It was high time work started on reconditioning things. With a garage full of rusty and flaking components I had plenty of choice but the “plan” in my head said I had to do the axles first. Starting with the rear axle was a good first step.

All components were removed, stripped, primed and painted matt black. I prefer the look of matt back to gloss black underneath the Land Rover. Don’t ask me why though.

All bearings were replaced with quality Timken bearings and OEM seals and gaskets. All gaskets are backed up with some OEM gasket sealer. Maybe its belts and braces but oil leaks here are frowned upon from a great height. Heystee Automotive in the Netherlands make handy wheel bearing kits and complete swivel kits for the front axle.

New drive members were used along with new Genuine drive shafts. All other worn parts were replaced with Genuine or OEM replacements.

The differential was replaced as the original was noisy which isn’t a surprise after 300,000 km. Ashcroft Transmission supplied a replacement differential and were very helpful in getting it to me. I accidentally ordered the wrong type and only realised my mistake when I opened the box when it arrived. They put me in touch with Overland Technics in Dürnten, Switzerland who have an account with Ashcroft and was able to swap my “wrong” diff for the correct 4.7:1 ratio Series item. Big thanks to Anna and Ruedi for making this happen.

The axle strengthener was in a very sorry state and had rusted though on all sides and needed to be replaced. At some point in the past, corrosions had been cut out and filled with body filler for the purpose of the safety examination. This isn’t good practice in general, letting in new metal is always the best cure. Bits 4 Landys  make a weld on strengthened replacement and for £15.00 it was a no brainer to order one of these rather than looking for a piece of suitable C section steel and making one myself. The only problem being…. I can’t weld… or couldn’t at the time.

Fortunately a member of the Series 2 Club living in Interlaken offered to weld the pieces together for me. So on a sunny Saturday I paid him a visit and he gave me a crash course in TIG welding and in-fact, let me do most of the work. It’s great to learn new skills especially from someone who has the same interests.

The cleaning is about to start
The only way to get this off and back down to bare metal is an angle grinder with a knot wheel, then a grinding disk to finish the job. The finish as you will see is quick and easy to achieve. The downside is it covers everything in the garage with a fine grey dust. Essential to wear overalls, goggle, thick leather gloves and a respirator.
First pass with the knot wheel
A typical sight on S2 rear axles. The strengthener has rotted through and at some point has been filled with body filler
Split down one side. The only thing to do was to cut the whole thing off
The stitch welding was cut through with a very thin cutting disk, taking care not to cut into the axle case. (more mess…sigh)
Inside the strengthener… a mixture of oxidised steel and accumulated road dirt
The area under the strengthener cleaned up
The area under the strengthener cleaned up
Spot the difference… New strengthener from Bits for Landys in the UK was a perfect fit
Ready for the new strengthener
This is what it will look like once its done. I drilled some drain holes in to serve a couple of purposes. Firstly, to be able to inject some Waxoyle or Dinitrol to protect in the inside after painting (you obviously can’t weld on a painted surface) and secondly to let water drain out.
Welding with a friend from the S2 Owners Club
Strengthener back in place and back in the garage
First coat of primer from Buzzweld Paints
In the mean time, stripping the brake back plates and hubs
Buzzword primer again
Final coat of Hammerite Matt Black paint
New differential from Ashcroft Transmission in place
Brake back plates, wheel bub and drive shaft in place
A well placed crow bar aids tightening the hub nuts as it stops the hub rotating
Brakes assemblies ready to be fitted
Brake cylinder and pads in place
New drums were degreased, sprayed and the axle rebuild is complete