Pulling my hair out with handling issue - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 9th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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Stephan Laputka
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Pulling my hair out with handling issue

Ok, I'm going nuts with this. I have like 400 problems that all contradict each other. Basically the truck is all over the road handles like crap, vibrates like all hell at 50 mph, changes direction when on and off the gas etc.

Checked:

Pan hard rod: zero play, put in new bushings anyway
Tie rod Ends:zero play, replaced anyway.
Alignment: zeroed out. measured it myself
Steering: there is no play or jiggle in the wheel. The steering box is tight and responsive
Radius arms: replaced all bushings
Brakes: This is weird to me, the truck brakes in a straight line just fine
Driveshafts: no play in any of the joints (thought the vibration might have been a U joint)
Hub nuts: whole truck on jacks. No wobble in any of the hubs. All the bearings are new within 3 years
Trailing arms: I didn't focus to hard on them but I thought on/off gas movement would be from a busted bushing in the rear axle but for the life of me I can't find it.

Symptoms I've noticed:

In a straight line at 30 mph on the road. If I engage the Lockers the truck veers hard to the left. Really hard. This really freaked me out.. I did some side to side swerving for 30 seconds or so on the road and when I stopped and straightened out my steering wheel was 15 degrees off center.(yes the nut on the steering wheel is tight)

Thoughts? Geometry issue? Haven't changed the suspension in 3 years. 2 inch lift, 33 inch good years. Help.
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  #2  
Old February 9th, 2010, 09:49 AM
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Dont engage the lockers at 30mph??
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  #3  
Old February 9th, 2010, 09:52 AM
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Stephan Laputka
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haha yeah. I've only done that once. It's still all over the road even with the lockers off.
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  #4  
Old February 9th, 2010, 10:13 AM
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Phillip
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I would think crazy handling with the lockers is a tire pressure issue
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  #5  
Old February 9th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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Stephan Laputka
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32 psi all 4 corners.
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  #6  
Old February 9th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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Scott
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Double check to make sure that your control/radius arm nuts are tight. I had a similar problem a few years ago and it was, that the front radius/control arm nuts were loose. I even took it to a tire shop with ex-LR mechanics and they could not figure it out.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 10:34 AM
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Stephan Laputka
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Now correct me if I"m wrong but with the frame bolt on the radius arms, you simply wrench on it as hard as you can until the nut bottoms out right? Or is there a specific torque?
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  #8  
Old February 9th, 2010, 12:07 PM
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Have you looked at the differential? Uneven torque to different wheels under acceleration?
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  #9  
Old February 9th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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Scott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sflash868 View Post
Now correct me if I"m wrong but with the frame bolt on the radius arms, you simply wrench on it as hard as you can until the nut bottoms out right? Or is there a specific torque?
I tightened mine down as tight as I could with my 3/4 ratchet and socket. I am sure there is a torque spec, but I do not know what it is.
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  #10  
Old February 9th, 2010, 01:40 PM
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Do you have a tie rod guard?
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  #11  
Old February 9th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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You say your alighnment is zeroed out. You need a couple degrees of toe in or it will not drive right. Have a shop check it out.
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  #12  
Old February 9th, 2010, 05:00 PM
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Julien Dalbin
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Check your motor and transmission mounts, just in case.
It should not affect your handling that bad, but who knows.
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  #13  
Old February 9th, 2010, 06:13 PM
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Bill Adams
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Only thing you didn't seem to mention are the swivel pins. How long has it been since you checked the preload and bearings?
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  #14  
Old February 9th, 2010, 10:56 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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By swivel pins are you referring to the swivel preload? I have not checked this nor have I ever checked this. I don't know what it is, why it's important or how to adjust it. If you could provide a couple of pointers I would be very appreciative.

Check the diffs for proper torque to wheels. How would I do this? Put it on jacks, throw it in gear and make sure everything is spinning?

Rear A-arm... I thought about this and called up a LR tech. He said he's never seen one go bad. I couldn't believe that since everything goes bad on these trucks especially if you lift it and wheel it. I will replace that over the long weekend.

Alignment.... How many degrees of toe in?

Thanks for the input everyone.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 12:58 PM
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A few things to try:

1. Check swivel pin preload as indicated above. There is a FAQ on how to do it somewhere on the board.
2. Make sure when you changed control arm bushings you put the fender washers back in (I found out the hard way on this one). When they were accidentally left off my 90 would wander and when shifting would feel like it wanted to dart off in any direction.
3. Weird vibes may be caused by bent wheels or bad tires. This could get expensive, but if the vibes appear to be coming from the front swap the rears to the front and see if it remedies the problem.
4. Get a tire shop to check your alignment (not Sears). A good tire shop can work with a lifted Rover and will spend the time to dial everything in just right. They can also do a road force balance on your tires, which can give you an indication of why you may be getting excessive vibes. On my DII the vibes at 45mph were actually bad enough to cause death wobble. After a good balance it was better, but they did inform me that three of my four tires failed a road force balance and that they would recommend replacement for the best ride.

S-P
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  #16  
Old February 11th, 2010, 12:13 AM
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O.k. toss my 2 cents -
1. Wheel balance - static or dynamic - do you have weights on both the inside and out or just the inside. It is a much better balance if you can get weights on both the inner and outer part of the rim.

2. Sway bar and sway bar end links - are you using swaybars and if so, have you checked the bushings?

3. How new is your steering damper? How new are your shocks...could you have a failed on or possibly they need tightening on their respective mounts.

4. Can you check and see if it is RPM related - meaning maybe something is going haywire in the pump and the box at certain RPMs - Can you repeat the same symptoms in 4L (rather than 4H) at the same RPMs that this happens at when doing say 50MPH. Then you could rule out the problem of steering box/steering pump hickups at high RPMs and may also help rule in/out what Julien was mentioning about MM and TMounts.
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  #17  
Old February 11th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Stephan Laputka
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No sway bars on the truck. Tires will get balanced this weekend. They only have weights on the outside. This could actually be a large part of it come to think of it.

Steering dampener is original. Might be time

Shocks are 4 years old and only have 15K on them, maybe. There are no bushings. Bilstien 7100. eyelet to eyelet mount.

Does anyone have a link to the FAQ for the swivel pin preload? I can't find it anywhere.
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  #18  
Old February 11th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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Sounds similar to a problem I had with my 87RR. It turned out to be the trailing arm bushings and the A-frame ball joint acting together to make the truck nasty to drive. Replacing this parts made it drive like new again.
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  #19  
Old February 12th, 2010, 12:06 AM
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Andrew Najarian
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Try lifting the front axle off the ground and grabbing each wheel top and bottom. Wiggle the wheel back and forth. If there is any play, the swivel pins are the culprit. I have seen trucks come in our shop where you could move the wheels over 1/2" back and forth.

Either way, if you have never inspected or done any maintenance to the swivel pins, it is probably worth at least giving them a look and checking the pre-load. I forget how you do it, there is some write-up out there on using a fish scale, but the tech's usually do it by feel if they've been around a while.
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Old February 19th, 2010, 04:04 AM
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Mike Hammond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sflash868 View Post
Ok, I'm going nuts with this. I have like 400 problems that all contradict each other. Basically the truck is all over the road handles like crap, vibrates like all hell at 50 mph, changes direction when on and off the gas etc.
Steering
Sounds very like rear axle steer to me. I had this once when the nuts on the trailing arms backed off. Coming off/on the power needed to be accompanied with about 1/2 turn on the steering wheel - undriveable.
A frame ball joint is much less noticeable - usually a knock when taking up drive - very slight change in direction.
I had a very bad result once when I changed out only 1 of the rear trailing arm to chassis bushes, they soften in use and the new one was harder = massive rear axle steer. Always change as a pair.

Vibes
Are the prop shaft balancing weights still on, small rectangles of steel tack welded to the propshaft that could cause vibration if they've been knocked off. Also look at the bearings on the transfer box output shafts and diffs for play. There's always some play at the front output shaft though.

Hope this helps.
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