ARB Lockers,

The weak link most likley now is the Shafts, again upgrade to Maxidrive, ashcrioft, KAM< Rakeway etc etc

all are good, many argue (and always will :lol: as to which is stongest, its partly a matter of pocket

depth and choice :) but fact - a decent 'HD' shaft 23 24 will be FAR stronger than 23 24 standard

OK, weak point now is probably to stub shaft, this is the one with the one piece mushroom on it on RR 110 have one piece CV shaft,

so each is different, you CAN Get Upgraded Stub shafts, these are in 2 pieces a HUGE taped stub shaft and a specially made

drive flange, this now is the set up I ran up and till I changed to my current KAM System, and this Quaffie upgrade

along with ARBs and HD shafts was a KIN STRONG unit, but beware how much the Quaffie bits are :blink: but beautuiful :lol:

To upgrade the same level in a 110 etc use ashcroft one piece units, or you could go KAM CVs and Fuse shafts (Fuse is a deliberate

fuse to allow breakage under extreme load to save other bits) NOTE : As I work for KAM Many will shout "SPAM" not so,

ashcroftys CVs are very very nice, but ashcroft vs KAM are 2 differing system in how made (1 piece vs 2) and style

(Ashcroft not designed to "Break" - KAM ARE designed to break - but I haven't managed it yet ! and have tried, if

you do "Break" the fuse, then its 10 mins and £35 to change the stub for a new one - both system are Dmaned good,

again choice vs costs vs styles etc


If you have a 32 spline CV then to upgrade you have to replace the SHAFTS CVs AND Stubs etc, not at all cheap, this

is because they are the worst axles trength wise LR ever made, and peopkle buty them because they think a 300 / TD5

Front axle only X years old has to be better than a old 1986 RR or 110 :) - Oh how wrong !

So, hope the above helps, any 32 spline unit is a waste of time for any level of semi serious off road use with

bigger / agressive tyres


Rear Axles

Again a load of drivel is often spouted, the key here is Diff splines

24 spline 2 pin stronger than 10 2 pin, and 24 spline 4 pin stronger than all


10 spline weaker than 24 spline, but at the drive member ends the strengths are fairly close, its the fitment

and lengths that change . In simple terms a RR classic pre 1986 runs "Non Oil Seal" shafts and wide drive hubs and Drive members

the shaft is around 978mm Long, and has no oil seal race. The later "Metric" axles have an oil seal, narrow Hubs and Narrow drive

members, and the length is 953mm. The strength differences between the 2 is IMHO "Pub argument Time" theres so little in it

However the early Non Oil Seal shafts are often 10 splinme AND can have a one piece mushroom on the end which makes it weak,

Your best / cheapest solution IS a TD5 TDi REAR axle, you get 24 spline diffs, and 24 spline sghafts with seperate drive members.

Convert IMHO this to run oil not grease, and fit then decent "HD" shafts and "HD" drive members and "A $ Pin FDiff / Locker" and thats about as good as it gets.

For more strength up from all of the above on front or Rear upgrade CWPs to HD ones, thicker Crown wheels etc AND Differential Pegging and thats then pretty much the limit of a rover axle.

In truth by the time you have reached the para above (which I have and other I now have) it would be cheaper to change the Rover axle for something cheap secondhand and strong from a scrappy, again just an option to consider.


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Thanks a mill! The info above is excellent, far more then I could have hoped for.

What year was the 32 spline CV joint introduced and what year was it discontinued?



A Great Q

Problem is

A - People swap axles around !

B - I swear Land Rover opened cupboards / boxes years into a production run and then shouted

"Hey Guys LOOK what I have found" <all peer in box> "Yup, we can use them, nobody will notice :(

Its not just Years / its model Ranges too, basically aviod 200 300 TD5 anything - 90 RR Disco

110s are not immune, some axles are 23 some are 32

Strongest axle is "Early" 110 and 90 with Raklko bushes and 23 spline AEU2522 one piece CVs

Next strongest Range Rover from 1978-early 1990ish

BUT - 1978 - around 1985 have 6 box swivals not 7 bolt

so the swivels and casings are rare (NOT Valuable :lol: ) and difficuly to get spares,

but the internals are the same with minor varianstions (stub axle bushes seals etc etc)


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  • 3 years later...

Please could someone mention Salisbury axles as used on the Defender 110? I read that these are stronger as they will carry more weight.

Discovery axles are disgusting as the diff case is very thin and is apt to become porous (guess how I know?) The previous owner tried some kind of resin or body-filler but this didn't work. My temporary fix has been grease and so far so good (oil is in there as well but the grease thickens it up so that it doesn't run out) At such times one wishes that one had a Salisbury axle as on those the diff-pan can be unbolted. Of course the good news is that on a Disco the rear axle only handles about half of the power.

Removing the axle so that a new diff-pan can be welded on is not a five minute job and one needs quite a bit of space to do it (private space of course so that ones neighbours cannot moan to the Council about "lowering the tone of the neighbourhood") GRRR!

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The number of splines doesn't initially make much difference to strength as regardless of the number, you still have 50% of the shaft circumference as splines, and thus the same amount of material. What does change is that the more splines you have, the more contact area there is, and so wear is reduced. The problem with that occurs once the splines become so thin that any wear results in them shearing off. So, if you have 10 spline components in good order, there is no reason to change them to 24 splines.

Issues over CV strength and preference, resulting in dictat over which splines you need to correspond with that CV choice have more rationale.

I'd echo the advice of leaving everything as is unless you want to upgrade fully to locking diffs as there just isn't enough benefit for the cost in going 24 spline standard.

As for fitting the late TD5/TDCI or Salisbury axles, the components (not necessarily the casing) are stronger, but you will have to mess about with brakes and replace the prop shafts as the diff noses on the Salisbury and P38 type diffs are different from the older Rover diffs.

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The diffs themselves are stronger, horrible to work on and parts costs are faaaaar higher !

True, but it's far less likely to break in the 1st place! Bathub Pete always reckoned he never broke a (101) Salisbury on his old beast, and he wasn't known for his mild driving style.

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  • 1 month later...

Read all the above once again & pretty much know what is what anyway with axles now with regards to strength etc. I do have a question that I probably know the answer to already but need to be sure so I'm 100% on what path I'm on.

I have a 93 RRC on 37s that has sat on the drive for 4 years (not 5 as I previously thought.....doh!) while I upgrade & tick off a list of jobs as long as my arm.

I have just bought some second hand Ashcroft 4:75 CW&P with the front already built using a wolf defender 4 pin & I'm going to use an Ashcroft LSD for the rear. So I will have the diffs all sorted except for pegging which I can't afford & not sure I need as not going to be competing. The next step I'm thinking is to save for upgraded HD Ashcroft shafts. As I'm trying to get it back on the road I want to fit the diffs with the standard shafts etc for now to sort my gearing & then I will get shafts for one axle at a time when funds allow.

My question is can I fit the 23 spline CVs to my 93 RRC so I can run the Ashcroft front shafts or will that mess my ABS up? I'm guessing there is no ABS ring on the AEU 2522 so think I may have answered my own question.

Also as I can only afford one set of shafts at a time which will be the weaker axle on my RR, the front because of the CVs? The LSD will be kinda to the rear shafts than a locker or should I just fit the HD shafts in the rear first & have at least one finished HD axle?

What would you do, what's the advise on running upgrades as I go due to funds? I'm already struggling to get the cash together for the LSD after getting the CW&P etc & then need to get the rear one built also.

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