Land Rover 109 Safari front axle

Oil leak on the swivel housing to stub axle joint

Oil leak and tyre wear

The Land Rover Series III long wheelbase safari had been leaking oil from the near side swivel housing for some time, and the tyre on that side was showing serious signs of wear on the outer edge.
I thought the toe-in might be a bit out so I measured the distance between the front wheel rims both in front of the axle and behind it, not an easy task but the result showed that the track rod was too long. Fortunately I had renewed the track rod ends not so long ago so after slackening the locking clamps I was able to turn the track rod and to adjust the tow in which seemed better afterwards. But there was still the slight oil leak.

Swivel housing oil leak



Usually oil leaking from a swivel housing is due to the large oil seal which sweeps the chrome ball either wearing out or not seating quite right after taking the swivel pin out for adjustment. This time the oil wasn't coming from the bottom of the big seal, it was running down the outside of the brake back plate, so I had to take the stub axle off to see where it was coming from.

Drive flange


Once the road wheel was removed and the hub cap, the castellated nut securing the half-shaft could be taken off after removing the split pin.
Then the drive flange had to be removed. There are 6 bolts fixing the drive flange to the wheel hub, these are usually quite tight and trying to undo them turns the wheel, so I used another axle stand with a bit of wood on it where a wheel stud stopped the wheel from turning.

After cleaning out as much of the axle grease as possible the large nuts and locking washer holding the wheel bearings in place, could be seen.

After flattening the locking washer the big box spanner makes taking these nuts off fairly easy without damaging them.

The wheel hub could then be removed and the brake shoes. Now the the back-plate had to come off.

The brake pipe support bracket where the flexible hose connects to the solid pipe is held in place by 2 screws which hold the top of the main big oil seal ring in place on the swivel housing. Taking these out and leaving the brake pipes connected saves draining the brake fluid. There is enough slack in the flexible hose to allow the back plate to be moved out of the way. There were signs of oil on the back-plate from the holes where the bolts go through to secure it to the swivel housing
Everything had to be cleaned up and sealant was used around the holes in the stub axle and behind this on the swivel housing before putting it all back together.

So hopefully that's one less oil leak on the Landy, for a while anyway.