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busrider
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Discussion Starter #1
Has anybody experienced lower control arm bushing wear to the point of replacement? I have an '05 LR3 with 70k miles on it. The right front suspension makes a an audible knocking sound if you quickly jab the brake pedal but not to the level of a panic stop. The knock can also be felt through the steering wheel. I suspected a tie rod end but upon further inspection found that the rear lower control arm bushing on the R.F. suspension seems to be the culprit (excessive give/play). I'm curious to hear if this is a fairly common wear item for the LR3. I recently bought the car used. A close inspection of the vehicles underside revealed zero off-road abuse, in fact I don't think this vehicle ever did more than go to the grocery store and back with an occasional trip in the snow. 70k miles in my mind is not high mileage and from my experiences the upper control arm bushings wear out first, not the lower, when these type of bushings do wear out.
Thank you
 

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I have the same issue. My 06 is at 50,000 miles and I can feel all sorts of feedback through my steering wheel, especially when it is in access mode such as going into a low parking garage.

I took it to the dealership about 3 weeks ago and they said they felt it also and told me some bushings and/or joints were drying out so they lubed them up. Seemed to mask the problem a little bit but it's going back in about 2 weeks to actually fix the problem.
 

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busrider
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Discussion Starter #3
I plan to replace the lower control arm bushings in the coming week. I'll photograph the worst bushings and post them here. While I can't speak for the degree degradation of the bushings in your vehicle, I can tell you that my LR3's handling is severely affected by this problem. Also, lubricating rubber bushings is a bad idea. Petroleum products only hasten rubbers deterioration in this application (read control arm bushings, not ball joints).
 

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I plan to replace the lower control arm bushings in the coming week. I'll photograph the worst bushings and post them here. While I can't speak for the degree degradation of the bushings in your vehicle, I can tell you that my LR3's handling is severely affected by this problem. Also, lubricating rubber bushings is a bad idea. Petroleum products only hasten rubbers deterioration in this application (read control arm bushings, not ball joints).
I knew that they were supposed to be maintenance free but thats what they told me they did. I have an extended warranty on it so im sure they just did something to try and make me go away in hopes I wouldnt come back until the warranty was up
 

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I'm experiencing the same symptoms. I get an audible knock at low speeds over slightly uneven terrain. Sometimes the smoothest streets are the worst. I dont experience the knock under sharp breaking and my steering is still tight. I trolled the forums and found that most recommended replacing the Anti Roll Bar bushings as a solution. I jumped in and did the work today (60 bucks and 2 hrs work). This didnt solve the problem. Is the lower control arm the next culprit?
 

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busrider
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Discussion Starter #6
Front suspension knock repaired

I am one happy LR3 owner now that I figured out the cause of the front suspension knocking sound and then took the necessary actions to remedy it. The Lower Control bushings were the culprit. They only had 70k miles on them but they were literally ripped. Needless to say that it was impossible for the suspension to retain proper geometry at this point. The pictures I had intended to upload of these worn out bushings are too large at present - stay tuned. Long story short, if you experience or observe the following and your vehicle's mileage is similar or greater than mine then I would be extremely suspect of the same bushings:

* Knocking felt and heard over speed bumps or the like.
* Cupping on both front tires (inner and outer tread ribs)
* Pulling left or right under aggressive braking.
* Very poor tracking on rutted hard top road surfaces.
* Vague on-center steering feel.

I replaced both control arms myself with new units for $255/ea. These new arms came with both bushings installed plus the ball joint (NOTE - strongly suggest you do not try to save money by hammering out the old bushings to replace and then re-use the original arms. It will be a day out your life you will never get back!). The four wheel alignment afterward was $250. Once I had the vehicle jacked up and placed on stands the repair took less than two hours. Interestingly while I was at the my LR dealer buying the new arms, I was able to chat with one of the techs about my issue. He confided in me that this is a typical problem with Rovers that spend most of their time as a "grocery getter," running from one stop light to the next. He confirmed that the torquing effect constant braking places on those bushings is detrimental to their life span.

If your LR3 suffers from some of the symptoms that mine did then I strongly encourage you to investigate further. Chances are high that you'll make the same repair as I did.
 

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Photos

I am experiancing exactly the same thing, it used to be just the right side, now both sides sound like they need taking care of.

I would like to see the photos, [email protected] is my personal e-mail, throw them my way would ya please.
 

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Is it worth replacing the upper control arm at the same time, they are only $80 a piece, if it is all coming out to replace the lowers at $225 a throw, would it be a good idea to replace both upper & lower together?
 

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I have been experiencing these same problems for a while now, particularly under light braking or when i jab the brakes quickly, and the same knock over bumps and rough road, so im suspecting the bushings to be the problem. What all bushings usually need to be replaced, if i am replacing one in the front should i just replace them all? I was planning on either doing this myself but more than likely getting my local mechanic to do the work? Is this install something that any mechanic could do and what all parts should i order as i plan on purchasing the parts myself.
 

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I plan on swapping the lower arms myself, soon. Can anyone that has done this job themselves tell me if you have to have all of the specialty tools recommended for the job, or is it reasonable to do it without some or all of them.
 

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I am one happy LR3 owner now that I figured out the cause of the front suspension knocking sound and then took the necessary actions to remedy it. The Lower Control bushings were the culprit. They only had 70k miles on them but they were literally ripped. Needless to say that it was impossible for the suspension to retain proper geometry at this point. The pictures I had intended to upload of these worn out bushings are too large at present - stay tuned. Long story short, if you experience or observe the following and your vehicle's mileage is similar or greater than mine then I would be extremely suspect of the same bushings:

* Knocking felt and heard over speed bumps or the like.
* Cupping on both front tires (inner and outer tread ribs)
* Pulling left or right under aggressive braking.
* Very poor tracking on rutted hard top road surfaces.
* Vague on-center steering feel.

I replaced both control arms myself with new units for $255/ea. These new arms came with both bushings installed plus the ball joint (NOTE - strongly suggest you do not try to save money by hammering out the old bushings to replace and then re-use the original arms. It will be a day out your life you will never get back!). The four wheel alignment afterward was $250. Once I had the vehicle jacked up and placed on stands the repair took less than two hours. Interestingly while I was at the my LR dealer buying the new arms, I was able to chat with one of the techs about my issue. He confided in me that this is a typical problem with Rovers that spend most of their time as a "grocery getter," running from one stop light to the next. He confirmed that the torquing effect constant braking places on those bushings is detrimental to their life span.

If your LR3 suffers from some of the symptoms that mine did then I strongly encourage you to investigate further. Chances are high that you'll make the same repair as I did.
I'm experiencing the same issues mentioned above, but the tires are too new to notice any strange wear. Will also replace my control arms....
 

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I'm having the same problem as well.

Any recommendations for a How To for the noob mechanic?

Is there any value in replacing the bushings first? or do you always need the entire arm assembly?
 

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There is no reason to replace the entire arm. You do need a press but if you don't have one most independent garages/machine shops will do it for you for a few $. I see a business opportunity for refurbished control arms soon with wholesale replacement of the entire arm.

As mentioned and seen with all the "me two's" this is a very common fault with the LR3.
I believe you can get poly bushings for the Disco/LR3 now....perhaps they would last longer? They would certainly be easier to install.
 

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'97 D1 SE, '05 LR3
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Does anyone have a diagram of the control arms and the attachment points? Or a photo? I'm not familiar with the steering/suspension on the LR3 (i miss my D1).
I'm getting the same knock on small abrupt bumps...and now under hard braking a fairly intense wobble in the steering wheel and rapid knocking....dunka dunka dunka...how hazardous is this if it fails while driving at highway speeds?
thanks
 

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All lr3 and rrs will make this noise at one point in there life. IF you ever look at where the control mounts to the subframe you will see where the play is causing this noise. 90 percent of the cars out there its just the bigger of the 2 rubber bushings and like another guy said they can be pressed out but. But it was my car and i was haveing to do the work i am buying the new arms.
 

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Just some insight to the bushings.
easy way to diagnose, move vehicle slowly, apply the brakes abruptly. Wheel movement for and aft is the noticeable wear in the bushing.
Just my $0.02, but the overall cost of the arm in comparison to paying someone to press a bushing in and out. Better off buying the complete arm, especially due to the ball joints as they are a common issue on these trucks as well.
If you live in an area where roads are salted in winter, you should also pick up the hardware as the rear bolt you'll likely be cutting out.
Hope this is helpful
 

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Changed my Low arm LS & RS a month ago following same synthoms described here. Changing the bushings and re-using the arm is a no -no.. its also adviceable to change both sides at the same time even if the synthom is from one of the sides. For me, the clunking sound on un-even surfaces and roads was accompanied by wobling of the right tire. wobling turned out to be as a result of a faulty right hand bearing which was changed as well.
 

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'97 D1 SE, '05 LR3
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64 Posts
Any suggestions for best place to purchase new control arms? Can't find them
For less than 235$
 

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I am suspecting bushings on my control arms as well, as the ball joints look ok, and so do the sway bar links. It looks like the only way to be sure is to take out the lower control arms to inspect the bushings.

Long shot here: any other way to know it's the control arm bushings, and if yes upper or lower, before actually removing them?
 
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