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P38a wheel alignment / tracking


donaldh
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<rant> Why on earth do I need to find a specialist to check the tracking on my P38a? Why does it cost over £100? </rant>

Does anyone know what the tracking should be set to on a '98 model year P38a ? I've replaced the track rod and drop arm link rod so need to set the tracking.

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You have replaced the tie bar AND the drag link.

Did you replace the complete items and have you still got the old ones?

If you didn't disturb the settings, replace the old tie bar.

Too late now, but if doing it in future, change the drag link (to the drop arm) first.

Adjust the length so the car goes straight, with the steering wheel in the correct position.

Next replace the tie bar, the car will try and go one way or the other, so adjust the bar length until the car tracks straight again.

Leave the damper disconnected while doing this, it isn't neccessary for normal use.

Is the Dealer really charging you over £100.00?

If that's the specialist charge, check the Dealer. If the Dealer is spinning you the £100 bull**** ring other Dealers. Any independent should also be able to set it up, as the recirculating ball with Drag and Tie links on a live axle is the same as any Land Rover from year one, from the oldest Series to the latest Defender.

Hope this helps.

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David,

Thanks for the advice. I did replace both tie bar and drag link as complete items. I set up each to match the same length as the one being removed so thought I'd be pretty close.

I still had the old ones in the garage so swapped the original tie bar back in and went through the process you suggest. But I still get the feeling that it's not right so I'm going to get it checked anyway.

The £100 figure came from a 3d alignment specialist that was recommended after 4 other garages refused to touch a range rover. I usually don't bother trying Land Rover dealers because the quotes I've had in the past have been alarming. I think I will give a dealer and a LR independent a call.

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"I'm going to get it checked anyway."

I think that's wise, what I suggested gets you near enough, and I confess I only worked it out after I had changed both mine :-)

I was 'clever' though, and 'saved' money by buying just the ball joints, thus having to split the adjuster from the worn examples. This meant I couldn't step back.

Sorry Geoff, but " managed to leave the steering wheel slightly squint" doesn't match with "did a perfectly satisfactory job" as far as I'm concerned. If I had done the work, perhaps, but not when a trained professional has had a go.

The Dealer did mine, £48 +VAT. Expensive, but considering how easy it is to waste tyres at twice the price (each) when the tracking is out I'll put up with it, and make a better job of my work job next time.

Cheers.

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Sorry Geoff, but " managed to leave the steering wheel slightly squint" doesn't match with "did a perfectly satisfactory job" as far as I'm concerned. If I had done the work, perhaps, but not when a trained professional has had a go.

Hence "an otherwise perfectly satisfactory job"...

The wheels are properly aligned, handles well, nice even tire wear - just a slightly squint steering wheel. It won't be getting done again by the same place (although, to be fair, it's my regular place and the only time I've had cause to complain), but my point was that not all non-LR specialists will turn you away.

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Well I found a place called Pro-Grip in Bonnybridge that did the job for £30. The irritating wander has been cured. The toe was indeed about 1/4 degree out. Interestingly, the rear axle is out of alignment, by about 0 deg 20' or so, causing a touch of axle steer that is being compensated for in the front tracking. It could be worn bushes I suppose, but that's something for another day.

LOL. Getting from "local tyre place" to "trained professional" is a big leap of faith ;)

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