Swivel Ball lube questions

Tbaumer

Well-known member
Time to replace the swivel ball fluids. I have had some seeping from the swivel balls & expected low levels. I'm guessing a half a cup of "oil" slowly drained out (I let it drain in with the old differential fluid), but the level hole was plugged with grease instead (One Shot?). Now that I've drained a bit out & the rest of the grease won't flow out - am I stuck disassembling to clean & refill with 90WT oil/One Shot/00 grease? I'm assuming it's a bad idea to mix the two. I guess it's time to order new seals also, since it was seeping with grease. It will be another first for me to take apart a swivel ball (that I was hoping to avoid since I just started driving it again)!

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Napalm00

Well-known member
You need to have the wheel turned to almost a 45 angle for the fill hole to be open. The swivel ball blocks the hole from the inside when the wheel is straight.

I personally like using one shot just because it's easy.

Lots of other people like pulling the internal axle seal and just running gear oil .

Take the time to check your swivel ball shims and preload
 

Frobisher

Member
I was dreading this job on my 95 D1 for a while until I finally tackled it, and it wasn't actually so bad. This video series was helpful in seeing it (almost) all laid out.


My swivels had some corrosion, with the passenger side being the worst so I tried some JB Weld epoxy as others suggested. It worked for a while with the new seals, but the passenger side starting very slowly seeping again. It's a lot of nuts to remove, but they'll likely come undone easier than you would expect. New seals definitely make a big difference - the driver's side hasn't leaked at all now. There is at least one article on-line about cutting the seal and slipping it over the axle in place. My guess is that could be more frustrating than just taking the thing apart.

I didn't check the shims and/or preload since I didn't want to get into that at this time. Should I have done so? Maybe, but I rolled the dice and have no regrets. I put the one shot grease in since it had new seals, but for the continuous seeping, I found it reasonable to try a suggestion from another forum: Cornhead grease from Central Tractor. It's 00 grease and is about $5 for 32 ounces. While it's not EP rated, it's done a nice job keeping things going for close to 3 years.

It's definitely nice not seeing as much grease in my parking spot now. I still get a dribble, but nothing like before. It's worth it to do it, and it's probably only an afternoon. I took more time since I had to sand the surface and let the epoxy set-up.
 
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Tbaumer

Well-known member
Thanks for the responses.

Lots of other people like pulling the internal axle seal and just running gear oil .
Take the time to check your swivel ball shims and preload
What is the advantage of removing the inner seal?
My original concern was mixing the 90WT gear oil with grease - seemed like a bad idea. How to top off/clean it out for new became the next problem. I had planned on 90WT gear oil. Using 00 or One Shot. Grease won't leak out of bad seals as fast as oil & doesn't need to be changed as often, but I imagine the grease would not flow/lube as well over time. Either way, it looks like I'm disassembling to clear out the old stuff & learning about shims & preloads.
 

Napalm00

Well-known member
if you remove the inner seal you will be running "wet" hubs, better for low temps.

it is a bad idea to mix them, one or the other.

One shot is a 00 grease btw and is moly and ep rated. No need to disassemble if you arent replacing seals, you can check the shims from the outside top pin.
 

chris snell

Administrator
Callsign: NW5W
Staff member
I always run Geniune Parts one-shot. It works really well and it's easy to fill.

If you're ordering these from overseas, order more than you need because they often break in shipment. You can get a refund for a broken tube but that won't help you fill your hubs.

I don't like the idea of wet hubs. I have doubts that the lubricant would stay in the hubs if you're driving on a side-sloping surface for an extended period.
 

rocky

Well-known member
One shot isn't a panacea. Much harder to spot leaks so you must still continue to check lube level. I found out the hard way....
 

JimC

Well-known member
Wet hubs are perhaps a solution for someone who gets their stuff wet all the time and likes to drain and refill often. At the same time, your swivel seals will have a harder time keeping the oil in than the grease.
 

jymmiejamz

Founding Member
Callsign: KN4JHI
I used to use one shot, but switched back to 75w90 for a number of reasons. Main one being it is always available for free (I work at a dealership) and the other is that if you break a CV off road it is a lot less of a mess to deal with than with one shot. If you have some leakage with regular gear lube, I would fill with one shot and wait until the leaks get bad enough to get on the tire or brakes before fixing.
 

Viton

Well-known member
I run the oil. It's easier to change out, if the seal is bad, it'll show. Mine only leaks if i run 'er hard for an extended amount of washboard miles, then it just a spot or two and stops when I get back to pavement. I changed a leaking seal out years ago using the method told by the gal who lives in Flagstaff, unscrewing the seal spring & cutting the seal & placing the cut at the top of the swivel & a little silicon to cove the cut. It's held for at least 12 years now. I think the grease is just a mask for solving a seal problem instituted by Rover.
 

Frobisher

Member
As along as your swivel ball surface is in good shape, the new seal should work fine for either oil or grease. A corroded surface damages the seal sooner than later.
 

Red90

Well-known member
If you guy off road in mud or water, you want oil as the oil tells you the seal is bad and you will fix it before wading and filling the swivel with mud. If you just drive on the road, grease is fine.
 

Jeff B

Well-known member
I used to run oil in my old trail truck. Much easier to clean up... and I broke 2 CV joints. I also did a 12 'oclock cut/seal job and it held until I parted that truck out; more than 5 or 6 years.

In my current RRC and D90 I run the One-shot grease because I don't wheel hard, don't break shit, and I dont want leaks on the garage floor.


.
 

Tbaumer

Well-known member
I don't like the idea of wet hubs. I have doubts that the lubricant would stay in the hubs if you're driving on a side-sloping surface for an extended period.
Why would the internal seal need to be removed to go with oil in the swivel balls? Leaving the internal seal intact would avoid the side-sloping problem, right? With the way grease piles up & can leave air pockets - How do you "Top off" a swivel ball that already has an unknown amount of One-Shot in it? I haven't had time to get to it yet, but think I am stuck disassembling to ensure new clean lube at the correct fill level.
 

Frobisher

Member
On my 95, the swivel has a drain port at the fill line. It’s just below the steering stop bolt. I’m not sure how much later LR kept installing them, though. Technically, you fill until it comes out the port, but I found that using a piece of coated 12g wire worked nicely as a dipstick. Turn the wheel, dip the wire through the opening and gauge the level. 10 minutes and I’ve checked and topped off both swivels as necessary.
 

MountainD

Well-known member
You remove the inner seal and oil is free to migrate into the CV's all the way to the wheel bearings. Wheel bearings covered in oil means you are not packing your wheel bearings--they are constantly lubricated. Yes, there is a "what if I am driving on a side slope and all the oil is on the other side argument" which really isn't. I have not heard of this ever being a problem except on a forum in theory and there are thousands of us that run wet bearings for decades that wheel. It is just a better way to lubricate everything. And if you leak, fix it and don't whine. You don't fix it that often and it is just a better way to keep things lubricated.

If you want to keep using one shot, that is fine too--whatever you want sunshine. Both work. One works better.
 

chris snell

Administrator
Callsign: NW5W
Staff member
There's no harm in mixing one-shot and gear oil. I ran my old NAS truck like that intentionally for years. Half and half. Never had any issues.
 

Red90

Well-known member
The geometry prevents the oil from running out. In addition, it has been done for 40 years by people that wheel harder and know more about Land Rovers than anyone. The oil lubricated swivels and hubs last. Grease filled ones die when they fill with mud.
 

Red90

Well-known member
I agree. There is no benefit to synthetic. None of the axle parts wear out unless there is contamination. Clean oil and they last forever other than overload breakage.
 
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