|Posted on 4 January, 2015 at 19:00|
The steering set up on the Classic’s is well thought out but has its weak points that are easily improved:
The steering box in the earlier models had bronze bushing in the box. Wear and age catch up with the bushes and sector shaft and therefor start to leak. Lower seals are easier to fit, but if the input seal is leaking it pays to replace the box with the later version, which has needle rollers on the sector shaft and is more reliable.
The pit man arm ball joint can wear and cause severe feedback and play. It was modified in later models to a better design – replacement bits are available to repair this joint.
Then we go to the drag link (pitman arm to left hand front wheel) the tie rod ends wear and can cause play in the primary operation. Replacements are available and they were modified in later models.
The tie rod at the rear of the front differential also has ends and carries the steering damper. If the damper is soft or not working then all sorts of shakes can occur. The best way to deal with this is to replace with a quality damper and add a second damper to the front drag link. Stronger tie rods are available after-market for the off road boys.
The front and rear trailing arms have bushes that do wear and cause steering pull problems; there are modified bushes and heavier arms available to rectify the bush problem and for the off road. The top of the swivel hubs that house the CV joints must have tension on the bearings and are adjustable by shims. A slack swivel can cause steering to shake. Bigger tyres and wider arms cause their own problems with steering and wheel bearings, but can be a help in some off road situations.
If a Rangie is lifted to any major degree, the caster on the front axle can alter dramatically and may have to be rectified by offset bushes or modified arms or swivel hubs.
If a much wider wheel and tyre is used, there can be a problem with the turning circle and the tyre hitting the trailing arm. The setup can be adjusted but the best way is to offset the road wheel to allow the original degree of turning angle.
There are good front differential guards available now to protect the diff casing from damage and to give a skid pan.
You may think that a lot of mods have to be done to make a Rangie go off road – but let me assure you that a stock standard Rangie will out do many much modified monsters and in proper set up form nothing much will touch them for ride, handling and capability.
Dennis R Trigg. O.A.M. J.P. MIAME.