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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The truck is a 2004 Discovery G4 with 82k miles with a 2" lift with RTE front/rear bumpers and sliders (i.e. heavier than stock).

I've seen other threads that seem to have at a minimum some fault codes in the mix of the issue. No codes being thrown currently or in the recent past (since replacing the hubs 2 years ago). My issue is simply a steering wheel shake at speed when turning SLIGHTLY left or right. Both hubs have less than 1k miles, the CVs have about 5k, the front shaft about 5k, rear shaft is original, new engine mounts about 5k ago. The truck is used exclusively to wheel here in Telluride Colorado, so its use is almost always off road and in some hairy terrain. The BFGs show signs of the trail but have about 40% left.

The issues manifests itself when driving at about 40-50 mph with the slightest left or right turn to track with bends in the road. when the turning is sharper than that (i.e. cornering), the steering shake is less. As the play only occurs between a state of dead straight and cornering, I suspect that the soft turn left/right is exposing some play somewhere (i.e. no pressure when going straight and enough to tension the play when cornering.

The damper has about 10k on it. I guess that could be it as I just replaced same on my RRC and the death wobble with that unit went completely away but this is not death wobble. Not sure the bushings have ever been replaced and as Im the 3rd owner of this 2004 Discovery G4, it may be time for that service. I have the Watts linkage parts as I think that is overdue.

So, in short, I'm suspecting suspension bushings.

Thoughts or similar experiences?

Thanks for the help.
 

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I had similar on my 2000 and found the ball joint to be slightly worn. Replacing the ball joints corrected mine. I would expect oversized tires would exaggerate the feeling
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
did you mean the ball joints on the steering knuckle? or the ones the drag link or track rod? I did notice the rubber boots on the bottom of the steering knuckle joints are cracked and look past due.
 

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did you mean the ball joints on the steering knuckle? or the ones the drag link or track rod? I did notice the rubber boots on the bottom of the steering knuckle joints are cracked and look past due.
Yeah the ball joints on the knuckles are shot. Once you replace those with new genuine equipment it will handle like a dream. It's a job, but the reward is tremendous. If you have a large impact hammer, high-capacity air tank and assortment of bits you can bang the old ones out and the new ones right back in with relative ease. Should you go the manual route with a universal ball-joint kit expect to spend 2 days on it. You will also need a set of axle seals. Remove the ABS sensor but leave the hubs attached. There are 4 small bolts to remove from the inside of the hub and just slide the whole shaft out with the hub attached. Keep track of that washer/spacer with the ABS sensor. Check your tie rod ends while you are at it and you are set. Don't go cheap on this item. It's something you will want to do only once. BTW cracked grease cup/boot is almost always an indicator of faulty B-J. If you press your weight into the top of your tire you can usually feel/hear a click or pop. Do both top and bottoms. The top BJ hardly ever goes bad but using the traditional kit requires removal of the top BJ to remove and install the lower one.
While driving, a worn ball joint will show the effects like you are experiencing. I first noticed it when going over the same railroad tracks to work everyday. It reached a point where the steering wheel in my hands felt somewhat disconnected to what I was feeling within the rest of the truck in my seat, if you get what I mean. Like the wheels were doing their own thing compared to what I felt when I ran over a decent bump.
LoL... Same route about a week after I replaced my ball joints, I was at a stop light and this truck comes thru the x-section to get on the highway and his front PS tire and wheel come off and veer over into traffic while he tries controlling his new 3-wheeler and guiding it into the ditch. I thought "damn brah, you shoulda replaced those ball joints a long time ago. Good thing it happened right then and not 30 seconds later when you were doing 70 MpH on the highway!" Sheesh.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok Chubbs878, I think you are spot on. I did some more research last night and whether its the main issue or not, I need to get it done soon. Theres a youtube post that goes through the hard way (which unfortunately I'll have to take). It tracks as you suggest with leaving the hub on; however, i don't believe it addressed axel seals, so I'll add that to the mix. I'll go ahead and get all new joints for the tie rod ends as well (do they need to be genuine as well?). glad I didn't get to discover their failure the hard way. I'll report back in a week or so after the work is done as I'm simultaneously doing a new radiator/timing cover job (chain/gear/etc). thanks for the detailed guidance.
 

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Ok Chubbs878, I think you are spot on. I did some more research last night and whether its the main issue or not, I need to get it done soon. Theres a youtube post that goes through the hard way (which unfortunately I'll have to take). It tracks as you suggest with leaving the hub on; however, i don't believe it addressed axel seals, so I'll add that to the mix. I'll go ahead and get all new joints for the tie rod ends as well (do they need to be genuine as well?). glad I didn't get to discover their failure the hard way. I'll report back in a week or so after the work is done as I'm simultaneously doing a new radiator/timing cover job (chain/gear/etc). thanks for the detailed guidance.
A member from LRFs loaned me his universal kit; I think it's the same one that Autozone or Oreillys loans out. Like I was saying, if you use the universal type, you must remove the upper BJ first so that the clamp can be correctly oriented for the lower one. The knuckle itself is set at an angle (castor/camber?) on the axle-ends and the clamp must protrude through the top BJ eyelet/mount to then press the lower BJ out, new in. Top 1 first, then the bottom one. Order them as a set along with axle seals, do them in that order, don't lose the ABS sensor washer when you remove the sensor, and you will be good as well as save yourself a lot of time and trouble. When you remove the half shaft from the tube I guess it "breaks the seal" and will never set back properly and begin leaking. Odds are that the leak goes unnoticed and your front diff fails if you do not routinely check the fluid level and state of the hubs/brakes. The tie rod ends are not as important... You can use whatever but don't select the cheapest unit in any event. You get what you pay for. RovahFarm has LR genuine BJs for $18 each. I paid like $30 each for some OEM @ NAPA. Oh well. Tie rod ends are under
$15.

I have some Land Rover tools for sale if anyone is interested. Pinion-flange tool as specified in the workshop manual and a custom 36mm fan clutch spanner. They are .25-inch steel and the real deal. Let me know directly or pass the info along if you come across anyone that may be in need. They make life easier.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/tls/5607816934.html
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Done. Finally. While the focus was on the ball joints, I decided to replace all of the suspension parts: new track rod and drag link (as I found you cannot replace ball joints on one side of both), new Watts bushings (5), front and rear radius bushings (12), anti-roll bar links (2 front, 2 back), anti-roll bar bushings (2 front, 2 back), and of course the ball joints (4).

As a preamble to all of the work, I think my shaking issue when turning at speed was related to a loose or shot drag link ball joint. Probably could have just done that but the other items would need addressing soon.

Purchased Astro 7897 ball joint set but had to machine two pieces for proper use on the ball joints on the. The lower ball joints were shot (boot dry and no stability in the joint). I doused the in place joints with PB blaster to sit over night in the hopes that would help. Removing the joints required lots of torque via a long bar. Its important to keep the C clamp screw as lubricated as possible. Eventually, they came out. The lower ball joints (do these first) press in using the stock items in the Astro kit, but the top required machining both lower "cup" and top press to get the proper fit.

I also purchased a 12 ton press which worked easily on the Watts bushes. However, I found that its critical to have the proper press tubes/jigs to push out the radius arm bushings. Trying to use different sockets just did not provide the proper seating to properly push out. Took it to my local guy who used only a 10 ton press but with the proper press tubes and had no issue in pushing out and replacing (he did freeze the new bushes overnight to aid in pressing in). It's important to note I used a lot of PB blaster and let it sit on all of the bolts to be removed overnight.

The anti-sway links were tedious to remove as they required holding the bolt while removing the nut (I'm sure the proper tool makes this a breeze).

Straps were essential in keeping and or aligning the parts when reassembling all (watts and radius arms).

One concern in replacing the knuckle ball joints was having to remove the ABS sensor on both wheels as I find those are the MOST finicky of all parts on this Rover. sure enough the driver side was either about to fail or failed when I removed it (there was a tear in the rubber near the hub end), so I'll need to get another.

Results: no more shaking when turning, no more rear end crunching (watts), and a little more supple overall (as most of the radius bushings were hard and had cracks).

Bit of a big job for the novice like myself but well worth it.

Took the truck over the famous Black Bear pass (and steps) in Telluride for its shakedown cruise. Other than a rear end rattle (that I've for years not been able to identify [think it may be one of the TF shocks failing]), it worked fantastic. As Disco G4s are getting long in the tooth, I think I have one of the better ones still around and hope to keep it that way.

Thanks to all who provided guidance.
 

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You really did an overhaul. That's a handful, apologize for not specifying the steering rods. I just replaced mine as a set/assembly shortly after commenting on this post. I ended up having to replace my DS lower ball-joint again in less than a year. It took me over a week as I had to source a new spindle. I had the truck up, hub/axle pulled and ball joints pressed out within an hour one Sunday afternoon, as I noticed my steering/suspension deteriorating at a steady pace where I found almost-new low-BJ boot busted already. Anyway, fashioned my custom pusher and catcher cup, new genuine BJ pressed in and came to find that the spindle had absolutely no movement as I began to tighten-up the nuts. I even removed the bottom tension collet (per RAVE) cleaned that up and tried putting the spindle back on with varying degrees of torque at the collet but made no difference. I searched the web and found several threads posted on the same issue. All of these folks resorted to using the max torque allowable at which the spindle could still be rotated, which I must say is not much and foolishly inappropriate. I deduced that the bore within the spindle knuckles was out of spec, allowing it to be pulled up too high on the ball joint tapers, and may have began to manifest itself before my first repair given the circumstances. I went the extra-mile on this one, contacting reputable repair shops and dealers all over the nation, including JE Robison and not one of them suggested replacing the spindle itself. The guy at Robison said if it were his problem, he would replace the entire axle assembly as in the housing/driveshafts/hubs/spindles from a donor vehicle. He's used to servicing the wealthy I'm sure, so I didn't laugh out loud. He said that it was impossible for the bore in the spindle to wear, due to metallurgy but in my experience I will have to disagree. I just want people to be aware of this so that they don't decide to use 35 ft-lb of torque on a unit that calls for 100 ft-lb because he didn't know what else to do.
 

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Done. Finally. While the focus was on the ball joints, I decided to replace all of the suspension parts: new track rod and drag link (as I found you cannot replace ball joints on one side of both), new Watts bushings (5), front and rear radius bushings (12), anti-roll bar links (2 front, 2 back), anti-roll bar bushings (2 front, 2 back), and of course the ball joints (4).

As a preamble to all of the work, I think my shaking issue when turning at speed was related to a loose or shot drag link ball joint. Probably could have just done that but the other items would need addressing soon.

Purchased Astro 7897 ball joint set but had to machine two pieces for proper use on the ball joints on the. The lower ball joints were shot (boot dry and no stability in the joint). I doused the in place joints with PB blaster to sit over night in the hopes that would help. Removing the joints required lots of torque via a long bar. Its important to keep the C clamp screw as lubricated as possible. Eventually, they came out. The lower ball joints (do these first) press in using the stock items in the Astro kit, but the top required machining both lower "cup" and top press to get the proper fit.

I also purchased a 12 ton press which worked easily on the Watts bushes. However, I found that its critical to have the proper press tubes/jigs to push out the radius arm bushings. Trying to use different sockets just did not provide the proper seating to properly push out. Took it to my local guy who used only a 10 ton press but with the proper press tubes and had no issue in pushing out and replacing (he did freeze the new bushes overnight to aid in pressing in). It's important to note I used a lot of PB blaster and let it sit on all of the bolts to be removed overnight.

The anti-sway links were tedious to remove as they required holding the bolt while removing the nut (I'm sure the proper tool makes this a breeze).

Straps were essential in keeping and or aligning the parts when reassembling all (watts and radius arms).

One concern in replacing the knuckle ball joints was having to remove the ABS sensor on both wheels as I find those are the MOST finicky of all parts on this Rover. sure enough the driver side was either about to fail or failed when I removed it (there was a tear in the rubber near the hub end), so I'll need to get another.

Results: no more shaking when turning, no more rear end crunching (watts), and a little more supple overall (as most of the radius bushings were hard and had cracks).

Bit of a big job for the novice like myself but well worth it.

Took the truck over the famous Black Bear pass (and steps) in Telluride for its shakedown cruise. Other than a rear end rattle (that I've for years not been able to identify [think it may be one of the TF shocks failing]), it worked fantastic. As Disco G4s are getting long in the tooth, I think I have one of the better ones still around and hope to keep it that way.

Thanks to all who provided guidance.
That truck must drive and handle better than brand new. It feels great, huh?!

what is your coolant operating temp? have you checked the frame thoroughly for rust? You should be proactive in applying some type of treatment to repel that. I know the guys espc in the NE have a big problem with that due to salting of the roads in winter season. Now find that rattle ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, rides nicely. With the new radiator, new timing chain gears, new oil pump, even new crank pulley (that put a howitzer hole in the wallet) along with the aforementioned suspension service, all runs perfect except for a high rpm whine in the gearing in first gear (all say that's just the nature of the beast) and this rattle. just did the 140 oil in the transfer but no change to the noise. thought about locking the center diff and removing the front shaft then running to see if the issue may be up front.

the rattle has proved to be a ninja gremlin. only manifests itself with square edge impacts to the rear tires (ie enough to sort of bounce the rear), so very hard to replicate to id unless I'm wheeling and have someone with a stethoscope hanging off the back (not happening). Suspicious of the TF shocks as the rattle arrived just as the OME units were replaced but just cant believe it would be a new shock that failed literally from the go. have taken the RTE bumper and fuel tank protector off to try and find a loose fitting but nothing there as well. the search goes on.

apologies in advance as this reply is taking the OP a little off topic
 
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