What Happens In Your Differential? (Post #579) 9/24/2018

I saw this post and had to share it. A lot of guys go to a lot of effort to modify their vehicles beyond how it was designed by the engineers. By no means am I saying don’t modify, or the engineers are always right. But they are paid a great deal of money and have gone to a lot of school to design automobiles. So I’d say trust but verify.

Continue reading “What Happens In Your Differential? (Post #579) 9/24/2018”

Busted Differential (Post #555) 3/7/2016

I headed to work this morning as I always do. About two miles from the house I heard the “sound” again. This is the binding sound I’ve heard twice before. I thought for sure it was a CV joint going out.

The two times before I was able to make a three point turn and the sound went away. In my mind this seemed logical as if a CV was binding up it would be fully articulated across the axis and perhaps unbound.

Today, the sound did not go away after the three point turn. It also did not respond to a figure-eight turn in a large parking lot near Mickey’s Garage. As my friend JagGuy says, “if it explodes it’ll be easier to find the issue.” Determined to drive it until something catastrophic happened I turned out onto Flood avenue. About a mile later I got a very satisfying crunch sound.

“I guess its broken now,” I thought to myself.

I have a new CV on the shelf so I wasn’t worried about getting a part. My elbow has just now begun to recover from the severe tennis elbow I’ve been battling for 3 months. And wet weather was coming in today. So with those thoughts I dropped the Big White Bus off at Mickey’s Garage.

I went home to file my taxes, do laundry, and blog. He called me in the afternoon and sent me a picture. I was on the way home from physical therapy and stopped by.

I told Mickey I was 72% sure it was a CV but I was 28% sure it might be a differential. It was a differential.

Bolt Chunk and Washer
Bolt Chunk and Washer
Bad Differential

You can see the bolt that is not seated. The top is shaved off. The missing bolt is the one that broke off. Several of the others were FINGER TIGHT, yes, finger tight. The oil in the diff and CV housing was a lovely shiny metallic mess. That metal was most likely in the bearings in the differential making it a total loss. We could have bolted her back up but it would have failed eventually.

Mickey said the bolts required proper torquing and setup with the pinion, etc, etc,… I’m taking his word for it that it would be an ordeal to put right. I can get another used differential for 150$(US) from Rover Cannibal.

We could speculate for days about why it failed like it did. Suffice to say there is a lot of “slop” built into the axles of a Range Rover Classic. This is good and bad. Bad because it causes things like this to happen. Who knows, perhaps someone in this Rover’s past rebuilt it and did it WRONG.

In any event, I’m driving my son-in-law’s Audi tomorrow and will be back behind the wheel on Wednesday. Considering the Saturday afternoon I spent with Mr. Fisher and with JagGuy on the phone trying to find my problem in the ignition that was keeping the engine from starting, I’m getting a little frustrated. I know its a rolling restoration, but damn it, I need reliability. You can laugh at that if you like, but the Big White Bus has been pretty good to me for all of 188,000 miles I’ve put on her. Land Rover and reliable? Say what you like, but they make a purpose built vehicle.

Funny thing, Ehimare, a young man from Brooklyn NY that drives a 1993 RRC and occasionally calls me for help, had his break a half shaft this week too. He’s looking for a differential as well due to his shop’s inability to get the chunk of shaft removed. Must have been a rough week for 1993 RRC drive trains.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

CV Joint and Front Axle Seal (Post #504) 6/23/2014

Here is what will pass for a how-to video on the CV Joint and axle seal replacement. I had trouble videoing it with greasy hands. I also had trouble because the phone ran out of disk space.

That let to some choppy video and you didn’t get to see the assembly. What I do hope you get from this is that it is not as complicated or difficult as it may appear. Take it one step at a time and it will become really easy to understand.

On the Okierover Difficulty Scale this is a solid 3. You’ll need more than your average tool kit. You’ll need some help with the brake bleeding. It is a technical job but relatively straight forward.

I hope you can get something from the video. It was not what I wanted to present. But I also didn’t want to waste all the video and effort.

Thanks for watching and thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Working on a new How-to Video (Post #503) 6/21/2014

I worked on a new video today. I swapped a CV joint and some seals. I’ll get it up as soon as I have it done.

Here’s a teaser.

Otherwise not much is going on. I have the gas mileage up to 13.5 mpg on average. I did learn today from the manager of the AutoZone store that Castrol 20w50 is being discontinued. I’m not sure if this is true or not true, but he had the 5 quart jugs on sale for 8$(US). That’s really cheap. I bought a jug in addition to some new 80w90 for my differentials.

If it is indeed true I’ll have to swap back to 10w40. No harm in that. I wonder if it will affect my gas mileage?

Well that’s all for now. Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Fresh Gear Oil and CV One-Shot (Post #329) 4/15/2013

I mentioned a post or two ago that I thought I’d heard the tell-tale clicking of a CV joint when I made a turn out of the drive-way. I am pretty sure I don’t have a failing CV so it had to be time to add some more lubricant.

The CV is a funny item. It take tremendous pressure and transfers it to the hub which turns the tires. The fluid is kept in its place by a rubber pressure fitting seal there at the edge of the silver swivel ball. Slowly over time the grease slips past and needs replacement.

I first thought I’d check the state of the grease and decided to attempt to drain it. I first loosened the fill plug. It doesn’t help to drain it if you can’t refill it. Then I loosened drain plug. The drain plug is probably an 11mm plug. I don’t have an 11mm wrench so I carefully removed it with a 12mm.

The hole is really too close to the other parts in that area and will not drain in to the receptacle you place there. I started catching some of the fluid and it looked terrible. I guessing I have lost the axle seal and am getting contaminated fluid from the differential in the housing.

In any event, you can see that the fluid is quite terrible. I allow a bit to drain but as I was not sure how much was in there to start with I stopped draining and went to adding.

The parts suppliers have handy one-shot tubes of the grease ready to go. Just snip and add. I had sourced these at the same time as I did my springs and shocks.

The one trick I have found to putting this fluid in is to spin the wheels facing extreme outboard. So when you are filling the right side, spin the wheel to hard right. And reverse for the left. This opens up the innards and allows for the grease to easily slide into the hole.

Snip the end and roll from the far end to the open end as you hold the tube in place. Its a good idea to remove as much debris as you can from the opening area before loosing the fill plugs. It will minimize the dirt getting in while filling.

Do both sides and you have happy CV joints bathing in fresh grease.

I also thought I’d check the differentials while I was under there. So I drained them and filled them with fresh Castrol Hypoy C 85w140 gear oil. It takes two quarts to fill the differential. I had just enough to get one filled, but had to source more.

I ran down to O’reilly Auto Parts and got three more quarts. I always have this fluid on hand. You never know when you’ll need it.

The worst part of putting this fluid in the differentials is the odd angle and getting the fluid in the hole. I would recommend a pump as such. It is a terribly slow way to add fluid but it is virtually the only way not to make a giant mess of it.

That’s not my picture I borrowed it from the site. I got the gear oil added and took her out for a spin. You can really tell a difference. Well, I could anyway.

The condition of the differential oil confirmed my theory that I have at least one bad driveshaft seal on the front. The condition of the fluid coming out was terrible. This is a necessary maintenance item on any tick sheet.

Taking care of your drive shafts is synonymous with taking good care of your feet. If you can’t walk on your feet you can’t get anywhere. So take care of them and take care of your axle as well.

I have been talking about the transmission needing a rebuild for quite some time. I think I will be getting that done in the next couple of weeks. I might be parting with the Honda Civic and the Range Rover will become my daily driver again. The current transmission has 196,000 miles on her and is need of some TLC.

She tends to slip when pulling loads and climbing hills after she is warmed up. I’m certain some of my gas mileage is being lost on this inefficiency and if I want to pull a small camper in the future it will need to be sorted out. I will look to upgrade the cooling of the fluid as well. The current system works fine but I think I’ll upgrade it when I get her worked on.

Air Conditioning
With summer fast approaching The AC will have to be sorted out. The compressor and pretty much everything else under there has to be replaced. I was able to grab an OEM compressor off the Range Rover in the breaker’s yard last year. I am hoping the garage I’m going to take her to will use that to put everything back together.

Not having AC is simply unacceptable in Oklahoma in the summer. With Mrs. OkieRover and I talking about the week we will attempt this task it is looking increasingly likely that it will be in the deep hot of summer. We don’t know any better I guess.

Well that’s about it for the weekend. If it were not for a unexpected trip to the grocery on Sunday I would have had a report on the NEW SHOCKS I would have installed. Instead I hooked up the broken fog lamp that I repaired.

As always, thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Differential Back In (Post #198) 8/31/2010

The Sunday after we drove to Clayton to meet up with Shaun and Deb to sell them my Discovery II rims, I decided, “This day would not go to waste.” While Mrs. OkieRover slept off the road trip I put my mind to getting the differential back in the Range Rover.

I went to Lowe’s to see if they had the Grade 8 nyloc nuts I needed to reassemble the differential and drive shaft ends. My local Ace Hardware where I always went to get such bits went under. This is an American term meaning out of business, defunct, belly up, etc… I guess they could no longer compete with the big box stores.

My first experience getting my automotive supplies with Lowe’s didn’t impress me. They had only a hand full of nuts in the size I needed. The drawer was left in a terrible state from previous shoppers. When I asked the gal if there were anymore in the back, she wandered off to check the computer and came back with an unceremonious no. On hand stock only for such a common item? Seriously? Good grief. After her acknowledgement, she then proceeded to look through the bins for more nuts the size I needed. This wasn’t my first rodeo, I had already done that. In any event she was unlikely to find six (6) more packages. I stood there for a couple of minutes and when I realized she was just organizing the tray and no longer helping me I walked off.

So I bought all they had (four packages of two). I also picked up a Porter Cable 6 inch bench grinder for a little over 44$(US). I wanted to buy one made in America, so I skipped going to Harbor Freight. What I learned was Porter Cable bench grinders are also made in China. I also wanted to get a bigger one, but it seemed impractical. I bought a course wire wheel to knock rust off stuff. Thinking I was ready to leave I headed for the register. I learned later after I got home that sadly the wire wheel did not fill the entire shaft.

So with all this in hand, I headed to the Lowe’s in nearby Moore, Oklahoma. I bought all the nuts they had in that size as well. A sidenote: on Monday I returned to the Lowe’s in Moore and bought 2 fine wire wheels with the plan to put them side to side and a few collars and washers to fill the shaft as necessary. For future reference, I am going to find another store to get these types of nuts and bolts.

So I got back to the garage in time to task the boys out on the yard mowing and to task me out getting the differential back. As you know or perhaps have read, differentials are heavy. At least as far as I’m concerned they are heavy. I wrangled the diff under the Rover and got it up on the floor jack.

I originally planned to have some help for this project. But I had such a hectic schedule I didn’t call the Titanium Hitch over to help. He said he’d be able to assist if I would call him. Instead I did the job alone and harassed him via text message on Monday for not being there to help me. I’m evil that way.

Now for the embarrassing part, I got the differential up on the jack, got it lined up and pressed in. I started one of the nuts and then realized…oh crap, I don’t have any gasket material on there. I called JagGuy to confirm the need for gasket material. I told him I didn’t remember any being on there when I disassembled. He told me of the amazing ability of the factory to put just the exact amount on the seal and it was so minute that you probably didn’t see it unless you were looking for it.

I thanked him for making my Sunday and hung up. I then proceeded to cuss and piss and moan. Back under I went and pulled the differential out AGAIN. As it rested once again on the jack I applied gray Permatex. The factory used black. I had gray and blue. I went with the bottle on the top of the basket.

I got what I thought was a proper amount of gasket goo on and then proceeded to put the differential back in. My muscles were starting to fatigue at this point and the task was very difficult. I got her lined up and started the nuts.

If you read the last installment you know I was rounding off the nuts that were on the drive shaft when trying to get them off. I needed to replace all of them. For future reference they use the same size as on the differential. So you need a spare to make it back to the trail head, perhaps you can us one of the upper nuts on the differential to get you home.

I got both ends of the drive shaft tightened up. Every time I use wrenches and sockets it reminds me of the size variances between tools. In my experience you can have two 14mm wrenches of different manufacturers and one may be tight on the nut the other slightly off. So I’ve learned to have more than one “flavor” of wrench when working on a project.

I didn’t take pictures but I also pulled the splash guards from the rear axle. They were dirty and had rust forming. I used the angle grinder and wire wheeled the rust and bad paint off. I gave them a nice coat of, you guessed it, Rustoleum primer gray. I’ll snap a pic when I’m putting them back on.

I tried to grease the drive shaft and put some Hypoy C into the differential. It is 85w140 oil and has worked well for me up to now and was what I had on hand. I put in 1.5 quarts and will need to get some more to top her off. I only had marginal success with grease gun. I’ll try again when I can move the truck for better access to the zerks.

I’m ready now to put the axle half shafts back in and get the rear axle to a state I can call finished. I’m really wishing I’d put an oil pit in the floor just for these jobs. It could double as a storm shelter. Maybe some day I will.

I think I will at this point replace the aging break parts. I have a new reservoir to put in. The old one is old and cracking badly. Its only a matter of time it cracks and needs to be replaced. I’ll pack the spare bearings in my vacuum sealer as it was suggested on one of the boards. You can pack the grease in to the unit with just the suction of the sealer. So I’m going to try it.

Well that’s all for now. I’ve got another post going but I don’t have the details yet so it will come later in the week. Tonight is Longfellow Lion football. My nephew is playing his first organized sports this year. Wish him luck, he’s gonna need it.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.