This LRO reader emailed LRO.email@example.com to ask Andrew Varrall about swapping his Series III axle with an axle from a Discovery.
My recently acquired Series III’s front axle has been badly looked after. I could rebuild it for about £100 – but I’ve seen Discovery axles in a better condition for less, so this strikes me as a sensible upgrade. How would this affect the cost of insurance? And would there be anything else to consider in the swap? I’m thinking of things like brake lines, which diff to use and how to set the steering.
Matt Bryant, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
If you’re considering this modification to save yourself a few quid, I strongly recommend you don’t do it. By the time you’ve finished, it’ll have cost you more than the £100 you spent on new parts and taken you substantially more time. Also you have to consider that the mounting of the spring hanger brackets has to be absolutely accurate – even 1mm out will affect the steering. The track is different on the Disco axle so the front wheels would stick slightly beyond the wheelarches. You’d need to use the SIII diff and this, in turn, limits which age of Discovery axle you can use; namely, up to 1992 when the 24-spline diffs came in.
Finally, I can’t think of any insurer who would consider this modification to be safer. You may even find that some companies aren’t even prepared to give you a quote when you tell them what you’ve done.
This workshop advice appeared in the March 2016 issue of LRO. Back issues are available to download on digital devices here.