All photos on this page courtesy of Ron Beckett. Right:
Steering box output shaft
showing circlip that has to be removed to get the seal (visible behind
As stated in the section on common
and fixes, the power
box is the most notorious leaker on the Range Rover Classic. The
solution is to replace the unit with a new or rebuilt box, or rebuild
using a rebuild kit. Few of us can fathom why Land Rover never upgraded
the box to a decent
trouble-free unit. Aside from being finnicky to adjust and maintain
tolerances for slop, the box was always a notorious leaker. After
having mine rebuilt once, adjusting it on another occasion, and later
replacing the input shaft seal that started to leak again, I eventually
gave up and just let it leak. Not all owners are satisfied with this
solution however, and this page is devoted to them.
Removing the Steering Box
Larry Michelon found
that all the fasteners that required removal came out without a problem
do I love that air compressor.) The difficulty was in separating the
parts. For starters, Larry had
trouble separating the steering shaft from the box input shaft, so he
separated the steering shaft at the rubber donut. The bolt fits through
a groove in the input shaft and must be removed or the universal joint
won't come off.
Removal of the pitman arm from the steering box before removing the box
is also helpful if it can be achieved, as it reduces the amount of
dismantling needed on the rest of the steering linkage. Larry reports
"The difficulty was in separating the
parts. In the end I got the steering box out, but I have to remove it
with the pitman arm, steering rod end and lower steering shaft still
attached. This required the removal of the drag link and the panhard
rod. I broke my small car pitman arm tool that I use for the rod ends
trying to remove the goose neck from the pitman arm."
Steering box removed from vehicle.
Input shaft is visible at extreme left of photo.
Peter Thomson reports "The
easiest way to remove
the pitman arm is with a hit with a big hammer once you have the box on
the ground. If for some reason you want to replace it without taking
the box out then use a puller".
Ron Beckett says: "I
changed the steering box on my Classic. I had
warned Larry that he'd have to completely remove the bolt owing to the
groove in the shaft. After removing the bolt, I levered it apart by
using a forked tool that is normally used for splitting tierod ends out
of the arms. (I have the classic 4-bolt Adwest box (the P38A uses a ZF
are three pitman arms for various year models of the Classic but only
two (at most) would have been fitted to US spec cars).
"To remove the Pitman arm requires a lot of force. I used an hydraulic
puller. The output shaft has four master splines so that the arm will
fit four ways."
Input shaft (note flat spot
where bolt passes through)
Output shaft (note the one
visible master spline of the four total)
(Re the P38A, all I've done is remove the shaft between the box and the
Input Shaft Seal Replacement
The usual leaking spots are the input and output
seals, and a cheaper, if perhaps temporary, solution than repl;acing
the whole box is to replace just
the seal(s) that leak. (These methods will not be found in the shop
as they are not approved operations). I had the input shaft seal
replaced on mine, and it lasted for quite a while before starting to
again. It certainly lasted just as long as the full rebuild job the
did for me in 1992. If I had bought a new steering box it, too probably
leaked equally soon!
Dave Brown recently
his leaking power steering output shaft seal, and offers the
insights. He had heard that it would be a problem job and to plan for a
lengthy amount of time to complete it. However he found it took
3 hours (including messing around with a cheesy puller and then going
Sears to get a decent one). He got the necessary seal kit from British
Pacific for just over $30.
The huge nut holding on the drop arm was tight, but not extremely
without a large enough socket, Dave used a "king sized" crescent wrench
(spanner), approximately 18" long. Next came separating the drop arm
the splined shaft. This turned out to be the most difficult task. After
bending the arms of his cheesy (cheap $5) puller, he ran to Sears and
a decent $30 model. This took some real force, using an 18" long
bar turning the bolt on the puller before finally there was a LOUD
as the drop arm finally released itself. Putting the shaft back, only
tight, he started the Rover and turned the wheels to put pressure on
seal and force it out. This trick (not found in any workshop
Output shaft view showing seal
Adding the new seal turned out to be just a bit tricky (the flared
goes into a hole that is smaller than the diameter of the seal!)
He tried the "cellophane wrap on the splines" trick to protect the seal
during installation, but this only got in the way and bunched up. He
tried using a wire tie to compress the flare of the seal to insert
no go. He finally just pushed the edge of the flared seal in with a
and worked his way all around until he got the whole lip into the
Time consuming and tedious, but not rocket science. Then, he had
to drive the seal into the deep opening without damaging it. Scrounging
the contents of the garage, Dave came up with an old plastic sprinkler
head that was just the right size after removing the innards. A few
taps and all set.
Next, Dave had to decide if the "green bible" was correct in the
of installation of all the bits, or go with common sense. The
showed the following order: 1. Main seal, 2. Metal backed 2nd seal, 3.
Dust boot, and lastly, 4. The C clip. In the end, reason won out, over
the book, and he put the C clip next to the strong metal backed 2nd
and covered the whole mess with the dust boot.
End result - NO LEAKS! YEE-HAA!!!
adds his experience on a 79 RR. It cost him £6.00 for a new set
lower shaft seals. One had a metal ring inserted inside the rubber
The other was a new seal (blue in color) with three lips to stop the
leaking out. The operation took a few hours because he worked on it in
situ. He advises: "Drop the drop arm and then remove the circlip. Drill
a couple of small holes in the rubber coated metal ring washer, put a
of self tapping screws in it to withdraw it. Same goes for the old
rubber washer and move out of the way as the oil will gush out. Now get
loads of petroleum jelly and pack it in. Smear it all over the new
and start the process of tapping them into place. Once all is back in
replace the circlip. It was an unpleasant job but its still going
It didn't use a drop of oil since!!!"
Ron Beckett reports "I
also had previously tried to fix the leak by replacing the output
shaft oil seal (see photo above). So I can give a description of how to
(including pitfalls and a way around it which I found out about after