Last Month we looked at the construction of a simple tool to measure the wheel alignment on a Series Land Rover. To re-visit that article use the Homepage Archives link below. This month we look at the procedure needed to adjust the alignment if the toe-in falls outside the acceptible range of 1mm to 2.5mm for a Series Land Rover I,II or III.
The first task is to jack up both front wheels and support the weight of the vehicle on axle stands. It is absolutely not safe to rely on a jack alone. Next, the balljoint securing bolts at the ends of the trackrod need to be slackened (see upper photo). These bolts should not be seized, but if they are, then either penetrating oil or the careful use of a hacksaw is the solution. Whatever the condition of the bolts, replacing them with new ones is good general practise, so check the specifications of them before you start the job.
It should now be possible to rotate the trackrod using suitable grips (see lower photo). Turning the trackrod clockwise as in the photo will bring the wheels closer together and hence lower the value of the toe-in measurement. So this is where you need to judge which way to rotate the trackrod based on your previous measurements.
changed the toe-in it is necessary to measure by how much you have changed it, using either the tool you made previously(detailed in the August 2011 homepage) or another method. Either way, it is always best to measure more than once and find the average measurment.
Once you are satisfied with the toe-in
measurement then tighten the balljoint securing bolts, but do not overtighten them, then lower the vehicle to the ground. It would be a good idea to check the toe-in measurement again after the vehicle has been driven for a few miles.
The more offroading you do in your Series Land Rover, the more you might need to check the toe-in measurement. Be aware that bending the trackrod in off-road adventure will make setting the correct toe-in impossible. A new track rod will be required.
Just a word of caution - if you need to replace ball joints then don't go for cheap replacements. If a low quality one shears whilst making a sharp turn then you are in serious trouble. The ball joints with grease nipples are best as they can be regularly serviced.
(To see previous homepages visit the Homepage Archives link)