Join Date: Jan 2018
Vehicle: 2000 R170 320
Other Toys: 1969 Landrover Lightweight S2a
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Well they aren't lock washers, it's a pair of pressure distributing crescents.
The u-joint carrier is sealed by a thin cap on the diff end, and another that connects to the boot on the other. These caps are sealed with a non-setting gasket (blue) or locktite 574, which seems to be about as expensive as printer ink.
The axle can be pushed hubwards, and swung down quite easily. Flange bolts are 10mm star type.
Going to open it up, pack it with molly u-joint grease, then clean and gasket it. Better safe than sorry, and looks like quite an easy job apart from the location.