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Old December 27th, 2005, 03:03 PM
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Ed Freeman
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Question Vibration location! Advice please..

I seem to be jinxed with drivetrain vibes in my 2000 90 (30,000 miles) and I wonder if anyone has a method of isolating them. I just had the transfer gearbox out and had the Discovery 2 final drive ratios fitted by Ashcrofts in England (I live in Scotland) who are probably the best LR gearbox specialists in the UK. I sent the gearbox to them by courier.. I replaced the driveshafts in the same positions, used new bolts which are all tight. The front driveshaft is nearly new, (replaced by the last owner), rear one checked out and I didn't notice this problem before the gearbox job. The 90 had oversized BFG MT's on it which seemed noisy and I sold them and it came back on the road with new normal sized BFG AT's, which I've checked for deformities. Now, at ALL speeds I have a vibration which I can't locate, it is always there, also in neutral downhill. That seems to rule out wheels out of balance as it can be felt as low as 15mph. I've checked the handbrake which isn't catching as it's not warm after a run, the vibration seems to turn into a fairly nasty sound at speed when the engine is pulling hard and it can be felt through just about everything, mainly the butt. It's not real bad, just annoying, especially on a long drive and is spoiling an otherwise nice vehicle. My next move is to take off each driveshaft and drive it gently in Difflock to see if it disappears with one or other removed. (Bet it disappears with both removed...) I hate to think it's the transfer gearbox.. It's a TD5 but the gearboxes and shafts are the usual fitments.. Any advice appreciated as I've some long drives planned for 2006 and I'm almost out of ideas..
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  #2  
Old December 27th, 2005, 03:35 PM
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Might be silly, but the lug nuts are tight and the wheels are mounted correctly after the tyre swap, right?

Are these on alloys or steel wheels??? Not unusual for the US tyre jockeys to bend an o.e. LR steel wheel.
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Old December 27th, 2005, 05:51 PM
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First I would put the T-case in neutral and run it through the gears. Then go for the driveshafts, one at a time, it won't hurt anything running in difflock on the road with only 1 shaft, I have done it quite a bit. This should isolate the problem.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 08:42 AM
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Ed Freeman
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Thanks, guys, I'll get on it. The tyres are on alloys and although difficult to mount on the hubs (let's face it, they're pigs, even getting the spare on the back door meant me having to find a support...!) I believe they are all okay, but I will check.. As it's -6C out there, driveshaft removal may have to wait a couple of days! Had the same problem with my last 90 TD5, only cured slightl;y by a different front driveshaft (propshaft)... Ed.

Which reminds me, when I came to take the alloys off for the tyre change, they had 'different metal corroded' to the hubs.. I had to soak them for a couple of days in WD40 then I needed a large puller to remove the wheels. Good job I never had a puncture.. I found out from the previous owner that they hadn't been off for 3 years.. Now the jointing faces have copper grease on them..
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Old December 30th, 2005, 06:00 AM
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Ed Freeman
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Question

Still can't get under the 90 due to low temps and heavy snow today, but I did notice something else yesterday. As suggested I put the t. box in neutral and went up through the gears, but nothing to report. Then I went down a couple of hills with both gearboxes in neutral. At 15mph there was a quite noticeable very regular vibration as if driving over corrugated sheeting, which even made the back door rattle.. It seemed more noticeable than when driving normally.. Tried it on two hills including our blacktop driveway which is very smooth.. Checked the handbrake drum which was cold, but it's still suspect. The only other job I did when the gearbox was out was to replace the leaking back axle pinion oil seal - where the driveshaft connects, the seal behind the drive flange.. When I did it I wondered I I'd driven it home too far, but there was a lip which I believe would stop that happening. At that speed I don't think a driveshaft being out of balance would show..
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Old December 30th, 2005, 10:20 AM
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I don't think it is the gear box since it seems to be related entirely to wheel speed and you could check this further by also running in low gear. Without doing the driveshaft test, everything is just a guess, but it sure sounds tire related. The pinion seal, if in too far, would wear prematurely but not cause the vibration. Sure sounds like a tire out of balance or a bad tread/flat spot or something. Another total pain in the ass test would be rotate the tires out one by one with the spare and see if it helps.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 04:02 PM
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A couple of years ago, I had a mysterious vibe. Finally found it by putting the whole truck on jackstands and driving it in place. (Watch that no one is standing in front of the truck at 60MPH on jackstands!) Inspecting the vehicle at speed it was obvously tires out of balance. Sheesh -- and that was after switching out driveshafts with a disco and messing around on and off for weeks trying to find the 'source'.

Doug W.
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Old December 30th, 2005, 05:10 PM
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As I recently found out on my own truck, you need to be specific about how you check the U-joints in the driveshafts.

You need to chock the wheels, put everything in neutral, release the parking brake, then you can wiggle the driveshafts to check the U-joint conditions. ANY slack in a u-joint means it's time for a replacement. But you need to make sure there is no tension in the drivetrain, or they will seem solid regardless of actual condition.

-Hans
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Old December 30th, 2005, 06:29 PM
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Thanks for those ideas.. Yes, Doug, I had thought of running on axle stands but the risks involved put me off up to now! The building I use as a shop is about 80 years old and the mortar between the stones is crumbling.. I guess I could do with a door in the other end as well, though.... I will investigate tomorrow.. The vibe is so apparent I hope it'll be easy to spot.. It just wasn't there before I did the gearbox job, so I have to look first at what's been one to make this happen.. More to follow...
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Old December 30th, 2005, 06:35 PM
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If you run out of other options, measure the runout on the t-box flanges and the pinion flanges. I have seen a few cases where the steel spring pops off of the new seal and gets trapped under the flange when it is reinstalled. This will give you a vibration that wasn't there before.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 07:42 AM
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Ed Freeman
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Lightbulb

I think I've found the problem and it's as I suspected, the handbrake.. I did as Doug suggested, risking a new door, and ran it on axle stands. I noticed that the front wheels turned okay, but the rears didn't want to. So I engaged difflock and the rear wheels still weren't keen and it felt as if the brakes were binding. I loosened the adjustment on the handbrake right off and it seemed okay with all four wheels turning readily.. I had checked the handbrake adjustment a couple of times as when it came back on the road its roadworthiness test had expired so it needed to get through. The adjustment was somewhat slack but it passed and it seemed totally unlikely it could still bind.. This pm I'm going to strip down the handbrake and have a look-see as it needs to be totally slackened off to stop it binding, which doesn't seem right. Can't imagine what's wrong as it's not rocket science in there. Also, when I took it apart to remove the t.box and due to my fumbling, the shoes etc. fell in a small pile on the floor. When I sorted it out, there was a third brake shoe return spring.. I couldn't figure where it came from, there seemed no obvious place it fitted on reassembly and only two are shown on the workshop manual drawing and I haven't ever taken any other vehicle in there.. Odd.., but it may be required...
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Old January 1st, 2006, 05:29 PM
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Ed Freeman
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I took off the driveshaft and took apart the handbrake yesterday. I discovered where the third spring should be, it holds the 'abutment plate' to the back plate. That's the bar that goes between the tops of the brake shoes. It isn't shown in the 90/110 workshop manual, I found it in the Discovery 2 section. Finding where the spring was hiding was even harder... I couldn't see anything else amiss and so I put it back together. I noticed on putting the drum back on that it's very easy not to get the drum 'square-on' to the central flange and I wondered whether that had been the cause. Anyway, I adjusted it before I refixed the driveshaft so I could tell more easily whether the shoes were touching and all now seems well. The 'corrugated effect' has now gone from the butt, but other noises remain and seem to have been confusing the issue. When all that machinery is whirring, separating one whine from another is tricky. Let's just say it's probably as good as it's going to get! Thanks for all help..
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