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Thread: Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

  1. #1
    Engineer Paul Clarke's Avatar
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    Default Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

    Hi All,

    Can anybody give me some advice about a problem I'm having with vibrations on my Defender 90 please?

    The Defender drives lovely around town, then when I get onto a main road and slowly accelerate a really bad vibration of the front wheels starts at 50 mph, the vibration stays till I pass 55 mph then it's fine again and will cruise lovely above 55 mph. If I have to back off then the vibration starts again. The strange thing is if I accelerate a bit harder from 40 mph to 60 mph I get no vibrations through the 50 mph section.

    I have had the wheels balanced and I have checked for play on the wheel bearings by jacking the wheels up and rocking them top and bottom, the N/S had some play which I lost by tightening the castle nut a little, the O/S has no play.

    Where do I start looking now?

    Drive shafts, Prop Shaft, Suspension????????

    Awaiting some expert advice please.

    Many Thanks

    Paul


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    Apprentice clivemd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

    When you get the vibrations does your steering wheel shake, and if it does and you put a bit of load on the steering wheel ether to the left or right dose the vibration tends to go.

    Went through the same thing as you checked everything, i then disconnected the drag link from the steering box drop arm, i then turned the drop arm full lock one way and then to the opposite side, noticing when the arm was at full lock there was around 5mm of play i slowly moved it to center and felt the drop arm again and there was some play about 3mm
    i had changed and checked everything else so i changed the steering box and everything was sorted out

    i have also herd of others with the same problem and it turned out to be there back UJ in the prop-shaft causing there vibration
    Check all your bushes as well

    Clive
    1995 300TDI 110

  3. #3

    Default Re: Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

    Check your track rod end balljoints. Play in these can certainly cause the symptoms you are describing. I know, I've had it in the past

    If you can't find someone else to help you look at the joints (someone needs to turn the steering wheel) see if you can set up a video camera or video on your phone to film the joints one by one as you rock the steering wheel back and forth. If you detect play, change the joints affected.

    Sarah
    1995 Defender 110 CSW 300Tdi; 1997-now managed to hang on to this one
    1995 Defender 110 CSW 300Tdi; 1997-1997 stolen after three months
    1968 IIA 109" 10 seat station wagon; 1989-2003 but still in the family

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    Engineer landymike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

    Wheel balancing would be my first port of call, check tyres for any bulges or rear of rims for build up of crud. Then its getting deeper. Play, as mentioned in all joints. Then swivel points and bearings. Last would be suspect steering box.
    Be smart, Buy british!!



    110 double cab Isuzu 2.8.........soon to be V8




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    Engineer Paul Clarke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

    Thanks,

    With regards to play on track rod ends what am I looking for?



  6. #6

    Default Re: Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

    You're looking for any sideways play between the two components linked by the track rod ends. There shouldn't be any.

    I hope that makes sense,

    Sarah
    1995 Defender 110 CSW 300Tdi; 1997-now managed to hang on to this one
    1995 Defender 110 CSW 300Tdi; 1997-1997 stolen after three months
    1968 IIA 109" 10 seat station wagon; 1989-2003 but still in the family

  7. #7

    Default Re: Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

    You can see an example of play in this video (not a Land rover but it gives you an idea);

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so0vL-ZOwY8

    Sarah
    1995 Defender 110 CSW 300Tdi; 1997-now managed to hang on to this one
    1995 Defender 110 CSW 300Tdi; 1997-1997 stolen after three months
    1968 IIA 109" 10 seat station wagon; 1989-2003 but still in the family

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    Apprentice TNK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

    I had a very similar problem with my 90, which turned out to be the UJ's on the front prop shaft. New UJ's solved the wobble but caused a droning vibration above 20mph, so a new front prop shaft was fitted and it's solved the problem.
    1989 90 CSW V8

    Never mind save the whale, save the V8 !!!!

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  9. #9
    Engineer Paul Clarke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

    I checked the track rod ends this weekend, there was no sideways movement on them when the steering wheel was turned each way. I can twist the bar/rod from back to front, is that normal?

    I twisted the prop but could not feel any play, is this enough or would I need to remove it to check the UJs properly? I pumped grease into the nipples whilst I was under there, a fair bit went in.

    Thanks for your help.

    Paul


  10. #10
    Engineer Paul Clarke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

    I've spoken to a mechanic friend about this vibration and he is convinced its the wheels.

    I swapped a back for a front and the problem has got less, I only occaisionally get the wobble now on main roads.

    So goes to show that wheel balancing on the machines cannot be that accurate, I'd better have a good look at the tyres and wheels and see if there are any dents bulges etc.

    What worries me is that the tyres look almost brand new.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Front Wheel Vibration at 50 mph

    It's really easy to get the wheels out of balance, especially off roading. I found with mine I was getting clay caught on the back of the wheel in the rim which would harden and act just like a balance weight offesetting the lead weight!!

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