Discovery 1 - Swivel Pin Seal Only Replacement

Samer

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2006
60
0
Washington DC
I’m debating taking on the swivel pin seal replacement on both sides of my ‘99 Disco 1 - ( 34k miles ) and while doing my research I came across this video and it go me curious:


Im wondering if anyone here has taken the approach of removing the entire hub / swivel pin / half shaft assembly in one piece like this to get to the seal - and are there any drawbacks to this method I’m not seeing?
 

Icannap1

Well-known member
Mar 3, 2015
80
2
OC, CA
It's doable. What they don't show is the removal of the ABS wheel sensor. When I replaced the swivel ball seals on my D1 I disassembled everything and replaced all seals and did the brakes while in there. You will need 12 point combination wrenches as shown in the video a socket will not fit the bolts that attach the swivel ball the axle tube. It can be done in a day or quicker. Give it a go.
 

Samer

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2006
60
0
Washington DC
Thanks for the feedback much appreciated - and for the reminder about the 12-point wrench.

There is another article I read showing yet another short-cut technique that requires splitting the seal but needs a genuine Land Rover seal (Can’t seem to find that online):


but I’m suspecting even with careful Installation that might be more prone to failure down the road,
 

DiscoPhoto

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2012
2,439
1
Vermont
You can certainly replace only the swivel balls, I think the dealers were actually doing that for leaky swivels for sometime(think I remember Jimmy mentioning that). I would recommend just disassembling everything and reshim the swivel pins, the truck will probably drive better.
 

Samer

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2006
60
0
Washington DC
Thanks for the input. I'm taking a 'triage' approach with this truck because unfortunately it sat for a long time before I purchased it - its a shame because it has such low mileage but for now a quick solution is more attractive while I sort out some of the other issues -- but good to know the seal-only fix is legit.
 

WaltNYC

Well-known member
Mar 3, 2010
427
3
NYC
Yes, I've done it that way (assuming you mean swivel BALL seals). It is a little awkward to get the seal on evenly. An extra set of hands is very useful.

Not a difficult job at all.
 

Frobisher

Active member
Dec 27, 2012
35
2
Pennsylvania
I did the same exact repair on y 95 D1 just about a year ago, and it was remarkably uncomplicated. It was actually easier than when I replaced the rear brakes and rotors with a D110 set-up. (That's a lot of bolts!) Like you, I had read about cutting the seal and cheating it on, but I decided to go the full route instead. No regrets.

The 3 part video series you reference was really helpful, though it did leave a few things to figure out along the way. The most surprising thing was ALL the bolts came out surprisingly easy for a 24 year old truck. Since my swivel balls had some corrosion, both sides were leaking significantly - the passenger side especially. Since I needed to sand, epoxy, and resand the chrome, my buddy and I disassembled everything on a Friday night. We cleaned the chrome, prepped it, then used some JB Weld to smooth out the pitting. Dried it overnight and sanded it the next day, full of optimism.

Installation was the reverse of removal except we did find that maybe the ABS sensor cable (if I recall) was a bit mangled looking. At first, we thought maybe we messed up, but we rolled the dice and reassembled as best as possible. Filled up both sides with One Shot, rolled out the door, and it drove with no codes or other issues showing up. Either that cable was okay, or whatever it operates/senses doesn't work any more and my Disco doesn't know any better.

A year later, everything is still running well. The driver side hasn't leaked a bit, but the passenger side with the bad pitting seeps a bit now. Not as bad as before but it's definitely leaky. The swivels still work nice and smooth, and all the guts still seem to be in good shape.

And now for the ugly secret: my swivels were leaking so long (and I was putting off the repair for probably two years), that I started using Tractor Supply Super S Cotton Grease #00 as a replacement. It's the right grade, but it isn't EP rated. I figured as much as it's leaking out, constant replacing it will keep the grease from failing. I had read about it on another rover forum, so I figured "Why not?" At $5/qt, it's hard not to try. Is it an entry grease to more nefarious greases? Maybe, but so far, so good.
55953

The bottom line is that it's not a hard job. If you're only swapping out the seals, it's a long morning and you're back on the road. For the price of the seals, it's totally worth it, and you figure out more about how your Rover works along the way.
 

Samer

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2006
60
0
Washington DC
Interesting. Thanks for sharing that experience. I didn’t know about the Tractor Supply Super S - in fact I’ve been trying to figure out what type of grease is in the one-shot...to see if I could buy a larger quantity and buy some time before I do the repairs. Mines a ‘99 so I’m assuming it was filled with grease and not oil — but knowing I can just do the seals I’m going to give it a try and I’ll repost when im done. Thanks for the good advice.
 

p m

Administrator
Callsign: AK6PM
Apr 19, 2004
14,186
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53
La Jolla, CA
www.3rj.org
I did the same exact repair on y 95 D1 just about a year ago, and it was remarkably uncomplicated. It was actually easier than when I replaced the rear brakes and rotors with a D110 set-up. (That's a lot of bolts!)
Off-topic question: I assume by the time you went to replace the rear brakes and rotors with 110 setup you already had the front ones done as well; is it the case? If yes, how's the brake pedal travel?
 

Frobisher

Active member
Dec 27, 2012
35
2
Pennsylvania
Off-topic question: I assume by the time you went to replace the rear brakes and rotors with 110 setup you already had the front ones done as well; is it the case? If yes, how's the brake pedal travel?
I replaced the fronts earlier in the Spring with NAPA calipers since I was pinched for a state inspection. Plus, it didn't seem like there was as much advantage to converting those. The rear 110 conversion had been discussed here on DiscoWeb, so it looked like an easy and good choice. In the end, the brakes are at least as good in effect and feel as before, but now it's WAY easier and more secure with the pads since they're actually pinned in. That's the real advantage. Zach at Rovers North set me up with all the right parts in a nice little kit purchase. I used Genuine pads, but they've only lasted about 10-12,000 miles and make a lot of dust. I just installed the Proline set to see how they do. Currently, they squeal a lot at slow speeds.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled thread.
 

Frobisher

Active member
Dec 27, 2012
35
2
Pennsylvania
Interesting. Thanks for sharing that experience. I didn’t know about the Tractor Supply Super S - in fact I’ve been trying to figure out what type of grease is in the one-shot...to see if I could buy a larger quantity and buy some time before I do the repairs. Mines a ‘99 so I’m assuming it was filled with grease and not oil — but knowing I can just do the seals I’m going to give it a try and I’ll repost when im done. Thanks for the good advice.
I think you definitely have the grease. As far as I've read, LR seemed to go that direction due to the leaking seals. (That's an argument for another time.) I've tried to research what's actually in the one-shot as well, but I don't really know enough about the various greases and oils to make a good decision. The Tractor Supply grease was suggested on another forum as was John Deere Cornhead Grease.

Since I was passing through Nebraska this past Summer and saw a big John Deere dealer, I figured I stop and check on that. The guys working the counter weren't totally convinced it was the right stuff, but it was close. I think maybe it would have proven to be too thick. Whoever thought grease would be so complicated?
 

discostew

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2010
4,571
17
Northern Illinois
I think you definitely have the grease. As far as I've read, LR seemed to go that direction due to the leaking seals. (That's an argument for another time.) I've tried to research what's actually in the one-shot as well, but I don't really know enough about the various greases and oils to make a good decision. The Tractor Supply grease was suggested on another forum as was John Deere Cornhead Grease.

Since I was passing through Nebraska this past Summer and saw a big John Deere dealer, I figured I stop and check on that. The guys working the counter weren't totally convinced it was the right stuff, but it was close. I think maybe it would have proven to be too thick. Whoever thought grease would be so complicated?
Your right about the leaking seals causing a change from 90 wt gear oil to the one shot lube. When they started doing it some purists didn't like it. The theory being that the warm swivel housing full of grease pulls water into the housing. With gear oil in the housing it could be drained and refilled.

I would never just replace the big seal without setting up the pre load. When the pre load is loose the deflection in that seal to swivel ball surface is huge. So it will likely still leak or at best your rolling the dice. Do some research on setting up the swivel housing pre load. It makes for a really big improvement.