Land Rover repair: Swivel housing replacement

Since returning from Portugal last year, Muddy Boots developed a rather nasty disposition of break-dancing across the road whilst travelling around 80 km/hour. Also known as the “death wobble” or “death shake”. Sometimes it got so bad, we thought the steering wheel would rip our arms straight off.

Land Rover guru Rob Stewart, who worked at Jager Auto Purmerend, offered us his expert knowledge. Naturally during the diagnosis phase, Muddy behaved (almost) impeccably!

Then using the Land Rover parts manual, we made a list of what was needed and unanimously agreed it would make a great video to help others with the same problem.

To make the knowlegde sink in even better, yours truly did the dirty work. Yikes! But I loved it. Gives you a great feeling of satisfaction knowing how to do something, what to do when it doesn’t go according to plan, and then making it work.

Removal Video

In the first video (24:38), Rob shows us which special tools are needed for the job, and explains how the bits fit together. Perhaps it’s a good time to mention that Muddy is sporting LR Discovery 1 axles, so some parts are different to those of a normal 90. And then we get down to taking the swivel off. Isn’t it a thing of beauty? The old, rusty, pitted swivel is now a state-of-the-art tealight holder in our garden.

Special tools / equipment needed:

* 13mm 12-point socket: to remove the brake caliper
* 14mm ratchet spanner: for bolts on the swivel
* ball joint splitter: to release the ball joint from the swivel housing
* 52mm hub nut spanner: to take the hub assembly off
* spring balance: to work out the resistance on the swivel (adjusting with shims as needed)
* torque wrench: to tension the bolts correctly
* circlip pliers: aren’t they just the trickiest things to work with?
* grease: EP00, STC3435 “One Shot” & SKF LGMT 3 Bearing grease
* blue tarpaulin: so you can see what you drop

The disassembly went very smoothly, and was off in no time. The second video (55:56) shows the reassembly. Unlike the Haynes manual, which suggests you simply repeat the process in reverse order, Rob gives excellent tips on getting the tension right, talks about oil vs. grease and offers little tricks of the trade to make the process easier.

Replacement Video

We hope you learn as much as we have, and that you enjoy this “boot camp” inspired by Muddy Boots. Spread the knowledge and pass this link on to buddies who also have a Land Rover Defender or Discovery.

Feel free to add questions below, or on Youtube, and we’ll do our best to answer them 🙂

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