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403 - "A" frame attachment to differential on back axle

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Old 15-11-19, 03:43 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Aberdeenshire Scotland UK
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Default 403 - "A" frame attachment to differential on back axle

I've got the ("A" frame) Attachment off the car to fit new rubbers to the swivels, and a new oil seal to the ball joint. The swivel rubbers are no problem. My question concerns the oil seal for the ball joint at the rear of the attachment. Is it possible to fit the new seal without splitting the ball joint? Is it possible to split the ball joint without removing the diff from the back axle, which also involves removing the half shafts? If I really do have to take the diff out, it would be good to know of any tips, pitfalls etc. - I have a copy of the service manual, but some first hand knowledge would be much appreciated.
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Old 16-11-19, 09:12 AM
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Mike

Yes it is possible to fit the "A" frame ball joint seal without removing the diff. With care, lots of patience and lots of rubber grease, it is possible to stretch the seal over the top. Go very slowly and use rubber grease or you will tear the seal.

No it is not possible to split the ball joint without removing the diff - if you fail to successfully stretch the seal over the top, and need to split the joint you have to remove the diff - the ball joint is held on by a large nut inside the diff casting.

Its not actually too bad - you do need to retract the half shafts (disengage them from the diff) but you don't have to remove them. Getting the diff out is best done from above (ie from inside the car).

Like everything Bristol it helps if you have more than the normal number of joints on your arms and fingers: and it will always take 3 times longer than you planned :-)

Best of luck
Julian
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Old 18-11-19, 06:41 PM
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Julian, many thanks for your advice. I tried to get rhe new boot over the ball joint yesterday but was not able to stretch it enough. I've now got rhe diff off and and am doing it the hard way. Very grateful for your help. At least I now know that all the effort is actually required!
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