Completely lost all control of steering today - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 3rd, 2011, 11:37 PM
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Carl Jonsson
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Completely lost all control of steering today

I was driving home this evening and completely lost control of steering. I mean, you turn and turn but the car goes straight. Not a very pleasant feeling. Correct me if I'm wrong because I'm not exactly sure what I am looking at here but it appears that the drop arm ball joint came out of the track rod? The pictures shows it after I put it back together. They were hanging apart when I found them. There is some type of bolt missing that is supposed to hold these together right? Can someone tell me what I need? If I pull them apart it'll come out. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old January 4th, 2011, 12:14 AM
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Chris Snyder
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Happened on my truck... Luckily in a parking lot. Water gets in there and rusts the ball joint it seems. That won't hold (obviously) the way you have it. You'll need to replace the joint.

Edit: No there's no bolt missing or anything.
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  #3  
Old January 4th, 2011, 06:52 AM
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From what you are saying... The drop arm ball joint got separated from the drop arm.

From the pics... The drop arm ball joint looks to be secured in place to the drag link. You don't have any nut or pin missing.

Can you post a picture with it separated?

I'll go with a new Drop Arm... I bet the one you have got damage. (Part No. QFW000030)

The ball joint is supposed to be pulled out the other way.
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  #4  
Old January 4th, 2011, 07:36 AM
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Jim Cheney
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Yeah, I'm confused as to what came apart. Your castelated nut and cotter pin are still in place, and I think the hole in the top of the drop arm is too small for the ball joint to come out. Did the pin with the ball on it shear off somewhere?

You probably don't need a new drop arm (which is kind of $$ anyway) because the ball joint rides in a removeable brass shell. A rebuild kit comes with a new pin, two halves of the race/shell, spring, cap, washer, c-clip, boot, nut, cotter pin etc - and all that stuff goes in from the underside of the drop arm.
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  #5  
Old January 4th, 2011, 07:59 AM
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Definately looks to be sheared. It can be a real PIA sometimes to get the old ball joint out. Make sure that it has not damaged the drop arm and that the new ball joint can operate freely.
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  #6  
Old January 4th, 2011, 07:59 AM
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the one i rebuilt had no brass in it. it was all steel. i think the brass would wear too quickly. that said, the one pictured here should be rebuildable. the moving parts likely just wore to the point that the ball was able to come out the wrong way. Happens with tie rod ends too, and usually results in a quick trip to the curb. Due to Nigel's disease, suggest everyone check theirs now...

PS seem to recall seeing drop arms available somewhere for about $100. Which is worth it given the PITA factor of rebuilding the ball joint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Yeah, I'm confused as to what came apart. Your castelated nut and cotter pin are still in place, and I think the hole in the top of the drop arm is too small for the ball joint to come out. Did the pin with the ball on it shear off somewhere?

You probably don't need a new drop arm (which is kind of $$ anyway) because the ball joint rides in a removeable brass shell. A rebuild kit comes with a new pin, two halves of the race/shell, spring, cap, washer, c-clip, boot, nut, cotter pin etc - and all that stuff goes in from the underside of the drop arm.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:11 AM
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Yeah, I would go through the entire front end. Also, it's strange that if you put a lot of input into the steering and there was no effect as you said, that the joint didn't completely dislocate. You really want to make sure there is no other problem in the front end that caused the ball joint to fail. Include the steering box in that check.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:15 AM
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If you need one, I have a drop arm (used). Drop me an email....
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  #9  
Old January 4th, 2011, 08:54 AM
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http://www.paddockspares.com/pp/DEFE...ufacturer.html

if it didn't shear off and the drop arm is worn to the point that the ball @ the end of the shaft pulled through you need a new drop arm. You must have had tons of play in your steering.
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  #10  
Old January 4th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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Carl Jonsson
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Thanks guys. I have noticed a little play in the steering and also a bit of a "knot" when doing a full turn. Everyone told me not to worry about it.

I've gone wheeling a couple of times lately so I'm sure the steering got a bit abused then.

It did completely drop out. I will take a picture of it separated so you can see more clearly what came apart. Thanks again fellas.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 10:05 AM
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Probably don't need a new drop arm (the rebuild kit has both cups and the ball shaft thing which combined should be enough) but I would get one anyway as the cups are really hard to get out.

This is caused by rust which is caused by water displacing the grease under the boot. Very common in states without rigorous inspections. Check your three other ball joints too (two on the track rod and the one on the other end of the drag link). Any clicking when you move the bar up and down, torn boots, or signs of rust and they should be replaced.
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  #12  
Old January 4th, 2011, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 130Tdi View Post
http://www.paddockspares.com/pp/DEFE...ufacturer.html

if it didn't shear off and the drop arm is worn to the point that the ball @ the end of the shaft pulled through you need a new drop arm. You must have had tons of play in your steering.
That is what I picture when he mentioned that it got separated. Shear off drop arm and that is why the ball joint got separated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manimal View Post
Thanks guys. I have noticed a little play in the steering and also a bit of a "knot" when doing a full turn. Everyone told me not to worry about it.

I've gone wheeling a couple of times lately so I'm sure the steering got a bit abused then.

It did completely drop out. I will take a picture of it separated so you can see more clearly what came apart. Thanks again fellas.
For $30 difference I will get the drop arm. The best price I've seen is at the UK for $50. If you need it ASAP and cannot wait, get it a Rovah Farm form $89. The ball joint kit is about $60 at AB.

Also, here is the install pdf file and very nice webpage from our friends in Landy Zone.

http://www.landyzone.co.uk/lz/f41/dr...wal-63811.html
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  #13  
Old January 4th, 2011, 10:36 AM
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If getting the cups out of the drop arm is a PITA, then getting the drop arm off the spindle is not exactly a walk in the park either. This job sux any way you slice it.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for all you input everyone. I plan to drop it off at Doug Shipman's shop since I am gearing up for a busy week. I will post more pictures shortly. I will most likely replace both drop arms and the track rod joints as well. I don't want to have to go through this ever again. Luckily I was driving 40 on a city street. Had it happened on the freeway or in the woods it could have resulted in a roll over. Check your joints fellas!
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Old January 4th, 2011, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
If getting the cups out of the drop arm is a PITA, then getting the drop arm off the spindle is not exactly a walk in the park either. This job sux any way you slice it.
PITA is an understatement. I was ready to use a blow torch when I did mine... luckily I don't have one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manimal View Post
Thanks for all you input everyone. I plan to drop it off at Doug Shipman's shop since I am gearing up for a busy week. I will post more pictures shortly. I will most likely replace both drop arms and the track rod joints as well. I don't want to have to go through this ever again. Luckily I was driving 40 on a city street. Had it happened on the freeway or in the woods it could have resulted in a roll over. Check your joints fellas!
Always a good idea to do the track rod and drag link TRE together. cheap insurance.

Also, I've sent you a PM.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 11:02 AM
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Funniest part of all was when I was "parked" with half of the vehicle in the street and the other half across the sidewalk, hazards on, a police car drove by. Thought for sure I was going to get checked for drunk driving. He didn't stop, just drove on by.

For any new Rover owner I highly recommend AAA. Free tow home last night and free tow to the shop this morning. They even drove me and my defender home one night when I was plastered and didn't want to leave the rover in a seedy neighborhood overnight.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 11:33 AM
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Honestly, doing tie rod and steering rod joints sucks so bad that I think just having an extra on hand already built up is the way to go. That way replacing them involves just two nuts and an alignment (which sounds really good right now!) and then you can rebuilt the other spare at your leisure.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Honestly, doing tie rod and steering rod joints sucks so bad that I think just having an extra on hand already built up is the way to go. That way replacing them involves just two nuts and an alignment (which sounds really good right now!) and then you can rebuilt the other spare at your leisure.
x2...x3 and x4.... lol

I have a nice shipment coming with my replacement parts...

On the other hand... My wifes '03 DII had a bad drag link and I was able to do both (track rod and drag link) in less than 20 minutes. We'll her truck is garaged at home and at work. Maybe a couple of times on dirt roads... it's rust free. maybe that's why.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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They are easy IF you have heat, a 3ft (or at least 2ft) pipe wrench with an extension for more leverage, some PB blaster, and something to wedge open the split in the ends of the rods a bit. Also helps to have a big vice or you can do what I do and wedge the other end someplace it can't move.

When I replace the ball joints, I pack the threads with anti-sieze. This may or may not be safe, but I do it anyway. I also use two clamps per end.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
They are easy IF you have heat, a 3ft (or at least 2ft) pipe wrench with an extension for more leverage, some PB blaster, and something to wedge open the split in the ends of the rods a bit. Also helps to have a big vice or you can do what I do and wedge the other end someplace it can't move.

When I replace the ball joints, I pack the threads with anti-sieze. This may or may not be safe, but I do it anyway. I also use two clamps per end.
I tried heat, penetrating oil, voodoo... you name it.
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