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HD Axle parts

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The next stage in the development of my landy is to upgrade the axle parts for heavy duty stuff.

I am going to start with just the rear axle for now (Then front when funds allow). Going to be fitting an air locker in the future so want to get it ready before hand. (As part of the whole improving reliability plan)

I've got early 1985 RRC axles which are 10 spline i've been told, with the non separate flanges

What do i need ? What manufactures do i need to look at ? What sort of money am i going to have to spend (as little as possible :rolleyes: ) ?

I know nothing about HD axle parts, so any links, experiences, recommendations welcome :D

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Guest diesel_jim

Easiest way, is get a 24 spline ARB locker (RD56)

get a pair of V8 90 rear halfshafts (FRC8094 RH & FRC8095 LH) these are 24 spline HD shafts. from Bearmach my last one was about £24 IIRC, and so far, it's held up to some good abuse with my 90 (Tdi, tweeked with ARB's)

you'll need a couple of drive flanges, as these shafts don't have them on the end, FRC5806 x2, with gasket FRC3988.

now, the "tricky" bit.. you might be lucky and be able to use the existing bolts you have for your RR 10 spline shafts to hold in the new drive flanges. however, from personal experience, i could never get them to stay tight, (as the hole in the new defender type flange is for a M12 bolt, and the RR ones are 9/16ths). i tried drilling and tapping out the holes in the hub itself, but as the PCD is everso slightly different, they still came loose after a while (especially when using the lockers as a lot of straing is put on the shafts at certain times).

so, in the end i got a couple of front hub's off of an early (pre 300Tdi) 90 or 110 (the ones that the 23 spline CV'd axles use... these ones have the "large" rubber centre cap, not the smaller ones like the 300's/Td5's use). hub part # FRC6139

get a couple of these hubs, i got mine from sodbury i think, not much second hand, swap the brake discs over (they fit straight on), stick these straight onto the RR stub axles, bolt up the bearings, then the "new" drive flange you have will fit on perfectly and not ever come loose.

make sense??

here's a couple of pictures of an axle that i finished making yesterday. in fact, i've got to get my a$$ back outside and finish bolting it up..... see ya!!!! B)

painted early LR 90/110 front hubs with RR rear discs on:


Freshly built up axle (picture taken today!), as you can clearly see, RR rear discs, RR calipers, ealy 90/110 front hubs with the proper drive flanges with (big) rubber caps, and (you can't see coz they're inside the casing!) 90 rear halfshafts (10 spline in this case as it's only a 2 pin 10 spline standard duty diff)


shout if you need any more info!


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Just go see Ashcroft. http://www.ashcroft-transmissions.co.uk/ as good as anything out there wihtout changing to a different style of diff center and the most convenient for people in the UK.

Chrome-moly 24 spline shafts for the rear with their en24t drive flanges and any decent 24 spline diff.

For the front the same plus the chrome-moly/300M CV joints.

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The weakest part of your axle is the 2 pin diff centre. Fitting heavy duty axles will not make any improvement.

First upgrade to a 4 pin centre.

Listen to this man Dave 'cos it really is that simple.

However can I suggest that you sell me your old axlesand you splash out loads of dash on 24spline stuff...

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The first thing to break will be the side gears or the cross shaft in the diff centre,

Your options would then be;

4 pin diff £220 ish but you'll probably have to buy 24spline shafts as all the factory 4 pins and most of the after market 4 pin centres use 24 spline, although kam and ashcroft do make 10 spline 4 pin diffs.

Then you will start to see off your standard shafts (if you went that way) but even then devon do heavy duty 10 spline shafts.

The other way to fix your weak diff centre is to go to some kind of locking diff, As all that I know of are of a "4 pin" construction

Options are;

Detroit truetrack £400ish automatic locker with minimal handling issues, doesn't fully lock only gives a bias of 3-1, can be fitted front or back. available in 10 and 24 spline.

Detroit locker also £400ish automatic locker with handling issues not really recommended for a daily, fully locks, only really suitable for the rear, available in 10 or 24 spline.

Kam locking diff £800ish manual locker that comes as a kit complete with everything inc. hd shafts although the shafts aren't the strongest around.

ARB locking diff £500ish this is for the diff centre only so you'll still have to buy shafts and a compressor, can be problematic but good parts supply.

maxidrive locking diff £1100ish manual locker that comes as standard with shafts, works on vacuum so no compressor needed. very reliable strong kit.

Jack mcnamara locking diff £???ish very strong manual locker that can be bought off the shelf with up to 31 spline shafts :D

Jack mcnamara hypoid locking diff unit £?????????ish absolutely bullet-proof replacement 3rd member, with manual locker built in, good choice of very strong ratios, as above available with stupid shafts.

On the half shaft front,

kam ones are a bit Cadburys,

Ashcroft ones had a similar reputation but have lately pulled their socks up.

v8 ninety rear shafts are actually pretty good (carn't say the same about beamach copies :o )

maxidrive, strong as your ever likely to need

Quaife, as above

Rakeway, Shafts made to your spec, as strong as your wallet is large

mcnamara, abuse proof


kam diffs


Devon 4x4


jack mcnamara

The above is not a definitive guide, merely my opinion.

My "real" recommendation would be to put some proper axles underneath before you put any money inside the rover pieces of s**t axles.

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Cheapest way by far is to buy my set of 5 (yes, FIVE) 24 spline axles! I have a rear with brand new Lockheed discs, and four fronts, all of which are ABS type CV's (reputed to be stronger than 'normal' 24 spline stuff).

This would give you front and rear 24 spline upgrade in one hit, with 3 complete sets of spare difs, CV's, swivels (on set is even teflon coated), halshafts, bearings, hubs, stub axles, axle casings etc...

And I'd do the lot for less than upgrading to Ashcoft.... basically want £600 for the whole lot.


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Thanks for the replies :wacko::D

As i said in my first post, the diff will be changed for a locker in the near future so just looking at shafts / flanges at the moment

Looks like changing the axles may be cheaper in the long run, although the front axle was completely rebuilt (professionally) less than a year ago :angry:

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If you are only off road 5% of the time (as you have previously stated) I wouldn't go mad spending loads (and it will be a lot by the time you've built reliable axles).

Having said that, I would buy a complete 24 spline rear axle as a starting point. You are very limited with 10 spline as to the upgrades available (IIRC GKN are the only available shafts at £300+ a pair :blink: )

Start with the rear axle, then as funds allow add the locker, then the shafts etc. Once that axle is done then do the same at the front.

Alternatively, go for portals.... :unsure: - obvious on road drawbacks, but on a cost basis they'll probably be cheaper than building strong LR axles...... and all the people in the know are on this Forum B) . I will be looking to do this when my numbers come up!

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come and have a peek at Billing Richard,

CTIS should be coming in at the end of the month so might have that with me too

Cool, I am supposed to be a marshall on the off road course this year so I will be there for the whole weekend.

I am bringing the portal 90 as well.


PS. Sorry for the thread hijack. :)

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Dave, DD did a pretty good summary there. Personally I wouldn't bother doing the shafts until you do the locker; you'r current diff centre (or even a 24 spline 2-pin replacement) will simply break first. Also, the shafts have to come out anyway to fit the diff so you'll be doing the job anyway. By all means buy the shafts now so you can dribble over them / kiss them before going to bed etc but I wouldn't fit them.

As far as shafts go, I use Maxi Drive and they're great. Absolutely no complaints their however, I would only ever buy direct after a 'frustraiting experience' with the european importer. This is now a problem as Mal Storey (aka Mr Maxi Drive) is now enjoying a well deserved retirement and I'm not sure what the state of play is with the company. As you're doing something a little complicated you might have problems.

Ashcrofts latest stuff is VERY good. I've seen some of the results from their test rig and they are excellant compaired to other, readily available shafts. They'll also be able to sell you a drive flange straight off the shelf that'll fit. They'd also probably give you a deal if you bought shafts, drive flanges and a diff centre.

KAM shafts are chocolate IMHO, they appear to offer little or no improvement over stock. GKN seem to be somewhere between the latest Ashcroft stuff and KAM/Factory shafts.

Quaife are in a word awesome. From the stories I've heard they are stronger than Maxi Drive but eyewateringly expensive. Rakeway also have a good reputation in general and seem to know what they're talking about so could probably make you any kind of shaft you want. That can get a bit expensive, though (£1k + an axle for really tough steel :o )

Jac Mac stuff has an excellant reputation although I don't know who's importing it at the moment (if anyone). The Orange Company where a little while ago in small batches but I don't think they are anymore. You could always go direct but I've heard Mr MacNamara is a PITA to deal with. Also, FYI, the general consensus from the Aus forums is there's not much to choose between MD and Jac Mac shafts on a like for like basis.

Diffs in short:


* Detroit - Reasonable although they seem to have a limited life.

* KAM - Personally I wouldn't

* Quaife - Awesome bit of kit


* Detroit - I've heard some good, some bad reports. You're handling will be affeted

Manual Lockers:

* ARB - My choice as they're strong (not the strongest, though), parts are readily available and I like to have control over the diffs.

* KAM - As above but I'm far from convinced about the design of their lockers

* Maxi Drive - Pretty bullet proof, comes with shafts but the axle casing has to be modified and there's the supply form Aus thing.

* Jac Mac - Pretty simerlar to MD stuff but a PITA to deal with. There are some super strong options aswell.

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Be good to put a face to the name Richard :)

Im bringing petal down and half a dozen of the support crew are coming over from Finland........ its gonna be messy :D

soz - for the hijack!! :ph34r:

if you buy Maxidrive - try Bill at GBR, Patrice can be a major pain in the giblets and Bill keeps it all in stock and has it shipped into the UK within 5 working days from order - no Im not related, I just get REALLY good service from them!

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Be good to put a face to the name Richard :)

Im bringing petal down and half a dozen of the support crew are coming over from Finland........ its gonna be messy :D

soz - for the hijack!! :ph34r:

if you buy Maxidrive - try Bill at GBR, Patrice can be a major pain in the giblets and Bill keeps it all in stock and has it shipped into the UK within 5 working days from order - no Im not related, I just get REALLY good service from them!

I've never tried Bill but I've always heard good reports from you, Jez. As you say, Partrice can be a little trying at times....

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I've never tried Bill but I've always heard good reports from you, Jez.

While on buying from US,FYI I bought both my ARBs from Bill,and,although we ended up with a mess due to "some" custom issues,he sent the diffs with bearings already pressed on for free (at time) and I saved roughly 600 Euros compared to the Italian dealer,plus a time saving on the installation cost.

If you want some well priced HD axles consider RT ones (Moser),

I have them on my truck and can sell/send you a couple whenever you want.

I don't really like this kinda things but I hope I'm not going to displease anybody.

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