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More Handling Woes!


Underdog
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I've recently had new tyres to the back of the Discovery ( 97, 300TDi ) and the handling has changed quite dramatically for the worse. Tyres are the usual Pirellis that I've plenty of confidence in.

I've moved the new tyres to the front and the problem's improved but it's still evident.

The problem manifests itself mostly on right hand corners. It feels as though either the frontend is trying to step out ( i.e. understeer into the kerb ) or the back end is threatening to come around and leave me facing in the opposite way I was travelling ( i.e oversteer ).

My description may sound alarming but it is only momentary and is only a very odd feeling, nothing actually occurs no screaching, groaning or strange noises but it does leave me somewhat perplexed as to the cause.

I've had a grovel around underneath the car this morning and can't see any bushes split etc. or other possible causes. Anti roll bits and pieces appear ok, panhard rod appears firm both front and back, trailing arms look ok. There is play in the steering box which I will sort out but surely this can't be the cause..........can it?

Have the tyres caused problems or merely highlighted an existing problem?

I'm usually not too bad at resolving problems like this but this one has me beat.

Somebody please advise before I throw a heap of money at it replacing bits that it probably doesn't need. :angry:

Any advice or pointers would be gratefully received.

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Hi, my defender did similar things and I found the play in the steering box was the culprit. be careful if you adjust the box going to far makes it worse and can ruin the box all together, the play there at present is allowing the wheels to tuck in if I remember correctly. Hope this helps

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Hi, my defender did similar things and I found the play in the steering box was the culprit. be careful if you adjust the box going to far makes it worse and can ruin the box all together, the play there at present is allowing the wheels to tuck in if I remember correctly. Hope this helps

Nice one Doc, that's kind of what I'm hoping.

I've not done this adjustment before but I've located the adjuster. Looks like an Allen screw with a locking ring around it.

Am I correct in saying that if I rock the steering shaft left and right as I slowly tighten the Allen screw, I will feel the backlash slowly disappear? This seems the obvious way to do this.

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Hi, yep thats what I did but I went to far and actually bent the worm rod in the box, so the steering was ok in a staight line but struggled to turn and recorrect itself, personally I would adjust with car on axle stands and engine running preferably with a mate in car working steering, little bit at a time remember as you wont know if it will self centre until out on road.

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Thats good advice - if you tighten the adjuster enough to take all of the play out in the centre you may (in fact will) end up with tight spots toward the locks as most of the play happens in the centre esection where the most use is - take it easy a 1/4 turn on the adjuster at a time then go from lock to lock to check for tight spots and make sure the lock nut is tight each time you check as although it shouldn't really, it can make a big difference. Then once you've got about 1.5 - 2" of free play at the steering wheel all should be well.

As an aside - if you've already got fairly low play at the steering wheel, you might want to look elswhere for the fault......

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Thanks for the advice chaps.

I've now completed the adjustment and all I can say is "WOW, what a difference".

After a little tinkering around I settled on a complete half turn of the grub screw and my handling has improved no end.

Steering wheel recentres nicely and there's a much more positive feel to the whole car now.

I must admit there is very little play in the steering wheel now but after all the hassle it's a great comfort to have the confidence back in the cars handling again.

Thanks again. ;)

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Hi, yep thats what I did but I went to far and actually bent the worm rod in the box, so the steering was ok in a staight line but struggled to turn and recorrect itself, personally I would adjust with car on axle stands and engine running preferably with a mate in car working steering, little bit at a time remember as you wont know if it will self centre until out on road.

Thats what I did today I had my son here so he helped me rock the steering with the engine running, but it now all the way down to a stop before the steering tighten up. Is that ok to do or am I looking at rebuilding a new steering box? Plus it has been leaking from the seal under the box where the steering arm clamps on the rod. could I just replace the seal for now and fix later?

And Im sure I not bent the rod Im not that strong lol!

Thanks JJ

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