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  #1  
Old April 9th, 2004, 08:24 PM
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'93 NAS 110
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Front End Wobble

My 110 has developed a front end wobble. It seems to occur on bumpy roads around 20-30 mph. It started as a slight movement of the steering wheel, and is now getting progressively worse where sometimes I have to slow down to get it to stop wobbling. I'm wondering if there's a predominate source for this.

The areas I've thought about are:

Wheel bearings (basically new, maybe 5K)
Excessive spindle clearance (have never checked this)
Worn radius arm bushings (they're original AFAIK)
Worn Panhard rod bushings (have about 30K miles on them)
Worn steering damper (OME but probably has 80K on it)
Worn steering box (leaks like a sieve)
Worn drag link bearings (original I think)
Worn tierod bearings (HD tierod w/new ends; about 30K on these)

Looking forward to any thoughts anyone has so I can hopefully narrow down the search. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old April 9th, 2004, 11:11 PM
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Phillip
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I would try the tie rod ends and the steering dampner thats what I replace now my truck is tighter than a virgin.... sorry for the description yall get the jist of it.............
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  #3  
Old April 10th, 2004, 02:20 AM
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Michael Slade
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You are experiencing what many refer to as 'Death Wobble'. It can be caused by many things. I have cured this on two of my vehicles within the last 6 months, and I can share both experiences with you. Both had the same symptoms, but both were different causes.

The first was our LWB Range Rover. I was getting extreme death wobble after hitting potholes at road speed. I could usually control it by driving out of it, but on a family trip to Utah we had had eough. Crawled underneath to check out the steering dampener, tie-rod ends, radius arm bushings, etc. I had OME poly-bushings in the panhard rod at the time and when the steering wheel was turned back and forth you could see the panhard rod moving in the brackets. Removed them and replaced them with factory rubber and the problem was solved. It is my experienced opinion that there is no where on the LR that poly bushings are better than factory rubber. I used to think that there were various combinations of rubber/poly that worked well, but now I believe that rubber bushings are best. Yeah, they are a PITA to change, but in the long run, on trucks that actually get used, the rubber is best. Check your panhard rod for worn bushings.

The second case of DW was on the CrewCab. I thought it was radius arm bushings, so I changed them, it came back several months later (the radius arms I put in had worn bushings but I was in a hurry and didn't want to change them). Changed them again with new bushings and caster corrected radius arms. Was still there. Changed the panhard rod bushings from OME poly to factory rubber. DW was still there.

There is no steering dampener on the CrewCab, so it couldn't be that.

I knew that swivel pin pre-load being too low can also cause DW, and had a friend in Portland with an LWB RRC that changed everything else and then checked the pre-load and had it re-set. It cured his DW, so I thought it was probably my culprit too, since I had changed everything else.

Took off the rims, tie rods and track rods and checked it. Yep, the pre-load was too low. Removed some shims, played around with various shim combinations, and got it set nearly perfectly. Did the same maneuvor (sp?) with the other side and took her for a drive. DW was cured. I didn't feel comfortable having the upper swivel pin without any shim, so the thinnest shim was left in place. I could get a better pre-load by removing it and running no shim, which I guess I could do, but I felt it needed at least one shim in there.

After the shims are all removed and the pre-load is still unable to be set properly you will need to replace the railco bushings (actually a bearing).

If you are unfamiliar with how your swivel balls should feel then you should take it to a shop that does. If you know how it's supposed to feel, then you already know this is a simple job that you can do in your driveway with basic tools.

I would look at panhard rod bushings and swivel pre-load. All a steering dampener does is hide the symptoms of not having the rest of your front suspension components up to snuff.

Good luck!
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  #4  
Old April 12th, 2004, 08:51 PM
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Mike,

Good call on the panhard rod. I checked it this weekend, and the bolt on the driver's side had come loose (just enough to allow the bushing to slide maybe 1/16"). Tightened it up and no sign of the DW yet. It seems that it might have loosened because the bolt is too short to protrude out through the self-locking nut. Now I've got to find a replacement bolt with the proper length.

Just to make sure, I'll check the swivel pin preload the next time I'm tearing into the front end.

Thanks for the help!
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  #5  
Old April 13th, 2004, 12:48 AM
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Slade gives incredible advice. Wow. I am impressed with anyone who knows cold that whole polybush thing is a scam.

And all the time it takes to explain everything - I had been curious about swivel housing shims. Would love to see some pictures of such so I can be sure before I check mine.

My dad's 110 had that real bad once and in that case it was just wheel balancing. He had bitten on the Equal tire balancer bullet. Good old fashioned lead weights (the stick-on kind, not the clip round the wheel bead kind), mounted dynamically, fixed her up.
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  #6  
Old April 13th, 2004, 12:05 PM
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Michael Slade
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Tell me what 'knows cold' means and then I'll know if that's a backhanded compliment or a sincere one.



The shims will be located under the swivel pin if/when you go and take it apart. You can't see them unless you take the upper pin out, and you shouldn't unless you need to reset your pre-load.

Poly-schmoly. That's my new mantra.
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  #7  
Old April 13th, 2004, 04:10 PM
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Doesn't get any more sincere. "Cold" as in "down cold" meaning "knowing or able for certain".
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  #8  
Old April 13th, 2004, 05:21 PM
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Michael Slade
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'Round these parts we say 'down pat', or some such nonsense.

I'll have to start brushing up on the new english I think.

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