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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy,

when I got my Rangie (6 months ago) it had already been converted to coils. The previous owner used the Atlantic British Standard coil kit. The ride was awful, it bottomed frecuently, and height wise it looked lower than Standard height (even though AB claims they preserve EAS standard height).

Anyway, since at the time I didn't know better, I decided to replace the standard AB coils with the AB Heavy Duty set + Bilstein shocks all around. Before I get reprimended, let me tell you that the 4 air springs where missing, as well as the height sensors. EAS electronics/compressor are still there though.

Back to the subject... I picked up the Rangie and it was like night and day. Yes, now it had a 2" lift (courtesy of the HD springs) and it felt tighter (courtesy of the Bilstein shocks).
We used the truck for a little while without major incidents, until a month ago, we got introduced to one of LR's oldest rtaditions: a blown head gasket !

To cut the story short, got heads done, replaced leaking exhaust manifold, got a valve job and now the motor sings ! So now that the engine was out of the picture I started focusing on improving the ride comfort.

After an easter weekend trip thru a very bumpy road (pot holes everywhere) I noticed the following:

- too much play and vibration on the steering wheel after hitting pot holes. When cruising on the highway at 120kph (75 mph) I had to make constant tiny corrections to the steering. My arms got tired after a while.... it was no fun at all.

- squeaks and vibrations everywhere. Probably due to the stiffer suspension

- body roll, even when going on a straight line. Could it be the 2" lift ? I know now the center of gravity is higher...


I first focused on the steering bit.

Usual suspects: steering box needs adjustment, steering stabilizer (i doubt it, since it was replaced with a genuine LR part 13 months ago), bushings (maybe... gotta have a look), ball joints (doubt it, since they where replaced with genuine LR parts 24 months ago), tires (40,000 km Michelins, with probably another year left on them)

So I crawled under the truck and to my amazement I found out the bilsteins where wrongly mounted. I had one rear shock (2215) installed on the front right, and one front shock (2214) installed on the rear left !!

I just dropped the truck on my Indy to correct this, and have a look at the coil installation as well. I could verify that front coils where on its place (white stripe), so it's only a matter of checking that the rear progressive coils are mounted correctly (bigger gap between coils on the base).

I'll let you know what I find out, and hopefully what progress I make.

So if you had your shocks replaced by someone else, make sure they are in the correct place.

Oh, and I found out a big ass nail on one of my front tires... isn't life grand ?


N.
 

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Interesting stuff Nacho. You seem to have all kinds of crazy luck going on with your Rangie.

The heavy duty coils may not be the best choice, depending on what you do. If you tow or haul a good bit, then they'd be a good choice since they are designed to operate under load. They don't flex as well as medium duty springs when offroad, and if you often have no load, then your ride quality will suffer a good bit, a jarring ride most likely.

Having the body sitting up 2" higher is not going to help when it comes to body roll, correct. This is a symptom just about all (non OEM) lifted vehicle owners deal with. Some have reported success in minimizing roll by using poly swaybar bushings in the front instead of rubber.

You have also changed the prop shaft angles, although a 2" lift generally does not cause that many problems. But you may wish to inspect your u-joints for play anyway and replace as needed, they are a cheap part.

Let us know how you make out and if you do adjust the steering box. There is a post on that topic very recently on the forum.

Cheers and good luck
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quick follow up:

- The bilstein shocks where relocated.
- We confirmed the springs where correctly mounted.
- U-joints needed greasing (dunno why they didn't do it 2 months ago during its scheduled maintenance visit :evil: )
- The tire puncture wasn't so. It wasn't a nail, just a big stapple, so it was superficial. The bad news is that I still new tires anyway. Can't really start diagnosing the suspension with worn tires.
- steering damper looked fine

I'll probably focus on tires and bushings first, while I gather some info on steering box adjustment.

I'll keep you posted.

N.
 

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Sounds like a solid plan of attack. Yep, having some new tires, if you need them anyway, can certainly help cut down on the variables. I highly suggest the Road Force mount and balancing if you can find a shop that has the right machine - it really makes a difference in my experience.

I'd also take some time just to check all the nuts and bolts on the suspension for tightness. Who knows they might have missed one or didn't snug it down enough, or one just worked loose. I'm sure your confidence in them is a little low since they screwed up the shocks.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Chris,

yes, my confidence in them is pretty low right now. That was a rookie mistake. Thank god there's RR.net, Rave & Microcat. Even though I cannot turn a wrench I can study the procedures in advance and then do my own QA when picking up the truck.

Unfortunately the tire selection in the Dominican Republic is very small, and as far as I know we don't have any Road Force machines here.

I'll keep digging... :)

N.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes ! There's a Hunter rep in DR (Hunter makes the Road Force GSP9700 machine). He just confirmed there's a Road Force machine located at 10 minutes from my office !

I called the place but the guy on the phone didn't inspire much confidence. So, what do I need to know when getting a Road Force balancing ? Just want to make sure the operator knows what he's doing. There's no point in getting a RF balancing if the guy does a half assed job, don't you think ?

Here in the DR, few people appear to know what they are doing.... on any field. It's sad.

N.
 

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I think its AB who sell another swaybar for other end of truck. Wonder if switching to a non high pressure gas
shock would remove some of the jarring (smoother ride). Though those heavy duty springs might need the control
of a hp gas shock? Most of the kits come with spring isolator I think.
Rubber spacer. I would think an alignment for raised height would help with steering.
just my 2cents
 

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Ugh! Yes they do need to know how to operate the RF machine correctly or it is a complete waste of time. He's gotta be able to match up the tires and wheels correctly based on the characteristics of each and index them accordingly. Here is what Tire Rack has to say about the machine and has some specs too: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/ ... ?techid=40

And all the details straight from Hunter (not sure if you found this or not): http://www.gsp9700.com/pub/technical/index.cfm

Let's hope your guy knows what he's doing with the machine and is just a poor communicator.

Alignment (as suggested by hammer) wouldn't be bad either after you get the new tires on, pretty standard thing to do there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Follow up:

So finally I made up time to visit the balancing/alignment shop. Well, my fears appear to be unfounded, because these guys are 100% Hunter shop. The had the Road Force machine as well as several others. Very profesional looking shop, lots of high end cars too.

Unfortunately I couldn't have my wheels rebalanced. It seems that my tires are more shot than I thought so in the first place. First, one of the techs told me not to waste my money rebalancing those tires, and later on the shop manager confirmed the diagnostic. So it appears I found the origin of most of my vibration problems.

My current tires are Michelin Synchrones. They have 40,000 kms, and 4 years since installed by the previous owner. When I got the car (6 months ago) I noticed they looked a little worn, but otherwise fine to my unexperienced eyes. I was hoping to get an extra 6 to 12 months out of those tires.

At the shop I was shown how they where more worn on the edges than the center. The first thing they asked me was if I was experiencing lots of vibration. :)

So now I'll have to break my piggy bank and go shopping for new tires. FYI, we have insane prices here in the DR. Replacing with Michelins will set you back 1,500 usd here. So I'm forced to buy in the US and have the tires shipped by sea to the DR. I'll ask for tire recomendations on another thread.

Stay tuned.

N.
 

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Hey, at least you are making some progress and you found what sounds like an honest shop with good equipment!

There are a lot of tires out there to be had, Michelins are usually overpriced options in my opinion. You can get a good tire for far less.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update:

I ordered a set of General Grabber AT2, which are on their way. Meanwhile I took the Rangie to a suspension shop (non LR specific) and had it diagnosed, prior to fitting the new tires. Everything looked OK, except the sway bar links, which had lots of play. Also, the tie rod end rubber boots where damaged.

So, here is my new round of questions for the experts:

1) sway bar links: genuine LR or replacement ? I was told Lemforder is the OEM for LR, is that correct ? Does an upgraded HD part available or worth looking at ?
2) Tie rod end rubber boots: apparently that part isn't sold separately. What should I do ? Tie rod ends where changed 15 months ago (ie: 20,000 kms ago).

Thanks in advance,

N.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok, so I got new AT2 Grabbers onboard + wheel balance + alignment (0 toe). Some of the rims are pretty banged up (specially on the inner side) and needed lots of weights to balance. Will get that sorted later, but in the meantime I installed the better ones on the front.

The ride is better, specially while braking (it doesn't tend to wander that much while slowing down as before). It also doesn't tramline as much as before and steering wheel doesn't shake as much. Still got lots of body roll, apparently due to play in sway bar links.

My next course of action is to change sway bar links and u-joints for HD Hardy Spicer ones. I've also have the dreaded clunk while shifting from Drive to Reverse. If that doesn't work, probably I'll have to change the diff flanges/seals.

I think I'll slowly get there... it will cost, but I'll get there :)

N.
 
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