Series Land Rover (U.S.A./Canada)
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May 2012 Homepage

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Series Land Rover Steering System Checks

Accurate and effective steering is crucial to our safety and should not be taken for granted. A periodic check of the main steering components does not take long and could be injury or even life saving. Checking the steering on Series Land Rovers becomes more important the more offroad driving you do.

Start with a visual inspection of the steering wheel, especially if it is of the early spoked type as illustrated. These wheels were replaced during the Series IIA model range for ones that were more resistant to stress fracture. We tend to forget how much stress is put on the steering system when the vehicle is offroad, especially when usng agressive offroad tyres and trying to get out of a rut, mud etc

Hairline cracks are visible here and require monitoring. Photographing them and comparing over time will indicate whether you you need to search out a replacement steering wheel. Don't even think about filling in the crack. You can't provide the degree of strength required.
Top up early steering relays by removing the filler plug. On later relays (like this one) remove two bolts - one to add oil and another to let in air.
If the balljoint here has a vertical grease nipple then change the nipple for an angled one (like this one), then you can grease it in situ with a flexible grease gun hose.

Check the oil level in the steering box and steering relay and top up with EP90 if required. Low oil can cause heavy steering, as can dry ball joints or insufficient shims in the swivel pin hubs.

If you have noticed the steering cause the vehicle to wander on the road then you need to check for worn ball joints or worn swivel pins/bearings. Some steering boxes are adjustable for a small amount of wear via an ajustment knob on the side of the steering box.

Part of the inspection should involve jacking up the front of the Land Rover, supporting it securely on axles stands and inspecting the movement of all balljoints and swivel pins for free play. An assistant is required for this of course. Don't forget to inspect the tyres for uneven wear - you need to use a tread depth gauge on off road tyres to get a true appreciation of differential wear. If the wear is significant then steering can be affected.

The homepage archives contain other articles on steering issues:
Series Land Rover Steering - Fault Diagnosis

Steering Maintenance for a Series Land Rover

To see previous homepages visit the
Series Land Rover Archives

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