Advantages of D2 axle over D1/RRC/Defender?

David Harris

Expedition Leader
I just bought a D2, and having never owned anything but D1's and a RRC, I've been researching upgrades. I came across a discussion on Devon 4x4 in the UK regarding the advantages of the D2 front axle design over the earlier LR axles. The consensus there is that a D2 front axle with Ashcroft CV's and shafts is actually a stronger unit than a built D1/RRC/Defender axle, because with the rubber boots, the CV can be made bigger and stronger than the swivel ball design which limits maximum CV size.

Also, apparently D2's in the UK have four-pinion diffs like the P38 from the factory. Do D2's here have four-pinions as well?

Other advantages of the D2 design were mentioned as well, such as wider track, longer shaft length, possibility to upgrade to larger R&P's, etc. I guess a lot of Defender competition trucks there swap to D2 axles for these reasons.

What do you guys think about this?
 
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I Leak Oil

Expedition Leader
Unit bearings...Great until you have to change them in the mud or the snow. Heck, even in your driveway can be a pain in the butt.
I think if I were to go through the hassle and coin of changing R&P's, shafts, CV's and suspension mounts I think I'd just start with another axle all together. Land Cruiser comes to mind.
Let's face it, rovers are good in many ways but axle strength has NEVER been one of them.
Just my 2 cents.
 

David Harris

Expedition Leader
Unit bearings...Great until you have to change them in the mud or the snow. Heck, even in your driveway can be a pain in the butt.
I think if I were to go through the hassle and coin of changing R&P's, shafts, CV's and suspension mounts I think I'd just start with another axle all together. Land Cruiser comes to mind.
Let's face it, rovers are good in many ways but axle strength has NEVER been one of them.
Just my 2 cents.
Isn't changing these really just a matter of unbolting the old hub unit and bolting the new one back on?
 

Antichrist

Expedition Leader
It's not quite that simple. Then there's the cost. As I'm sure you know, you can rebuild your D1 hubs with all new parts for under $30. I think you'll find new DII hubs are a bit more than that.

It also depends on how you plan to use it. Maybe if you plan on really hard core off-roading. But at 265k miles, a good amount of it not gentle at all off-road and towing a heavy trailer I haven't broken a CV or coiler axle.
I did break an axle in one of my 109's at a traffic light once.
 

Harald Hansen

Explorer
Doesn't the Bowler/QT Wildcar rally raid vehicles use D2 axles? I've no idea what they do to them beforehand, but it seems like they're good kit.

I changed rear unit berings on my D2. I hated the cost, but the job was very quick at least. LR went back to regular hub design on the next generation Discovery, FWIW.
 

Antichrist

Expedition Leader
Doesn't the Bowler/QT Wildcar rally raid vehicles use D2 axles?
I think you may be right. I know their Tomcat used D1 axles (I traded emails with Paul some years back about sourcing blank swivel balls for drilling for castor correction), but a quick look at their web site seems to hint that the Wildcat uses DII axles. I've no idea if it's a strength factor or some other reason however.
 

AxeAngel

Expedition Leader
There was a lot of interest in the toyota conversion for d2 axles. A few folks on a differnt forum(myself included) signed up for a groupbuy that allowed toy diffs to be used with aftermarket shafts and the rover hubs.

-Sam
 
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