12 Feb 2013

Diary of a Range Rover restoration - Part 4

Phil Wall is restoring a 1989 Range Rover Classic. We'll be bringing you regular updates on progress. To find the rest of the restoration diary use the label 'RR Restoration'

It's been a couple of weeks of slow progress, with the weather and family commitments preventing much time being spent on the Range Rover.  The kit for the new swivel hub arrived a couple of weeks ago, just in time for snow to stop play on the restoration front.

However, the kit is comprehensive with both sizes of oil seals and a tube of swivel ball grease.
The upper and lower swivel bearing tracks need fitting to the swivel housing - which I mentioned whilst visiting Wall Snr. A quick raid on the 'old' shed (Wall Snr is a man of multiple sheds) yielded an old cast iron arbour press. Excellent. Although it nearly gave me a hernia lifting it into the Discovery, I felt quite smug that I could fit the tracks neatly and squarely. Clearly, I would be doing a 'proper' job of fitting the tracks.

The smugness only lasted a short while, of course, as the press doesn't open wide enough to allow the swivel ball under the press.....

So, I resorted to placing the swivel housing on a piece of softwood and hammered in the tracks with a wooden mallet. Sorted!

The mating face for the swivel hub had a gasket firmly attached which needed cleaning off - not as easy as I was expecting.....

.........and unfortunately, even though I was very careful, there is some small scratching from cleaning off the gasket.

I carefully fitted the small rear oil seal to the hub

In the photo above you can see the oil seal retaining plate and the large outer oil seal in place, and the hub bolted in place.  And the more observant of you will have spotted the 'deliberate mistake'

Clearly, I did not.

So, fully unaware of this (I will point it out, but first a bit of suspense, possibly) I started the re-assembly.  Outer hub re-fitted and the gasket removed.

I had carefully inspected the driveshaft which was absolutely fine, so was re-greased and carefully inserted, and the CV joint put in place.
I then started putting on the front of the hub, laying the gasket in place....

...ah, but I have 3 gaskets, one for the outer drive hub, this one and...... damn and blast.

At the point of fitting the swivel hub a couple of things happened.  Firstly, the family were with me at the yard, as my wife and daughter were riding their horses and I was distracted by something or other which needed doing, and secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I was starting to rush, to beat the fading light and the desire for the rest of the family to go home.  So somehow managed to forget to fit the gasket.


Based on the light and the time, I loosely fitter the hub outer, the brake disc and the drive hub - all loosely, and covered the whole assembly to keep it dry.

Yesterday, I got back to the yard and completely stripped and rebuilt the hub, AGAIN.  This time, with more haste and less speed (but, to be fair, I'm getting reasonably familiar with stripping hubs down) and rebuilt it. Correctly.

However, unfortunately, short of time yet again, there are a few more tasks before I can declare this section complete:

I have not set the shims on the bearing pins (using spring gauge) to avoid the dreaded steering 'tank slap' sensation from bump steer; properly torqued up the 52mm hub nuts or filled the hub with grease (definitely the very last task!). So more next week......weather permitting!