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Front Diff Pinion Bearing

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A few weeks ago replaced the cv joints on my defender, whilst i had the front stripped down i decided to replace the front diff pan as it looked as if it was going to go bad soon ( the rear one already has) so i removed the diff, after rebuilding the front axle i had quite a bad leak from the diff, thought this might be due to poor welding however i also had a whine coming from the front after rebuilding, i thought this could have been the prop as i could feel play in it.

Ive just replaced the prop and can still feel the play so it must be the pinion bearing causing the up and down movement, this would also explain the leak of oil as it does look like it might be running from the pinion seal.

Is it possible to replacing the bearing with the diff still in place? I dont have the time at the minute to strip it back down due to uni! Ive spoke to the garage i normally take it too on the phone and he reckons that these parts dont wear out and it would need a new diff... he quoted £220 for a 2nd hand diff and £175 to fit it, is this true? and are his prices expensive?

Ive tried searching the forum but cant find many posts on this!



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The "pinion bearing" is actually two bearings back-to-back. To replace them you need to take the whole diff-and-carrier out of the axle (so your halfshafts/CVs have to come out...) then you remove the 2 saddles that hold the crownwheel-assembly to the diff-carrier and separate them.

Then you can remove the pinion-and-spindle from the diff-carrier, drift out the 2 bearings/races and replace.

Reassembly is the reverse of dismantling. At least you haven't got the dreaded Salisbury "collapsible spacer" and pinion-bearing-preload to fret about.

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I guess a couple of hours for labour @ £90 ph nowadays is about right?

But secondhand dif as above unless it is referbed then £200 also about right unless HfH has other views on this?

Sooo it really would save a lot if you can spare the 1 1/2 - 2 hours needed yourself.



Are the bearings loose ie nackered or has the centre bolt come loose? You will need to remove the propshaft at the diff to see. I have had this oncce.

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Bloody hell, I need to up my prices !!

Its the old "If someone else does it for you" £s issue.


The prices quoted for a seciond hand diff = daft. I have had a few really nice 2nd hand diffs - too good to break apart for bits and they go for £75, and no I don't have any at the moment !.

£200 I would expect it to be near bludy perfick - and it won't be !

A OK diff is £50 tops. : http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Land-rover-discovery-1-2-300tdi-td5-front-diff-4-bolt-flange-24-spline-defender-/190917467593?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item2c73915dc9


Not hard but yes time consuming, I would say 3 hrs maybe, but - theres nothing that complex that you couldn't do it yourself....save fortune

Pinion bearing sloppy = full rebuild, and frankly just not worth spending the money on doing it, its still a 2 pin diff and will still break at the drop of a hat / clutch and rebuuilt or

not waste of money

Suggest you have a lookie at :http://www.megasquirt-v8.co.uk/4_pin_diffs.php and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF_spN8QNmc&feature=feedu

I would suggest you seriously consider doing this yourself and saving a load of dosh, maybe using the saving to upgrade to 4 pin ?

However, its is NOT unknown, esp on the castlelated nut type pinions, for the nut to come undone under the prop !, remove prop and check the torque on the locking nut to say 85-90 Ft Lbs

as this might if you are really lucky solve it short term for a while for nothing !!

Grip the flange with big stillsons and then do the nut up, don't do the nut up with the drivetain locking you might destroy internals !!

Anyway HTH


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