Art never cast a stone!
I guess no one read the post anyone do this.
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2000 9:14 AM
Subject: Re: RE: [D90] Wheel bearing seals
The advantage of lubricating your wheel bearings with gear oil is more than just a convenience. Gear oil is a better lubricant for this application, wheel bearings will run cooler as a result of less friction (and the gear oil provides some cooling capacity) and hence will last longer. The disadvantage of this arrangement is you have a greater possibility of leaks. Land Rover installed axle case seals in the rear primarily because of warranty issues in the North America market. Here where Rovers are marketed as "up market" vehicles and the minimum price for one is $40,000+, Rover found that these folks don't want drips on their driveways and garages - period!
In Australia where vehicle durability seems to be of a greater concern, removing the rear axle case seals is standard procedure. On the front another thing done is to remove the front axle case seal, the inner swivel housing seal and the outer hub seal so that literally gear oil can flow from one set of wheel bearings to the other passing through both swivel assemblies and the diff on the way. To accomplish this effectively you need to overfill the diff by jacking the vehicle up in the front. Unlike engines and transmissions you don't create any problems overfilling diffs (within reason!). The other critically important thing you need to do when you are eliminating axle case seals is to upgrade inner hub seals. Before Rover eliminated axle case seals they had either single or double lip hub seals. When they went to grease in the wheel bearings they down graded the hub seals because it is very easy to seal in wheel bearing grease - it doesn't go anywhere because it doesn't flow! The big problem with this arrangement is that these down graded seals don't seal some things from coming in such as water! In my opinion whether you eliminate the axle case seals or not you should upgrade the inner hub seals to prevent the ingress of nasties into your wheel bearings.
On a related subject - swivel housing grease vs gear oil, I haven't seen a debate in a while on this list about it. Similar to the axle case seal issue it was introduced as a solution to a warranty problem - leaky swivel seals and American driveways and garages, but it was actually an improvement, swivel housing grease is moly-disulfide and you can't get a much better lubricant for this application. If you don't want to eliminate the axle case seal but want better wheel bearing lubrication, eliminate the inner swivel housing and outer hub seal and run your wheel bearings in moly-disulphide. Again it is extremely important to upgrade the inner hub seal when doing this.
Great Basin Rovers
The only trouble with this is plasic axle covers will probly leak! What goes out will go in! If you gots those fancy flange thingys you are goood to go!