Terrafirma Castor Corrected Front Arms Test Drive....Disappointed! - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 31st, 2015, 06:50 PM
89Defender90
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Terrafirma Castor Corrected Front Arms Test Drive....Disappointed!

I've finally got the truck back on the road today. 2" Terrafirma lift coils, extended stocks, rose jointed rear arms, 3 degree castor corrected front arms, new steering shock, new ball joints, all new bushes, new bolts, u-joints, brake lines, new 285/75/16 KM2s, etc.


First road test, the truck goes straight down the road regardless of speed, but it does not return to center after a corner. I'm a little disappointed, considering most manufacturers say you can do a small lift without correcting castor. I guess I should have bought the 6 degree, but that seemed overkill at the time. I'm going to take it to an alignment shop to see what it is right now. I would hate to have to buy another set of front arms, I want it to drive well...although that's probably asking too much, considering what it is.


Here's what it's set at:
  • KMs @ 32 psi
  • front and rear axles parallel to each other, thanks to the rear adjustable arms
  • 1/16" toe out, specs say 3/64-3/32
The only two things I haven't done yet are rebuilding the PS pump. I bought a seal kit to fix the slow seep. And rebuilding the front swivel housings. One side will just move with gravity when disconnected and the other side is a little stiff to push. Both are out of adjustment. I have all the parts to rebuild the front end, but didn't figure they would affect the steering that much.


Any suggestions???


For those thinking of installing the Terrafirma Corrected front arms...here's what they don't tell you:
  • The Terrafirma arms use the wider bushes on them, so after having them installed, the center collar on the bushing is 2 1/8" wide. The narrow bushing is 1 7/8"...so get out the grinder and take off 1/8" from each side, 1/4" total. They fit on the axle with a little more than 1/8" space on each side between the mount....what a PITA!!
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  #2  
Old March 31st, 2015, 07:04 PM
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Sorry you're having issues.

I have six degree arms on a 3~3.5 inch lift, and i am almost 3 degrees more caster than stock.

Your caster, therefore, should be fine.

The reason your bushings were too wide is that you put wide radius arms on a narrow axle.

I doubt your issues have anything to do with your caster.

--------

i would double check your steering box center, toe in/out, and panhard bolt tightness.
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  #3  
Old March 31st, 2015, 07:07 PM
89Defender90
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Terrafirma doesn't make a narrow arm.....


I was under the assumption that the castor is what helps return the wheel to center and keep it straight going down the road.
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  #4  
Old March 31st, 2015, 07:47 PM
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Caster does have some effect on self centering, but I don't have an issue with my normal radius arms and I have a 2" lift. If you are just doing a 2" lift and you have 3 degree corrected arms, I can almost guarantee you won't do anything good by going to a 6 degree.

That said, fix your swivel preload. I guarantee you that it has an effect---if not on self centering, at least on death wobbles and it definitely fixed my pulling to one side issue. That little bit of adjustment did me a world of good. I wouldn't do a single part alteration until you fix that situation.

Is the width the only variable difference between the narrow and wide radius arms? just another variable to look at.
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  #5  
Old March 31st, 2015, 08:20 PM
Greg S
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Do you even NEED castor correction for a two inch lift? You swivel adjustment is a major contribution and I can't help wondering if you put the three degree correction in the wrong way. Taking away you castor.
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  #6  
Old March 31st, 2015, 09:12 PM
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You don't need to worry about caster correction until you hit 3"... You've over corrected.
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  #7  
Old March 31st, 2015, 09:53 PM
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Scary to think trucks like this are on the road with me. Then again I've driven some pretty frightful setups. Why did you use caster correction arms? Did you have a problem with the stock arms??

Put away the checkbook and get to know your truck before you go modding it and turning it into a piece of undriveable junk.
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Present:
1960 SII 109"- "Red Square"
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1987 RRC- "Chewy 2"
2008 RRS SC- "The Supersofa"

Past:
1959 SII 88"- "The Little Green Beastie" last seen in NY
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1988 90 "Eric the Half a Bee" half a truck, sold for parts
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  #8  
Old March 31st, 2015, 11:59 PM
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Mark, My stock caster was 1 degree....I mimicked the lift by jacking up the frame and the castor went negative. You lose 2-3 degrees of castor with the lift. My springs were sagging, I got almost 3" of lift. I seriously doubt I've over corrected. Even at the stock height plus the arms, that's still only 4 degrees, some vehicles have almost double that...I doubt I'm 2 degrees at best.


Greg, You can't install the corrected arms backwards, the arms are corrected, not the bushings.


I think a lot of D90s have vague steering at best, there just happen to be a multitude of posts on the subject. I don't consider mine dangerous by any means, it tracks straight, just an issue with self centering after turning. Now before I put all the new parts on it, it was dangerous. It was like driving a tractor down the road, wandered from side to side.


I love spending money, why not buy what's out there. I can't believe you haven't upgraded anything on your truck Ren.


I threw the check book at it because it's over 25 years old with 200k miles. Bushes were shot, one of the lower bushes was wallowed out. Tie rod ends were sloppy. Suspension clunked when you took off. No front spring retainers, you could actually see where one of the springs would slide off the perch and hit the shock absorber, saggy springs, leaking shocks.....the list goes on.


Hey Ren...if you see me coming, get off the road!!
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  #9  
Old April 1st, 2015, 12:31 AM
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Dude... Fact is you do not need to correct castor until you go 3" or over... Unless your rover is different than all the other ones out there.
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  #10  
Old April 1st, 2015, 12:40 AM
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Dude, you're saying negative castor is ok? I would be running -1 to -2 degrees with stock arms.
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  #11  
Old April 1st, 2015, 12:45 AM
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I ran a 2" OME lift with stock arms with zero issues... I think you will have a hard time finding anyone here who switched to castor corrected arms with that amount of lift ... Not necessary... The manufacturer of those arms should be saying the same thing... If you are having an issue look somewhere else.
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  #12  
Old April 1st, 2015, 12:59 AM
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I'm going by actual numbers, not make believe. My castor was 1, after the lift it was negative. I used the arms to correct the castor back positive. There's no opinion here, just actual facts.




"Usually, the tops of the steering knuckles are angled slightly to the rear for reasons of steering stability. With 2 to 6 degrees of caster set into the steering knuckles, the steering will exhibit a self-centering action, keeping the front wheels tracking straight ahead when the vehicle is driven in a straight line. Caster's centering effect also causes the front wheels to return to a straight-ahead position when the vehicle exits a corner. When the caster angle is near zero, drastic changes to the steering occur. With zero caster, the steering will tend to be twitchy, especially at highway speeds, and the front wheels won't self-center when driving in a straight line or when exiting a corner. On the other hand, adjust the steering knuckles with maximum caster and the opposite effect is seen, with huge increases in stability but less responsive steering.

From: Steering, Alignment And Tuning - Suspension Modifications - 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utitlity Magazine



Again, these are actual numbers from my truck. My steering was horrible before, I can't imagine lifting the truck and decreasing the castor would improve it. Maybe you know something the rest of the automotive alignment world doesn't know??? The company didn't sell me on this stuff. I bought it to fix an issue I had. The steering is improved dramatically, the issue I'm having is self centering after turning.
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  #13  
Old April 1st, 2015, 02:08 AM
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And because a magazine says it, it must be fact... I'm a scientist... I deal in fact all day long... And I know that sometimes things work differently than the facts say they will... Because you haven't really gotten all the facts... But I'm not going to argue ...keep spending money on useless things... Do your research...
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Old April 1st, 2015, 07:34 AM
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My truck is lightly modified and has been driven all over the eastern seaboard. I usually don't upgrade things until the stock item is mangled or broken and thus proved unsatisfactory. I've had a bunch of rover over the years and they handle great when set up properly. It's obvious you have no practical experience and are just quoting numbers and stuff you've read online. My suggestion for you is to rebuild the front end to stock spec and get a professional alignment. Then make mods one at a time until you are happy with the setup. Of course a mild lift will change the castor but not enough to notice. Sagging springs will too, as well as a heavy winch bumper, or a couple of fat occupants.
I'll be the guy with plugged cats going 35mph on I-95 so if you see me, wave. lol and good luck.
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Present:
1960 SII 109"- "Red Square"
1984 90 Tdi- "Yamelo"
1988 RRC- "Chewbacca"
1987 RRC- "Chewy 2"
2008 RRS SC- "The Supersofa"

Past:
1959 SII 88"- "The Little Green Beastie" last seen in NY
1972 SIII 88"- "GreenHELL" now in NC
1988 90 "Eric the Half a Bee" half a truck, sold for parts
1991 RRC- never got a name- long since recycled
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  #15  
Old April 1st, 2015, 07:50 AM
89Defender90
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Here's a DUMB question.....if you've never experienced this problem, how can you comment on it? I could understand if you were possibly an mechanic, alignment specialist, had a similar problem and fix it...but nobody here has given any sensible suggestions, just a bunch of bullshit. Keep on posting away, maybe you'll hit that next thousand post mark!!!


Can a moderator please delete this entire post, it's f#$%ing useless.
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  #16  
Old April 1st, 2015, 07:58 AM
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1. Don't listen to people hating on you for correcting caster angle, or even overcorrecting it. Even I got insulted/yelled at for doing so on my own thread on the issue.

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ket-55186.html

2. There are people on this board and many more who are not who are doing the exact same thing as you - 3 degree correction arms on slightly lifted Defenders. You are not alone.

3. I run ~6 degree arms on my 3.5" lifted Defender, and I overcorrected for my Caster by quite a bit and my truck drives fine - actually, better than before.

4. Caster has NOTHING to do with YOUR self centering problem! Your truck not self-centering is due to some other issue and has nothing to do with caster angle. As I said, I overcorrected my caster by over 2~3 degrees and the truck self centers, no problem.

5. Davis's comment about swivel ball tension is very important. Also check all ball joints, steering arm tightness, toe-in/out...everything. Make sure everything is tight and aligned properly. You don't have to pay anyone to do this - do it yourself. If you can install new radius arms / grind down bushings, you can do the work to correct your "crappy steering" issue.

6. Several downsides to too much caster are the following: Increased possibility of death wobble, increased steering effort, more scrubbing of the tire surface when turning (due to jacking effect while turning). Notice that lack of self-centering is not on that list.
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  #17  
Old April 1st, 2015, 08:17 AM
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Ren Ching
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you came here looking for help and you are getting it. You just don't want to hear the useful information you are being given. If you think it is too much to expect that a Land Rover drives straight and is easy to steer, you are wrong.

You have too much caster. Take it to an alignment shop and see what your caster is.But fix your swivels first so the preload is correct.

I don't have any experience with my Defender not self centering because I haven't installed unnecessary mods to cause that problem. I've had just about every other steering problem though, and fixed them all.

The only reason this post is useless is because you refuse to listen to the people that you came to looking for advice.
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Present:
1960 SII 109"- "Red Square"
1984 90 Tdi- "Yamelo"
1988 RRC- "Chewbacca"
1987 RRC- "Chewy 2"
2008 RRS SC- "The Supersofa"

Past:
1959 SII 88"- "The Little Green Beastie" last seen in NY
1972 SIII 88"- "GreenHELL" now in NC
1988 90 "Eric the Half a Bee" half a truck, sold for parts
1991 RRC- never got a name- long since recycled
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  #18  
Old April 1st, 2015, 08:34 AM
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Ed...finally someone that has EXPERIENCE with this issue. Not a bunch of bunch of dumb asses giving their opinions. I read your post, it seems that those same two dumbasses must be following you around!!


Anyone can reference thousands and thousands of posts on positive castor and it's effects on steering. And then there are at least two idiots on here that think otherwise, wonder who I'd put my money on?? They probably think the world spins the other way too. Hey Mark, you're a scientist....which way is it??


Hey Pete, take your bullshit somewhere else, I don't want it....you can just avoid my posts if you'd like, I'd like you too.
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  #19  
Old April 1st, 2015, 08:43 AM
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OK, so before you get too far with your verbal retribution, the very folks who are insulting me on my thread are also actually friendly people (I know some of them in real life and I have no doubt the folks who I don't know in real life are good people I am sure.)

I just recommend dropping the name-calling and to take the high road, which in this case is done by just selectively reading their posts and ignoring the name-calling - and most certainly not returning the favor.

The best way to deal with hurtful / negative comments is by not responding to them. If you feel the behavior persists and/or is targeted at you, just add those folks to your ignore list.
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  #20  
Old April 1st, 2015, 08:56 AM
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Skinny Pete strikes again
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