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Front prop shaft - do the two parts come apart?


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Hi, all,

As the title, really. I know the slip joint should be reasonably free, but while replacing a UJ I found that the slip joint is virtually seized, despite regular greasing via the grease nipple. There has not been a grommet on the slip joint, part number 276484, but there is a very short cover that appears to be intended to prevent mud, etc, entering the end of the slip joint. It appears that the two parts should separate to allow fitment of the grommet. Please advise.

Many thanks, in advance, for your thoughts.

Mike

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The design of most slider greasing points is flawed.... The nipple on mine is near the uj. So all the grease does is ooze out of the grommet. ...

even with the nipple half way down the slider the grease doesn't go all the way around. ...

I remove and manually grease mine about every 500 miles. .... and I very rarely go through water for prolonged periods. ...

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All of the above, it does come apart and is fouled with crud will require a hard belt with a soft faced mallet to separate the two halves. Clean and apply a good quality water repellant lithium grease to the spline and socket and ensure that they slip smoothly, fit a new dust/mud cover and add a couple of shots of grease to the nipple and re-fit.

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Before you do separate it, make a note of the relative positions of the two yokes (if it's the front prop). There is a small difference of two spline positions (which is 22.5 degrees / a sixteenth of a full turn) to allow for the angles of the flanges on the transfer box front take off and the front diff. (At least that's for my 300 TDI).

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Thanks, all, for your info, especially to Peaklander, 'cos I'm sure I would have missed this offset in my enthusiasm to lovingly caress the beast with my mallet! ^_^

My grease nipple is also right at the end of the female splines, so the grease comes out the slider very quickly. What are your views on using an angle grinder to cut a one revolution spiral groove, say 1/16" deep, around the male splines from the grease nipple to the far end of the splines, to assist the distribution of grease both down the length of the splines and fully around the circumference? Would this significantly weaken the shaft?

Mike

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There is no need. The grease will collect in the hollow end of the prop and be dispersed circumferentially. The sliding of the joint will transfer grease to the ends of the splines as long as the splines aren't clogged with debris or old, hardened grease.

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Many thanks for the new info and for the link. My front prop doesn’t appear to have the same configuration as that shown in the Bailey Morris web site. My shaft is in the almost closed position (shortest), at least when in the shop, with only about 1/8” of the male splines showing. Does anybody know how much the splines move in practice? Presumably the maximum would be during extreme articulation, or perhaps when fully loaded.

When I inject grease through the grease nipple I almost immediately get clean grease coming out of the splines. When I compare the volume of grease exiting the splines for a single stroke of my grease gun with that pumped from the grease gun when not connected to the grease nipple, the volumes appear to be the same. I know this is not very scientific, but it seems to indicate that no grease is getting to the storage chamber at the inboard end of the female splines, and hence the entire circumference of the splines are not receiving grease.

Does anybody have any suggestions how to ensure the entire spline area can be greased, without removing and disassembling the prop shaft at every service interval? I think I'll direct this query to Bailey Morris, and I'll post their response, assuming I get one.

Mike

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If I remember correctly the 300tdi defender's front prop is almost full closed in normal running position. The splines move far less than you expect on normal set up I can't remember but I think it's something like 10-15mm going down and 0-4mm going up. Personally I would separate, clean, grease evenly then put it back together I would then grease it through the nipple then put it back on and grease it again. I wouldn't worry about it to much you clearly look after your truck more than most do so it will wear slowly.

Mike

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Ah! Thanks, Mike. That probably explains why I haven't had a reply from Bailley Morris.

I've decided to drill, tap and fit an additional grease nipple that supplies grease directly to the storage chamber at the inboard end of the female section. In fact, I'll fit two new nipples, 180 degrees apart, so as not to upset the prop shaft balance. This should ensure that grease can get all round the circumference and lubricate the entire splined section. Do you see any problems with this, please?

Mike

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I've fitted my two extra grease nipples, but my great idea does not work. And neither does the original GKN design if the cavity at the end of the splines was supposed to hold grease and allow it to pass up all the splines. For some reason there is a hole in the membrane at the bottom of the splined section. It looks as if there's a complete seal, but there isn't. When I tried pumping grease in all that happened was that it partially filled the void behind the hole. I could have kept on pumping until I emptied my grease gun. I confirmed the leak by cleaning out all the grease in the cavity and then adding some diesel. It quickly drained into the other section of the prop shaft, but didn't drain out.

So, there's no way to lubricate the splines without stripping the sections apart and doing it manually, literally.

Mike

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