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May 2016 Homepage (UK/Europe)

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It has been commented upon here several times that when a problem with an old Series Land Rover is noticed, we should be aware that it may be due to a combination of related faults and not just one fault alone. Sometimes it takes the combined effects of two related problems to make an issue noticeable. Solving one of them then often just results in a similar problem returning later.

The June 2015 homepage was focussed upon a problem with an intermittent noise coming from the front LHS wheel of a 1961 Series IIA LWB Land Rover. It was fitted with a Fairey freewheel hub. The final diagnosis was arrived at when a wheel bearing was removed and found to have a noticeable rough spot when the inner race was rotated in the hand. It was assumed that the noise would be magnified when the bearing was under full load. After renewing the bearing all seemed well. The noise had gone. But as time passed, the noise returned, though not always closely related to wheel rotation. There was evidently another fault left to fix. But what could it be?

Series Land Rovers are noisey beasts, but this noise was not always present and was not consistent in its nature. In the previous attempts to resolve the problem, both wheel bearings had been replaced, the universal joint in the halfshaft renewed and the Fairey freewheel hub dismantled and carefully examined for possible problems. Well there was only one remaining moving part that had not been examined and that was the bearing (part No. 244150) for the halfshaft located inside the chomed swivel pin housing (part No. 234789). So it became necessary to remove the housing from the axle casing and examine the bearing.

Well it didn't take long to identify the problem; the outer race of the bearing was no longer a tight fit in the housing and could be rotated within it. So it looked like the outer part of the bearing was able to spin sometimes when under load and this was producing the noise.

Axle bearing
Roller bearings and outer race for the halfshaft. Common to Series I,II,IIA and III Land Rovers.
(inner race remains on the halfshaft)

That was the good news. The bad news was that the inner race of the bearing was located on the halfshaft and behind a tight fitting retaining collar (part No. 217398) for the bearing. Both have to be carefully cut off with a cutting disc without damaging the halfshaft.This is best done wearing eye protection and cutting diagonally across, first the collar, and then the inner bearing race and using a cold chisel inserted in the cut to attempt to rotate each in turn on the axle (see photo below). They should crack, split and then be easily removed. Great care should be taken to avoid cutting into the halfshaft itself.

halfshaft
inner bearing race and retaining collar
after removal with cutting disc and cold chisel.
(retaining collar seems to have been rim-damaged when previously fitted)


Fitting the new inner bearing race and the retaining collar is not easy as they are a tight fit on the halfshaft. The official technique is to use a special tool for the job. It involves dismantling the halfshaft and placing a suitable piece of hardwood between the forks of the main halfshaft. Then, with the wood on the fl;oor and the halfshaft held vertical, a circular weight is used as a slide hammer to repeatedly shock the bearing race and then the retaining collar into place. A DIY approach to this could be to use a suitable piece of steel piping as the slide hammer. `Otherwise the job has been achieved by careful use of a hammer to tap the items down the halfshaft.



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