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Please can you sanity check my diagnosis (poss diff failure)


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Hi all,

Pleae can you guys sanity check my diagnosis and offer a bit of advice.

Had a mate call me today, his 1996 90 had made a "really bad crunching sound" while reversing out of a parking space.

Several feet later he lost all drive.

Engaging diff lock he was able to limp home but said there were some intersting noises from the rear axle.

He just brought it around to my house and I found the following:

When the handbrake is on and the rear is jacked up, both rear wheels can be turned at the same time.

There is a lot of "crunchy" noises coming from the rear diff.

I decided to pull one of the rear halfshafts (short one). This came out fine and I can see the end of the other halfshaft through the axle which is rotating when the rear wheel is turned.

When I tried to put the halfshaft back in, something was sopping it being pushed all the was home.

Using a torch, it looked like there was something in the way. With a bit of poking using a long rod, this then dissapeared with a clunk and the halfshaft went back in OK.

From this I am guessing that both of the halfshafts are OK and the diff is totally shot.

Does this sound plausible?

If it is the diff, the good news is he has a spare!

I've never replaced one of these before but assume the procedure is as follows:

Drain axle.

Remove both halfshafts

Remove rear prop from diff flange

Remove bolts and pull out the diff.

Clean the case and then reassemble using the replacement unit.

I'm guessing we'll need a new diff to axle case gasket, some sealant, oil and it will be wise to fit a new pinion seal to the replacement diff.

Any advice would be appreciated as it looks like I'm starting work on it tomorrow morning ^_^

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going to need a new diff pan too.

Drain axle.

Remove both halfshafts

Remove rear prop from diff flange

Remove bolts and pull out the diff.

Clean the case and then reassemble using the replacement unit.

I'm guessing we'll need a new diff to axle case gasket, some sealant, oil and it will be wise to fit a new pinion seal to the replacement diff.

that will do it. :i-m_so_happy:

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Nigel, can this be done on the vehicle?

My mate has pretty much decided to bung it into the local specialists and see if they can replace the axle for a secondhand one.

I'm assuming a replacement diff pan and then fitting his own diff will be a cheaper alternative?

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A lot cheaper, and not hard to do. Welding on the vehicle entirly possible, as is changing the diff. My 88's rear diff also disintergrated last weekend, pinion shaft snapped, bearings disintergrated, and oddly the pin had lost a circlip??? Anyway, method as described, and made much easier if you have a pit avaliable.

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Persuade him it's an opportunity to fit an uprated diff pan so he no longer needs a diff guard, no more trapped mud or rotting diff pans.

Something like that http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/170703238179

or go with a standard one which will be cheaper

What Cwazy says, upgrade the diff pan while you have it off.

Personally I wouldn't bother with the gasket for the diff to axle joint, just use silicone :). LR themselves don't use a gasket any more AFAIK.

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