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Old 12-22-2011, 09:35 AM
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Default highway death wobble

1998 Discovery. Symptom: At 60+ MPH, I hit a bump and there is a massive uncontrollable wobble with shaking steering wheel. Goes away with slowing below 50 mph. I have swapped the wheels and checked the steering components for anything obvious and found nothing. What is the prime suspect here? Alignment is good. Thanks.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:46 AM
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Search for Death Wobble. Can change your pucker factor when exiting downhill ramp from expressway... There have posts within last two weeks about a particular bolt on the steering column.

1. What it is not - the steering damper. That keeps your hand from being broken when you hit a big rock on the trail. A new steering damper might mask DW, but it does not fix it.

2. Can be a mix of parts, pan hard bushing, a bolt on the steering column inside the engine bay, ball joints, sticking calipers, warped rotors (sometimes the combination of things makes the oscillation trigger, or make it seem worse)
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2011, 08:21 PM
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This is one of the reasons why we have the tech section.
Read through these links and then take action accordingly.
If you have any more questions give us a shout.

Do you have death wobble? Please read!

How To Adjust Your Swivel Pin Preload
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:18 PM
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You should be methodical in your diagnosis.
I posted this in another thread about death wobble in November.

With the wheels on the ground have someone move the steering wheel back and forth.
While they are doing that start with the steering wheel to steering gearbox shaft and find where there is movement on the steering wheel side of a connection and none, or less, on the road wheel side of the connection.

It could be (probably is) any combination of:
  • Steering shaft u-joint loose on shaft or steering gearbox (least likely)
  • Internal play in steering gearbox (adjusting nut on top)
  • Loose pitman arm
  • Loose steering box mounting bolts (or any other loose bolts in the steering system)
  • Ball joints
  • Panhard rod fixings/bushings (Not directly connected to steering, but centralizes axle with chassis to prevent relative side to side movement)
  • Loose wheel bearings

Other worn suspension bushings will contribute, as will worn tires.
Check everything in the list and make sure they are all up to par. If the problem persists then you need to adjust the swivel pin preload. I'd go for a rebuild rather than just removing shims which is nearly always only a short term fix anyway.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:28 AM
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Hi, I know this a bit late for the original post but...

I've had the same issue. I've done all (most) of the work on the suspension and steering and can add the following suggestions:

1. Check your wheel balances.

2. The rear prop shaft has a metal bush that fits into the end where the rubber bush is. It's inside the end of the steel tube. This wear and will need replacing. It might not have a major influence but it may contribute to over all wobble.

3. My front prop shaft (drive shaft) was BENT - I too was surprised. No marks on the shaft. Did however hit a sand drift on a beach pretty hard dropping down into it. My mistake. This contributed quite a bit to the wobble. No front prop shaft fitted and no wobble until hitting a bump on the highway at 100km/h. Make sure you mark the shafts to the diff and transfer case with a white marker or similar so you can put them back the same way. Easy to forget but make sure you do it.

4. Tighten all steering suspension components and as mentioned before and change worn components where required.

5. Check your tie rod ends (ball joints) carefully. I had suspension 'specialist' missed identifying a faulty ball joint. I live in the country and travel long way at high speed to get to town. My wife and I identyfied this by my wife moving the steering wheel side to side and me looking at each ball joint to make sure it was ok. The mechanic concerned DID NOT do this. I shall not be seeing him again!

After much frustration and a couple of scares at high speed, tomorrow I will adjust the preload the only thing left after eleminating all the others. I'll then moving onto getting rid of the ticking under the bonnet. Already did the valves moving onto the next possible cause :-)

Thanks to Rover Chris

How To Adjust Your Swivel Pin Preload

and all the other guys who help make this journey that little bit easier.

Cheers and all the best.
ps for those using metric 15 pounds is equivalent to 7 kilograms.

Last edited by 98ausdisco; 07-28-2012 at 04:52 AM. Reason: spelling error and grammar :) added URL to RoverChris
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98ausdisco View Post
ps for those using metric 15 pounds is equivalent to 7 kilograms.
Newton Metre is actually what the shop manual specifies.
If you don't have a torque wrench that has that, here's an easy calculator: Torque Conversion

I used the conversion for 1 Nm to lbft and then did a spreadsheet calculating the conversion up to 200Nm and keep a copy in my garage.

Bent/worn propshafts won't contribute to steering wobble (if the rest of the steering parts and bushings are in good shape), though they most certainly cause vibration.
The only way I can see them contributing to steering wobble is if they are so bent that they are causing your vehicle to bounce up and down and you go down the road.
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Tom Rowe

Four wheel drive allows you to get stuck
in places even more inaccessible.

62 88 reg
67 NADA x2
74 Air Portable - The Antichrist (tag 6A666)
95 D1 - R380
95 D90 - R380
97 D1 - ZF

Last edited by antichrist; 07-28-2012 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:19 PM
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Hi Tom,

Yes you're right the bent prop shaft contributed to a vibration at higher speeds however in my case at very low speed (5 km/h) and turning a tight corner it did feel like the car was bouncing and thinking more about it, with the bad ball joint and not having adjusted the swivel pin preload anything was possible.... Well it has turned into a bit of a guessing game trying to eliminate the obvious and finding the root cause of the problems with 'specialists' telling me that all components were ok (referring to ball joint issue I mentioned previously). At least everything will be fixed and the car will be safe and comfortable to drive again.

The prop shaft got put on a machine at a drive line repair shop - he didn't take it off until I got there. He turned the machine on and spun the shaft and I could see quite clearly that it was bent. I estimate it had a bend of about 1 to 2 mm around the middle of the shaft. No matter how many new UJ's I'd put into that puppy it would never have been be right.

With the 15 pounds or 7 kilo's I should have been more specific. I was refering to the weight that should show on "fish scales" when setting the swivel pin preload. Sorry if I caused any confusion.

Cheers.
Frank.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98ausdisco View Post
With the 15 pounds or 7 kilo's I should have been more specific. I was refering to the weight that should show on "fish scales" when setting the swivel pin preload. Sorry if I caused any confusion.
Ah, gotcha, thought you were talking about some of the fastener torque.
The OP has a NAS spec Disco which has ABS so the swivel preload is set by the torque needed to turn the swivel housing from lock to lock, 2-2.8Nm.
It requires special tool LRT-57-024 which is about $70US, but it's pretty easy to make one yourself.
Click the image to open in full size.

Non-ABS is set with a scale, like series swivel preload is.
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Tom Rowe

Four wheel drive allows you to get stuck
in places even more inaccessible.

62 88 reg
67 NADA x2
74 Air Portable - The Antichrist (tag 6A666)
95 D1 - R380
95 D90 - R380
97 D1 - ZF

Last edited by antichrist; 07-28-2012 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:31 PM
 
 
 
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antirchrist, d1, death, discovery, end, front, highway, land, pin, preload, rover, slow, swivel, wobble, wopple


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