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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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211 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Excess steering wheel friction just past "center" - wth?

Well this just happened as I was driving through my neighborhood and pulling into my garage - after I parked I was so shocked I just sat there idling in park moving the wheel back and forth like 2" at a time.. I think it's here to stay. I can deal with some noises/vibrations, but THIS WILL DRIVE ME INSANE.

It's a slight/subtle grinding feel, with little/no sound (certainly no squeaking like the other threads I saw when I searched). It's slightly heavier when in this "grinding" range, and after 1-2" of travel in either direction, it's smooth again. My PS reservoir is AT the "min" mark, maybe a hair lower than the mark, so obviously I'll refill it - however as there's still visible fluid in there, the rack/pump/components should have no lack of fluid. :|

I'm wondering if this is related to the harmonic-type "rolling" sharp vibration I feel through the steering wheel that comes in waves every few seconds. We had it up on a lift rolling in drive and the front hubs sounded fine, as did front diff (rear, not so much...) Since it's most obvious around 40mph, I couldn't safely recreate it on the lift. While driving, it gets worse when I accelerate slightly. I also tilted/telescoped the steering wheel in many positions and both issues are still there.

My 22" stormers come in a week or so, and I'm going to put those on first to verify that my old issue isn't related to the tread of my current tires, however the fact that acceleration plays a part would almost certainly rule that out, tire noises/feel issues are usually constant (if not in speed, then at least regardless of acceleration). No idea about the new problem though, if anything the bigger wheels/tires will make it worse haha.

Also, are there any bushings or dampers that isolate driveline vibrations from the steering system? There's primarily the two tie rod ends which connect to the front suspension, and that would be the main point of entry for any vibration like this I'd think? My steering is tight and accurate though, and tracks straight when I take my hands off - so I wouldn't think it could be tie rod ends. My ball joints are SHOT however, possibly that's allowing entry of NVH into steering system?


PS I finally got my service contract transferred over from the previous owner, I should have the new contract signed and sent over to them by the end of this week and I can start getting these fixed.

So far: upper ball joints (will probably do tie rod ends, control arms, and stabilizer / sway bar bushings too)
leaky radiator (I think, under the hood it always smells like coolant.. very common on these and LR3s)
thermostat (that low coolant temp gauge needle drives me crazy, even if it's only slightly off),
rear differential (this is bad, sounds like a freight train, black diff fluid.. probably about to fail)
and whatever steering issues are related to this post. from what I've read, the ZF system used in the RRS / LR3s is very reliable - gonna focus on suspension component bushing wear first
 

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Premium Member
2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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5,175 Posts
Re: Excess steering wheel friction just past "center" - wth?

Try a flush and replace of the entire p/s fluid first, and also check the belt tension. I'm afraid if that does not help you have to have a look at the p/s pump.
 

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Registered
2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
Joined
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211 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Re: Excess steering wheel friction just past "center" - wth?

I'll look into that, I added some fluid but it obviously wasn't that - nice to have it in the norm though.

I'm thinking it's the rubber seal that the shaft passes through the firewall on the inside, with the stereo and HVAC off and in park (quieter idle) it sounds/feels like a rubber-type friction, and I can hear it inside - nothing at all outside and no pump whine/struggling. QUICK steering motions make zero noises or anything outside the car, so all of that feels okay.

Now I just have to figure out how to get to that seal - looks like there's about a thousand things between me and that steering shaft!
 
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