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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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Discussion Starter #1
Read many threads and need to ask. While I had my rig on a lift doing some maintanence I figured I'd check ball joints and tie rods. When I grab the tire and try to wiggle it left to right there is play on both front wheels. It's not like something loose though. More like I can move the wheel very slightly but it feels like its under pressure, almost as if the play is coming from the steering box. Is this normal on our rigs? I do have the front end clunking at low speeds when turning and attributed it to work sway bar bushings though not sure now. I only have 28k on the clock. Thanks for any help!
 

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2013-2015 Range Rover Sport
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480 Posts
At my state inspection last week, told I have the same problem: early ball joint wear. Apparently it is easier to replace the whole Lower Control arm than just the ball joints.
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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5,175 Posts
Your steering tie rod ball joints should not feel loose. But I doubt that's what's causing the clunk + its usually easy to tell if they're bad, and if you can't figure it out the alignment shop will because it will be difficult to get the alignment in spec.

As far as the lower control arms go, yes, just replace the whole piece. I'm not even sure you can get separate ball joints and bushings from LR, unless you want to do the work and source your own ball joints from Moog or someone.

The repair sequence for clunks seems to be:
1. Swaybar frame bushings
2. LCA --you may as well do the steering tie rod ball joints if they're loose b/c you need an alignment afterwards
3. UCA
 

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Armogida,

I had the same thing happen to me, I had the car car lifted up for oil change and the mechanic and I started diagnosing the suspension parts and realized the same thing, the mechanic said its normal with these rigs and me being a smart ass actually didn't believe him and replaced the whole tie rod assembly left and right ! It turned out to be the tie rods were as good as new and had nothing to do with it. Most of the time it's from the steering rack which even the 2010 and newer models I have test drove have the same play in the steering with a knocking noise as well.
Just FYI :
I have installed new LCA , front bushing, sway bar bushing and links, tie rods. The noise is still heard.

Just thought I would save you some time and $!
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you to all and especially this-thanks Joey! That's what I suspected but wanted to see if anyone has the same experience. Saved me a load of time and $!

Armogida,

I had the same thing happen to me, I had the car car lifted up for oil change and the mechanic and I started diagnosing the suspension parts and realized the same thing, the mechanic said its normal with these rigs and me being a smart ass actually didn't believe him and replaced the whole tie rod assembly left and right ! It turned out to be the tie rods were as good as new and had nothing to do with it. Most of the time it's from the steering rack which even the 2010 and newer models I have test drove have the same play in the steering with a knocking noise as well.
Just FYI :
I have installed new LCA , front bushing, sway bar bushing and links, tie rods. The noise is still heard.

Just thought I would save you some time and $!
 

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2013-2015 Range Rover Sport
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480 Posts
that is comforting news.

Goose: my dealer says they replace the ball joints (couple hundred cheaper that the LCA), but they make up the difference in tons more labor cutting the rivets to separate the ball joint from the arm -- bottom line, better all around to replace the LCAs which is what LRNA suggests if the issue is still under warranty.
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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Armogida,

Just FYI :
I have installed new LCA , front bushing, sway bar bushing and links, tie rods. The noise is still heard.
Really? You might consider polys then. I replaced my swaybar bushings with ploys from http://www.polybush.co.uk/ and they are nice and quite / clunk free.
 

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Seomike I believe the noise we are diagnosing Is slightly different to the clunk that is caused by the bushings, ( correct me if I'm wrong) the noise we hear is when the car is parked and you try moving the tires left and right you hear a knocking noise, sounds exactly like shot tie rod ends , but its just the steering rack design, I drove a 2011 model with only 9000 miles and I would play with the steering and it made the same exact noise my car had. I do not know why they don't fix this issue , it's been going on for years on their vehicles!
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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Joey,
The steering rack should not be knocking in any vehicle--if it does the mounts may be bad. IDK what goes on noisewise with the DR with the clunking so what I'm about to say applies to the non-DR and the tie rods in general:

Have you had both the inner and outer tie rod replaced/checked or just the outer? Neither of which should be knocking or popping. The inner tie rod ball joint (3280 in the diagram below) is covered by a boot and often gets overlooked when checking the outer tie rod ends. If you have a popping, or snapping when turning the wheel --like when turning and going up or down the entrance of a steep driveway or small curb, then I would suspect the inner might need to be changed. It used to be that these were metal on metal ball joints and greaseable, but then mfgrs realized nobody greased them. They now have a nongreasable plastic bushing in them which just plain wears out after a while.

That said, for most street cars that don't go offroading they should last ~100K before the steering starts getting noticeably more sloppy and clunky. I replaced a set on my Toyota at 150K and they should have been changed 40K ago, but I just waited until they drove me crazy.

QJB500070-MC.jpg
 
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