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Bent Steering arms and broken studs


bill van snorkle
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Have any forum members who run largeish tyres on regularly offroaded series Landies experienced bent steering arms? I have heard that it happens in Britain in comps, but having personally almost always used 35ish'' tyres on offset rims, only breaking the occasional stud, I cant see how the arms could bend before all 4 studs would shear off. After discovering 1 broken stud and 1 stripped thread I spent most of yesterday afternoon re tapping my swivel housings out to slightly larger and coarser metric M12 thread and replacing all steering arm studs and bolts with M12 bolts. I use Stage 1 V8 swivels and steering arms and always intended to ''one day'' reinforce them, but thought I would check here first to save possibly wasting my time if they are already stronger than the retaining bolts.

Bill.

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I am contemplating the same. I am running 33" tyres with powersteering on my SIII as well as a Ford V8 engine. I am thinking of sliding a steam tube over both steering rods and welding the ends up. Sorry, just realized - Are you talking about Steering arms or steering rods. I always figured steering rods would bend first.

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Hi Bill

Yes i have seen a couple bent on comp motors running 7.50's, but it take a lot of brute force and serious abuse to bend them. They usually bend after the track rod has been reinforced, so the natural weak point has been removed, hence some forces are fed back to the arms.

Grem

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Yes Gareth, I did mean steering arms. i already have stronger LR101 and Toyota steering rods.

Thanks Grem. do you know if the bent arms you have seen were the latest and thickest series 3 ones. From memory there were 3 or 4 different thicknesses since 1948. The early series 1 and 2 arms would bend with the drag of driving in soft sand, but the stage1 V8 arms I'm using appear to be stronger than the 4 studs that attach them to the swivel housing. Whilst I have addressed the weak stud issue with M12 bolts I would consider strengthening the arms too if there was anecdotal evidence that they have bent with hard use.

Bill.

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Sorry to hog in on your forum, Bill. Is it worth sliding tube over the steering and track rod and welding it up ( reinforcing) or is the Toyota steering and track rod the better option? How hard is it to convert the Toyota spares to work.

What about Defender steering arms for your situation? Would they fit? Are they stronger?

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Bill they were definetly normal series 3 items as they bolted to the bottom, but i do not know out of which year model they were as it was on another guys vehicle. The bent arms where unnoticable by the naked eye, until he got to the road, it handled funny and the the lock from left to right changed. He only noticed when he investigated further by comparing the arms to the spares he had.

I did know about the difference in series 1-2 and 3 (mounting method and thickness) but i never knew that there might have been varied thicknesses over the years for the series 3's. In fact the stage 1 arms carry a different part number but the only difference i could find visually was the actual swivel pin was sort of replacable and was made/coated of a bronze type material. I did not notice any variation in thickness as far as i remember.

Gareth defender arms are integral with the swivel housing, bending those will be a real feat! I found that streghtening the trackrod on a series was not needed as its protected by the springs and it keeps the weak point on it, its easy to bend back and keeping a spare rod is simple insurance in case you break it. Another reason is that since i run degree shims the rod is very close to the springs, any thicker and it will rub the spring. Ah and also my welded diff gaurd, it just clears it on full lock.

Grem

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Bill,

I've not yet bent series 3 arms, but a mate of mine used to bend series 1 ones for a hobby!

However i have had trouble with the studs coming loose, and have seen one sheared off. The problem seems to be casued by the studs coming loose in the swivel housings. Since i stripped mine and threadlocked the studs in to the housings and re-built I've had no further problems.

A couple of my other mates with power steering on series axles have had similar problems that have not re-occured after the studs were locked into the swivel housings.

Jon

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Bill,

I've not yet bent series 3 arms, but a mate of mine used to bend series 1 ones for a hobby!

However i have had trouble with the studs coming loose, and have seen one sheared off. The problem seems to be casued by the studs coming loose in the swivel housings. Since i stripped mine and threadlocked the studs in to the housings and re-built I've had no further problems.

A couple of my other mates with power steering on series axles have had similar problems that have not re-occured after the studs were locked into the swivel housings.

Jon

When I used to have the steering arms in the standard location on the bottom of the swivel housings the studs would come loose or snap quite regularly on 9.00x16 tyres. The weight of the truck places tensile loads on the studs, and steering loads try to shear them. Fitting 4 of the special dowell studs instead of the standard 2 was better. Now that I run reverse Ackerman angles the arms are on top of the swivels and the studs are only subject to shearing loads, but the slightly larger scrub radius that the portals add still give the studs a bit of work to do. I couldn't fit 4 dowell studs because with them it is virtually impossible to remove the arms for swivel bearing adjustment. It doesn't matter when they are on the bottom because once fitted they should never have to be removed again.

bill.

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Its generally accepted that you cant fit more than 2 of the dowell studs anyway, unless the holes in the steering arm are badly worn, or poorly drilled in the first place.

One thing I've never quite understood is how these studs can come loose, but they do somehow manage it! Interestingly I've always found thats the problem only ever occurs on the passenger side hub.

Jon

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Its generally accepted that you cant fit more than 2 of the dowell studs anyway, unless the holes in the steering arm are badly worn, or poorly drilled in the first place.

One thing I've never quite understood is how these studs can come loose, but they do somehow manage it! Interestingly I've always found thats the problem only ever occurs on the passenger side hub.

Jon

Well no, you can fit 4 dowell studs, I have done so previously. All four holes in the steering arm are the same diameter. But as I stated earlier, once fitted the steering arm is a bugger to remove. But as I also alluded to before, you shuld never have to remove the arms unless you bend one. All front end repairs including fast CV joint replacement can be effected with the arm bolted on. I am talking about models with the arms on the bottom here.

I think the reason the studs loosen off, even when lock tabs are fitted is that they stretch ever so slightly when the truck is pounding over rough ground and the stud turns inside the nut.

Also I feel that because the draglink plugs into the steering arm on the passeger side, this has some bearing on why that side works loose. probably in left hand drive countries it is the other side that gives problems.

Bill.

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