Swivel Balls - Range Rover

The link below doesn't work no mo'... Does anyone know where Dave Gome's picture write up went?




Picture below is of my 92 RR.  

Filled up joint with synthetic 90w gear lube, and a thick chunk of One-Shot was plugging the level hole... I let the liquid grease dissolve the One-Shot and then let the overfill drain to correct level. 

After I "gunked" the swivel balls, and then high pressure sprayed them clean, much easier to work on...

Swivel Balls De-greased, cleaned up, that is... HERE:

Now for repairing the leaky swivel ball seals. 






To: "'rro@koan.team.net'" <rro@koan.team.net>
Subject: RE: [rro] Disco shimmy

Do you have the parts manual Sandy?  There's a little kit for the upper pin
that includes the thrust washers and bearing.  I DON'T think the kit
includes the bushing that's pressed into the top of the swivel ball though.
You'll need a small internal puller to grab that one, or maybe saw it
carefully and collapse it.  If you've had shimmy for quite a while, chances
are that upper pin and bushing will need replacement, so order up the parts
in advance.  I didn't on Cheryl's rangie and ended up just doing the shim
job.  It's okay, but I'll have to have it apart again this summer to do it
right.  So if you buy those upper pin kits and end up not needing them, I'll
buy them from you if you like.
No tricks to the Disco Balls.  Have a look at:
and check the article on SPH upgrade. I didn't use any special tools.  Hub
nut torque specs are in there.  No dial indicator required.  As far as the
hub seal interchange, doing that interchange list is on my list of projects
for the D-90 FAQ a soon as someone from the list (you know who you are!)
comes through on his promise to send me some seal numbers and pix of the
various LR variations.  But, when you call to get the other parts (probably
do the big SB seal at the same time?), just have the parts guy read the
number that's molded into the hub seal to you.  Your bearing/seal guy will
be able to x-ref.
Best of luck,
-Dave G.
"A. P. \"Sandy\" Grice" wrote:
> The seal in question is the FTC4758 made by Corteco (their part #15510034).
> It seems that the powers-that-be at Solihull were more
> concerned at keeping stuff in rather than out that the seals were installed
> backwards. 
> So, the proper way to fit hub oil - or rather - grease seals is with the
> lip facing out, that is, away from the bearings.
So then you have that odd lip sticking out, seemingly useless? That
makes no sense - maybe that's the point???
I say save yourself the hassle and get the RTC3511 seal. Double lip,
double garter spring, keeps 90wt in and the nasties out.
Thanks for the info though Sandy!
Tom Proctor
96 Disco w/retro-fitted RTC3511 hub seals..


Your info helped me a lot when I was preparing for that job, although I
could not make sense of the hub seals differences. Then as other RRC
owners contributed information to my inquiry, I developed more confusion
about differences between the non-ABS RRC's and my Disco  w/ABS.  So, I
ordered both FTC4758 and RTC3511 and made the choice upon reassembly,
after seeing the disassembled parts in my hands and realizing the simple

RTC3511 all the way! Not that FTC4785 is a bad seal, but if you want
maximum water to wheel bearing ingress protection I'd go RTC3511.
Tom Proctor
96 Disco
Perrone Ford wrote:
> Tom,
> I agree.  That's what I run, and with all the mud and water my truck sees,
> I'm damn glad that's what I'm using.  The other seals cost me a bearing set,
> and almost a spindle.
> -P
> > So then you have that odd lip sticking out, seemingly useless? That
> > makes no sense - maybe that's the point???
> >
> > I say save yourself the hassle and get the RTC3511 seal. Double lip,
> > double garter spring, keeps 90wt in and the nasties out.
> >
> > Thanks for the info though Sandy!
> >
> > Tom Proctor


I took another look at FTC4785 yesterday (have 4 in my parts bin). Based
on your LRNA info, I have two possible conclusions:
1. That seal was designed for some other application, but met LR's
requirements in a pinch.
2. The seal *should* be installed backwards with that funny lip
extending inside the wheel bearing.
I actually believe that both are true in combination. That funny lip
seems like it would keep grease close to the bearing, while preventing
any ingress contamination from immediate exposure to the bearing (kind
of like asplash shield). Hence the reference previously made to FTC4785
equaling a *grease seal*.
Tom Proctor
96 Disco


To: rro@koan.team.net
Subject: Re: [rro] Swivel oil seal replacement - outer hub seal question
Glad to hear that you were able to replace the swivel seal by removing
the hub intact. I think this is a good option if the CV's in good shape
and/or you don't want to open it all the way up.
About the Hub seals, if you used RTC3511, the outer lip w/garter spring
should be *outside* the hub (away from the bearing), and *facing* the
swivel assy. I can send you a picture off-list, but unfortunately it is
only of the seal, not of the seal in the hub. This seal also nees to be
recessed somewhat (~2-3mm) to avoid contacting the stub flange upon
reassembly, and possibly affecting preload *feel*.
LR began using a new seal, FTC4785 on the later (~1995+?) vehicles. My
1996 Disco had this seal from the factory, but I'm not sure if there was
a *significant* change over point (like ABS...) This seal was fitted at
the factory OPPOSITE of what I described above for the RTC3511. This
only adds to the seal orientation confusion, I'm not really sure which
way this seal should be installed. The best bet is to avoid it
completely as it doesn't seal much of anything out of your hub.
Did I confuse you yet?
Tom Proctor
96 Disco
67 IIa 109

Yes, I did the swivel seal by removing the whole hub assy.  Not that bad,

really.  (Jack it up, use a safety stand, remove wheel, un-attach caliper
and hang it somewhere with a coat hangar, remove both front and rear
steering linkage attachments, and go to town on the 7 hub bolts that attach
to the axle tube.)  I had to turn the steering wheel a bit to gain enough
clearance to remove the rear steering linkage, that was just a bit tricky.
The whole hub is awkward and bulky/heavy to manipulate to re-align the
splines on reassembly, but by rotating the rotor slightly, you can get the
splines to catch.  Only caveat I had was forgetting to replace the small
flat gasket between the assy. and the axle tube.  DOOH!  I had to remove it
and re-do it all over again.  Sigh... 

The bolts require a box wrench, and I don't think there's room for any kind
of socket, so the going is slow.  They are also "lock-tight-ed" so you can't
use your fingers to turn it after you break them loose, it's wrenching by
hand all the way.
There's also a small seal that slides over the axle and seats into the back
side of the swivel housing which I replaced since I was in there.  Don't
know if that's recommended or not, I think it only keeps the "swivel oil"
separated from the "differential oil."

Time involved was around 2 hours... the 2nd time!  ;-)

Don't forget the gasket, silicone or Hylomar sealer, and use lock-tight on
the bolts. 

Oh!  One more thought - you may want to see if you can source a thicker
backing plate for the swivel seal.  I heard of an Australian RR owner that
has them.  www.rockware.com <http://www.rockware.com>  has them listed for
$68.  Mine was a bit dinged up from "some anonymous person's" attempts to
bend it slightly towards the seal to make it seal better.  (Stupid PO trick.
- that's "Present Owner.")  ;-)  I did my best to hammer it straight again
using the anvil part on my vice.

Dave Brown - Gilbert, Arizona - '87 Range Rover "Chimera" 4.6L engine, Flow
& ported heads, Haltech EFI, Hedman Headers, Piper cam, K&N, Flowmaster, MSD
ignition, Mallory distributor, OME HD suspension, rear Lock Right, 33"
tires, etc... etc
It's never over in a Rover!
\__ - ____ - _|}
   (_)    (_)

Dave G. wrote:

Michael is right . The only way to really fix the problems you descroibe is to refurbish the swivel pins and reset proper preload.. There are any number of shortcuts to this job, starting with just removing a couple shims from the upper pin. But to do the full job on a truck that's been loose a long time you'll need the following parts for each side (prices <snip> 25 - Replace the road wheels torquing lug nuts to 80 Ft lb, remove axle stands and wheel chocks.

All the best,

-Dave G.


As usual, Dave G. gets right to the meat of the matter and provides some great hands on info.

Good to have you back Dave!


Michael 95 LWB

Michael is right .  The only way to really fix the problems you describe is
to refurbish the swivel pins and reset proper preload..  There are any
number of shortcuts to this job, starting with just removing a couple shims
from the upper pin.  But to do the full job on a truck that's been loose a
long time you'll need the following parts for each side (prices
approximatedepending on source).
Upper swivel pin and thrust washer kit ($40)
Shim assortment ($20)
Upper swivel bushing ($50)
Lower swivel bearing ($40)
Inner axle seal ($10)
Ball flange gasket ($3)
Drive flange gasket (3)
Swivel ball seal ($25)
Cotter pins for tie rod nuts($3)
Locking tab washer for hub nuts ($6) - BEWARE - this last one is listed with
the WRONG part number in most of the catalogs.  If your stockist is not
aware of this, you'll end up receiving the hard washer that goes under the
inner nut.  Have him verify with parts in hand that he's sending you the
thin washer that gets bent to lock the nuts.
Here's how the process goes:
1- Chock rear wheels, put front axle on jack stands, and remove road wheel
2- Remove brake caliper (2 bolts, 16mm socket impact wrench helps as they
are loctite sealed)  May require removal of upper swivel pin bolts if you
don't have the 2-piece brake pipe bracket on top of the Swivel Pin Housing
(SPH)  Bottom line is you want to remove the two caliper bolts and hang the
caliper up out of the way in the wheel well WITHOUT opening the brake fluid
3- Pop rubber cap off of drive flange, remove circlip and distance washers,
store these in rubber cup they must go back as they were.
4- Remove 5 bolts from drive flange using 14mm socket, impact helps again.
5- un-bend tab washer and use 2-1/8 hub nut socket to remove hub nuts and
pull hub free and set aside.
6- Remove tie rod nut(s), reverse nut on threaded portion (replace nut
castle end first), support nut with jack and sharply rap the steering arm to
pop the tierod end free of the steering arm(s).  DO NOT use a wedge
separator on the tie rod ends unless you're replacing them.  It will cut the
boots and teh joints will quickly be ruined by intruding water and grit.
7- remove all of the swivel ball seal retainer screws and free the seal from
teh back of the SPH.  Have a basin ready to catch fluid that will run out.
8- If you haven't already, remove the upper swivel pin bolts using a 17mm
socket, impact helps again.  Pull the ABS sensor out of the swivel pin.
9- Pull the upper pin free of the SPH.  Keep track of the shims, you might
need to reuse some of them if you can.
10- Rotate the SPH downward to free the top from the swivel ball and slide
the SPH and stub axle off of the axle shaft
11- Remove the axle shaft, set it aside, and clean all the goo out of the
swivel ball and the SPH.
12- Since the worn bearings have been beating the heck out of the  ball
seal, this is a good time to replace it, or you'll only have done half the
job.  Remove the 7 12-pt 14mm bolts from the ball flange and remove the
ball.  You might wish to drain the oil fromr th ediff first, or else you'll
need a way to keep it from running out the open axle tube end.  Stretch the
old ball seal off over the axle flange.
13- Use a 1/2" bolt, nuts and washers to "jack" the upper bushing and lower
race out of the swivel ball and replace them with new.  If the lower race is
a loose press as they often seem to be, it can be secured with red loctite
after brake cleaner is used to remove all traces of lube from both mating
parts.  Carefully tap or press new race and bushing into swivel ball.  Now
is also a god time to renew the inner axle seal on the inside face of the
ball flange.
14- Clean mating faces and use a new gasket smeared with Hylomar HPF to
rejoin the ball to the axle tube.  It takes a special tool to reach in there
and properly torque those 12-point bolts behind the ball. I don't have it,
so I just beat the heck out of them with a 2-lb hammer on a foot long box
wrench.  The dealer can torque them for you later if you want.  DON'T FORGET
to place the retaining ring and new ball seal in proper orientation over the
ball flange before replacing the ball.
15- Pry the inner race and roller bearing off the lower swivel pin and
replace with new.  Smear it with a little CV joint grease before offering
the SPH back up to the ball and inserting the new upper swivel pin (NO
shims) with thrust washers properly oriented.  Grease the thrust rollers
with some CV joint grease before inserting the washers.
16- Place a 0.030" feeler gauge between the top of the SPH and the upper pin
flange as you tighten each bolt until you can just rmove the feeler gauge.
17 - Use a spring scale (like for weighing fish), put the hook of the scale
in the steering arm an duse the scale to drag the SPH  On an ABS truck it
should take about 6 lbs of force to keep the SPH turning AFTER the initial
higher load to get it moving.  If it takes less than 6 lbs, retighten the
upper pin bolts using a thinner feeler gauge.  If it takes more than 6 lbs,
use a thicker feeler gauge.  When you get t to 6 lbs, then you know what
thickness of shim you need to place between the upper pin flange and the
18 - Remove the SPH, install the axle shaft into the housing, and replace
tht SPH, installing the proper shims and replace the upper swivel pin with
it's mounting bolts (unless you need to wait on the bolts until it's time to
replace the brake line mounting bracket.  I think these bolts get torqued to
about 60 Nm, and you need to use loctite on them.
19 - Smear some waterprrof grease into the groove between the two lips of
the swivel ball seal, and some more into the counterbore on the SPH that
receives the ball seal.  Orient the seal retainer with the two scallops
nearest the caliper mounting bolts and replace the seal retainer bolts.
These are torqued to about 5 Nm.
20 -  Replace the hub, torque the inner nut to 37 ft lb while rotating the
hub, back the nut off and retighten to 7 ft lb without disturbing the hub,
then place the tab washer and tighten the outer nut to 37 ft lbs.  Bend the
tab washer to lock both nuts.
21- Replace the brake caliper and torque its mounting bolts to 65 Nm using
loctite on the bolts. (replace brake pipe bracket and tighten upper swivel
pin bolts to spec now if your truck has 1-piece brake pipe mounting bracket.
22 - Replace the hub drive flange using a little Hylomar on the face of the
flange where it meets the hub.  Use loctite on the bolts and tighten them to
47 Nm.
23- Pull the drive axle all the way outward, replace the distance washers,
circlip, and rubber cap.  Replace the tie rod ends, washers and nuts.
Tighten to 47 Nm and then onward until the next point that the castle slot
lines up with the cotter pin hole.  Insert and bend a new cotter pin for
each tie rod end.
24 - Remove the square headed plug in each SPH and fill with 1 to 1.5 tubes
of LR one shot swivel grease.  Turn the wheels all the way toward the wheel
you want to fill to make this easier.  Refit the square headed plug in each
25 - Replace the road wheels torquing lug nuts to 80 Ft lb, remove axle
stands and wheel chocks.
All the best,
-Dave G.

John, it's not that difficult to do this job. The bearings aren't all that big a deal to press in and out - you could do them with a mallet and drift if you had to but a press makes it a lot easier and cleaner bit of work. I would simply reset the preload on what you have, though - I did my bearings after 15 years and damn near 200 K - and if there hadn't been water in one of the swivels that corroded one bearing I would not have needed to replace the bearings. Just pulll a shim or two from each side, and measure the tension with a fish scale or the like - it's not rocket science, but it is annoyingly involved with pulling things to get to that point (like the brake caliper). 


You won't need to add any shims. You may have to take some out to tighten up the preload, however, as the swivel bearings can loosen over time.

-- Alex Schubow

Alex answered the shim issue.

To remove the old wheel bearings is pretty easy but please do use a bronze drift as you don't don't want to score the hub - using a steel drift may just do that.

Some people have used the old "electric welder tack weld on the race so that it shrinks and comes out easily" technique. I haven't tried that.

I must admit to having borrowed a tool from a friend's Land Rover workshop to push the bearings and seals in. I think I have the dimensions at home - I measured it up in case I got around to machining up the tool.

You can omit the outer seals if you want the bearings to be lubricated by the diff oil.

One of the local Range Rover specialists recommends using the seals from early models if you want to go to oil lubed bearings.



To: "'the Coil-Sprung / Range Rover Owner Mailing List'" <rro@koan.team.net>
Subject: [rro] Swivel/King Pin Bearing and Steering Shakes

I've been having problems with steering shakes. It always seemed to be
aggravated when turning left at speed and I hit a bump, but I had no
problems when in right turns and rarely going straight. I figured it was
something with the left front wheel when it was unloaded. I tried
tightening the wheel bearing and the swivel. I found the swivel would
not rotate smoothly. I finally got some king pin bearings (NTN bearings,
Box P/N 606666, bearing P/N 4T-11520) and disassembled it tonight. The
upper race and bearing are noticeably pitted and the race is oval. I
assume this is where my steering shake is coming from. I'll should get
it back together tomorrow night and post the final outcome.

The bearings I got are NTN bearings. The have P/N 606666 on the box, but
that did not come up on the NTN website. The bearing has P/N 4T-11520.
The other alternate P/N I was given was Timken 11590-11520

Here is the bearing data sheet:

I think the downfall of this bearing was water in the swivel housing. As
the water evaporated it would collect on the upper bearing. The lower
bearing seemed OK, but will also be replaced. I was hoping to do this
job about a month ago, but the parts did not come in time. I replace the
swivel seal back then and renewed the oil. After one off-road event
(MAR) the oil that came out of the swivel looked like a vanilla mild
shake. The diff fluid looks fine. How is this water getting in?

Larry M.


I just bought upper and lower king pin bearings for my '89 RR from these guys for $19 including shipping (paid $25 each last time). They are Timken bearings 11520 (cup) and 11590 (cone). I don't know how many they have, but it's worth sending them an email if you're thinking about doing your swivel bearings.

I need to check to see if they have any wheel bearings.

Larry Michelon

Speaking of steering, I've got the rangie on axle stands at the moment doing some maintenance on the front axle, the drop arm ball joint was completely shot, and a couple of others were getting worn so I'm swapping them all out. The question is, what should the preload on the swivels be with the rods off but the seals on? The workshop manual says 1.2-1.3kg with the spring balance hooked on the tie rod hole, but everywhere on the web suggests 6-9kg is more realistic.

Has anyone got any thoughts on this?


I've done the job a number of times, so I'm quite happy with the shims. The question is what it should be close to. It feels loose to me, and currently measures about 4kg. In the absence of any further information, I will be tightening it up on Monday when I have picked up some thinner shims (I've got a whole box somewhere, if only I could remember where...). It just surprised me that the factory manual and the haynes book of lies were suggesting only 1.2kg.


Matthew Reeve 
1979 4-dr 130" Stretch Range Rover 300TDi www.rangie.com 











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