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Broken Milner CV


Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2010
Im sure this has been discussed on other forums but it hasn't been done here.

Well i got a Milner CV fitted by Julian knowing full well that it was a cheaper part but i could not justify the huge cost of Toyota CVs. Well after around 7k miles and just under a year it failed catastrophically at Lincomb farm. I drove up big red with all the lockers on and when I got to the top the steering started to bind. I checked the PS fluid and it was full, even disconnected the hydraulic winch electrics to rule out faulty hydraulic solenoids or a dodgy electrical installation. Over the next half an hour the steering kept binding randomly. I then tried the tyres and due to the steering binding I could not drive straight and came off them. When i tried to get back on the front left CV failed.

Today i striped the hub and found this:

The steering bearings seem fine as the swivel now travels from lock to lock with no issues. Will pull them out and check at a later date. The inside of the hub is a bit gouged but should be fine:

And the half shaft is completely chewed need to get replacement:

One interesting thing i found is this:

The fatigue like failure lines suggest that the cage cracked and then gradually the crack propagated like a fatigue failure but far more rapidly due to the large gaps in between the lines.

Well I am certainly not impressed with Milner CVs, I am sure it will be fine for the weekly drive to Tescos and the school run but it is certainly not OK for a truck with 33" AT tyres and for mild off road use with a fair bit of weight. Correct me if I am wrong but I don't think I did any extreme driving in the woods on Sunday.
pfeewww not good...

I nearly got them the other day to tie me over but decided against it..
Went for Blueprint instead..
Still not genuine but they seem to last at least 30k miles of pretty rough use according to mates who use them..
When they start clicking I will get a set of genuine of Ian Rubie..

Good luck with the repair mate hope the truck is back on the road soon...
Hope you get the CV fixed and back on the road soon.

Rob said:
Correct me if I am wrong but I don't think I did any extreme driving in the woods on Sunday.

One of the things you need to be careful of when driving in the woods like on sunday is the over use of lockers. By all means engage them when needed but keeping the truck fully locked puts a tremendous strain on the whole drive train. Esecially when driving on grippy surfaces.

When you were experiencing the steering binding were you locked?

I noticed that if I had the front locker engaged then, even on the grass, my steering was tight/binding. It's my habit to ony use my lockers when I encounter a tricky bit and then disengage them as soon as possible.

I experienced steering binding after I had disengaged the lockers. The steering was so bad sometimes that i needed to stop or else I would drive into a tree. After playing with the steering wheel for a bit it would unbind and i could carry on driving. I had never experienced any steering binding before even with lockers on. Big red was the only time i used the lockers that day, and on the tyres when it actually failed but by this time the CV was clearly terminal. They are always off as soon as i clear an obstacle.
It was just a thought :) . I wasn't sure from your OP whether you had the lockers engaged when you were having the steering issues.

Decent quality CV's should be able to take quite a lot of abuse before letting go, it's not a LR after all! The problem was the crap CV not what Rob was doing / how he was using it IMO ;)
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I thought the general consensus/rule of thumb for using front lockers in any vehicle was straight ahead only if possible :?: Lack of steering whilst locked is a given isn't it :?: :?
Brett said:
I thought the general consensus/rule of thumb for using front lockers in any vehicle was straight ahead only if possible :?: Lack of steering whilst locked is a given isn't it :?: :?
Brett the lack of steering occurred after I had disengaged the locker and it was definitely disengaged. When the front locker is in you have limited steering, symptoms form my experience include understeer and slightly heavier steering on some surfaces. When I say the steering was binding I mean it felt like the power steering had failed or had jammed and in some cases you could not turn the wheel. After turning the wheel left and right a few times the feeling of power steering assistance would come back. On the tyres the truck just slid of the tyres as I am not strong enough to turn the wheel enough to keep it in a straight line.
Could the steering fault be connected to a dodgey viscous coupling along the lines of Richard's experiences here?
Havent you just done some work to the power steering system when you fitted the winch?
yes i have Paul, and that was the first thing i checked. Checked the fluid level, checked for leaks, ran the winch to see if the pump was working and finally pulled the fuse for the winch to eliminate any electrical problems with the solenoids engaging which would disable power steering.

Gav I don't think it had anything to do with the VC seizing as it would not drive with the centre diff off after it failed. I spoke to Julian V who reckons is was diff wind up that caused the steering problems but this feel completely different from diff wind up and it was intermittent. I know what diff wind up feels like and this felt completely different. One thing Julian said was that he was amazed that the CV lasted so long after it was damaged enough to cause the steering to bind.
Gavlad said:
Could the steering fault be connected to a dodgey viscous coupling along the lines of Richard's experiences here?

Don't think this is related as Rob would have the centre diff locked if in low range. The failure of the viscous coupling is just like having the diff locked when you don't want it to be.

I think you're right that Big Red caused partial failure / fracture of the cage and your steering problem - never occured to me to suggest that when you asked about your steering problem!

IMO the whole drive train including decent CV's should have no problem withstanding driving in circles on a hard surface fully locked at slow speeds. It won't feel nice and it will wear things out faster but nothing should break, IMO.
You are well known for your relaxed driving style Jon... :shock: :lol: :lol:
Thats the way, little & often ;-)

BTW, what the update on your zorst?
These are classic CV failure symptons- steering binds solid so you can't move it. Sometimes you are lucky and the CV explodes so badly that you drive with one wheel drive, but its not very good for the axle casing.

Spend some time competing with Landrovers and you'll see this happen a lot- about 5-6 years ago before Ashcrofts uprated CVs were popular (and just about affordable)It was common to see at least 2 vehicles per event with the front axle jacked up. most of the guys we competed with carried a CV and a halfshaft locked together as a spare.

Some interesting things came about to solve the problem- Cush Drives, ashcroft power slip drive flanges, X-eng's broken half shaft replacement tool (necessary for when you REALLY bugger up a CV which destroys the CV end of the halfshaft and you need a tool to bang out the broken end of the halfshaf!)
One thing to add is that the temporary binding you experienced is the CVs starting to seize.

one 2 things are happening. on hardened "guaranteed for life" CVs, its the balls themselves that get pitted and worn (the cages are made from nigh on indestructible 300m or similar) and start to get "wedged" between the cage and spider- locking the steering up nice and solid. This is by design as the "soft" balls take some shockload and protect the CV to a certain extent- also you can disassemble the whole thing, and de-burr the balls- then turn the cage around within the CV and re-assemble- you tend to be able to double the mileage of the CVs like this.

on cheaper CVs the Balls are normally cae hardened and the cages are smally crappy cheap things- in this case the cage starts to warp and crack and the balls then move and again get trapped but between the cage and the bell. This is why you were feeling the steering coming and going- the balls are basically trring to fall out! If on safarr the only thing you can really do at this point, is to stop the vehicles and strip the CV down in a safe place, before it blows in a place that really matters and you get very stuck.

The MAJOR destroyer of CVs is shock loading- if you ever find yourself powering up a rocky hill with big lumps, every time you think you may be unloading a front wheel you should back off slightly.

One major advantage of an auto box over a manual box is that it protects the drivetrain and particularly the CVs from shock loading (basically the shock is transmitted through the drive train to the "weakest" point- which is the fluid in the torque converter).

Oddly using original Yota CVs i've blown up the front Diff twice, but never blown up a CV. Considering putting a sacrificial CV in so i don't have to change any more- swapping CVs is far easier than swapping diffs!
One more thing I had trouble getting the halfsahft out, needed to use a crow bar :shock: I had the a couple of weld spots on the halfshaft that prevented it disappearing into the diff as i didn't have a CV circlip (aftermarket CVs are impossible to separate from the halfshaft). The welds partially failed as the halfshaft was pushed into the diff which meant that the diff splines were tight within the weld spots.