Steering Wheel Wobble - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 14th, 2012, 05:26 PM
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Steering Wheel Wobble

I have a shake/vibration/wobble call it what you will that only happens between 30-40 mph and more pronounced when accelerating. If I take my foot off the accelerator it seems to lessen.

Had the tires re-balanced and it helped but it's still there. Tire store said they weren't really out of balance to begin with.

It just started in the last few days.

I also get a lout clunking kind of noise when I turn the wheel all the way to one direction- either side. Like when parking or turning around.

So much of this truck has been replaced in the last year I can't really think of what it could be.

Thoughts? My suspension is on the end of it's life so I wonder if this cold be part of it.
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  #2  
Old September 14th, 2012, 05:36 PM
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A gazillion threads on that here! I had the same issuie in the end it was a balance issue but it took a third shop to get it right!
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  #3  
Old September 14th, 2012, 05:43 PM
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I've been reading them but most of them seem to be at 60+ mph. Wasn't sure if it was something else since it's only lower speeds.
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  #4  
Old September 14th, 2012, 05:55 PM
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mine was Really bad around 35 mph...really bad but I'm runnin 285's
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  #5  
Old September 14th, 2012, 06:25 PM
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First I would swap the fronts and backs and see what changes if any there are. If you feel no change at all or you can still feel it but it is not coming through the steering wheel then you can narrow it down considerably. Also a great opportunity to check the play in the front wheel bearings while you are doing this.
Its possible that your tire shop balanced tires that are actually the problem but never realized it. What kind of tires are you running and how old are they?
I have also seen this exact problem, on an imported ROW 110. You could jack the truck up, and even though the wheel bearings were tight the wheel would move when you did the wheel bearing test. Drive down the road and at 50mph you could stick your head out of the window and watch the front wheels bouncing up and down. Swivel bushings were shot.
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  #6  
Old September 14th, 2012, 06:32 PM
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Check all your suspension bushings on everything. Lots of people and threads will point to swivel pin pre-load but rule out something easy like pan hard bushings before you go through the pain of swivel pin pre-load.
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  #7  
Old September 14th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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I should mention that my spare rim was slightly off true and when I put that into the rotation it made things worse. Joel's suggestion would help identify a similar problem.
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  #8  
Old September 14th, 2012, 08:05 PM
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Steering box drop arm ball joint.
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  #9  
Old September 14th, 2012, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crown14
First I would swap the fronts and backs and see what changes if any there are. If you feel no change at all or you can still feel it but it is not coming through the steering wheel then you can narrow it down considerably. Also a great opportunity to check the play in the front wheel bearings while you are doing this.
Its possible that your tire shop balanced tires that are actually the problem but never realized it. What kind of tires are you running and how old are they?
I have also seen this exact problem, on an imported ROW 110. You could jack the truck up, and even though the wheel bearings were tight the wheel would move when you did the wheel bearing test. Drive down the road and at 50mph you could stick your head out of the window and watch the front wheels bouncing up and down. Swivel bushings were shot.

X2.

Just swap the fronts and back. I too had wobble bad at the steering wheel, and despite being told they were balanced it totally took care of issue. If a front to back swap works, take your tires to another shop.
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  #10  
Old September 15th, 2012, 11:20 AM
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I am having the same problem, replaced all steering arms (was doing anyways to some heavy duty ones) and now got a new steering box on the way because mine started with a minor leak, and minor wobble, now big leak and big wobble. I'll let you know if a new steering box fixes my problems.
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  #11  
Old October 2nd, 2012, 03:38 PM
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Did the new steering box work? We recently put a different steering box on the truck when we added power steering. Thing is leaking as well as one of the swivel balls.

Had the tires balanced- minimal improvement. Had a shop look at it and they say the tie rods are shot but at least one tie rod was replaced when the truck was converted to LHD (less than 4k miles ago). They said the radius arm (I think that's what they are called) bushings need to be replaced too.
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  #12  
Old October 2nd, 2012, 03:46 PM
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I took the truck to the shop to have the swivel pin preload checked and they said it was the tie rods. I don't think they knew how to check the swivel pins. I don't know how to do it either.
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  #13  
Old October 2nd, 2012, 03:56 PM
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Get under the thing with a pry bar and see which bushings or tie rod ends (ball joints in land rover speak) are shot. Then jack up the front wheels and check for any play and how easy it is to turn left to right.

That catches 90% of issues.

You check swivel ball preload with a fish scale. Procedure is in the manual.
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  #14  
Old October 2nd, 2012, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
The procedure is in the manual, but you pop the tie rods off, and move the swivel back and forth. there should be some drag in the rotation. if it rotates without drag, then its too loose and you need to remove some shims from the swivel pins. this drag (preload) keeps the from loosey-goosey osilating when you hit a bump or from developing harmonic at speed. A steering stabilizer can mask poor preload, but when the stabilizer wears then you notice it more and more.

-Jeff
Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
Get under the thing with a pry bar and see which bushings or tie rod ends (ball joints in land rover speak) are shot. Then jack up the front wheels and check for any play and how easy it is to turn left to right.

That catches 90% of issues.

You check swivel ball preload with a fish scale. Procedure is in the manual.
So is it safe to assume that even Barry could diagnose/fix this and I am just being a girl about this?
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  #15  
Old October 2nd, 2012, 07:36 PM
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No, it can be tricky, but it is not hard generally. I think Barry could figure it out.

The worse the issue, the easier it is to spot.
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  #16  
Old March 2nd, 2014, 12:29 AM
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Alexandra,

Did you ever figure out what the issue was? Your initial description of the vibration at acceleration and clunk when turning sounds very similar to what I am currently experiencing on my truck.
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