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Steering drop arm problem


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Hi,

I need to replace my drop arm ball joint and got a kit to fit it.

I've read the Les Hanson guide and read other peoples problems regardng the drop arms in general.

The situation I'm now in is that I managed, after wrecking a set of cheaper circip pliers and the tip of a nail punch, to get the bottom circlip and plate out.

The nut is off the top and no amount of knocking is making the steering damper arm come off. The bottom cup is also not budging.

I don't have the tools and, as the ball joint is in bits, not too keen in taking the 90 somewhere to take the whole drop arm off so I'm guessing I'll have to do it in situ as planned.

What are my options for trying to get the damper arm off and the bottom cup out? Heating and hitting seem the likely candidates

I'm assuming it's all totally rusted together and has already been liberally doused in plusgas.

I want to carry on tomorrow after running out of time today so all suggestions are welcome.

thanks

Steve

PS - If anyone knws where to get some decent circlip pliers then do let me know as well

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I've never had any success releasing tapers by hitting them; you are supposed to hit one side with a hammer while holding a weight against the other side, or even hit both sides at once. I use a Sykes joint splitter - they do a fork and 2 sizes of screwed splitter, the bigger one fits with a little bit of grinding. You wind the bolt in at one end, the other end just jacks the taper apart (leave the nut on loosely to spread the load and protect the thread if want to re-use it). With that on, it takes literally less than a minute to break the taper. The same incidentally with trackrod ends. I think Halford sell them, and they also used to do reasonable circlip pliers. Re getting the bottom seat out, that's pure grade 1 embuggerance. I used a hydraulic puller with a suitable socket to push down similar to Les's on the car method, but I don't see why, once everything else is out of the way, you couldn't use a bit of heat on the outside of the arm to ease things. Once it starts to move it comes relatively easily.

Regards

Nigel

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Converting it to a disco 1 drop arm will save piddling about doing this every 6 months or so-it now takes me 10 minutes per side to change the track rod ends over even better when I copper slip them

John

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I'v done two of these in situ and it's not very difficult, it is covered on here somewhere in the tech archive.

I've read the tech archive but couldn't get the old one out yet so I thought I'd ask about the options I have. Mines 23 years old and I guess it's been in there at least half that time judging by the dust that encased the spring.

Converting it to a disco 1 drop arm will save piddling about doing this every 6 months or so-it now takes me 10 minutes per side to change the track rod ends over even better when I copper slip them

John

Unfortunately John I don' have the tools to do so. I'm assuming that even if i did go down the disco arm route I'd still have to get the old ball joint off of the damper arm.

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Steve, A splitter is definitely the way to get the arm off of the ball joint and to change over to a disco drop arm is very easy! all you need is the drop arm itself which is the solid version and not the one with the ball joint from e-bay etc-or someone from have here may one. and then a disco front drag link to replace the defender drag link you have on there as of now-personally I got hold of a QT front arm as it allows you to fit a bracket that lets you fit a steering damper( I'm told you don not necessarily need one)

if you were to follow the link to here: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/land-rover-discovery-1-200-300tdi-4-bolt-steering-box-/180567709756?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item2a0aac983c#ht_500wt_928

You would see the drop arm on the bottom of the 4 bolt steering box that is advertised is the one you would need to do the conversion

This then means you would have 4 track rod ends on your steering system, this would make your steering more precise and also easier to sort out when the time comes to swap out the track rod ends compared to the PITA that is the drop arm ball joint that is on there now

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Right well I've got myself a splitter tonight so now I have to sweet talk the missus into letting me have more time to have a go at fixing it up.

Thanks for all your replies, I think I'm going to have a look at getting a disco arm and fitting it another time.

Does anyone have any good suggestions for getting the bottom cup out?

I'm thinking maybe drilling and tapping it to see if I can pull it out

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Ok, so just to post an update

I've just managed, before the rain started falling again, to get the damper arm off the ball joint taper with the splitter.

I have to say that I wasn't sure what was going to go first, the taper or the splitter but the latter lasted out and the taper came off with a pop.

I then managed to use a large clamp over the top of the threaded section and on the bottom of the drop arm to force the bottom cup out.

My next challenge is to get the top cup out and that looks like it's been rusted in worse than the bottom cup!!

I'll try the method in the tech archive before getting the hump

One thing that does worry me is that the tech archive method says that a 14mm socket fits in the top but my 14mm socket fell through without touching the sides, does this mean my top cup has disintegrated ? If it has it seems to have left a collar in place.

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Last update as the job is now done.

Managed to finally sort out the top cup and fit the bottom plate and in the process I bent an axminster heavy duty 4" clamp and broke a mastic gun as I couldn't get the jack to sit right.

I'mnot sure I've done any other job that required so much swearing either.

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Can someone explain what is different about the disco 1 drop arm?

what exactly would need to be changed and how does it get maintained?

I think after the trouble I've had with this one I'll change it over next time but just wanted to check how I would go about it and what I would end up with.

Thanks

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Steve,

If you refer to my earlier post mate you'll find I've put all of the info up there about doing the conversion-for me it's the ease of changing out a track rod end instead of a drop arm ball joint,like I said in one or two other posts about this conversion, For me it's much better to get rid of that drop arm ball joint as it takes me 10 minutes of spannering(for each TRE) compared to 3+ hours removing the drop arm ball joint and even then not getting all of it done because you could run out of time(means the truck is off the road) and also you could end up having to cut the drop arm off the box to replace the drop arm ball joint as I have done in the past too

so all in all you'll find that your steering becomes a little bit more precise and it also means you have to either carry less parts if you go away with your truck say over-landing or you can change a TRE at the roadside if nessacary which obviously you can't with the drop arm ball joint

John

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Thanks John.

It turns out my neighbour has an old disco steering box and is going to take off the drop arm for me.

I can then look at changing it out at some time.

I was more curious about how the TRE fits onto the existing damper arm.

I followed the link and can see that the bottom of the arm doesn't have the large section to fit in the dreaded cups and stupid springs so it would defintaley make mroe sense to do.

thanks

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Steve, you'll also need the disco drag link ie: from the drop arm on the disco box to the axle or you could when time and funds allow go down the route of fitting a Qt arm and also the steering damper bracket that I have also fitted

HTH

John

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Here you go Steve, Bear in mind that I do use the Qt drag link bar for a disco hence why you can see the bar is thicker and I also have the steering damper bracket from them on there too

post-16623-017716100 1286263707_thumb.jpg

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i hated doing this job to lol....worse thing for me is my mot is today and after having a quick check over i can't get the rubber boot to stay in the groove of the arms as its almost all rusted away... so moved off as soon as you turn the wheel doh...will that fail an mot?

if so i may be doing it all again.... and changing the arm

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