79 series steering shudder FIXED

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 08:47
ThreadID: 104605 Views:8671 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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I've read all the articles on 70 series landcruiser steering shudder both from here and the US and relating to many different makes and models. There was little really valuable information and no firm fix was suggested. I went to two mechanics who both inspected the ute and could not find a problem. The shake had magnified over the past 6 month to a stage where it now shook the phine from its cradle and knocked material from the uverhead shelf. When the shake occurrs I could see the front wheels wobbling about 20mm from side to side.

Yesterday I purchased four tie rod ends from Don Kyatt, fitted them, took about 2.5 hours, set the toe-in at 2.5mm with stringlines and test drove the ute. It drove perfectly for about 60km over a variety of roads - problem solved for me.

My ute is a 1999 model 1HZ 79 series non turbo.
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Reply By: Life Member - Fred B (ex-NT) - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 09:21

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 09:21
Sounds like you have done a great job there. Would love to hear how you get in the longer term.
Fred B
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AnswerID: 519242

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 09:24

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 09:24
It suggests one of three solutions.

Either the steering alignment was out, the ball joints needed replacing or a combination of both.

Had you checked the steering alignment at any time before replacing the tie rods ends.?

Great outcome either way.

This was a common problem with the Falcons for a while. Its main cause was the slider on the disc caliper seizing due to dust not allowing the caliper to centre when the brakes were applied. I used to regrease the sliders and problem solved. Only found it after I replaced a set of discs and still had the problem after a short while.

Cheers, Bruce.
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AnswerID: 519243

Reply By: Ross M - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 11:17

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 11:17
The steering alignment won't cause it to shudder/shake as mentioned.
Since there only toe it/out adjustable you can have it too far toe in or out and al you will notice is tyre wear as it doesn't induce instability as many believe.
All persons who "checked" the vehicle failed to find worn ball joints which is very sad to hear.
Ball joints are spring loaded and unless you place them under some sort of load/force to check movement, you won't find any. Obvious the mechanics didn't try.

If you have wider offset rims than std, that will place dynamic loads and forces on steering components and that situation often manifests itself as wobble when all is not well. The dynamics forces of bumps and wheel action often checks the steering for you and if wobble occurs it is telling you there is something wrong.
The fact it had become worse means the slack which can't be found is getting worse.
Smart devices these steering systems, they talk to people and them to feel and listen.

Steering dampers can hide this slack sometimes, if they are working.

Far too much caster will cause shopping trolley wheel syndrome but unless the vehicle has been altered then that is unlikely.
AnswerID: 519254

Follow Up By: Loosehead Prop - Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 10:24

Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 10:24
Thanks for the reply Ross, you are correct, the ball joints were well worn, particularly the rear set which are not adjustable, The front joints had visible wear and galling when I dismantled the units after removal. I had adjusted these before replacement to try to remove the slack.

Before taking the ute to the mechanics I had looked for slack and signs of wear and tried to induce movement with a wrecking bar however no wear or movement was visible.
FollowupID: 799356

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 09:11

Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 09:11
Had a HJ60 wagon once that had the steering problems you mention, real scarey shakes at only 60 clicks. Friend did as Ross suggested, to test ball joints, and the play was very evident. He then re-adjusted both joints, and no more problem. Have seen a lot of wear on the ball, in the joint too, causing excess play. As a temporary fix, brazed the worn areas, until we got new parts.

Another thing that will cause shake or shimmy, is worn king pin bearings. The rollers wear grooves into the cups, and as the grooves get deeper, the rollers drop in and out of these grooves, causing a shimmy in steering, at straight ahead position. Was really noticeable in the pre-power steering models.


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Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 519303

Follow Up By: Loosehead Prop - Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 10:27

Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 10:27
Thanks for the reply Bob. As I replied to Ross, the worst wear was in the rear bar which has non adjustable ball joints. Once removed I could feel the play by hand. There was no pre-load in the joint.
FollowupID: 799357

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