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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Vehicle was converted to shocks/springs. Whenever I hit a bump the steering wheel gets bad shakes like it is turning left and right. I had the stock 16's on there and it did it then, switched to the 19's with the hubcentric rings and it is still doing it. I haven't had an alignment done, but this is definitely more suspension related than a simple need for alignment. I got under the vehicle and didn't see anything that was cause for concern. Been reading the death wobble and other threads but wanted to revisit. Any ideas as to where I should start?? And how can I test the steering damper?

Looking at prices and other threads is seems panhard rod bushings and radius arm bushings would be the first to replace after steering damper? I don't want to start throwing parts at it, but I am not very familiar with the intricacies of the suspension components...

Thanks guys,
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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2,032 Posts
probably needs:

*steering dampner
*new shocks
*lower tire pressure

out of curiosity, does it have the Atlantic British spring and shock conversion. Because those springs are very harsh. and the Bilstien shocks are not very good with the combo.

the problem with going to a larger wheel with a smaller side wall tire is, you are going to feel every bump. tires are also part of the suspension and absorb bumps in the road.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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16 Posts
I have a new-to-me HSE that came with the newer 19" wheels and I get a steering shake at times too. I don't know if they have the hub ring or not. I haven't bothered to check as I've already picked up a set of 16" wheels to put some new A/T tires on.
 

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159 Posts
I had same problem. I read all the "death wobble" threads. replaced the bushes (which were shot through) - same. replaced dampers - cured it.
rgeards
Paul C
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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165 Posts
I have seen worn ball joints cause his problem.The wheel back spacing is critical on this vehicle. Are the 19's Rover wheels.The toe setting is also critical,however it seldom changes unless parts are worn or have been replaced without proper adjustment.My first inspection would be the ball joints.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you gentlemen for your responses.

I need to go look and see who makes the conversion as I have never really paid attention to it. Yes, the wheels are the 03-05 OEM wheels.

I will check the ball joints. As for the damper, is there a way to test it? I understand I could compress it, but what will that really tell me? Thanks again folks,
 

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27,834 Posts
Something to remember is that replacing a steering damper only masks other issues, it does not solve the issue. If you have shot bushings, worn ball joints, a failing tie rod end etc those worn items don;t magically fix themselves by putting on a damper. It's rather like when you have an exhaust leak or sqeek that is driving you up the wall. Turning up the radio doesn;t fic the problem, you just don;t notice it as much.

If you are not familiar with suspension and steering components take it to a local indie and have them give it a detailed inspection to provide a checklist of their recommendations.
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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2,032 Posts
I'd go through the ball joints too. Just thought of that. And the other steering components. its usually pretty apparent whats wrong if you jack up the front end into the air (both wheels off the ground) and start pushing and pulling on the wheels. if there is slop in the steering you will feel it. If you can wobble the top and bottom of the wheel in and out, your ball joints may need a refresh.
 

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1998 Range Rover P38A
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74 Posts
When I had this problem, I started with the least expensive items and worked my way down, so to speak over a period of several months. My RR came with the later 19 inch wheels that you have and that those will make it more sensitive to worn suspension parts. The steering damper looked like it had just been replaced, so I moved on the next item. First were the hub rings to center the wheels (completely missing), simply putting those on helped a bit. Next, new tires (they were pretty beat up), this also helped a lot, but did not make the problem go away. I installed new Bilstien shocks since the original shocks looked worn too. I did have an indy take a look and they were very helpful and offered some good advice, but could not point to any specific item without taking things apart since nothing seemed too worn on the lift. They were somewhat hesitant to want to change the ball joints, which I suspected all along. They also suggested I visit a good quality alignment shop and see what they have to say. Alignment shop said they could not align anything until I replaced the front and rear tie rod assemblies as they had too much wear on them. So I ordered those, replaced and I noticed another considerable incremental improvement, but the problem still did not go away. I was completely feed up at this point and finally installed new ball joints. Problem solved! It's perfect now and feels like a new Rover. What's weird is, I could not tell at all with the truck on jack stands that the ball joints needed to be replaced, yet when I removed them is was obvious they were completely destroyed. I spend some money doing all this, but it was clear it needed to be done. My RR has 108K on it now, it's the time when a lot of them just need this stuff replaced.
 

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It's pretty hard to replicate 2.5 tons at speed, which is often why ball joints are missed, wheel balancing is another crucial item.
 
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