VC Removal & Refitting

by Manxman

I’m open to criticism but at the end of the day it seems to have worked so I’m happy.

It can be done with leaving front diff in and, drive shafts connected but probably easier to take the front-diff out if you have a mate to help you.

Here she is up in the air, so the first thing to do is drop the oil. You can see the drain plug in the centre of the photo. It’s usually recommended that you check that the oil level/filler plug be removed first, for obvious reasons!

Here is what it looked like, not sure if this is a normal amount of metal particles??? (yes, not too bad, HM) It’s not a noisy diff!

This is what came out. Smelt a bit odd (not just that cat wee gear oil smell) so I put that down to it being contaminated with silicone fluid from the blown VC. Looks a bit emulsified and doesn’t look like 1.5 litres… maybe about only 1 comes out with diff in situ… anyway, good that it’s been changed! (HM)

Prop marked so it goes back in to the same position, don’t really think its nessesary to put all the bolts back in the same place, but read somewhere you should, so I did. Those aren’t the original spec. fine threaded bolts STOVER nuts, best change them for peace of mind (CJ)

Tie the prop up out of the way, but not to the gaurd rail like I did as you might have to move it to get the VC housing out of the way later.

Remove these two bolts.

Then remove this one at the front, you might have to remove the ones either side of this one that bolt the front support to the subframe, if you do they are in elongated holes to line everything up so mark them with white spray paint before removal so you can put them back in the same location.

Then you should be able to pull the front diff down at the back, this will let you remove the cradle it was hanging on, there are two bolts on either side of the cradle, they are in elongated holes at the top so need marking before removal so you can put them back in the same place, bit of white spray paint will help (sorry no photo).

Then undo all the 13mm bolts around the VC housing, and the 14mm airvent at the top, tap with a soft face hammer and ease appart, first 5mm or so are a bit tight as it will be on the locating dowls, keep the VC on the input shaft (diff side) and with a bit of wiggling and joggling you should be able to move the VC cover clear over to the side out the way, then remove the VC and joggle that out. N.B. There is a spacer ring on the tail side of the VC, look after it and ensure it is replaced in the same position (a dob of grease might help hold it in place).

Other things to check at this stage:

Speedo nylon gear (for signs of damge to teeth (stripping, somewhat common): Speedo cable connection, clean area and spray with WD40 or penetrating oi, just check the large nut can be moved in case required sometime soon, grease threads or copperslip to prevent further corrosion; Front diff-lock mechanism, a good time to investigate condition, free action, tell-tale light functioneing etc. Diff miounting rubbers, clean threads of those long bolts, ensure the positioning of the large washers is noted for re-assembly. [HM]

Here it is from the other side. A bit awkward to move it out the way but with the aid of a transmission jack and perseverance it can be done, it might help to remove the rubber mount you can see but mine didn’t want to play, I also dropped the lhs prop guard rail, to make it easier to get back on

Clean the two mating surfaces. Locate new/rebuilt VC on splined shaft lubed with a bit of gear oil and re-assemble. Ensure spacer ring is correctly located in the VC housing. Apply some sealent (good quality liquid gasket or anaerobic jointing compound and re-fit the cover, nipping all the bolts up quickly then tightening them up – do NOT overdo it! Connect everything back up, including the diff breather positioning…