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Spacers - driving experience

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Hi there,

It started with MOT telling me that the rear shock absorbers have their live over.

Hmm - time to re-thing the car bottom, so:

- 4x new Koni Heavy Track shock absorbers

- 4x HD coil springs

- 5x 235/85R16 BFG All Terrain T/A

- 5x 16x6.5 Wolf Rim

Once done, I was happy with the result apart of the fact that the car was just a bit too high on the nose.

Ok - lets wait for next shopping round. Than I purchased: HD turrets and 3cm wheel spacers.

While putting all on, I created my selves a 2 cm spacers under the rear coil springs (from 2x3cm 1mm profiles).

Since than, I have different car :-(

The steering wheel started wobbling left and right around 50 Mph. On even a small hop I have impression that the rear axle tries to overtake the front one.

Now, I took the 3cm spacers out and the steering wheel is back to "nearly" normal behavior. But the crak, bum and clo clo from back is still in place.

Any idea on:

- what is wrong with the combination of the Koni shocks, HD cold springs and 2 cm home made spacers?

- why the 3cm spacers causing the steering wheel wobbling?

Yap, nearly forgot to say that:

- there is a little leak from the steering box bottom seal

- left front wheel have a benevolence about 1mm at the brake disk level when the car is on the jack and grab the wheel at 12 and 6 o’clock

- sometime I have an impression that the front wheels are in the shape of letter "A" and sometimes in shape of "V" when looking from front.

Any advice appreciated!



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Way too many variables for an accurate online diagnosis but here are some things to look at....

How long are the shocks? If they are std length and the coils lift it a bit and then the packers as well then you might find that you have simply run out of shock travel and they are 'topping out' every time the body tries to lift....

The wobbly steering could be in the castor geometry which is now completely cocked up but could also be a front propshaft vibration caused by the angle the prop is having to run at with the increased ride height.

The fact that the wheel spacers seem to be the cause of the wobble really means you need look no further! They seem to be disrupting the balance of the wheel. Could be that the wheel is out of balance anyway, could be that the spacers are machined wrong and are themselves not quite round, or could be that the wheel bearing is poorly adjusted or knackered and moving the wheel out from the centre line of the bearing will show this up more...

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The shocks are exactly those: http://www.paddockspares.com/pp/DEFENDER/S...o_WA159806.html

To be et the end of the shock travel sounds reasonable.

But if I take the 2cm spacers out, than the car front will point straight up - not quite nice.

Is there way to lower the shock upper mounting to allow proper travel? (Not really happy to replace totally new shocks again.)


It might be those new tires as I noticed the wobbling first time I put them on, but it was within the "limit" than.

I guess the spacers just multiplied the effect as the wheels got further away from the axle.

But what bout the letter A and V shape look?

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Yes you can buy brackets to lower the top mount of the shock... I sell them as do many other suspension specialists...

The A and the V thing sounds like one of two, or a combination of both problems.

The wheel bearings are knackered.

The kingpon needs adjusting.

Both of these will have that effect and will cause strange steering problems....


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Thanks for the advice again.

The lowering brackets sounds to be an elegant solution (check your e-mail).

For the front - I guess I'll give up one Saturday to take the front axle and steering apart to figure out what’s wrong exactly.



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for the toe in/toe out look from a good distance behind the vehicle and see if it looks straight. LR's have basically 0 toe on them, so as near to straight as possible is best.

If the wheels look bowed in the vertical then check the chrome balls are fully attached to the axle. Do this while it is on the ground as after it is jacked it will take the stress off and you won;t see it.

May just be that you wheel bearings are not good enough for the extra stress of the spacers.

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Thanks for the advice.

In deed - the front wheels look bowed in. What chrome balls? Do you mean swivels?

(Sorry - I'm in LR only for few months, so - still working out the terminology :-)).



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