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Discussion Starter #1
First I will give a little background information. This past summer, I was experiencing some serious winding out of the front differential. Long story short, it turned out the third member was pretty shot. Most of the bearings were grinded down and the driveshaft was practically spinning with 3 inches of lateral freedom. At any rate, I had the front diff and the third member rebuilt by a solid Land Rover independent shop and the car has performed wonderfully since then.

Yesterday evening, I was driving around at no more than 40 MPH. Out of nowhere, I got horrendous feedback from the entire car and vibration like the thing was going to implode. I pulled over and the driveshaft was hanging – literally dangling above the pavement. Two of the couplings for the U-Joint – the ones connected to the diff were completely broken. The entire system felt bone dry.

I am having a hard time imagining how this could be anything other than neglect or poor workmanship the first time the area was assessed. It’s as if the system was never greased properly.

Ultimately, no one was hurt – thank god. There were no children on board and I was really the only one on the road at the time. And aside from waiting for 2 hours in the middle of the night for a tow truck, the situation could have been much, much worse. If I was at highway speed, the end result could have been catastrophic.

However, now I am sitting here wondering if there are any legal ramifications. Should I demand the repair be done free of cost? Any suggestions would be nice.

This truck is really starting to wear me down and I am on the verge of just parking it in the garage for a while and not driving it like I want to.

 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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I highly doubt you have any legal recourse.

Fix your U-joint yourself for about $50, check your others, make sure they're greased, and be done with it.

BTW... you should be greasing your joints at a minimum every 6 months. If you don't do your service yourself, I seriously doubt your local oil change place is doing this for you, as most cars don't require it anymore.
 

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Do you have any sort of warranty on work done? Thats about the only thing I would see them owing you.
Ya cant sue because the sky didnt fall
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I am sure there is no warrantee on service at this point, but there is a warrantee on parts. And I find it highly suspect that the U-joint would completely fail 6 months after being replaced as part of a third member rebuild. The only way I can see how the U-joint would spin off completely like that is if the joinery was not properly greased when the parts were put back together. Perhaps I am missing something and I will be the first to admit I only have a working knowledge of these components, at best. However even the gentleman who towed the truck couldn't believe that had happened. And both of us were pretty blown away by how bone dry the area was.

No one was injured and I didn't wreck the car, so realistically there are no legal ramifications. I don't care to sue for anything anyway. It is just frustrating to think that I might end up paying for something that I think should have been corrected or at least averted the first time around. I went almost 80 thousand miles with no issues, I have to rebuild the third member, and then 6 months later and less than 5k miles the whole driveshaft rips off the U-joint? Eh, I don't know...

Kmagnuss, I would appreciate if you could elaborate on DYI greasing...what type of grease, how does one do that? Many thanks.
 

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tjh2dUVA said:
Kmagnuss, I would appreciate if you could elaborate on DYI greasing...what type of grease, how does one do that? Many thanks.
Most U joints now available for the P38 are sealed for life with a limited warranty. They are just off the shelf cheap units that work great in light weight applications, but are stressed on a heavier rig like ours. Unless you asked for LR replacements or equivilent I would be very surprised if a grease niple is supplied. If better quality unites were installed you simply stick your grease gun in the zirk fitting and give it a pump or two being careful not to push grease out the pin bearing seals. NAPA has some very sturdy units with extended nipples for easier lube jobs. I much prefer the longer nipples as they are much easier to work with. They run about $35 and I know of several with 60K+ miles on them. NAPA part number 344/Precision. Replacement takes about 15-20 minutes with a couple of wrenches and a C clamp or vice.
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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I grease mine every 3k miles when I change oil and filter (Lucas red and tacky grease). All u joints and the slip joints on the driveshafts. I pump mine until they purge, just the way I have always done it and never had a failure... :think:
IIRC mine came from Advance Auto parts, and all have grease nipples. Call me anal, but I replace mine as a matter of course once every 2 years. With the correct tools (ball joint press) it is super easy especially when there are no CV joints to deal with :thumb:
Are the ears on the yoke OK?
Sometimes if the ears on the yoke wear down, that will cause U joint failure. I have a spare yoke that you can have for shipping and a $5 bill if it helps you out? :wink:

Martin
 

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If the U-joints as fitted were of the greasable variety then it is entirely possible the garage people did not bother to pack them with grease after they had been fitted, on the assumption they were already pregreased.

The latest heavy duty U-joints available for the P38 are the same part number as those used in the Defender and are an upgraded part.

GKN brand Part number TVC100010D.

These come with a layer of white grease. However this is just to ensure the parts do not deteriorate in storage. Once fitted they need to be packed until they purge from all 4 ends. The rubber seals are designed for this purpose. They require a quality " lithium soap" based grease. There's a lot of info on the GKN website.

good luck...glad no one was injured!
 

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Same happened to me but on the front drive shaft....u-joints froze and broke the coupling that attatched to the transfer case.... maintenance man...... if not regularly maintained it will break loose on ya ....and if your receipt doesn't say the u-joints were replaced then I don't believe that a lawyer would want to pick up the case......u could try talking to the repair shop that did the work for ya......another reason I do my own work on my truck (unless I can't get my hands on it).....
 
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