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Joined: Dec 29 2016
Posts: 304

Right, with all of the work that's being done to the original Vogue SE (Not the one that's getting the engine) I'm fed up having to constantly correct the steering.

Last year I replaced the following:

Anti-roll bar drop links
Anti-roll bar D bushes
Front Panhard Rod bushes
Front Radius Arm bushes (front and rear ones)
Rear Panhard Rod bushes
Steering Damper

This tightened the car up massively but the car still feels like it is wandering on the road and you're correcting the steering. It's amplified when towing the trailer and it's driving me nuts now.

On the last P38 we had that was like this we replaced everything in one go. The upper steering link, steering box, drag link, track rod and both axle ball joints. We were lucky with that one as we found someone selling a New Old Stock steering box for sensible money. Doing all of this work tightened this car up massively, it was really tight, there was no play in anything and you could thread it confidently through the eye of a needle - the opposite of this car!

So... I'm trying to decide where to go next with my car. There haven't been any advisories on the last MOT for any play in any of the balljoints underneath and it's not done 1000 miles since it's last MOT 10 months ago.

With the engine off and wiggling my steering wheel I can't feel any play in the upper link and there is slack between the steering wheel and the output shaft on the bottom of the steering box so I'm thinking it's likely that the box is stuffed.

Looking on eBay there are boxes for a couple of hundred quid, boxes for 600 quid, or second hand ones for around 50 quid. I've found someone locally who is breaking a 2001 Vogue and says the steering on it was tight but at 180k miles it's done 70k more then mine so am almost reluctant to fit it and find out it's as bad as mine. I've also read people saying these boxes on eBay don't last and start leaking fluid within 18 - 24 months so I really don't know where to go.

Also, if I was going to do the steering box I'd probably do the upper link as well. Island 4x4 do a Eurospares shaft for £49.99 and a Britpart one for £98.33. Normally I'd avoid Britpart like the plague but when Britpart is double the price of the Eurospares one it makes me wonder why and if the Eurospares one is to cheap to be true.

Any advice or suggestions welcome as the wander in this steering is really hampering my enjoyment of the car at the moment. In comparison, when we drove the other VSE home the steering on it was night and day.

Thanks,

David.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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If there's slack between turning the wheel and the steering box doing anything, give the box adjuster a tweak. If you mark the Allen screw before you slacken the locknut, you can see where it was and give it a quarter turn. Don't go too silly or the steering will stiffen up but you can take the slop out if you do it carefully.

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Joined: Dec 29 2016
Posts: 304

Should've said I've already tried nipping the adjuster on the box but it's not made much difference at all. The steering is slightly heavier since I did it but that's it unfortunately.

David.

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Joined: Jun 17 2018
Posts: 467

Try swapping the wheels and tyres with your other VSE if possible, or another P38..

Mine used to wander around like a bastard until i put a better set of tyres on it, the Michelins on the front, the sidewalls were like jelly and caused the car to wander
swapped a set of Nexens on it and its been fine ever since..

I guess the tyre sidewalls were diaphragming "is that even a word" in and out when driving..

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Joined: Dec 29 2016
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This car came on a set of Continental tyres that were almost illegal. I had a set of Comets in the back of the workshop with Full Run tyres on them that I'd won on eBay for not a lot of money so I swapped them over.

It drove the same with the Conti's and the FullRuns.

I forgot I'd changed them until you mentioned tyres. I've done that much to it I forget what's been done and what hasn't!

Strange you had that experience with Michelins, our original P38 is on a set of Michelin Latitude tyres and I rated them very highly.

David.

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Mine drives fine but the Ascot doesn't have the same precision to the steering. Admittedly it is on a pair of well dodgy tyres but the only other difference between the two is that mine has had new top and bottom ball joints. They need to be totally knackered before they'll fail the MoT unless the tester knows what to look for. If you jack up on the axle so the wheel is clear of the ground and use a crowbar under the tyre to try to lift the wheel, if there's any slack, they need doing.

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Joined: Jun 17 2018
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The ramp at the MOT centre i use had dollies on the ramp that vibrate and shake the wheel all to hell, quite clever..

Mine were tighter than a nuns............................................................ "ahem"..

Defo tyres on mine..

Never heard of "fullrun" tyres before, might be worth even swapping front to back..

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That's a one man test unit and it will show show up slack in wheel bearings and steering joints but not top and bottom ball joints on a P38. If they've never been changed check them, I bet there's slack in at least the top joint.

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Joined: Jun 17 2018
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Aye..

the dustboots on mine are erm... DUST!!

joints are still tight..

Steering is pucker, i do have a set of joints to put in.

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To check them you have to try to lift the wheel up and down relative to the axle which is why the one man tester can't check them. I've noticed that with the modern boots, they don't last. A couple of years ago I fitted a new steering link and the following year the boots were split. Fortunately, the joints were fine so I just replaced the boots.

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Modern rubber is hilariously bad quality..

A new set of balljoint boots on my D2 lasted 8 months before splitting!!

Like you i replaced the boots, repacked with grease..

The P38's were last replaced in 2007 from the records.

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Joined: Aug 07 2019
Posts: 103

between the steering wheel and the steering box is a universal type joint , this is most likely your problem . get the wife to move the steering wheel and note the movement , it needs to be minimal, like millimeters . generally not serviceable just replaceable

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Joined: Feb 11 2018
Posts: 298

mad-as wrote:

between the steering wheel and the steering box is a universal type joint , this is most likely your problem . get the wife to move the steering wheel and note the movement , it needs to be minimal, like millimeters . generally not serviceable just replaceable

The lower steering shaft. Mine was knackered so I changed it. I had to cut it in half to get it off.
You can actually feel movement in the uj if you try and lift it.

I had the same issues and changed a lot of stuff.
That one did it for me.

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Joined: Feb 11 2018
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http://new.lrcat.com/#!/1234/93085/93086/7404

It's the upper rubber one that was really loose.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1861

At the risk of sounding like a broken record to those who've read the thread: It's worth checking the Viscous Coupling. If it is seized it will cause erratic handling and also excessive wear on the front propshaft UJs and possibly front diff. With your tyre swapping antics it might not be clear but I'd expect worn front tyres. That could be the reason your fronts were knackered when you got it, or just worn tyres. Hard to say now!
I changed the same list of parts as you when chasing my issue. All of them gave a slight improvement but it was the Viscous that was the root cause and driving home was a revelation.
To test it, disconnect the front propshaft at the Transfer Case, and turn the TC output shaft with a large torque wrench.

More details here:
https://www.ashcroft-transmissions.co.uk/viscous-couplings/range-rover-viscous-coupling.html

In the absence of a Torque Wrench, a calibrated Kiwi is a good option :)

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Joined: Jan 16 2016
Posts: 323

I have read through this a couple of times now and nowhere do you mention tyre pressures, unless I have missed it.
It is the biggest single factor that affects tramlining and wandering, imho. If you are on standard 16" wheels it should be 28 front/ 38 psi rear.
You obviously need decent tyres and the same make and type on each axle, not odd tyres. A lot of people think they know better and try other pressures. Stick with factory.
Has the tracking been done after doing all the work on the front end replacing bushes and ball joints? You can do it yourself if you buy the kit. I did, and it wasn't too expensive. I also agree with Morat about the Viscous Coupling.
Steering boxes have a very long life as long as the fluid has been changed.

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Joined: Dec 29 2016
Posts: 304

I'm religious with tyre pressures in the P38's we've got. I always make them 28 front, 38 rear.

David.

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Joined: Dec 29 2016
Posts: 304

Well, I decided to grab the bull by the horns to try and remove my steering wander.

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I replaced the drag link and track rod last night and test drove the car in between each change. Neither of them seem to have made any difference.

I had a look at doing the steering linkage but I think I'm going to have to remove the majority of my LPG kit to get to it as the vaporiser, safety solenoid and pipework are all directly about the steering box and link which is annoying.

I will get to the bottom of this though. I keep thinking that changing the steering box and steering link together will be easier but I'd really like to know which one makes the biggest difference. I bought the steering box used from a guy who had a couple of P38's, one of which he was breaking. He reckoned that it drove very well and there was no play or wander in the steering so fingers crossed!

David.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1861

Have you tested the Viscous Coupling yet? An even simpler test would be to turn at full lock on that gravel and see if the front skips.

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Joined: Dec 29 2016
Posts: 304

Our driveway is gravel and there's not been any skipping from it at all when doing a 3 point turn or on a tight lock so I'm fairly confident the VC is ok.

The car drives nicely enough, it's just you feel like you're constantly steering into it to correct it. Between 11:30 and 12:30 you can wiggle the steering on the motorway and not have any chance in direction of the car so I'm fairly convinced it's something with play in the steering.

David.