LT230T (20D) Input seal - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 12th, 2011, 12:59 AM
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Michael White
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LT230T (20D) Input seal

Hi all,

I'm having fits here with the input seal of my old LT230T (mated to an LT77), an old 20D model (built around '87). Here's the condensed tale so far (insert your own swearing):

I was losing transfer case fluid between the transmission and transfer case. So I pulled things apart and replaced the intermediate shaft o-rings, the LT230T input seal, the oil seal collar on the LT77, and the LT77 output seal. I installed the input seal flush with the surface of the case. This sealed up wonderfully for about 200 miles then started leaking worse than ever.

Pulled things apart again, and the LT230T input seal had shifted so that the bottom portion stuck out a bit. So, since there's no stop when pounding in the input seal (the seal can be pushed into the case - why is that?), and the seal rode on the front of the oil seal collar, I thought I'd be clever and push in the seal an extra 3/16" or so, maybe 4 mm from the lip of the case. Note that in both cases, I coated the outside of the seal with RTV.

Put things back together and I'm still leaking fluid. Not nearly as bad as when the seal slipped, but not much better than before I started, i.e. nothing I'd want to drive across country with. So is the seal pushed back too far or is it just not square? Or have I mucked up something else?

The service manual references 18G1422 to install the seal, but that's not something I have access to.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old August 12th, 2011, 02:13 PM
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John B.
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Are you sure you are leaking from the input seal??? It is rare to get oil up there on an LT230.
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Old August 13th, 2011, 02:55 PM
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I think so, but will double-check. It's definitely coming from the front of the transfer case, as it's streaming down the area between the transmission and transfer case. I will confirm that it's not coming from the intermediate shaft.

George @ RDS recommended removing the input gearing through the PTO cover prior to installation next time, as it can be easily removed and installed. I was thinking of removing the input gearing now just to see what the problem is (garter spring knocked off, seal torn, etc...). Has anyone done this?
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Old August 13th, 2011, 02:58 PM
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Doug Crowther
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The intermediate shaft hole is famous for getting out of round so the seal there leaks- and thats below the fill level.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 08:20 PM
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Michael White
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Doug - I don't think it's coming from the intermediate shaft, but anything's possible at this point. I don't see any obvious fluid tracks. Additionally, the fluid seems to gather below the lowest transfer housing stud before following the bottom cover plate to the lowest corner of the transfer case. The lowest transfer housing stud is to the right of the intermediate shaft. If the fluid was coming from the intermediate shaft, I would expect to see it gathered around the front output housing.

On the other hand, there's a hole in the transmission face above this stud that should allow me to see any fluid leaking from the input shaft seal. This hole appears to be dry.

Do those transfer case studs thread all the way into the housing? Is it possible for them to leak? The puddle forms slowly after I've parked, dripping for half an hour or so (never really timed it).

Maybe it's temperature related - I'll take it for a very short drive and see if I get any drips.

Thanks!
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Old August 16th, 2011, 03:55 AM
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Couple of things here.....

If the little inspection hole is dry, its unlikely to be the input seal as that links to a track from the top of the case and if the input seal were leaking, it likely you'd see it there.

The intermediate shaft often leaks from the front side of the transfer box and can appear like an input seal leak. You can see the front of the intermediate shaft up between the difflock housing and the main gearbox.

The lowest bolt that goes through the gearbox housing into the main body of the transfer box actually fastens into a hole that goes straight into the oil space in the transfer box - It is possible that oil could travel along the thread of this bolt and leak out there, especially if its been overtightened and stripped the threads in the past. I always use loctite or a liquid sealant on the thread of this bolt to try and stop this and i use a torque wrench to make sure i dont overtighten it.

About half of the bolts securing the bottom cover have holes that go straight through into the inside of the transfer box. Use loctite or sealant on these too, otherwise it is possible that oil will leak down them (this is normally more of a very slow leak though).

------ Follow up post added August 16th, 2011 08:58 AM ------

Also, just to add, i'm curious about the original question regarding the depth at which the input seal is seated. I've dont this job at the weekend and i seated the seal about 1-1.5mm into the housing rather than flush. I'm paranoid that this is not deep enough. It seems to engage on the collar on the mainshaft, but not as far on as i'd hoped!!
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