The nearside swivel seal had been weeping since I bought the truck, and it had started to get a little worse. The usual culprit for this is a failing axle seal, which allows the diff oil to leak out via the swivel.
I ordered a new axle seal, hub seal and swivel seal, but after speaking to mate who had just finished this job he recommended I replace wheel bearings and kingpins at the same time, as they would most likely be original parts and pretty knackered by now (despite there not being any noticable play in the wheel when jacking it up and shaking it). So also ordered were new inner and outer wheel bearings, bearing seal, upper and lower kingpins, a set of kingpin shims, and some CV grease.
I followed this excellent guide on Patrol4x4 as a basis for the operation, and also have a digital service manual listing all the torque settings. I won’t show all the steps, as the above guide does a far better job than I can.
With diff oil drained, off came the wheel, freewheeling hub, stub axle, brake disc and wheel hub.
Its a very messy job, and required several tea breaks.
Each component laid out in the order I removed it, and labeled. I’ve not done this before, ok!
Swivel housing removed
With the old kingpins (very knackered) and seals.
Whilst cleaning the hub, I hear a right racket outside – a kind of weird buzzing. On investigation, I found these two bees having a rather good time, and not being afraid to shout about it . I went for another tea break to give them some privacy whilst they finished bumming.
The first and only minor panic of the operation – I was struggling to remove the old axle seal from the axle. After trying to pry it out with screwdrivers and only succeeding in getting small chunks of rubber breaking off, I dashed over to Cromwell Tools in Derby to pick up a proper seal puller.
After applying a lot of pressure with the seal puller, it gave way and pulled out another chunk of rubber seal and also ripped through the collar around the seal. This was a concern, I was thinking I’d just done some major damage to the axle housing.
Anyway, it turns out this was just the outer ring on the seal. I’ve not come across this type of seal before, and the replacement itself was entirely rubber which made me think the metal collar was part of the axle. What I had actually been trying to do for the last hour was separate the (bonded) rubber from its containing collar. Idiot.
Next job was separating the hub from the disc. I gave it a clean with some degreaser and covered it in penetrating fluid.
It still took a good 5 mins of smacking with a 4lb lump hammer before it moved anywhere.
Next the inner and outer bearing races were driven out.
I made a drift to help insert the new bearing race by grinding down the old race so that it would easily slide in and out of the hub. This meant I could knock the new race in level, and there was no risk of the old race getting stuck in the hub.
And tapped back into the disc after wire brushing the corrision. The disc got a thorough cleaning with white spirit after this photo, before it was fitted back on the truck.
The leaking diff oil had washed out all the grease from the CV joint. This was repacked before being inserted back into the axle.
And back on the car. A pretty straight forward job, just very messy and time consuming.