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Version February 12, 2008

The following is a compilation of information from yahoo group disco2owners, www.discoweb.org, www.lrfaq.org. Below I discuss the
failures commonly associated with Discovery Series 2 front prop shafts and a DIY solution to rebuild it. My Disco is a 2000 Series 2
with the locking differential shaft on the transfer box.

Symptoms before complete failure:


1. none
2. squeaking from front prop shaft
3. clunking while changing from Neutral to Drive/Reverse (my case)
4. slack in front drive shaft (my case but only when there was no tension between wheels and engine, otherwise absolutely no
slack).
5. clicking sound while rolling in drive slowly (my case)

Potential Damage:
Catastrophic damage to transmission housing, transfer box and exhaust system. Damage is speed dependent, the greater the
rotational speed of the prop shaft at failure, the more significant the damage under the vehicle.

Cause:
Factory installed U-joints in front prop shaft lack grease ports. Because the trunnions caps/bushings of the spider (also know as a
“cross”) cannot be greased, they will eventually dry out, corrode and loose ability to function. Consequently, the spider will overheat
and break, thus leaving only one end of the prop shaft supported. The loose end will whip around under the vehicle damaging
everything in its path.

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This is a
spider also
called a
cross.

Precision brand
Spider Cap locates port
here.

Option 1: Neapco 1-0005, Grease point is located axially with one of the 4 trunnions (legs that make the X shape). Pictured above w/
box from Advanced Auto. If you ask for a Rover replacement, they won’t have it. You must request part for a 1993 Volvo 240.

Option2: Precision 344, grease fitting is located between two adjacent trunnions of the spider.

Option 3: Spicer 5-4x Update: Feb 12, 2008, Tom Rowe tells me “Spicer doesn't make their 5-4x u-joint”. Thanks Tom.

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Ball Kit (center ball component of double Cardan):

Option 1: Precision 617 Replacement Ball Kit pictured below. This one from www.rockauto.com.

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Option 2: Neapco's part number for the center bearing kit is 7-008NG. It must have the NG suffix to denote it being non-greasable.
The 7-008 has different dimensions. Update: Feb 12, 2008, I’ve been corrected by Tom Rowe that the correct part number is
7-0081NG. Thanks Tom.

Option 3: NAPA PUJ617 Double Cardan (CV) Ball Seat Repair Kit (I can’t be certain if this includes the ball, b/c I have not seen the
actual product)

Tools
1. Snap ring tool
2. U-joint tool (rent from Advance Auto, requires deposit, free after returning tool)
3. Slide hammer (rented from Autozone, requires deposit, free after returning tool)
4. Hammer (ball peen). Don’t use a claw hammer; it may fragment if it fractures.

Service Notes:
There are 3 spiders on the front drive shaft, front (nearest the front axle), middle and rear. The middle and rear spiders are part of
the double Cardan which bolts to the transfer box. Located on the prop shaft, there is a grease fitting plug (tapered set screw). It is
the grease port for lubricating the slip yoke. When you remove your front spider, retain the original grease fitting from the spider so
you can use it to grease the slip yoke. I think It is a metric size grease fitting.

1. Before you remove the shaft, mark the orientation of prop shaft relative to the transfer box and front differential, I used liquid
paper, be careful it doesn’t wear off.

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2. Use spray lube on all bolts to be removed, let them soak over night
3. Remove bolts. The bolts are on tight so use of a cheater pipe will help. Note, it will be much easier to access some of the
bolts if you roll the vehicle forward or back a few inches to rotate the prop shaft. The movement of the front prop shaft is as
follows: as viewed from the rear of the vehicle, a counterclockwise rotation will propel the vehicle forward.
4. If you have a locking center differential, lock it so that you can retain mobility while the front shaft is removed. To lock, rotate
stud 45 degrees counterclockwise as viewed from under the vehicle.
5. Once you remove the shaft, draw a diagram of the shaft to identify the orientation of each segment of the prop, this will help in
reassembly, the liquid paper I applied come off with all the handling and spray lube.

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U-Joint
1. Start at the front u-joint end of the shaft. Remove the snap rings and set them aside for later use. Using the U-joint removal
too, press one end of the spider. This will expose the cap on the opposite side which can be removed with pliers. Pictured
below is the double Cardan side of prop shaft.

2. Reverse the position of the tool to press the spider back into the yoke to remove the opposite cap.
3. Repeat the process to other to ends of the spider.
4. Clean yoke and flange, this is important. If the grooves the C clips sit in are not clean, you’ll have difficulty fitting the new
clips. I used a brass wire brush and brake cleaner to get it clean.
5. Carefully remove all 4 caps from new spider and set aside.

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6. Position spider inside the yoke. Align the spider grease port with the grease port on the shaft (yoke slip joint). This will
enable easier greasing in the future.
7. Position one spider cap outside the yoke and slide the spider trunnion into the cap. Use the U-Joint tool to press the cap into
position and slightly past normal position.
8. Install the C-clip.
9. Using the U-Joint tool reverse the direction of the spider to press the bearing cap back out till it presses firmly against the C-
clip.
10. Install the 2nd bearing cap and press till just enough room for the C-clip to snap in. You may need to repeatedly press the cap
further in to get the clip to fit.
11. Repeat for the other two arms of the spider. If you can’t get the caps to recess far enough for the rings to reach the grooves, a
needle bearing may have fallen inside the cap thus making the distance between the caps too long to fit properly between the
snap ring grooves.
12. Install snap rings, reusing one original snap ring on the grease port cap. This is because the rings that come with the spider
obstruct proper fit of the grease fitting. See pictures below.

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Double Cardan
1. Before disassembly, document assembly so you can put it back together.
2. Remove snap rings
3. For the middle spider, press out all four caps. The spider cannot be removed unless all four trunnion caps are removed.
4. This will take some patients, but gentle wiggling of the assembly will get the caps out.
5. Remove the rear spider which connects the flange to the transfer box.

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6. To remove ball, begin by removing needle bearings and gently pry out the outer retainer. The picture below is before the 2nd
spider is removed. The outer retainer is indicated by the green line. The washer indicated by the red arrow must also be
removed. Rotate the ball upside down to get it out.

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7. Position the hook of the slide hammer into the ball (which you rotated upside down) and hook it to the bottom of the ball, you
may need to insert a small flat head screw driver between the back of the hook and inner wall of the ball the keep the hook
from slipping off. See picture below. I rented a slide hammer from AutoZone.

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Tip of screwdriver

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8. While standing on the flange, use the slide and hammer out the bearing and race. This will require several hard strokes. (In
my case, I first attempted to grip the lip of the ball, as can be seen in the picture below; the lip completely broke off, before I
resorted to gripping the inner part of the ball. Wear eye protection.

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9. Clean everything, even you tools and work surface before you start putting this back together. You don’t want any old parts
of grease or metal in your new joints.

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10. Install the new ball using a wrench socket and ball peen hammer. Choose a socket large enough to fit over the ball which
rest completely on the race of the ball. Grease the empty socket and ball assembly then firmly hammer into position.
Remove the cardboard center and grease the roller bearing. Orient and install the seal using a wrench socket and gently tap
into position with hammer.
11. Assemble the rear spider first using the same method for the front spider.

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12. Install the middle spider on to the drive shaft.

Spider
Trunnion

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13. Position rear spider assembly over middle spider.

Receiving
hole

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14. This is the tricky part, but simple and easy if you take your time. Be sure the spring (indicated by green arrow) does not
knock down any roller pins in the ball assembly. At a slight angle, maneuver the ball hole over the spring while also
positioning the spider trunnions into the receiving holes.
15. Install the caps and clips.
16. Pump enough grease into the joints till you see it ooze out of the bearing caps and slip yoke boot. (Note: I do not plan to
keep the grease fittings on the prop shaft. I bought extra grease fittings, cut off the tops, plugged them with epoxy and use
them as plugs when I’m not servicing the joints. For the next grease job, remove and replace with a new fitting then plug it
back up. I used Mobile 1 synthetic grease.

NOTES:
The front end of the shaft is connected by four 3/8” 24 TPI bolts.
Throw away old nuts and use new ones that are equal in grade and NEVER greater in grade than the bolt. Nuts are designed to
yield (deform) around the threads of a bolt, thus distributing the load evenly among the nut threads. This strengthens the nuts due to
the cold work that takes place. Source: Shigley and Mischke, Mechanical Engineering Design 4th Edition, 1989.

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