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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
Had a bad leak when I bought it. Diff pinion bearings were shot.

Replaced bearings and seal - still leaking.

There was a fine wear mark on the flange so I replaced the seal again and the flange - still leaking.

What am I doing wrong?

P.S. the rear diff also has a slight leak but it's not from the seal. Unless I'm missing something, it's coming from the weld line between the rear cover and the main casting. Anybody heard of diffs leaking at the welds?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Check your diff breathers aren't blocked or kinked. If they are, diff pressurised=oil comes out.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #3
Good idea, but I've just nipped out and checked it. Looks fine to me - I can blow through the pipe and push a probe through the connector.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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fit a speedy sleeve on the yoke ( that's the piece that the seal runs on ) most bearing suppliers have them , take it in and they will measure it for you and supply the right size. when fitting make sure you fill the cut area with a suitable filler (liquid metal or equivalent ) if you don't do this it will cut the sleeve out in weeks and you will be doing it again. a speedy sleeve is a thin ring that is used to repair damaged surfaces like yours
Question when you say replaced bearings did you rebuild diff or just the front pinion bearing ( please explain)
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #5
I've replaced the yoke so a sleeve shouldn't be necessary. To answer your question, I replaced both the inner and outer pinion bearings.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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try a different brand seal , also is it leaking from the inside or outside of the seal , if so use a retaining compound to seal around the outside of seal . take the yoke with you and they will measure it for size , it may be a different size or you have damaged the seal when you install it
PS yes it is possible for welds to leak give it a good clean scratch off paint in area you may find the crack
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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If you really want to check the housing for cracks, buy a penetrant kit- something like this https://www.cromwell.co.uk/shop/lubricants-and-chemicals/leak-detectors-flawfinders-and-freezer-sprays/1112 but you'll have to strip and clean the housing thoroughly before testing. Probably too much time/ cost for a truck axle that you can replace from a scrapper for the same as the kit costs. Alternatively you could get the suspect weld Tig welded, but again, time you've stripped it, cleaned it and the risk of distortion would make it an expensive solution.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #8
To answer my own question - pushing the seal in too far!

I'm sure I read a post that said you need to push the seal in so that the outer lip is below the nose of the diff. I have to disagree, the seal should be flush with the end of the diff and the outer seal fits in the recess in the shield attached to the driveshaft flange.

It's not obvious if you're doing it in situ, but with the diff on the bench, you can see there is a substantial oil gallery behind the seal - see below at 9 o'clock.
IMG_1668.jpg

If you push the seal in as far as it will go (like I did) then the seal will block this oilway. I don't know if the oilway allows oil forced through the bearing back into the sump or allows oil through to lubricate the front bearing. Either way it's a very bad idea to block it. Also the seal is barely wider the the oilway so it's quite likely to leak around the outside of the seal, which is what I think was happening in my case. Anyway seal no. 3 was installed flush with the nose of the diff and appears to be oil tight.
 

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Well done!

And thanks for the solution and pictures. Something to watch out for when my time comes!
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #10
Bloody thing has started leaking again! It was fine for a couple of days. Not as bad as before but still leaving a drop or two where I park. Oil is being thrown out of the gap between the seal shield and the nose of the diff and you can see a trail along the bottom of the diff to the drip on the bottom of the axle. Am I really going to have to get a new diff to cure this?
 

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check breather hose just to make sure, see if you can remove the shield without damaging it and see exactly where it is leaking from , it also may seat if its left alone , maybe that is .
PS did you find the crack in the housing?
 
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