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Front End Shake


Glue
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Evening all.

Hopefully some one can shed some light on my latest problem.

I've been out today and had three separate moments when the front end has started shaking violently. In all three cases I've been doing between 40 & 50 mph. Once was uphill, the second was downhill and the third was on the flat. The cause seemed to be when both front wheels hit a pot hole or similar at the same time. (ie the edge of a trench across the road etc). The vehicle doesn't seem to lurch from side to side etc, but I felt the shaking through the steering wheel and my passenger was also being shaken so it was a fairly violent and substantial motion. If I slowed using brakes & geatbox to about 25 mph then the symptoms died away and everything was fine, until the next time.

Initial examination (in the dark and the rain) shows nothing amiss, butsomething is clearly wrong. The fact that it had to have welding just behind the radius arm attachments for the MOT on Tuesday may, or may not be relevent.

Can anyone suggest what may be the problem.

Glue

Edited 2230 on 16/8 to add further detail.

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Check the preload on the swivels, steering joints for play, balancing on the wheels ect. It will proberly be one of them, mine has happened twice lately first time it was the swivels and the second time one of the steering uj's had a fair bit of play, both had the same symtoms you mentioned hitting a low drain cover or pot hole and the steering would shake.

Dave.

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Most likely causes (in order of what I'd do):

- TRE play

- steering damper

- steering box adjustment

- swivel pre-load

to be honest, it sounds like the steering damper, check the TREs first then pop the damper off and make sure it still feels ok.

if you have the time you should really check the pre-load and reset all that before putting a new damper on as the new damper will mask loads of other issues.

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steering damper cured it on my old disco - get a genuine parts one, i tried a cheaper aftermarket one and threw it away after a few weeks. friend had excellent sucess with a bilstien version though......guess budget comes into it.

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Dunno why people always go for the steering damper. Maybe because it's easy to change? In my experience it would be 95% swivel preloads or bearings and about 5% wheel balance. We have also had some TD5 type Defenders where the swivel pins wear out.

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I had similar a few years back if I'm reading your description right...

Sounds more like Panhard bushes to me !

Get someone to "wiggle" the steering wheel from left to right while you lay under the car looking at panhard rod bushes. It is fairly obvious if they are worn.... You will clearly se emovement of hte rod in the bracket ends.

Neil

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I had similar a few years back if I'm reading your description right...

Sounds more like Panhard bushes to me !

Get someone to "wiggle" the steering wheel from left to right while you lay under the car looking at panhard rod bushes. It is fairly obvious if they are worn.... You will clearly se emovement of hte rod in the bracket ends.

Neil

Panhard bushes normally cause vague steering especially when cornering and is not normally speed related. I have found the majority of my customers vehicles which suffer from steering shake have incorrectly set swivel pre-loads.

Lee

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Steering dampers only mask problems, running no damper with a correctly set up steering and tight system would not result in the shakes

For me is normally the steering box adjuster that needs fettling, otherwise the swivels seem to be the cause for other people

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Steering dampers only mask problems, running no damper with a correctly set up steering and tight system would not result in the shakes

For me is normally the steering box adjuster that needs fettling, otherwise the swivels seem to be the cause for other people

Been faffing with mine this weekend - have adjusted the box this morning and its a lot better - still not perfect but I think I have had a combination of problems - only a couple of areas left to go!

The way I found the steering box needed adjustment (may not be the right way - somebody can correct me here ) was when I parked on full lock - then checked that there was a lot of play on wheel and steering shaft but no movement at wheels of track rods (I couldnt find play at wheels centre forward)

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Steering must be adjusted with the steering straight ahead. You will have play in the steering on full lock.

I thought the reason was because when the box is centered the gears / shaft teeth are at their closest so when you adjust it at full lock the steering goes ealy stiff and binds a bit when you turn back to center?

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I thought the reason was because when the box is centered the gears / shaft teeth are at their closest so when you adjust it at full lock the steering goes ealy stiff and binds a bit when you turn back to center?

that explains why it was really stiff to start with before I backed it off then !!!!

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I had similar a few years back if I'm reading your description right...

Sounds more like Panhard bushes to me !

Get someone to "wiggle" the steering wheel from left to right while you lay under the car looking at panhard rod bushes. It is fairly obvious if they are worn.... You will clearly se emovement of hte rod in the bracket ends.

Neil

What he says!

I had something similar last year, spent ages looking for the causes, finally replaced the panhard bushes (although they were new polybush) with OEM and the problem was gone.

It was just as you descibe, it didn't always happen, but when it happend it was always around the same speed, and usually after hitting a pothole or similar.

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Had the same problem on mine. Checked all as suggested including wheel balancing, play in all suspension components, replaced steering damper with OME & steering box play was checked, panhard rod bushes etc. Still continued until it was time to replace the tyres. Instead of replacing the original factory fitted Conti 235's with the same, I opted for BFG 265/75/16. Shakes are gone. Definite improvement in handling as well.

My conclusion was that some of the tyres were "out of round" and not out of balance. The old wheels were balanced by three different places during the shakes saga.

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