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Recodnitioned vcu


tim_roberts
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I have recently acquired a 1999 2.0 diesel Freelander, which is absolutely brilliant. However, I was a bit worried about the state of the vcu so have removed the whole propshaft to avoid damage to the ird, and have been happily driving in 2-wd mode for a couple of weeks. Now that the snow has arrived, I'm thinking I ought to get 4-wd working again!

I've come across reconditioned vcu's being sold on an eBay shop called Freelander Spares UK at an extremely competitive price. Does anyone have any experience of them?

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I fitted a David Beaumont " loose " recon VCU only 2 months ago at a total cost of € 300 ( + fitting of course )

Snow came on monday and the rear wheels are spinning . Total bloody waste of money and I'm not happy.

I've been in touch with Bell Engineering and will replacing it with one of their recon units ASAP.

Please avoid David Beaumont VCU's .

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I fitted a David Beaumont " loose " recon VCU only 2 months ago at a total cost of € 300 ( + fitting of course )

Snow came on monday and the rear wheels are spinning .

Um, isn't that exactly what it's supposed to do? If it wasn't working the rear wheels would be staying still and the fronts would be spinning :unsure:

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Um, isn't that exactly what it's supposed to do? If it wasn't working the rear wheels would be staying still and the fronts would be spinning :unsure:

Apologies , I wrote that entirely wrong. :blush:

In the very light snow we have had over here in SW Ireland I find that when attempting to climb the tarmac surfaced hill up to my house the front wheels lose grip almost immediatly . The vehicle then follows the characteristics of a FWD and just sits and spins the fronts. The TC does engage and work. There is no push or indeed spin from the rear at all. Prior to removal of the original VCU and in last years dreadful ice conditions here when grip was lost the four wheels would attempt to drive.

I have stood and watched the car under the conditions described and could not see any evidence of drive at the rear.

The DB VCU was sold to me as one that had less % drive to the rear via less dense silicon infill. This I accepted on the premise that it would be beneficial to the drivetrain ( IRD and Final drive ) but unfortunatley there is just insufficient drive to the rear .

Hope that is clearer than the first post.

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That makes more sense! I was going to say that with a Freelander it's not possible for the rear wheels to spin without one of the front wheels spinning as well. Unlike a Defender or Discovery where it is possible to have 3 out of the 4 wheels spinning because the drive to front and rear axles goes via the centre differential.

From what you describe, it does sound as if there is no drive going to the rear at all. So the fronts can spin freely whilst the rears do nothing.

Question - before you fitted your recon VCU, did you attempt to turn it by hand? There must have been some resistance surely?

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I've just been out in mine for the first time this week. Our driveway is very steep (at least 1 in 3 if not 1 in 2) and has a light covering of snow. Coming back up (with no VCU remember, so in front-wheel-drive only mode) was a breeze - the TC came on twice, but otherwise no indication of a struggle! I was very impressed. It almost makes me wonder if it's worth replacing the VCU at all! Seriously though, I suspect if the snow had been a tiny bit thicker we wouldn't have made it.

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  • 2 months later...

I have just bought a recon VCU from Freelanderspares.co.uk. Really great serive and really fast delivery. I am in the process of fitting it just now but it is taking a bit longer than expected due to me breaking the front propshaft yoke trying to get it off the old VCU. I have now rebuilt to propshaft using a replacement yoke and new bearings. i will be refitting the propshaft this weekend, as well as new diff bushes.

I will let you know how the VCU is soon....... ;)

As for Freelanderspares.co.uk, so far their service has been great having bought a few nits n pieces, would deffo recomend them.

Gaz

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I too have been having problems separating one of the propshafts from the VCU!

I've used heat and brute force with a wedge and mallet, and all I seem to have achieved is a damaged thread on the retaining bolt.

It seems like I may have to remove the u-joint and take it to a garage to have the yoke pressed off. I hate admitting defeat on something as simple as this.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

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I'm half-way through this myself - got a recon VCU from Bell Engineering. Getting the old one off had me beat, in the end I waved it at a tractor mechanic who used a quite long wedge with a shallow taper (maybe 12" long tapering from ~2.5" wide to a point, cut from a bit of ~8mm plate) between the UJ body and the retaining bolt head, and with a bit of spirited whacking with a lump hammer it eventually parted company. The support bearings I used a narrow-ish pin punch to drive them off, but I wouldn't do the same if I was wanting to re-fit them (I have new ones to go on).

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I also used a wedge to remove the propshafts from the viscous, but as the viscous had been replaced recently the splines had been greased and came off easily. I needed an hydraulic press to get the bearings off the VCU though, so if you're off to a garage anyway, get them to press the old bearings off at the same time. We used some deep impact sockets as drifts to refit the bearings and that worked well.

If you remove the U washer from the prop bolt, you can get to the splines from the other end and get some spray down there (not that it's likely to help much)

In my case, I had to replace some of the propshaft fittings as most of the nylocs weren't locking anymore and some of the torx heads were mangled. New prop bolts and the thin washer were only about £3 from LR. Still expensive for a bolt though.

Rob.

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