Drag link Ln106 Hilux 1995

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 15, 2020 at 12:06
ThreadID: 140376 Views:9637 Replies:3 FollowUps:4
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Hi Everyone, my 96 Ln106 has 2” lift found too much play in stock draglink so changed internals of drag link & did up with no play then off 1 full turn & 1/3 which seemed heaps and a lot of free movement . Did all of this on stands and didn’t like the way it to drove ,In a rush I didn’t jack it up again tighten up again not on stands and wheels straight though , I’m worried that I’ve done them the end screw on both up too tight but drives better not soo loose and steering wheel now not straight, shall I just leave it and get a wheel alignment and let the pro fix steering wheel once I change bushes & shocks ? Should there bit a bit of play in link and is it dangerous.Thx Wally
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Reply By: RMD - Saturday, Aug 15, 2020 at 12:40

Saturday, Aug 15, 2020 at 12:40
First of all you should disconnect the steering arm ball joint and then turn steering from one side to other of the actual steering box to find the centre position of turns of wheel ( stick and tape it in position) and see if it is where the linkage ball joints wants to be too. If not, adjust drag link to match the steering centre position with wheels in know straight position of course. Then you know it is correct. The ball joint balls themselves wear oval and after a while, you may have to have some slight slack in the adjustment when driving straight ahead so the ball joint doesn't begin to bind as the joint rotates on the ball when steering. If it doesn't self centre it can be the joints too tight or there is insufficient caster angle of the swivel hub bearings. the caster can be checked with a digital level Fore/AFT on a suitable flat area "square " to the steering axis. Unless you have caster correction in the swivel hubs you cannot adjust the caster, but is must be near correct. Apart from that, the only thing to do as far as alignment is to set the toe in after all other adjustments and allowances have been made. All very simple really.

PS, a thin section "O" ring between the screw and the Ball cup in the joint will provide a slight cushioning and remove the floaty feel but be almost tight and therefore proper steering control but allow for oval shaped ball. Some systems had a wave spring ring in there for the same reason.

Just reread the post. If your vehicle has 2" lift, most likely that will have more than halved the caster angle for OE specs and unless you have correction wedges in the spring pads to lean the steering axis back a bit it will be floaty, undecided, vague to steer. Where correct adjustment of ball joints may be ok feel with some joint wear, the lack of caster and subsequent loss of self centreing of steering will make it dangerous.
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Aug 16, 2020 at 08:04

Sunday, Aug 16, 2020 at 08:04
After reading your post several times, & RMD’s response, I would take it to an expert. Pedders might be a good place to start.


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Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Aug 16, 2020 at 08:40

Sunday, Aug 16, 2020 at 08:40
Why is that? There is not much amiss with his unit and it only needs some adjustments. If he understands the concepts he can fix it just as well as Pedders can. Anyone can replace parts, which is what Pedders can /will do because they find faults which aren't even there. That is from knowing many people experiences where Pedders found faults with system which had been returned to excellent condition and taken to them for assessment. I would never trust them.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Aug 16, 2020 at 10:07

Sunday, Aug 16, 2020 at 10:07

Reason for taking it to an “expert”, is that after all parts have been replaced etc, it still needs an alignment, and this is best done with the appropriate alignment “machine”. Yes, you can do it using strings and tape measures, but alignment machines would be easier. Pedders was an example, any reputable suspension mechanic should also be able to do the job. There are “good and bad” tradesmen in any occupation.


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Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Aug 16, 2020 at 12:49

Sunday, Aug 16, 2020 at 12:49
Any mechanic with basic training and understanding should be easily able to rectify the issues. I see Wally as asking for some guidance and he probably wants to learn about it too. Taking it to a business doesn't ensure it is rectified and sometimes makes it worse. Yes , I agree there are plenty of mechanics who have less than desirable abilities and understanding. No whizz bang aligner is required to set or read the simple front end involved here. Waste of time because it probably would need tweaking afterwards anyway. If someone understands the concepts they can then allow for it and make appropriate adjustments. A business will see any worn but serviceable parts as requiring replacement with new at great cost, happens daily. I have set my own wheel alignment for decades and some caravans too and see professional ones wear tyres alarmingly, but they are in specs of course, a digital brain said so, who can argue? The mechanic doesn't question it and out it goes.
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Reply By: Wallysworld - Monday, Aug 17, 2020 at 17:42

Monday, Aug 17, 2020 at 17:42
Thanks Macca & RMD , RMD is right just wanted some guidance , I did replace draglink internals springs , spacers and took to Pedders @ Richmond , they did a wheel alignment, fluffed around didn’t take out any slack in in steering I told them I did draglink and they charged $88 for alignment. I believe they don’t know old cars , they didn’t adjust draglink , didn’t try steering box adjustment screw , and just got the steering slightly straight. After be disappointed by them I tighten the ends of draglink up two turns , and checked the steering box by slightly tightening the adjustment( on jackstands) so full lock wasn’t too tight as I know in the middle of steering would be worn but not on full lock . I think I didn’t a better job ! Steers much nicer and direct but not locking. But back to the wheel is slightly down left now again. I now will replace bushes and put new shocks in which hopefully improve handling again. I know pedders would have at least hopefully did camber and front alignment.After all that I might try what you suggested RMD if not just put up with the off position steering as car tracks on road fine.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Aug 17, 2020 at 23:17

Monday, Aug 17, 2020 at 23:17
I believe they don't know many concepts, cars systems especially. No Bull.
It is easy to see if they fitted Wedges to correct camber by work done on front U bolts and there is suddenly shims in there. If dirt still there no caster done. They would cost some $$$$$'s anyway, Plus $$$$'s for fitting, so it seems they didn't do the caster at all. They didn't fit caster/camber correction kit to the swivel hub bearings either, much bigger job and more than they could handle, so nothing done on the Camber issue if not already correct. That ONLY leaves the toe in to be done, which can almost be done blindfold and requires little gear. If tyres were not scrubbing on inside or outside then it didn't require any adjustment. $88 for an alignment is standard cost but easy easy easy money as they didn't have to do much if anything.
Unless you remove the drag link ball joint, ie, apart, and determine the centre of steering box position first, and with wheels in the normal running straight position, adjust the Drag link to where the ball joint taper now is and can slip into the steering arm of box. Then all should be centralized and steering wheel straight. Pedders didn't do that either. So really, NO ALIGNMENT was done. Toe in/out adjustment is a part of wheel alignment but simple simple to do. The is no way they tested it on road and at speed to check if the dynamics of anything they may have done, is as it should be.
In straight ahead position - With one straight edge/ straight RHS tube across the face of the wheels to a metre in front and rear of wheel faces and measuring with a tape measure for the toe in amount. Should be almost nothing. Adjust tie rod if needed. If steering position alters, drag link adjusted appropriately.
Most of them, if not all are not mechanics. My local Pedders only had one person who was qualified.

PS. The steering box adjustment has to be done with wheels UP or even better, drag link off, so a fine adjustment can be done in relation to binding if excessive wear is present. Steering boxes are specially made with the sector teeth "centre high" so that area can wear in central area, be adjustable, and not bind up when turning to lock either side. Aussie vehicles always will tend to get tight when turning left if adjustment for excessive wear exceeds the OE design limits of adjustment. After adjustment make sure you test any steering movement fully, before road testing.

I hope they didn't get the steering wheel straight by taking it off and relocating it on the splines. Extremely Shonky if so. If no drag link adjustment by them, then how did they get the steering wheel better??????? Impossible.
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