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Got a little job to sort out this weekend - the steering has started sometimes pulling left (about strong enough to "take the exit" on a motorway if I let go of the wheel) but sometimes it's ok. Braking is ok - straight and true without holding the wheel. All I have had time to look at so far are the tyres and they (pressures) are ok.
I am thinking sticky pads - any other suggestions please?
It's probably not related but my 90 had stiff steering when I got it. The track rod runs through a bracket on the diff to help protect it. The rod was bent and catching on the bracket. Very easy to check and might cause the steering to not centre correctly. It's not exactly what you describe, but...
To check for sticky pads just stop the car after it has been pulling to onside for a bit and see if one disk is hotter than the other, carefully )
Jeep wrangler / Defender owner
If its not rattling its more than likely fallen off !
Right, so on Saturday I stripped and inspected all hubs and brakes and the story was the same for each wheel:
The brakes are not sticking and have no uneven wear or anything wrong at all and all pads can be easily pushed back by had.
I removed the pads and the half shafts and checked for smoothness and play, and all were as far as I can tell - perfect. On lubrication, there was plenty of grease on the fronts (which I stripped about a year ago) but the rears (which I thought I had stripped but not sure now) were oily, but not enough for my liking. The outer bearing adjuster nut on one side was showing light surface rust so I stripped out that side but the everything else looked fine. I greased all four bearings and packed the drive shaft cups too for good measure and put it back together - that's when I came to Brotherton for a "test-drive"...
On the way I decided that the occasional left steering was perhaps due to axle bushes due to it apparently being throttle dependant (ie it steers left when I give it some power), and Dave suggested the same, so back home for some real work in the afternoon - but it wasn't long before the temptation got too strong and I was out trying to strip the axle bushes.
The result of my investigations are:
The radius arms/chassis bushes are a bit 'compacted' but don't look too bad.
The radius arms/axle bushes are too soft for my liking. I got a tyre lever in there and easily moved them several millimetres, so I attempted to remove the through bolts for a better inspection.
Near side first: One bolt came out ok but I couldn't get the other to undo (couldn't get the nut off although the bolt would turn in the bush)
Then my ratchet driver broke so I reassembled the car, nipped out and bought a new one and then went back to real (paid) work.
I am happy that the car is safe and that the bearings are not about to let go. The brakes pull up straight and true and (now that I am managing it better) even the pulling left doesn't seem so bad, so all things considered I am going to Dartmoor thee weekend after next and I will sort out the bushes after that.
Thanks for the input everyone - I am happy that I stripped all the brakes and bearings since it has put my mind at rest that nothing disastrous is going to let-go in it's upcoming trip (well, at least not in that area)
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