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'03 Disco SE
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573 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After replacing my ball joints a couple of weeks back, I decided to root around the suspension of the truck to see if I couldn't find any other blatant issues that were contributing to my vague steering and road noise. If your handling is off, it very likely could be the bushings.

I used a pry bar to put tension on the panhard rod, radius arms, and watts linkage to see if I could induce any play in them. Below are my findings.

The Aftermath:



1. Panhard Rod - Bushings are soft and have a lot of play thanks to ps fluid dripping on them.

2. Front Radius Arms - These bushings weren't too bad - but they're coming out anyway

3. Rear Radius Arms - More wiggle than the fronts and some visibly torn bushings. Pulled them out.

4. Watts Linkage - Utterly destroyed. A huge amount of play in every direction. I could move everything by hand, so imagine how much movement a 5000lb truck could force.

No special tools or experience are required to pull the components. Just make sure you stabilize the axles with ratchet straps or chains to prevent them rotating when the radius arms are removed.

When your bushings are worn, every steering input will first take up the slack in the bushings, and only then will your car begin to steer. If you have a truck that's slow to respond to steering inputs and you find yourself constantly making steering corrections on the highway, look into bushings.

Removing the bushings was easy (provided you have a press ;)).

The plastic-sleeve bushings (radius-to-axle, outer watts) popped right out but the metal sleeve bushings (panhard, inner watts, radius-to-chassis) needed some more pressure. Pressing out all 17 bushings took me about 2 hours.

I'll be replacing the bushings with urethane units. The yellow (BritPart?) kit from Rovers North to be specific.



The reviews on them seem pretty split, but I figured with the cost and ease of replacement it was worth a shot. I know I've **** on urethane bushings in the past, but my car is no longer a daily driver so I think I can get away with the harsher ride. If I hate them, I'll go back to OEM.

I'll write back with results after I get my truck back on the road.
 

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'03 Disco SE
Joined
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573 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@Dane! - I do have a TF lift so I thought about a rear-panhard setup, but most of the wheeling we do down in Florida is essentially mudding so extra articulation would probably be wasted. Also it's a minimum hour long drive on the highway to get to any trails so I'm trying to preserve the road manners as much as I can.

@gurunutkins - I'll definitely update the post when I put them in. Back in the day I put a full Energy Suspension kit on a Civic and the ride was pretty jarring, but I imagine the weight of a D2 will help to dampen things a bit. I'm willing to trade a bit of comfort for more stable steering. I think the bushings will do well in the radius arms, but they're probably too stiff for the panhard and watts as those components need flex that the urethane can't provide. Worst case I'll go back to stock.

Still waiting on any word from Rovers North as to when the bushings will ship, so far it's all quiet. In the meantime I'm working on building my own adjustable panhard.
 

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certified idiot
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694 Posts
@gurunutkins - I'll definitely update the post when I put them in. Back in the day I put a full Energy Suspension kit on a Civic and the ride was pretty jarring, but I imagine the weight of a D2 will help to dampen things a bit. I'm willing to trade a bit of comfort for more stable steering. I think the bushings will do well in the radius arms, but they're probably too stiff for the panhard and watts as those components need flex that the urethane can't provide. Worst case I'll go back to stock.
Thanks - had the same problem with other cars so want to see if the Landy responds well to them? might be tempted if the ride isnt too harsh :)
 
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