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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi:

I'm new to anything to do with running gear, have a P38 4.6HSE, 265,000 miles (new engine at 83,000, thank you, kids) and just had my rocker arms/ball joints and other suspension gear replaced, along with getting a wheel alignment.

The "expert" alignment guy in Atlanta told me he got the front wheels perfect, but couldn't do the rears. I now know why!

On leaving Atlanta for Taos, NM, I noted a high speed vibration starting at about 60mph that usually indicates a wheel imbalance, so I got them balanced here in Taos (and ran into some other minor problems, like the lug nuts are screwed and need to be replaced). Surprisingly, that really didn't solve the high speed wobble.

Now, within a couple of days of the tire balancing job, I suddenly have a hard and heavy CLUNK going into reverse gear along with a wild low speed wobble.
The wobble/shake/shimmy is so strong, I hesitate to drive the car over 20 mph.

It happened so suddenly, I think it has to be a U-Joint bearing that got ejected? Or a link to the transmission? Or?

So my question is to those of you with this kind of experience, what do you think the vibration can stem from?

I will update this post as I find anything more that might help get an accurate conclusion.

I thank you very much in advance!

Regards from Sunny New Mexico,

Wick Beavers
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Almost certainly a UJ, especially if they haven't been regularly greased and at that mileage. As for your expert, he sounds like an expert in the true sense of the word, ex = has been, spurt = drip under pressure. How can he not get the alignment right at the rear? You have a live axle, it can never be anything other than right!
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Gilbertd! I went under the car, which is quite low since the airbags were changed out to springs and I'm getting gutsy!

I noted the front diff weight/dampener is just hanging off the differential and the bolt holding its mounting plate to the diff is quite loose- the bolt appears to be 1/2" loose.
Reading another thread, I think I am missing a rubber gasket or holder? Trying to find a good picture of the way it's supposed to be...

I pulled and pushed hard on the prop shafts and noted no movement/play in them. But you are certainly right about the age and lack of grease maintenance.
That would certainly account for the clunking going into reverse...

I was just hoping for that expert but am taught again, thank you, what that is!
The alignment guy told me he couldn't get the rear right. I drove away disappointed, but recently found out what you are telling me- there is no alignment necessary.
I just need to get some U-Joint bearings, I guess?
 

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If you are having a shop do your UJoints while on this trip get them at NAPA. Precision #344, $25 each, longer easy grease nipples and should take no more than an hour per shaft for any shop to do.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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To check U joints, you need to get an axle off the ground, otherwise they will be loaded up, and will not budge. (Use proper jack stands)
+1 on U joints ........-10 on so called "Professional experts"
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks! I will have to have a shop do the job as I have no way to get the car up, have no real tools around and I'm in the dirt, stones and cacti.

What do you think about that weight/dampener just hanging off the front diff?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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If you are having a shop do your UJoints while on this trip get them at NAPA. Precision #344, $25 each, longer easy grease nipples and should take no more than an hour per shaft for any shop to do.
Thanks Toad!
Figured you had to chime in soon as you are the U joint Poster child here......(RR Toadhall: "Cigar lighter not working? most likely poorly maintained U joints!")

I was going to do UJ's on both of mine next week, and was just debating which ones to use. I will Hele on down to Napa and buy them out!
 

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Thanks! I will have to have a shop do the job as I have no way to get the car up, have no real tools around and I'm in the dirt, stones and cacti.

What do you think about that weight/dampener just hanging off the front diff?
Have the boys at the U joint shop bolt the buggah back on!
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #9
Right!
I can spin a wrench and have an adjustable one in my travel bag.

Is that dampener supposed to be hanging down below the front axle?

Any idea where I can find a picture of where I should hang it? Where it hangs reduces the whole car's clearance to about 7 inches...
 

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Oh heck, just remove it and deal with it when you get back home. It's not required in any way shape or form.

As far as the gravel and cacti I think you are looking at this in all the wrong ways. A well placed cactus should be seen as an incentive, not a deterrent. :mrgreen:
 

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Hey, Toad,
As you mention this.....Just what in the heck are those steel doughnuts ~Supposed~ to accomplish?
I have yet to research them, and have not ever seen them on another 4x4...........Certainly a harmonic dampener of some sort, but which harmonics are they attempting to damp?
They do look really important hanging under there, and I am certainly proud to own such a fine pair, but Whattha?
 

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Don't do it... They are flimsy quality and don't last very well... unless you want to do them again down the road in a year. The Precision part is actually heavier duty than the original LR parts and have nice thick rubber boots. The AutoZone nad OReilly parts have very thin boots that degrade far too quickly and then allow road grime etc into the needle bearings.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Absolutely! Cheap parts are not a bargain! For 10 bucks apiece, go with RRTH's suggestion! He is the UJ authority around here!
Labor to have to re do them will cost a bunch more than the additional parts cost !
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #15
So today, I'm driving to town to get an estimate on the labor for all 4 PRECISION Universal Joints replacement as you experts have all recommended, doing all 4. BUT as I put the car into Drive, there was another CLUNK and put the car back into Park. It rolled forward down hill! Put the handbrake on and killed the motor...
The forward and of the FRONT DRIVE SHAFT was hanging down, nearly on the asphalt!
AAA, my long lost best friends here in TAOS now, got the car up and we looked up at the rear of the front differential and agreed the Adapter fitting attached to the front differential that holds the rear facing yoke to the Front differential had come apart at one side of the Universal Joint receivers.
Luckily, it appears to be a very simple and small part that can be replaced by loosening 4 bolts/nuts and fitting a new one on.
The mechanic I was going to use has asked me to get the parts, so I wonder if you all would be so kind as to let me know what that broken fitting of mine is called so I can order it?
I have found exploded diagrams of the front differential, not including the adapter, and exploded diagrams of the front prop drive shaft, not showing the fitting. Ayiiiiii!!!
And I am intellectually interested to also know: why can't I drive the car with the front prop / drive shaft disconnected? That strikes me as strange?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Front Diff to front of forward driveshaft part.jpg Maybe I'm lucky and all I need to do is to press the remnants of the old Universal Joints out of this adapter/connecting fitting and it's not broken?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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We told you you UJs where shot, now you know what happens when you ignore the problem. That isn't an adapter, it is the end of the propshaft. If the car will still roll with the front prop removed and the parking brake on, then you also have a problem in the rear axle, probably a broken half shaft. If it were not for that, you would be able to drive it with the front prop removed but if the drive from the rear propshaft isn't doing anything, then you can't. I would suspect the rear halfshaft has been broken for some time putting all the strain of the drive onto the front prop causing it to let go in such a spectacular fashion. Running it in front wheel drive as it appears you have , you'll probably also find it's caused the viscous coupling to seize too.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I see... No it won't roll with the parking brake on, putting it on stops it from rolling. I've ordered 4 Precision U Joints and a big grease gun! Thanks.
 

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Glad you have it sorted!
The P-38 gods were smiling on you when they killed off the front u joint at very slow speed. Truly a cautionary tale not to be ignored!:shock:
Of course, this will make "Mister U joints" even harder to deal with now he has been proven right....yet again.........
After I read this through the first time I got the gun, got under both mine, and greased all U joints!
Remember: "Toadhall says: Grease early, and grease often!" Truer words were never spoken!
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #20
Front of front prop shaft 98 P38 HSE 265,000 miles.jpg I have received one Precision P344 U joint and was so excited, I had to jack the car up and try to break free some of the bolts holding on the front prop shaft after it sheared off at the front end.
Found a dunked and dented oil pan and the front end of the shaft, now removed, is photographed here. It looks like I will need to order the front prop shaft fitting here. And in the USA, where is that baby available? I will try British Atlantic and the local junk yards, or would you all recommend I return the U Joints and just buy a new / reconditioned prop shaft?
Thanks.
 
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