Once the rear axle was completed, I began on
the front. To make things easier for me, I just unbolted the swivel balls and
pulled everything with it, just to get the clearance that was needed to remove the
diff. But before doing so, I had to remove the leather gaiters. To my surprise,
water ran out of them - after being on dry ground for 4 months here in Sweden -
and the red sand ! There was a large puddle under each corner of the axle and
there was sand every where's. A major clean up of the swivels was now on the list
of things to do. The removal of the left side swivel went without a hitch, then I
moved over to the right side.
When I was removing the bolts from the swivel housing to the axle stub,
there was 2 missing! I couldn't get a clear view until the swivel
housing was totally removed and then I saw that the previous owner had
actually snapped off the bolt heads and left the bolts in the axle. - In the
picture you can see them at positions 12 and 1 o'clock- How dumb can a
licence mechanic be? Just the thought of the lack of swivel housing
security, scares me. Just think about it, if I had an accident on the right
corner of the vehicle, the front tire - with enough force - could have been
forced off of the axle into the bulkhead where my feet are. Scary isn't it!
I bought a complete set of tie rod ends for RUR 487 from Paddocks and I was not too pleased with the quality of the products nor the set. For one thing, there was 3 of each thread direction, but you need 4 right hand thread and 2 left hand thread for the series 3 steering. The the tie rod ends themselves, Bearmach shit! Poorly built units, the grease nipples were falling off, slight tears in the rubber seals and only one wire ring around the rubber seals to hold them in place and keep out the road grime. - These will be replaced at a later time with original units-
Four months later I finally found a dealer that had the drill bits that I needed, so I bought 2 and went to work on the right side of the front axle. Damn it took a long time with the drill, nearly 2 days but I did remove the old bolts. The threads were damaged from the drilling, so I decided to instead use nut and bolt to secure the swivel housing - just as the series axles - at these two positions. I did use quality steel 8.8 nuts and bolts.
Finally the front axle was back together again. In the swivel housing, I decided to use Land Rovers own one shot grease - I highly recommend using it - no more leaking swivel housing.
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