Highway drifting - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 9th, 2015, 07:51 PM
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James Wortman
1994 D90 #1693
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Highway drifting

I have been breaking in my "new" 89 110 with a 40 mile back-and-forth highway commute over the past few weeks. One issue that I would like to dial in is the drifting I get with the tall and skinny tires on the original 5.5 inch wide wheels and what appears to be stock suspension. My 97 90 had no drift and handled quite well on the highway, but I had a 285/75 setup with OME HDs.

Is more substantial highway drift inevitable with the older 110 and will a similar (or even slightly less aggressive) tire setup get me that much more stability on the highway? If so, I would be interested in wheel type / offset (not Boosts) combinations folks have used to attain a bigger footprint without exceeding the fender flares. My old wheels were black steelies that looked great and would enjoy a similar setup.
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  #2  
Old September 9th, 2015, 08:03 PM
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Doug Crowther
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The 110 should "track" better than your 90 did. Start with bushings and shocks.
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  #3  
Old September 11th, 2015, 11:16 AM
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Michael White
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
My money is on rear bushings. When worn you get a butt wiggle/rear steer feel.

-Jeff
+1 on this. Mine were fine, but the nylock nut had worked itself loose over the years; the bushings were fine. Check the nylock nut before replacing the bushings.
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  #4  
Old September 11th, 2015, 11:20 AM
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Also the rear a frame ball joint and the panhard bushings and steering in front can cause that issue. The good part is, these are all things that a visual plus a prybar flex test can diagnose.
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  #5  
Old September 11th, 2015, 11:23 AM
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Skinny Pete
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I love it when people think poor handling is just a part of the equation with old vehicles. In fact LR should track straight and handle well, even an old series truck. Fix it before you get hurt or hurt someone else.
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Present:
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Past:
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  #6  
Old September 11th, 2015, 11:54 AM
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Scott Pelly
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I just replaced all of my bushings, (including the A frame, and new A frame u joint), with the Polybush dynnamic (orange) set,. The difference is unbelievable.

I think the best way to describe the feel before the change, would be to compare it to walking around in a pair of shoes 2 sizes too big.

After the new bushings the truck tracks straight, returns to centre after cornering, has a very firm and positive feel, like it knows exactly where it's going. No more "vague" steering, ruts in the road aren't pulling me in every direction, especially on the highway. Just like driving a brand new truck.
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  #7  
Old September 11th, 2015, 01:02 PM
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James Wortman
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Very much appreciate all of the comments. To alleviate safety concerns expressed, I had The Shop in Norcross, GA do a full walk through and refresh on any potential safety or mechanical issues that could present a problem a month ago. They were very thorough. I just want to tighten the highway feel as I move to replace the tires, and now (potentially) the bushings. Sounds like a prybar flex test will also be worthwhile.
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  #8  
Old September 11th, 2015, 01:15 PM
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Dave
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New springs and shocks worked wonders on mine. Once I added additional weight to the vehicle (cage/bumpers/etc) it was practically undeliverable! May also look modular rear sway bar - I think that x-eng makes one.
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  #9  
Old September 11th, 2015, 01:37 PM
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Swivel ball tension should be one of the first things to check.
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  #10  
Old September 11th, 2015, 01:40 PM
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Chris deZ.
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RoverNC, driving down the highway at speed, try holding the steering wheel straight and then accelerating. See if it wants to change lanes on you.
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  #11  
Old September 11th, 2015, 02:32 PM
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Mikey
97 Defender 90
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This was something I just went through. My steering could be described as "darty", wandering from lane to lane with almost no input. Highway speeds were downright scary. One thing to check that I don't yet see mentioned is your toe setting. It should be 0-2mm toe out, essentially zero toe. Turns out mine had taken a big hit to the tie rod behind the diff that put a big enough bend in the rod to give me 3/4" toe out as measured from the front wheel edges front to back. So check your toe setting as well. Replaced the tie rod and rod ends and set toe to zero, truck is now tracking straight and rock solid steady.


Rgds
Mikey
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