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So I was about 400 miles into a 500 mile, 17 hour drive up to the town I live in in Ghana when an unexpected pothole left me stranded on the side of the road with a rear propshaft snapped at the back u-joint. I removed the propshaft and backtracked (via diff-lock) to the nearest police barrier and parked it there. The next day, got a new used propshaft and fixed it only to hear an alarming whine (thought one of the u-joints on the new propshaft was bad). About 5 km down the road. I thought maybe the diff-lock was still engaged, so I stopped to do the reverse routine, but had some nasty clunking and slippage. After a minute, I decided I better head back to the police barrier and call the mechanic, and while turning around, it was slipping and clunking so much I knew I couldn't move it. I jacked the wheels to test the diff-lock and both front and back wheels would turn independently with diff-lock on or off.

Today a local LR mechanic looked at it and says at least one of the rear half shafts are broken. My questions are:

1. Due to sparsity of parts, a used axel is easier to come by than everything else needed to repair this one. The mechanic suggests replacing it with a disco axle, but he also has some defender axles around the shop. What are the pros/cons of the disco axle?

2. Might there be a problem somewhere deeper in the drivetrain (ie transfer box)? I ask this because I jacked one of the front wheels and it also turned independently whether diff-lock was on or off.

Thanks for any responses!
 

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1. There's no advantage to a Discovery axle and if yous is a Salisbury (removable rear cover plate) then you definitely want another Defender axle. Did he say why he was suggesting a Disco axle? Maybe disc brakes (some would consider that an advantage) if you have drums. If that's the case I'd rather have a Salisbury with drums than a Rover axle with discs.

2. Diff lock wouldn't have any effect if your gearbox was in neutral and your rear propshaft was removed. Or even with the propshaft connected since you have a broken half-shaft.
 

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What year and model are we talking about?
 

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The diff lock provides 50/50 to front and rear axle- but does not lock side to side either axle.

If the mechanic has spare complete axle assemblies, perhaps he could be pursuaded to sell a half shaft? You still need to remove the rear cover to confirm ring gear is in tact, and there are no broken pieces of axle or teeth from gear. But, the axle shaft is easy to pull- unbolt the drive flange (5 bolts at end of axle), and pull it out. The labor should be considerably less than swapping a whole assembly- or you can try it yourself? Just be sure to clean surfaces, use gasket sealer, and put 90 wt gear oil back in. Do not over tighten flange bolts as they are not fun to drill out.
 

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