Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse
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Thread: Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

  1. #1
    FRESHMAN ROVER EstorilM's Avatar
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    Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

    I know I've made a thread about this in the past, but it's really puzzling to me that I can't find out much more info about this problem. My experience with Land Rovers (ie. my Discovery II) was that they're VERY consistent with their issues. This has been my case with every problem I've ever had with both vehicles, except for this.

    Between 45-55 I get a REALLY annoying buzzing-like vibration through the steering wheel; NOT a "thumping" type wheel vibration. It's 110% driveline-related, but I don't know how/why/where it's coming from. I need someone who is very technically adept with these components to really nail this one for me I think, since there aren't too many ways to transmit NVH from the driveline directly through to the steering wheel.

    It's worse when I JUST barely let off the throttle in cruise so the driveline is almost perfectly "slack" - then I get this harmonic humming/vibration feel AND sound. At the right frequency the sound is very noticeable as is the feel (which is the annoying part).

    At this point my list is pretty much the following;
    Front driveshaft
    Front differential
    Front hubs
    Some bushings up there? - not sure what's involved with the front driveline though.

    Please helppppp, it's driving me insane!
    <br>
    '99 Discovery II | 165k mi. | Kinversand | 7 pas, SLS, HK<br>
    '05 Mustang GT Prem. red/red, Shaker 1000| too many mods.. - SOLD<br>
    '06 Range Rover Sport | Atacama Sand | LUX/Cold Weather/Adaptive HL/RSE<br>
    '90 24' Donzi Black Widow | 490hp/620lb-ft tq - restoration

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  3. #2
    FRESHMAN ROVER AwfAxis's Avatar
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    Re: Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

    I call this sensation a harmonic resonance. My theory is that the steering is picking up engine or exhaust notes that work its way through the steering shaft. I've kind of learned to live with it.

    I remember in the old days (when I was 20), I had solid motor mounts on Chevy big-block Nova. The sensation is the same.

    Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse-nova.jpg

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  4. #3
    FORUM ADMINISTRATOR gooseyloosey's Avatar
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    Re: Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

    The best I can do on the interwebz is add to your list,
    --steering rack mounts
    --tie rods
    --steering shaft

    But based on your symptoms I would look at the diff first.
    '08 RRS HSE Stornoway Gray

    Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards.

  5. #4
    FRESHMAN ROVER EstorilM's Avatar
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    Re: Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

    Quote Originally Posted by gooseyloosey View Post
    The best I can do on the interwebz is add to your list,
    --steering rack mounts
    --tie rods
    --steering shaft

    But based on your symptoms I would look at the diff first.
    Yeah those had crossed my mind, but it's gradually occurred to me over the months that those components aren't designed to isolate this type of thing - I'm trying to figure out if it's an NVH isolation problem or if something is broken/failing in the driveline (in which case no steering component was designed to "hide" that kinda thing in the first place.)

    The steering feels fine, and the more I thought about it.. no "rotational" driveline type component should really even be in contact with the steering components? The closest would be near the hub area of each wheel, and not the differential, thus any NVH through the diff would need to be sent out through the axles and into the hub where it would be picked up and sent through the tie rods, rack, and steering shaft.

    WTF.. I've diagnosed a lot of stuff over the years with many cars, but this is difficult due to the number of components between the causes (ie driveline) and the effects (the steering wheel). That's like half the car :P

    AwfAxis - if I had that car, I'd learn to deal with it
    <br>
    '99 Discovery II | 165k mi. | Kinversand | 7 pas, SLS, HK<br>
    '05 Mustang GT Prem. red/red, Shaker 1000| too many mods.. - SOLD<br>
    '06 Range Rover Sport | Atacama Sand | LUX/Cold Weather/Adaptive HL/RSE<br>
    '90 24' Donzi Black Widow | 490hp/620lb-ft tq - restoration

  6. #5
    JUNIOR ROVER dantheman1's Avatar
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    Re: Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

    Could it just be that your 22" wheels with low profile tires are emitting more feedback into the steering wheel? I know my dealer gave me crap about running nearly worn out tires on 20" causing some steering feedback, have since upsized a little and the steering/ride is much better. Just a thought.
    2011 RRS Supercharged, Santorini Black on Tan, pretty perfect as is
    2008 RRS HSE Lux (sold), Alaska white on Ivory/Ebony, Supercharged front and side grill's,
    20" genuine stormer wheels, Supercharged front Brembo brake retrofit, Supercharged exhaust tips retrofit, 2010+ tail lights retrofit, Color coded mirror caps, Nappa leather steering wheel retrofit.
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  7. #6
    FRESHMAN ROVER EstorilM's Avatar
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    Re: Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

    Quote Originally Posted by dantheman1 View Post
    Could it just be that your 22" wheels with low profile tires are emitting more feedback into the steering wheel? I know my dealer gave me crap about running nearly worn out tires on 20" causing some steering feedback, have since upsized a little and the steering/ride is much better. Just a thought.
    Well they're not helping any comfort levels but it's certainly not the wheels (happened since I got the vehicle, even with OE 19's) - but like I said, this is a bizzing-like harmonic frequency. When it's really resonating it comes in ~1sec waves.

    Not even u joints in the front driveshaft would cause that type of sound right? That should also be a thunking-type constant vibration (sure it may get worse at a given speed/go away, but it wouldn't "pulse" in a resonating fashion). I went through two driveshafts in the Discovery II so I know what those are like - absolutely no NHV was ever sent through the steering rack in that case, but the DII is also a live axle so that doesn't mean much. Isolation in general on the RRS should be better however. Maybe gear set within the front diff..

    FWIW I've heard great things about the ZF servotronic system, both in isolation/comfort and reliability. NOT so much with Land Rover differentials and driveshafts though!


    edit:
    Title Front & Rear Differential Noise & Oil Leaks
    Last Modified 03-MAR-2009 12:23
    Category: Driveline
    Symptom: 509000 Axle Concerns
    Content: Front & Rear Differential Noise, Minor Oil Seal Leak & Debris in Oil.

    Concern: Noise (Whine or humming) from the front or rear differential. A minor oil leak may be evident with possible debris in oil. Oil will be black in color.
    Hm I knew about this TSB but only in relation to the rear differential, which is failed on my vehicle as well (confirmed by putting it on the lift and running it in drive - VERY loud bearing noise on rear diff above ~10mph, only noticible in car above 30 or so).

    While the rear diff is a definite "whine" - the "humming" description sounds exactly like what's happening on the front. Depending on the nature of the bearing failure, this makes sense.. a chunk out of a roller bearing would cause this humming noise.

    Anyways as I said, I don't think there another driveline piece up there with components small enough to generate the sound/vibration I feel - narrowing in on the front diff.

    I'll stick a rag in the filler plug this weekend and see what's going on. The rear is black, who knows.. maybe I'll manage to match it up.

    ALSO: What are the odds my extended warranty company will cover this? 368475:1? 4736347694736:1?
    Last edited by EstorilM; February 1st, 2012 at 02:15 PM.
    <br>
    '99 Discovery II | 165k mi. | Kinversand | 7 pas, SLS, HK<br>
    '05 Mustang GT Prem. red/red, Shaker 1000| too many mods.. - SOLD<br>
    '06 Range Rover Sport | Atacama Sand | LUX/Cold Weather/Adaptive HL/RSE<br>
    '90 24' Donzi Black Widow | 490hp/620lb-ft tq - restoration

  8. #7
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

    Did you ever find a solution to this? I was going to post new, but found your message...

    I have a 2006 RRS and last summer I noticed a humming kind of vibration, most noticeable at highway speeds, but only when lifting the throttle. I hear it and feel it through the steering wheel and floor. It has not seemed to get worse, but maybe it's a very slow degradation.

    I had it into the dealer yesterday on some other things, but the mechanic failed to take the car up to highway speed to properly diagnose. I only discovered this after I had left, and I did not want to go back.

    Though the sensation is like a worn bearing, I do not hear or feel sensitivity to braking or turning. But the humming reliably happens every time I'm off-throttle. SInce I'm feeling it through the steering, I'm thinking suspension or bearing rather than drivetrain, but I'm not sure.

    Any luck with your diagnosis?

    Thanks.
    06 RR Sport Tonga Green
    99 Porsche 996 Coupe Zenith Blue

  9. #8
    FOUNDING MEMBER
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    Re: Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

    Hi Randal,

    Posted this some time ago, and it may be of some help to you, Quote:

    I recently developed a very pronounced very and annoying buzzing feedback on the steering wheel of my 2006 RRS.
    The buzz was occurring intermittently but very frequently and it was audible as well.

    Investigating at and around the steering gear I found a small amount of free play on the small input shaft to the steering box.
    The play was very very small and only just barely detectable with the help of a friend moving the steering back and forth, with me under the truck.

    I torqued up the bolt at the coupling, which by the way did not seem loose but I gave it a bit more anyway, by feel only as there was no way I could get my torque wrench to fit in there.

    Happy days followed as the buzz was gone.

    Why did it buzz?

    I really don't know but I suspect that it has something to do with the servotronic valve trying to give feedback to the input shaft and the free play might make it unstable.

    In any case this may not be your problem but it's worth a check if you are experiencing these symptoms.

    Cheers,
    Keijo

  10. #9
    FRESHMAN ROVER Armogida's Avatar
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    Re: Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

    I have the same issue and will try the above fix. Thx.
    Java Black 2006 RR Sport S/C

  11. #10
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

    Thanks, Keijo. By "input shaft to the steering box", do you mean I should look for the the entry point of the shaft from the steering wheel into the steering box? Or does the shaft itself have a u-joint or flex coupling of some sort, and that's where I should look?

    Was your vibration issue strictly off-throttle, more noticeable at higher speeds, like mine? Or was it all the time?

    Thanks again.
    06 RR Sport Tonga Green
    99 Porsche 996 Coupe Zenith Blue

  12. #11
    FOUNDING MEMBER
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    Re: Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse

    Hi Randal,

    Sorry for the late reply, but it is holiday season

    The point where I had slack was where the last little universal joint connects to the actual steering box.
    It is below the inermediate shaft.

    The small bolt is actually in the lower section of the universal and tightens onto a small shaft sticking out of the steering box.

    Buzzing-like vibration in steering wheel; getting worse-rr-sport-stering.jpg Item 1 in the sketch.

    My buzzing was intermittent and yes it did seem to coincide with offf throttle somewhat, but more with the steering being lightly loaded.

    Good luck mate, and have a happy new year.

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