View Full Version : Handling problem

11-16-2008, 01:04 PM
Having a significant issue with my wife's HSE, "hunting," around the road.

Alignment done twice(and will soon recheck), steering box and drag link replaced. Air suspension converted to coil(fronts were loosing air).

The replacement of the air suspension with coils has helped, but not eliminated the problem.

No clunks from the front end. No shimmy, no steering wheel vibration or pulsation.

Tires are new, but have already seen some uneven wear.

Any thoughts/suggestion are appreciated.

I'm thinking about replacing the steering damper next and possible replacing the drag link bushings.

I thought about a possible wheel bearing as a culprit, but cannot elicit any play in the wheel when it's up on the lift.

Truck has been to the dealer twice without resolution or improvement.

Thanks, John

11-17-2008, 05:55 PM
What do you mean by hunting? That normally refers to the engine tickover bouncing up and down.

11-17-2008, 08:59 PM
Hunting across the road without driver input.


11-18-2008, 04:13 PM
As in wandering?

The radius arm bushes can wear on these. It's not common but has happened. They are a harder plastic bush than earlier models and will need a special tool to fit them.

Top and bottom swivel pins also wear.

Any problems with the ABS?

12-10-2008, 03:24 PM
Spacemutt, thanks for that info.

No ABS issues.

I can't feel any play anywhere up front, but the shear size of the components might be making it difficult for me to illicit any.

Can the radius arm bushings can't be replaced with a hydraulic press?

If the top and bottom pins are worn, does that mean that the swivel would be worn as well?

Cheers! John

02-15-2009, 03:22 AM
Ah, hang on.... I think the language barrier has struck again. :p

The HSE is only found on P38 models here. Is yours a Classic? The P38 doesn't have a swivel like the Classic.

You need to put a lot of effort to get the radius arm bushes to move and even a small movement could be enough.

P38 bushes need the special tool. It's a bit like putting a cock in a bottle. Can't be done without the proper gizmo. Classic bushes are easier.

02-15-2009, 05:56 AM
Thanks for the reply Spacemutt.

Here's where I'm at. Replaced the steering damper and the radius arm bushings(it's a P38 and just needed a press). Also checked the toe and balanced the tires.

Severe shake at 60mph and the outside edge of both tires are worn almost to the point of needing replacement. They were new in the fall. :-(

The only thing I can think of at this point is the upper and lower balljoints(not sure if those were what someone referred to as the king pins).

From the tire wear, it looks like we have excessive positive camber on the front wheels for some reason, although it doesn't look that way visually. I don't have a camber gauge.

At some point, I'm going to measure the wheelbase to make sure it's equal on both sides.

Very strange issue, and it has my wife wanting to move the truck along. I can't say as I really blame her, but the truck is great except for this issue.

Thanks for all the suggestions folks! John

02-15-2009, 10:26 AM
The upper and lower ball joints are not an uncommon failure. They could be known as king pins. They could cause the problems you describe.

02-15-2009, 10:33 AM
Thanks for that info. Our next step will be to replace all those.

I'll try and update when we get that done.

Cheers! John

02-25-2009, 08:13 AM
Judging from other bulletin boards, this wandering issue is really big. It is also dangerous. Has anyone on this bulletin board definitively solved this problem?

Does anyone have any information on the steering column repair - on my p38 there is a large amount of rotational play between the steering wheel and the first u-joint at the fire wall. I attribute this to the tilt steering wheel joint, but am unsure how to resolve without replacing the steering shaft.

Is there a sensitivity adjustment on the steering box that would allow more or less assist response/feedback from the road to the steering column?

I have replaced the upper and lower ball joints, the tie rod ends, varied the tire pressure up and down from the factory setting, and am seeing cupping on both inner and outer edges of the tires [Cooper Zeon]. The following is a list of the steering components that I believed are involved in this issue.

1. Steering shaft - from steering wheel to firewall [ seems to be about 10-15 degrees of play -way too much]
2. Steering shaft from fire wall to steering box [checked rubber bushing - no cracks, seems tight]
3. Steering Box [adjusted play- seems tight when on center]
4. Steering box hydraulic fluid [checked level and clarity]
5. Pitman arm end joints [2] replaced
6. Track rod end joints [2] replaced
7. Upper and Lower ball joints [4] replaced
8. Panhard Rod Bushings - Front [2] replaced [critical to keeping axle aligned with chassis
9. Panhard Rod Bushings - Rear [2] replaced
10. Swaybar [front] rod end [2] replaced [these break and allow sudden body roll=steering shift.] replaced
11. Radius Rod End bushings - front [4-axle end, 2-body end]
12. Radius Rod End Bushings - rear [2-body end]
11. tire selection
12. tire pressure [I have varied from 25F-38R to 35F-45R] lower pressure seems to soften the tire wall and reduce the sudden wandering on crowned roads

02-27-2009, 05:42 PM
Never had to replace any of the steering column parts on P38 Range Rovers. I have on (my own) Defenders and Discovery I. Unless there's difference with LHD.

03-15-2009, 07:07 PM
An update on our ongoing quest to solve the tire wear issues.

We have a new issue, and that's a severe front end shake at 55mph. There's another post in the forums about that same issue. Starting to see some threads develop.

Recap: We checked all the joints in the front end. I had replaced the panhard bushings with a poly units from a DAP kit. That didn't make a difference.

Steering box and draglink had been replaced by the dealer previously.

We focused on the front end as that seems to be the source of the trouble. Replaced the bushings in the locating rod from the frame to the axle. This is the main structural component that locates the axle laterally under the truck.

Stock bushings looked ok, but the new bushings made a world of difference.

Still not the ride we want, but the crazy darting(lef t and right) over the road have decreased significantly.

The severe wear on the front tires has me concerned that there may be damage or severe balance issues(although I did rebalance them recently) issues with the tires. Replacements to arrive this week.

I plan on doing the bushings in the rear end some time this week. I have replacement upper and lower balljoints, but the existing units don't seem to have any play. Whether we can exert enough pressure on these to elicit play is another issue altogether.

Have a front brake rotor that I think is warped, so new rotors and pads will be on order this week.

This truck is in too good a shape to move on down the road without some more diagnostic work.

I'll post more as time(and money) are spent.

Cheers! John