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My steering box is pishing oil from the output shaft seal. I've got one from a breaker, which seems in good nick, and I plan on swapping it over in the next day or two.

Any gotchas, that people who have been here before can steer me away from? The section in RAVE seems pretty short and simple, but it says to replace the sealing washers - but I can't find anyone that stocks them. Are they just like copper banjo fitting washers, or what? Do they need replaced every time or is this just a "hey LR mechanic don't skimp on the customer's 80 grand car" thing?

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More a don't skimp on an expensive car, particularly when we can charge £3 each for 50p copper washers. Yes, they are standard banjo copper washers but when I changed my steering box I reused the ones that were on it and they don't leak.

Make sure the one you've got to go on is complete with the Pitman arm as taking one of those off needs about 4 people to hold it steady while someone else belts it with a sledge hammer. RAVE says to take the washer reservoir out but I found that undoing the securing bolts and shoving it forwards gives enough clearance. Tie the steering wheel where it is as it will turn when you disconnect the steering column at the steering box. Don't have the steering lock on or there will almost certainly be tension on the splines so it won't slide off easily. Give both splines a good dosing with Plug Gas and a small tapered chisel in the slot increases the chances of it coming off. I used a wedge type ball joint splitter to get it to start moving away from the box. Destroyed the plastic ring with the centre marks on it but as it was scrap anyway it doesn't matter. A simple enough job even if it is bloody heavy and a bit awkward.

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I was just going to take the front wing off to clean all the crud out of the rust traps and underseal the panel, and give myself a ton of room to work ;-) Good shout on tying the steering wheel. I guess some bungies will hold it in place against the pedals or something.

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Or just bungy it to the gear lever. Yes, the steering wheel is heavier at one side so if you don't tie it, it turns all on its own as soon as the column is disconnected, Then you've got to try to get it back on in the same place or your steering wheel is on the piss and there's a danger of buggering up the clockspring thing.

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Whats the secret to getting the lower end of the intermediate shaft back on to the splines of the replacement steering box...any genius ideas?

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i think they only go on in one spot, it's missing a spline, is the box centered

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Not sure it is but opening it out a bit with a thin cold chisel allows it to slide on easier.

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No missing spline, but i'll give the cold chisel a whirl

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Last time I changed one I tapped the cold chisel into the slot and left it there while putting the spline into place so it held it open. Once it was in I then pulled the chisel out and put the pinch bolt in.

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Makes sense I just got a long piece of wood in the end, and tapped the shaft on gently with a mallet, in line with the chassis rail.

The washers I had on my banjo bolts were quite sophisticated: metal outside with a silicone inner, so I reused them

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By far the most time consuming step is getting the shaft on and off. for the removal I used a cooling fan spanner in the slot between the plastic ring and the uj. Wiggle it back and forth until you have more room and then use one or more 19 mm open spanners.
I like the open chisel idea, but with hindsight i'd buy a sacrificial cold chisel 12 to 18 inches long and grind it to about 2mm thicker than the slot you need to spread on the shaft and to the same width as the length of the slot. TIme spent on prep will be well.spent...

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I like the open chisel idea, but with hindsight i'd buy a sacrificial cold chisel 12 to 18 inches long and grind it to about 2mm thicker than the slot you need to spread on the shaft and to the same width as the length of the slot. TIme spent on prep will be well.spent...

or use a screw driver

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That was of course option no 1, but a normal flat blade is too thin, and if you twist it in the slot the screwdriver blade is harder than the uj/shaft and will leave a scar