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Viscous Coupling Range Rover Classic


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About a 1000 miles back, I rebuilt the BW transfer case on my 91 Range Rover, everything new except the Viscous Coupling, as the existing one with a 100k on it checked out ok on the bench.

Now If I apply hardish throttle from a standing start, or going up an incline, I'm getting slipping accompanied by clicking or clunking noises. Its a similar sensation to that experienced in the old days when on motorcycles with worn sprockets :)

The noise I would say is coming from the transmission/transfer box area. The coupling passes the jack up a wheel and turn test, so is not solid.

Can these couplings fail by losing the ability to transmit torque ? All I can seem to find in the way of examples on the interweb seem to be solid failures :)

Thanks in advance.

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I posted a few years ago about a similar experience, but more after launching my RRC up a nasty slippery rock section of greenlane, as you say, sounded like a slipping chain, definitely from the t-box area, but never did nail down what it was, as I went LT230 after a few months!

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The answer seems to be in this link to Ashcrofts page on Borg Warner chains, and failures between 1000 and 5000miles :(


So thanks to the insane efforts of (probably) some entrepreneur in the Far East, who sought to save 20p, I can now drop the transfer case again to replace something that was not even as good as the old part with 104k on it.

Still, looking on the bright side, it'll also give me a chance to see if the output shaft I bought new is made of butter also :)

It may be as well to point out that these chains are still being sold on a well known auction site for a touch over £100. So beware !

Adding this to Ignition Amplifiers that cant stand any heat at all, and fail after 3 months of light use, its plain that the opportunity exists for suppliers today, to get hold of stuff that in every way looks like it'll do the job, but in fact has been produced from sub standard materials. Obviously we all have to be judicious in choosing between Main Stealer parts and Aftermarket goods :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

New chain from Ashcroft's has worked wonders :)

Looking at the old and badly stretched one, it does not appear to be of poor quality, but the link pins differ from the new one made by Ramsey Chain in the USA.

It was also apparent that the new part was considerably tighter on the sprockets from the get go, I recall the failed item practically fell together, whereas the 'Puka' chain did want everything in good alignment to get it all together.

When I get time I'll put the bite on the supplier of the dud part in an effort to find out the importer of the bad chains. It'd be some useful dope to get on to the interweb, as it'll hopefully save others from having to do a largish job twice :)

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