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Thread: Front Axle Shaft Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Location
    Woburn, MA
    Posts
    39

    Default Front Axle Shaft Question

    Hello. Last week I replaced the Front Axle Shaft U-joints on my 1969 2A 88". The Pro-line u-joint from Rovers North had a grease fitting and the 4 rubber seals on the needle bearing cups. I did notice the old u-joints did not have the rubber seals and no grease fitting. I will be running traditional 90wt gear oil in the swivel housing so I assume the seals not being present allow a continuous wash of oil into the needle bearings. I assume the pro-line part here happens to have another application for a driveshaft assembly where you would want the grease fitting and the rubber seals. Do I pry out the seals? I am leaning towards wanting to pry them out. Trevor at Rovah Farm told me the u-joint he supplies does not have the seals or the grease fitting. I do like the rubber seals being present to keep the needle bearings in place during assembly. Thanks. Tom

  2. #2

    Default

    Yep,U need 2 remove the seals and Zerk fitting!! Fer sure!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    192

    Default

    I just did this fix.

    Agreed, the constant oil bath keeps the Stub Axle U-Joints oiled...so no zerk fitting needed. But I wouldn't be confident cutting or prying out the Seals in the caps to let the oil in. Or assuming they'd get oil. This is my problem with cheap parts.

    The Britpart or ProLine U-Joints are like $10. RN sells the "Genuine" U-Joints for around $90 each. That's rough. So you'd save tons of money going Proline/Britpart/Bearmach. But, you'd get a crappy part. Also, you'll have more than $10 in gaskets and swivel grease and other parts you do with that fix. $40 in extras, and then you cheap out on the one critical part you're actually fixing? I've done it, too

    Protip: Shop around. Also, Land Rover didn't make the U-Joints...the "Genuine Land Rover" U-Joints are actually GNK. Look at the pics. They are stamped GNK in the middle. Search for GNK U-Joints with the same LR part number. You can often see a "G" at the end of the part number denoting "Genuine" OEM Land Rover supplier. A lot of "Genuine" parts are like this: Lucas for electrical parts, Timken for bearings, etc. So, go get that one. A little bird told me Trevor over at RovahFarm sells GNK U-joints ("G") for like $24 each. Better?

    Also, I found its easier to keep all the needle bearings in the caps if you put the U-joint half way in before pressing it down. They have nowhere to go. I stick one cap in the hole(open side up). Put the bare U-joint in(with all other caps removed). Tap the yoke top to drive it down onto the cap, flush with the bottom. Flip it over, holding the U-Joint in place. Pull the U-Joint halfway out of its cap. This should be enough to line up the next cap. Always keep the caps upright, with holes to the sky. Nothing can fall out. With the U-Joint halfway out of both(or halfway inside both, depending how you look at it)...tap the cap down flat. Then use a socket to tap, or vise and socket to press them past the c-clip groove. The roller needles can't fall put this way. Think of it like your coffee in it's mug. Can't fall out if you don't tip the cup(s). And keeping the U-Joint halfway in while you bang it or manipulate it holds the needles against the cap walls.

    Good luck!
    ...┌───────┬──,,
    ...|______OD__|__\\_____
    ...d ..__ ......... |... | ..__....p
    └/ | \────┴──┴/ | \─┘≡
    ..../..@........................@

    1973 Series 3, 109

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Location
    Woburn, MA
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Hi Vlad. The Proline part is $25 and the genuine is $75. I see choosing the cheaper part more like a economy option versus buying a crap part. I will report if these fail within a few years. I also have a 1980 MGB that I have owned for 34 years. In that time I have done driveshaft U-joints on 3 occasions (~10 years). I have used GNK from UK but I have also used Duralast from Autozone. They both lasted the same. Already decided to do better comparison shopping when I am ready to do the driveshaft u-joints. Cheers, Tom

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    166

    Default

    Just a little background info. Its GKN not GNK , standing for the original company Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds , formed in 1900 by John Guest, Arthur Keen, and Joseph Henry Nettlefold. Their joints are often sold under the Hardy Spicer brand owned by GKN . Hardy Spicer was a UK company formed by Edward John Hardy who in 1926 joined with Spicer Manufacturing Corporation of Toledo, Ohio to form Hardy Spicer using the Spicer manufacturing rights & designs, to produce in the UK.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    192

    Default

    I think I should coin a saying:

    "First person to open their mouth in a forum post is also the first person to put their foot in their mouth. The best option is to just not say anything."

    Luckily, I can type with my foot in my mouth :P

    Yes. Thanks for the correction about GKN.

    Also, not trying to rain on anyone's parade about parts quality. You do you, I'll do me.

    I guess my main point was OEM white box is the same part as Genuine. If the same part(and I mean SAME, not an aftermarket)...if the same part costs the same as the aftermarket...why would anyone choose the aftermarket?

    Anyway, no big deal. Just I wish someone told me this before I spent all this money on green cardboard boxes! Because that's what you're paying for.
    ...┌───────┬──,,
    ...|______OD__|__\\_____
    ...d ..__ ......... |... | ..__....p
    └/ | \────┴──┴/ | \─┘≡
    ..../..@........................@

    1973 Series 3, 109

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    192

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by roverp480 View Post
    Just a little background info. Its GKN not GNK , standing for the original company Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds , formed in 1900 by John Guest, Arthur Keen, and Joseph Henry Nettlefold. Their joints are often sold under the Hardy Spicer brand owned by GKN . Hardy Spicer was a UK company formed by Edward John Hardy who in 1926 joined with Spicer Manufacturing Corporation of Toledo, Ohio to form Hardy Spicer using the Spicer manufacturing rights & designs, to produce in the UK.
    @Roverp480: Thanks for the information about GKN and its subsidiaries. I was recently in need of a new driveshaft/propshaft. Looking around, including our host's site...I saw WILDLY different prices for these...anywhere from $85 to $1100 for a "Genuine" land Rover one. I just needed an OE one, not a high angle HD one. But I wanted it to be good, balanced and at least as good as the one that came off my Series. On one site(LR Direct) they list the brands, and one name stood out: Hardy Spicer! So, I ordered one from them for about $150. Thanks for the tip about OE supplier. I bet that $1100 Land Rover genuine propshaft is a white box Hardy Spicer, too!

    I love information like this because I think it could save us alot of money and headaches on our build projects. Keep sharing!
    ...┌───────┬──,,
    ...|______OD__|__\\_____
    ...d ..__ ......... |... | ..__....p
    └/ | \────┴──┴/ | \─┘≡
    ..../..@........................@

    1973 Series 3, 109

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