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2001 Defender 90 - Violent shaking above 30mph

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Old 08-30-2010, 09:09 AM
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Default 2001 Defender 90 - Violent shaking above 30mph

My 2001 Defender Td5 has developed a worrying problem, the cause of which niether i nor the local car garage can find the cause of. The vehicle drives fine upto about 30mph and then i feel a wobble in the steering shortly before the vehicle shakes violently and the steering wheel turns side to side by about 2 inches. The steering does not function correctly while the vehicle is shaking and the only way to stop it is by gently easing of the power and letting the vehicle slow itself, braking makes it worse and accelerating doesn't help either. The wheels have been balanced and aligned, the steering damper has been removed and checked, no problems there. There is slight wear to the bushes on the drivers side front trailing arm but all axle bushes and linkages are in good order. I have noticed by studying pictures of other defender undersides that my vehicle is missing both the front and rear anti roll bars. It has been sugested to me that these are not normally fitted on this age of defender but i don't know if that is true or not as this is my first landrover and i'm far from being an expert. A friend has sugested that this problem could be caused by a fault with the anti roll bar so the fact that they are missing is in my mind the most likely cause. Another thing i have noticed today is that if i turn the steering wheel with the engine off there is about 1 inch of play in the steering and then the front of the vehicle moves sideways in the opposite direction to where i turn the wheel before the road wheels start to turn. Is this normal? If anyone has any ideas on what might be the problem here i would be gratefull to here them because at the moment i'v ran out of ideas!! Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Tom
 
  #2  
Old 08-30-2010, 09:27 AM
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Sounds like a bad steering box, the steering damper will not have anything to do with it nor will the sway bars.
Most people just remove the front and rear sway bars to increase axle articulation while off road.
The sway bars control body roll during hard cornering.
There should not be that much play in the steering wheel before it starts to turn the front wheels.
I suspect the steering box.
 
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:55 PM
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Your best bet is to sell your defender to me for $1000.00.You wont have that annoying steering problem and I will be extremely happy.Its what you call a "win-win" situation.
 
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:50 PM
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Thanks spike i'll have the steering box checked tomorow. I've had a look on some other forums and found a similar problem somebody had with a defender back in 2004. He calls it "Death Wobble", i can understand why!! I've got a long list of possible causes now so i can get on and try to solve it. As for devildog, nice try but she's not getting sold any time soon, especially not at that price with only 36,000 on the clock. Better luck next time :-)
 

Last edited by CaptainSlow2008; 08-30-2010 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:14 PM
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Inspect and adjust wheel bearings. Also, check swivel ball preload.

Highly doubt the steering box.
 
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:12 PM
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Sound like a "Death Wobble" to me! Happened with my 97 Disco not too long ago and all I did to correct the problem was rotate the tires! Mine starts to violently shakes at 55 mph but above and below that, it runs smoothly!
 
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:48 AM
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Thanks, i rotated the tyres last night and that has improved it, i can get to about 40mph now without it shaking and the shaking is not as violent as before. Also found play in the pan hard rod bushes so i'll have the bushes and bolts replaced and see what difference, if any, that makes.
 
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:56 AM
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All sorted, back to normal and actually a lot better to drive now than when i bought it. There were 3 things which we believe were causing it: 1. NO preload on either of the swivel hubs 2. A small dead spot in the steering damper. 3. worn panhard rod bushes. So the damage was a new steering damper, new bushes and re-shimming the swivels. There are no vibrations or wobbles at all now, i have drove it upto 70mph and it is fine and has quite a nice road feel now aswel which it did not have before. Thank you all for your advice/suggestions :-)
 
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:53 PM
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Thank you for reporting back CaptianSlow.
 
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