A few front/steering end questions - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 8th, 2015, 01:49 PM
RickM
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Rick Mabus
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A few front/steering end questions

Hope everyone is good. I have a few front end related questions that I want to address as we are about to head for the great north and trailer our truck behind us.

1. I somewhat recently re-did a good bit of my front end on my truck which, included wheel bearings, brake rotors, and all of the steering bushing components. I also put on wheels with a wider offset,*and different tires,*that may be due for a balance. Prior to the bushing change,*I noticed a good bit of play in the steering. Anyway, now my truck tracks straight,*but under braking it wants to pull hard the left (I think). So much so that hitting the brakes hard without paying attention might spell a sudden lane change. Anyway, I was going to check my pins in the swivel balls, but is there something I should put some thought to on this,*or is there a bleed adjustment I might need to think through, as I did not bleed my brakes when I changed the rotors and pads? I do notice some play when driving now, and a little bit of wobble, but the truck tracks very straight when under power.

2. As far as the pins in the swivel balls are concerned, is there a better way to attack the bolts holding those in place? My brake lines are in the way, which is a bummer as I wanted to get a good socket on each, as I think a pry bar may be required.

Thanks in advance all.
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  #2  
Old June 8th, 2015, 02:39 PM
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Mark Garrenton
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Sounds a lot like one of the caliper pistons in the PS is frozen. That would cause greater braking force on the DS. I've had this experience with my rovers. My 99 DI was corrected just a couple of weeks ago using a spare set of calipers. Other than that, wheel bearings being loose could cause toe out and pulling under braking but I suspect you might also get the death wobble from that.
I usually remove the hard brake line to deal with the upper swivel pins. It's a pain in the ass with all the brake fluid leaking out and requiring a proper bleed.
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Old June 8th, 2015, 02:50 PM
RickM
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Thats what I was a touch worried about on the swivel balls. I really want to tackle this myself for the fun of it, but I am not going to have much time for screw ups. Might just be time to run it to someone.
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  #4  
Old June 8th, 2015, 03:48 PM
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for a hard pull to the left, please make sure that you do not have a grease leak on the right side. inner hub seal leak and swivell leaks will drip right on the brake rotor causing the right side braking to become non existent. the truck will pull hard left as a result.
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  #5  
Old June 8th, 2015, 05:15 PM
RickM
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Sonoronos- Thanks for the tip on that. I will certainly have that looked at.
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  #6  
Old June 25th, 2015, 04:22 PM
RickM
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So I am finally getting around to taking care of all this. I had a group look at it, and it appears that my steering stabilizer may be utterly shot. It also looks like I am getting a lot of play in the gear box. I guess it is time for a new gear box!!
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Old August 6th, 2015, 10:40 PM
RickM
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FYI. Minor gearbox adjustment and new stabilizer. Truck drives like a dream at slow speeds. At higway though, its a bit interesting. Not death wobble but the feeling like a wheel is out off balance. Anyway I am now in Vail with the truck and its beeen looked at again with a heavy emphasis on the frong hinge pins. He said the front end is tight but the upper steering assembly is shot ujoints and all, and has play in it. Also said LR redesigned that part, and only sells it in Europe. Says it may take 4 weeks to get it in. We shall seee.

Left with a really great impression of the shop Auto's and Trucks in Avon CO though. Not a big fan of bashing folks on the innerweb, but when in a pickle keep an eye out for Leadfoot Linda's. They seamed to be afraid of LR's even though they advertise they are LR friendly, If concerned about looking into this, pm me for details.
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  #8  
Old August 7th, 2015, 03:15 PM
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defenders are like kryptonite to many shops. lack of knowledge, huge mysteries, lots of bodges from previous and current owners, and lots of old components. i wouldn't take it personally.

when someone says lr friendly, they don't necessarily include defenders in that list.
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Old August 10th, 2015, 12:34 AM
RickM
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so here is one you guys. Has anyone ever done a temporary fix to the steering linkage u joints to get rid of any play? I am pretty far from being able to work on this.
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  #10  
Old August 10th, 2015, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickM View Post
so here is one you guys. Has anyone ever done a temporary fix to the steering linkage u joints to get rid of any play? I am pretty far from being able to work on this.
Replace themů four bolts total (2 on each) - tap them of and install the new ones

Quick and relatively painless.
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  #11  
Old August 10th, 2015, 07:36 AM
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Tom Rowe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickM View Post
Also said LR redesigned that part, and only sells it in Europe. Says it may take 4 weeks to get it in. We shall seee.
What's the PN of the redesigned one? I have a new one hanging in my garage, I can see if that's what I have. I'm not going to need it any time soon.
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  #12  
Old August 10th, 2015, 08:20 AM
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FYI steering U joints are 3/4-48, just like VW beetles from the 1960s. Therefore, you can easily and inexpensively buy generic steering u joints from any number of online suppliers and have them in most cases overnight. If there is a place in the area that works on beetles dune buggies and sand rails, they will likely have what you need on the shelf. Europe schmoorup...whuuda doosh.
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  #13  
Old August 20th, 2015, 12:00 PM
RickM
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Rick Mabus
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Bill-

I am now back in Dallas with my truck, and I have yet to pull my steering link. That said I did call a VW specific parts shop, and without a part number we ran into a bit of a "we don't know what you are talking about". They did say a super battle from the 70's had a similar part, but that they did not think that the part was separate from a the steering shaft. I am going to get my steering shaft out, and take it around a bit and see what I can come up with.

Regardless, I am not suggesting you are not correct on this as I am sure you are right, but I am suggesting I need to know part numbers for the VW side before digging in to deep. I will report back.

RickM
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Old August 20th, 2015, 12:41 PM
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Lmgtfy: 3/4"-48, 3/4"-48, U-JOINT, dune buggy vw baja bug https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003KKHLN6..._ulG1vbFDEBB2M

You gotta ask the right peeps.
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  #15  
Old August 21st, 2015, 11:06 PM
RickM
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Bill. Thanks for doing my homework for me. I was lazy.

I have made some progress though. I got the steering shaft shaft pulled tonight, and actually everything sure feels ok. I am now wondering if there is simply something wrong with my steering box. This gets me back to thinking about my initial problem. When at highway speeds, the wheel wiggles back and forth. At first it was mild, but now it iis really getting pretty noticable but it will go away after a few seconds. I dont think it is death wobble and two shops have already checked my recently replaced bushings. So here is the point. If I had all of this to do over again, when I went to replace my wheel bearings, I would have probably done just about everything back to the steering wheel just for good measure. I plan to take my steering link to a shop to get a second opinion, but if all that looks ok, then it may be time to call Merridian.

I realize I may be waxing on about stuff many of you really know way more than me about, but for the shade tree enthusiest like me, I am hoping my issues will help someone else using the search mode.
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  #16  
Old August 30th, 2015, 10:00 PM
RickM
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Update for those in my boat. New steering shaft ujoints. New steering box. Removal of the wheel spacers I was using with some wider offset rims. The front end of my truck is driving better than ever. The steering box was a 3 hour job and probably could have been done quicker if I hurried some.
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