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Series Land Rover: Steering Vibration

This is a classic problem. Due to the heavy steel wheel rims, fitted as standard on a Series Land Rover together with the large format tires, the vibration caused after hitting a hole in the road can become quite violent and threaten the safe control of the vehicle. The fitting of a steering damper has been covered previously on the May 2010 UK homepage

If it is noticed that the vibration varies with road speed, then the wheels need to be dynamically balanced at a tire center; small weights are added to the edge of the rim and it is possible that these can get knocked off when offroading. If your wheels were balanced in the past, then it's a good idea to be familair with how many weights are on each wheel rim so you can spot if one is missing. Offroading can also damage the inner part of the rim and cause the wheel to become unbalanced again, so check the rims from underneath the vehicle also.

Another sudden cause of wheel vibration is if one of the previously balanced wheels has been substituted for the spare wheel or rotated with a rear wheel in an attempt to even out tire wear. The new front wheel may now need balancing. Many drivers will only have the front wheels balanced becasue they are the ones that affect the steering characteristics. But unbalanced rear wheels cause unnecessary stress on wheel bearings and could lead to their premature failure.

Not all possible steering vibrational problems are due to the wheels themselves; It may be that the swivel housings have seriously worn components, the shims may need readjustment, or the upper/lower swivel pin lever fixings may be loose.

Series Land Rover steering damper


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