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Bell housing nuts... again


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Hi all, new here..

I have a '96 Disco 300tdi, manual. Owned for the last 7 years, used for towing vintage tractors, family camping and general workhorse.

Anyways, usual problem of knackered clutch fork. Simple job. so I thought...

Read every forum, manual, bulletin etc.. every "how to" I could find. went for the "move gearbox back 7 inches" method as in

the forum archives here.

So.. everything removed, jacked up, outside, limited space, freezing cold...

gearbox resting on crossmember...

2 days later and I still cant get that top nut off...I know its at 12 o'clock position, cant even see it with torches and mirrors. cant get my hand anywhere near to even feel for it..

Have 4'+ of extensions, wobblies etc but cant get near it as whichever way I try something is in the way.

What am i doing wrong?? Getting tired of finding forums that just say "its hard but do-able..." without advice...


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Okay there is no easy answer, I groaned when I saw where they were and like you tried every long and short extension until I resorted to using a die grinder to grind off the bolt head, then guess what???? ---- after I'd "dropped" the box I was able to screw out the bloody bolt out by hand :angry2: there simply isnt any justice, but then you own a Landy so you really shouldnt be suprised. On refitting the new bolts I ran a tap into the threads and used a medium grade Loctite

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Have you dropped the end of the box much ?. I did one and I let the box down a bit and then used long extensions going back over the top of the box . If you can use an extension with a 'wobbly' end it can help .

Once you've located it keeping the socket on the bolt head can be a problem - you need to keep forward pressure on it .

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when i did ours i ended up droping the rear of the box as far as i could then i found it easier to get the socket on, but it was still a bitch to do.just remove the bolts from the crossmember after removing the prop you should be able to get to the top bolts with a stack of extentions jack engine back up and split the box.


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You can get to the top nut by jacking the engine up, removing the engine mounts, then dropping the engine down till it rests on the chassis mounts.

Easy with an engine hoist, pig without.

Horrible job, and all because LR didn't modify the bulkhead when they came up with the Discovery - bar the scuttle panel it's exactly the same as an early Range Rover, which was designed round a different engine and box.

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how i did it was remove all bolts that i could get to, then jack the back of the box up to create a gap roughly 1" getween the bell housing and engine.

then (and this is the dodgy bit) i wedged an inch bit of metal between bell housing and engine and released the jack on the back of the box, this then tilted the engine more and made it much easier to get to.

once the top bolt is removed, screw some threaded bar roughly 7" long into 2 of the bolt holes, this makes it so much easier to relocate the gearbox.

when doing the fork, if its possible, weld a piece of metal onto the back of it, this will give it a much longer life.

and while the box is off, for the sake of the price, its worth doing the clutch too.


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Thanks for all the advice ! its off .. finally.

Socket + 6" + 12 " extension finally did it, after looking at pictures of the bellhousing and an idea of where to aim for.

Will be doing clutch and modified fork and thrust bearing while its off.

You know what I'm going to ask next... how to put it back..!

but seriously.. I've read a lot of replies where people don't replace the top (or even top 3 ) nuts. I wouldnt leave 3 off, but is it a big problem to leave the top nut off?

Is it over engineered or there for a purpose?

Oh, and whats the general feeling - locktite, grease or just replace dry? I went for a set of (overly expensive) new L/R nuts to replace, but the new ones don't have the

flange like the old ones did.

Thanks again.

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replace 6 o clock 3o clock and 9 o clock with locktite, the rest dry.

i never replaced the nuts and had no problems, also i left the very top nut off mine, now ran for 2 years without a problem, tho i wouldnt leave 3 off, thats asking for trouble!!

ok to replace.............

get some threaded bar the same thread, run through the bell housing and screw a little way into the engine, space them well apart, ie;- not next to eash other

then you can use nuts to gently pull the gearbox back toward the engine, 1 at 6 o clock 1 at 4 o clock and 1 at 8 o clock should work, do each nut up 1 turn at a time and go though them in sequence to get an even pull.

if you have changed the clutch, find or fab up a piece of bar the same width as the input shaft to locate new clutch properly.

its a bit of a bugger, but as long as your neighbours dont mind a bit of blastphermy youll be ok!! ^_^^_^^_^

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I just used a 10" extension on my flexihead extra long 3/8" snap on ratchet when doing mine, I also have a very short ratchet for running the nuts on, did it all by feel no need to remove the crossmember.


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  • 3 weeks later...

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