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Discussion Starter #1
Need help.

My left air spring sprung a leak.. When I tried to remove the 2 lower struts bolts, they were seized, After 4hrs. I was able to get the top bolt out. Another 4 hrs of the bottom bolt and sill stuck, however when cracking on lower strut bolt the drive shaft pulled out of the differential casing. There is a 1" gap and the car is not drive-able , it grinds when I shift from reverse back into park.

How do I get the drive shaft back in?

Thanks for your help
2006 Range Rover HSE 79K miles
 

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Mine did the same thing last weekend, even though I depressurized the shocks with SDD there was still some pressure in the shock and when the last bolt was taken out of the front hub, the shock extended and pushed down on the CV joint which pused the hub outward and it apparently pulled the axle out enough to disengage the C-Clip on the axle inside the differential. I didn't see it, and put everything back together, and got about 100 yards before it popped out completely I couldn't go anywhere. Thought my transmission was toast, but didn't get any codes. Put the parking brake on, hopped out, looked under the truck and the front driveshaft was spinning back wasn't, and neither of the fronts were doing anything. My Right front axle was out about an inch.

Anyway I just jacked the front wheel up from under the hub, so the driveshaft was as straight (horizontal) as I could get it, took the wheel off. Then I crawled under (jack stand under the front frame) with my sons jack handle from his celica (the kind with the lug nut on one end and a pointy end for popping the wheel cover off), stuck the pointy end in the groove on the inner CV joint (its about and inch back from the edge closest to the diff) and while wiggling (rotating) the CV back and forth I just pried back with the jack handle. Once the splines on the inner shaft lined up with the grooves in the diff the axle popped right back into place (thats why you need to twist the axle while applying pressure to push it back in). I gave the inner CV joint a couple of taps with a half inch ratchet extension and dead blow hammer from over the brake rotor to make sure the C-Clip was locked in, then I lowered the wheel down as far as it would go to make sure it wouldn't pull out on an extension of the suspension. It stayed locked in so I just jacked it back up, put the wheel on, pulled the jackstand out and its been good to go for 300 miles so far.
 

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That big groove in your picture is where I put the jack handle, and i used part of the frame below the control arm to lever off of. You'll be fine, doesn't take much force to get it to pop back in as long as the whole axle is horizontal, and you get the splines to line up. Just make sure the c-clip lock in. Once its in there give it a tug with your hands, not the pry bar (jack handle).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was not able to get drive shaft back in , its out the width of my thumb, I can turn it and it is engaged with the differential gears because when I turn the shaft the gears in differential turn. I used a big long screw driver and placed in on the big grove on rusted collar and hit it with hammer a dozen times.. It does not move. Try to push in went both my hands , no go... I hit the little groove and now the collar is in 2 pieces. I think this need some special tool to compress the the drive shaft into the housing. Checking with Dealership
 

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Did the cone shaped part split, or did the lower ring separate from the cone shaped part and slide down the shaft a little? I don't think I've ever seen those two separate, but the lower part is just a collar to ride up against the rubber axle seal in the differential housing, and its pressed onto the cone shaped part when the axle is assembled. You shouldn't need a special tool, they do make one, but it's just a clamp that goes around the cone shaped part. It fits into that groove in the cone shaped part (not the one between the two peices) and just give you something to push against to get the axle to slide in or out of the gear in the differential.
280916
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The lower ring separated from the cone. Yes your right its just a collar that rides up against the rubber axle seal. So my question is, When I get the LRT-54-026 tool to use for a better surface to hit it, will it go in or I'm I missing another step? Current state : Driveshaft turns the differential gears, Does that mean the spine is lined up correctly?
 

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Probably, but all you should have to do is push the shaft in further, you shouldn't really need that tool. I just used my sons jack handle to lever it back in using the subframe as a pivot. It didn't take much force to get it to pop back in once it was aligned. I just put some pressure on the jack handle and rotated the shaft back and forth until it slid into place. I only tapped it with the extension after it slid into place to make sure the C-clip had locked into place.

How do you tell its engaged? With the transmission in park the differential should not spin more than maybe 10 degrees or so at each axle. So if you can turn the axle freely, its not engaged. The C-clip may have come partially out of its locking grove on the axle, in which case the axle will have to come all the way out to reseat the C-Clip in the groove (preferably get a new one) before trying to just hammer it into place.
 

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I remember this being a pita when I replaced my left front axle. I struggled for hours, before deciding to strip the knuckle by disconnecting the strut, the control arms and the tie rod. Then I used the whole knuckle as a leverage wiggling the axle into the differential because the axle needs to be straight going in. A year later I needed to replace the right side but did not want to mess with it so I took it in to the dealership. They were happy to see me lol
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Was your struts bolts seized? Mine our.. was able to get the top bolt out, but not the bottom... ordered an air hammer. So once I get the bottom strut bolt out. I could try Rovah's method to get axle back in.
 

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Were you able to undo the nut on the bottom but the bolt won't budge? That was exactly what I went through. I used beeswax and put a butane torch to it for a while and then a regular hammer. I made sure that the impact did not mushroomed the bolt. Eventually it got loose. I didn't have air tools.
 

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That tool is for just removal. It's used to lever out the half shaft. Jag uses a fork type to lever out rear shaft. Just did rear output seals, and the shafts popped into place way easier than I thought it would, and that was with new clips.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I was able to get my drive shaft back in... I called 10 dealerships in the US. I was finally able to talk with a mechanic. Here's how I pushed my drive shaft back in based off of his instructions. I grabbed the cone shaped part of the axle with both of my hands. Pulled it back about 1/4" (It was out the width of my thumb to begin with) and slowly twisted it left and right at the same trying to push it in. It literally took me 2 minutes and snapped back in. Also the draft shaft was level per forum members.

Now onto the lower strut bolt. Yes it is just the bolts that are seized.

I have someone that is going to heat up the surrounding metal.. more than I was able to do on my earlier attempt with butane torch.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The lower strut bolt came out in minutes using a tool my neighbor called a C compressor, it looked like a C clamp to me except one end allowed a bolt head to move through. Below are pics of the tool used.. Its just laying in there right after the bolt busted free.

Removed strut assembly from vehicle. Removed the old air spring from strut. Installed new air spring on strut.
Ran into another road blocker. The plastic body of the air spring will not move past the first rubber o-ring. Confirmed by reinstalling without rubber o-rings. I tried coating the rubber o-rings with vaseline. Did not work. I tried using the old o-rings. Nope.

Unless someone knows how to press it on, I'm going to install a new aftermarket OEM strut w/air spring assembly and take back the air spring to the Range Rover dealer. I asked the dealer how they get the air spring installed on the strut. They don't, if a customer's strut or air spring goes out they just install the entire assembly. $$$
 

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Do you have an air compressor, and one of those nozzles to blow dirt off stuff? Sometimes they have a rubber tip on them sometimes they just have a metal cone shaped tip. Line the strut up onto the first o-ring and the plastic pin then press the blow off nozzle against the air connection port and blow about 15 or 20 pounds of air into it, the bag will inflate and push the black plastic part down over the o-rings. Make sure the upper shock nut is on and tight. Then just sick that little white plug that goes in the air connection port that usually comes in the air spring kit, hold it in place (or tighten the hex bolt) to keep some of the air pressure in there till you can drive the little lock ring on the pin.
 

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Use a brass rod or brass hammer and hit the axle bolt in the hub. That should seat the the bull ring type clip in the differential. Give it a decent shot using a 3-4 pound hammer.

It’s how I did it on my wife’s Lexus GX470, which is the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Mark_C ,Putting air into the air spring pushed the air spring body pass the O-rings and into place. The solution took 30 seconds. Reinstalled strut assembly back into the vehicle. Turned on vehicle and now I hear air coming out the front right side and the vehicle is titled to the front right side.

Original I heard the air coming out the left front side, I don't believe I heard it out the right front side, I could be wrong, but the entire front end seem to be down at that time. I did drive the vehicle at slow speeds (now more than 35 mp) and about 25 miles with front air spring out and air suspension off.

Did both front air springs go out at the same time? or did I take out the front right side air spring by driving the vehicle?

The Range Rover is going home via Tow Truck.
 

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Might have popped the right side one off of one or more of the o-rings, if the system was bled down and it was driven. See if you can raise the truck off to off road hieght, maybe the higher air pressure will pop it back on the rest of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I tried the setting at all levels (Low, Min, High). I'm going to remove the wheel and see if i can see where the air is coming from, but it is loud and sounds just like the left one did before fixing it.
 
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