Saturday, April 8, 2006

Swivel Ball Seal Replacement

Another item that got fixed, before the carburetor problem got resolved, was the leaking swivel ball seals.

Not long after being able to legally drive my Landy I noticed tiny puddles of oil next to the tires as well as on the sides. These were under the vehicle and not on the outside. I wasn't sure where they were coming from; all I could tell is that it was coming from the area where the hub assembly was. So, I hit the shop manuals and determined that the leak was coming from either the hub seals or the swivel ball seals.

Once again, with the help of the Land Rover Owners Mailing List it was determined that the oil had to be coming from the swivel ball seals.

There are only two of these suckers; one on each front hub.

Thanks to TeriAnn Wakeman I was shown how to replace these seals
without having to take the hub assembly apart.

Once the seal repair kits arrived I started work. Unfortunately, when I went to cut the replacement seals I noticed a tiny spring that went all the way around the inside lip of each one. Since I am not that good of a mechanic, and had never done this before, I decided not to cut the seals. Instead I replaced them the hard way.

I was actually surprised at how easily the assemblies came apart and went back together. The real luck was in the swivel balls themselves. From what I have read, and been told, a lot of the older swivel balls are corroded and/or pitted. Those on Grover were virtually perfect. I only found about three pin head sized pits.

I repaired the pits and then reassembled the hubs.

The repair appears to have worked, but I have noticed that the leaks are starting up again, just not as bad.

Now for the funny part. Remember, I had finished putting in the new break fluid reservoir and lines in a couple of days before the seal replacement. At this point the tires and wings were still off.

Well, my father helped me put the hub assemblies back together. As I started to replace the driver's side tire my father noticed the new reservoir and lines. He asked if the breaks were working better and I said yes. Keep in mind, the passenger side drum and tire have not been put on yet. Only the driver side had the drum on and I was putting the tire on at that moment.

The next thing I knew there was a fountain of break fluid spewing from the passenger side hub! My father had stuck his head in the cab and started pumping the breaks to see how tight they were. Before I could yell at him to stop he said "these breaks are still spongy - you need to re-check them"!


If it isn't my father-n-law it's my father! Each time one of them 'helps' me, SOMETHING like this happens. At least they supply interesting stories.

So, I went over to have a look. The seals of the break cylinder had blown - if only I would have put the drum back on! Actually, the picture at the top is me looking at the blown cylinder, I can't find the photos of the seal replacement.

Anyway, I got the cylinder fixed and re-did the break fluid. Oh I have breaks.

While we were at it we also replaced the tie rod ends; all the radiator hoses; and the fan belt.

My brother was really concerned the possibility of the radiator over heating so we decided to install an el cheapo temp gauge and, just to play it safe, replace the thermostat. When we took the top housing for the thermostat off there was nothing there!! NO THERMOSTAT at all - not even the remains of one!

So, I ordered the appropriate thermostat from Rovers North. When it arrived I tried to install it - it wouldn't fit.

No matter what I did it-just-would-not-fit!!! So I called up the tech guys at Rovers North and asked for help. They walked me through it and, thanks to them, we found out that the top housing was the wrong one for my engine. I was then told they are no longer made. However, they asked if I could give them a little bit of time to find me one. The next day I get a call from them - the found one! So they offered it to me at a very fair rate and express shipped it to at no additional cost!

Rovers North guys - if you read this - THANKS!

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

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