Steering box shaft movement after tightening pitman arm nut - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 2nd, 2008, 08:14 PM
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Steering box shaft movement after tightening pitman arm nut

Hi thanks for looking, I got a serious steering issue on my D90 steering box. I noticed my pitman arm was loose (up and down movement), so I tightened it up. Problem is, now the truck pulls to the right when I steer straight, I have to compensate on the steering wheel to go straight. I'm assuming when I tightened up the nut, the shaft on the box turned a little too. Can I just loosen the locking nut and use an allen key to re-align the shaft or is the whole box junk? Thanks any help is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old June 3rd, 2008, 03:21 PM
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Bueller....Bueller.....
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 07:42 PM
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Neil, I'm betting when it got loose it turned on the splines. What you need to do is stop the vehicle after driving straight. Slide under there and look straight up the back side of the drop arm and you'll see a notch. It should look a lot like a rifle sight and it should be lined up with a hole in the bottom of the steering box. If not, you need to pull the drop arm and get that lined up.

hth
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  #4  
Old June 3rd, 2008, 07:51 PM
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The splines looked keyed, in fact I have a steering box right on my desk and theres like a key between every 8 grooves on the shaft. Can the pitman arm grooves jump to the next spline like that? I will get underneath as soon as I get home and take a look. Thanks for the input.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 08:25 PM
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Ok. I'll bite- you have a Land rover steering box on your desk ?
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland 110
Ok. I'll bite- you have a Land rover steering box on your desk ?
Yeah, its from Meridian. I bought it anyway thingking with my luck, I would have to buy one anyway. So if my problem is simple and I can fix it be readjusting the pitman arm, I can keep this new one and let them keep the core charge, guess I'll have a spare for when my 110 or other 90 box goes out, whenever that happens....
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 09:40 PM
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Yeah, It doesn't seem likely if keyed. Worth making sure the notch lines up with the hole to be sure though.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 09:54 PM
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The splines on the box outpute shaft are keyed. There is no way that it could have "jumped" over a notch. The part that confuses me is that the pitman arm came loose. I have never heard of that. Usually they cement themselves on there in an infuriating fashon. My guess (total guess) is that the pitman arm itself has loosened up. If it wore enough to come lose, it could have cocked a little while you cranked it back down. That would explain the steering wheel being bent.

If it were up to me, I would run over something large and at a fast speed with the left front tire. Don't see what could go wrong with that fix.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s
The splines on the box outpute shaft are keyed. There is no way that it could have "jumped" over a notch. The part that confuses me is that the pitman arm came loose. I have never heard of that. Usually they cement themselves on there in an infuriating fashon. My guess (total guess) is that the pitman arm itself has loosened up. If it wore enough to come lose, it could have cocked a little while you cranked it back down. That would explain the steering wheel being bent.

If it were up to me, I would run over something large and at a fast speed with the left front tire. Don't see what could go wrong with that fix.
Running over something at a high speed on a D90. Now that sound like a good way to make a sphincter grab the seat. The weird thing is, it was a continual problem, the pitmanarm would come lose (the pitman arm would have play fore and aft) and then I'd tighten it and it was fine, then weeks later it would become loose again, and of course I'd get down there, undo the locking tab and tighten again until one day it just wouldn't steer straight anymore. I'm at home and I just noticed that the steering box does have some weeping going on so I think I'm just going to swap out the whole thing. I really think the shaft moved along with the pitman and mabye bent something along the way when I tightened the nut. At first I used an impact wrench to tighten the nut, mabye I should of used a torque wrench.....oh well next time which is this Saturday, I will do it right. I just hope the pitman arm isn't damaged or bent. Thanks for the help.
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  #10  
Old June 3rd, 2008, 11:03 PM
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First, to get it tight, take a hammer and large punch and get it tight on the shaft and then tighten the nut--that will make sure it seats correctly.

First, adjust the steering box to take up any play--do a search--there are recent posts discussing this. For the steering being off center, you may have to readjust the steering wheel/steering box/front tires--the steering box is "self centering" but it needs to be in the center to have things tracking right. First, get the truck going straight on flat ground and, with it going straight ahead, stop the truck and don't move anything. Remove the drag link from the pitman arm. Turn the steering wheel all the way to the right. Turn it back two full revolutions to the left. This should set the steering box to straight center. Adjust the drag link (shorten/lengthen) to then line up with the correct pitman arm location without moving the steering wheel or the front tires (pointing straight ahead!) position. This should align everything. Now, see if it tracks straight. The steering wheel might not be "aligned" correctly--if it is just off a tiny bit, you can adjust this with the drag link although you will probably be just resetting it to where it was. If your steering box was out of adjustment, then the steering wheel will be off now. No way around this, remove the steering wheel and re-align it as close as possible and then dial it in by adjusting the drag link.

This is not to say that this was the problem, but it certainly will rule this out.
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  #11  
Old June 4th, 2008, 03:38 AM
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Thank you everyone! I will try this technique on Saturday and report back with the results. If you guys were in LA, I'd throw a Rover pizza party complete with a keg of macrobrew
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Old June 4th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil McCauley
Thank you everyone! I will try this technique on Saturday and report back with the results. If you guys were in LA, I'd throw a Rover pizza party complete with a keg of macrobrew
I am in LA. I expect nothing less! Can't take it back now, it's on the internet forever!
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Old June 4th, 2008, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s
I am in LA. I expect nothing less! Can't take it back now, it's on the internet forever!
haha, where in LA are you? I'm in south pasadena, I would love to take a look at your truck and feed a fellow enthusiast, mabye you can watch me put together this 4.6 crate I've been wanting to get around.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil McCauley
haha, where in LA are you? I'm in south pasadena, I would love to take a look at your truck and feed a fellow enthusiast, mabye you can watch me put together this 4.6 crate I've been wanting to get around.
I'm actually in Temecula. But I work all around LA. Have been there 3 times this week. Don't get the Defender up there really, but we should go wheeling sometime, if you do.
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  #15  
Old June 6th, 2008, 02:57 PM
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Steering Box Pitman

having recentley done an overhaul on my steering box, I have an idea that if you happen to use anything on the lock nut and tab washer but a large socket and tourqe wrench, you may have damaged one or more of the internal bushings that align the steering shaft and hold it tight through rotation. As someone else here mentioned, generally these things have a way of welding themselves to the splined shaft all on their own. If you have continued looseness, you may have set up a contidtion that is reacting to natuaral road vibration and loosening the nut. The end of that arm see's every nook, cranny and pebbel in the road as frequencey and or vibration. Summary is, the assembly must be tight and there is a spec in the workshop manual as to how much free play the arm (measured at the arm tip) can have before out of tolerance...dont happen to have that here at work.

You could also try some Green locktight but suggest this as a last resort to keep it together because together it will stay....
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Old June 6th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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Thanks Mark, I think thats probably what happened, it seems to be the only logical explanation that something moved inside the box. I'm glad I have a new one now, I will be installing it on Saturday with the alignment techniques I've learned here. Thanks everyone. Buck give me a ring the next time your in LA and have some time, I'll show you my rovers over pizza 626 354 2001. I know I'm a poser because the only off roading I've done is the green dot trails at goreman and the south end of Azusa canyon ( didn't cross the river too scared ) hehe
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  #17  
Old June 9th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for the advice from everyone. The box was a pig to remove and wrestle in due to its weight but I got it in there, with minimal flesh removed from my knuckles. The hardest part was removing the steering wheel as I had to drive to the hardware store to find the right bolt size for the steering wheel remover as the ones it came with were the wrong sizes. I do have a slight pull to the right but I figure I should take it in for a wheel alignment anyway, hopefully they can finish that end. Once again thanks everyone. Cheers!
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  #18  
Old June 10th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Steer'in straight

Hi Neil,

Good to see you managed to come through that fix with little torn flesh. Seems like every job with these things if it's under the truck, your in for giving up a little.

Maybe thats where the English made that expresion famous; a pound of flesh!

I always wonder why people start talking about using big hammers for repair work on these rigs. They are trucks and all but robustly built they are not. Too many seals, bushings, shims and gaskets all with pretty tight tolerances for everything to work right. Having worked on this that and the other type machinery over the years these rigs seem to be classic for needing this that or the other special persuaion tool but a hammer and crow bar only seems to add to the repair work.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll heal up before your next repair!! Good Luck!

Mark
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Old June 10th, 2008, 02:18 PM
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Thanks Mark, your right on that call. More importantly, I'd rather lose flesh over a rover than anything else, it just makes the pain/scars/scratches seem like it was totally worth it and lately I've been proud of showin folks my rover battle scars. Now to get the taste of power steering fluid out of my mouth.
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