Series Land Rover - Vehicle Pulls to One Side
It is quite a common occurence for a Series Land Rover to pull to one side occasionally, either when driving on a flat straight road, or when the brakes are applied. This fault has road safety implications, so it is best to have knowledge of the possible causes and their solution.
If the tyre pressures on opposite wheels of the same axle are not balanced, then the Land Rover will pull to the side where the tyre pressure is lowest. All Series Land Rover models with standard rims and tyres typically need 1.72bars pressure in the front tyres. For the rear tyres they are 2.07bars for the 88in and 2.48bars for the 109in.
It is not uncommon for small amounts of brake fluid to leak from a brake cylinder and get onto the brake linings, causing them to reduce their frictional properties. The vehicle will then pull towards the side having brake linngs with the best frictional resistance when braking. This problem can also occur if some oil leaks from the swivel pin housing onto the brake linings. Careful observation of the lower rear surface of the brake drum will indicate whether fluid contamination is likely to have taken place. The wheel and brake drum can then be removed for further inspection.
If the Land Rover is continuosly pulling to one side when drivng a straight road, then the brakes on one wheel may be binding. A simple check for this is to feel the wheel centres after the Land Rover has been driven for a few km. All the wheel rims will feel warm if a significant amount of braking was underataken during the journey but if the brakes are binding on one wheel then this wheel will feel warmer than the others. Confirmation is achieved by jacking up the suspect wheel and rotating it manually to see if it rotates freely. If the brakes are binding then they may be released by using the brake adjusters on the brake backplate. After adjusting the brakes, the vehicle should then be driven to check that they are effective.
Over-tightened wheel bearings are less likely to be a cause of the problem but it needs to be checked out.
Unlike with binding brakes, the wheel rim won't have become warm after a short drive unless a lot of braking has been done. However, the wheel will not rotate as freely as it should when jacked up and turned by hand. If the wheel bearing(s) is the problem then the bearing adjustment nuts in the wheel hub need slackening off. It is quite likely the wheel bearing will have been damaged under the additional stress and need s replacement.
Running the vehicle with the wrong wheel alignment will cause uneven wear in the tyres. If just one front wheel has alignment wear then this can cause steering bias. The correct wheel alignment across the Series Land Rover range is 1.2 to 2.4mm toe-in.