Front and Rear Suspension Geometry and Alignment

HauptRenate

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Mar 14, 2010
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Hi y'all
Being pretty much a novice in all things technical, relating to 80 series, I was just wondering how one would go about doing the above? i.e. aligning both front and rear suspensions.
I take it this basically means adjusting shocks' and coils' position and maybe replacing a couple or three of bushes?
Also, does anyone know what the "manufacturers specifications" of older 80 series cruisers relates too? Are there any 'precise' measurements that I need to be aware of?
Cheers
Renate
 

Ryan Thomson

Well-Known Member
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May 15, 2010
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AFAIK you cannot adjust the suspension geometery/alignment on the 80's, as there is no provision for adjustment of the coils, shocks or Radius Arms. What exactly seems to be the problem? Why do you feel you need to adjust your suspension geometry?

You can adjust your wheel alignment, is your vehicle pulling to the one side? Are you experiencing Vibrations at all? If so at what speed?

I think if you list symptoms that you are experiencing then it would be easier to diagnose.

Cheers
Ryan
 

HauptRenate

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Mar 14, 2010
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Well, I was just checking some strategically placed reading material at my local kwikFit (yeah, yeah, I know) Ryan, whilst waiting for them to finish the front wheel balancing this morning.
Process of elimination - still trying to work out why I have the vibes (shimmys as people tend to call them), through ma steering column.
AND suspension seems to be lower on the drivers side by a few mm (about 22 mm).
Nup, not pulling to the side yet, although I feel it might do so soon enough, will just unsieze the calipers like I did before, since I can't afford a new passenger front side one... (both front calipers last replaced in 2003)
Vibrations seem to be worse in 3rd at between 28 and 39 mph.
So just trying to work out what the vibes might signify, that's all.
Its probably not rocket science, probably a gearbox issue, so something I'm willing to sort out myself with the guidance of a raft of landcruiser heads to 'train' me to 'fix ma Beast...'
Cheers
Renate
 
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Ryan Thomson

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May 15, 2010
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Hey Renate,

How old are your springs? I see you have an OME HD lift. Strange that your driverside is lower. Has it always been like that or is this something that has recently developed? Did you measure on completely level ground? Where did you take your measurements from? For suspension heigh it is best to measure from the top of your tyre to the underside of your wheel arch, not from the ground up.

The only reason i can think of that may cause that, is that the springs are getting old and starting to sag. Though it would be very odd for only one side to sag or sag more than the other side. You don't think that the incorrect springs could have been installed when the OME lift was fitted? If you had Heavy Duty on one side and lighter rated springs on the other side this could cause something like that. Though i would have thought the handling characteristics would be a bit off.

As far as the transmission vibes, do they get worst if you go faster than 40mph? What condition is your steering damper in? You could also get vibrations through your steering if the steering damper is shot. Doubt it is the gearbox, they seem to let you know when they are not happy.

Done any offroading recently? Dried mud on the inside of your rims can throw your wheel balance out?
 

Dave Docwra

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2010
1,591
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Enfield
Were the springs fittted to the right side?

Measure from the centre of the hub cap to the lower edge of the wing,

Check steering damper & UJ's on prop shaft's & wheel bearings including swivel housing bearings.
 

chriscolleman

Well-Known Member
Sep 7, 2010
284
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Belgium
As an 80 has the suspension set-up of an overeducated tractor it isn't that hard to get things wright.

All you need is a decent length of string, a bungee, a ruler and a tape measure. I've got some sailingcord, doesn't stretch.

You simply wrap the string around your vehicle wheels at the center of the hub.
Attach the bungee between the rear wheels and you've got your own very unsoffisticated alignment tool.

Now the measuring can start.
Check left to right if the wheelbase is ok.
Check to see if the axles are nice and parallel.
Check toe.

Oh and do NOT, I say again DO not trust one balancing place to get your wheels balanced right the first time around. Their machines goes out of calibration and cost money to get recalibrated.
I've got 2 sets of 285/75R16 tyres running as smooth as glass, only took me 3 tyre places to get them ok ;)
 

HauptRenate

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Mar 14, 2010
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All the springs and coils were done at the same time Locrep, back in 2001 or 2002 when I asked to have the lift, the shocks and heavy duty coils fitted; they may well be getting old and sagging. I do feel though that it migh tbe time to replace them, they don't give such a smooth ride as they used to, mind you I guess its to be expected since I used to do loads of off-roading back in the early days (I've had the 80 since 2000)
I did a bit of the Lincomb Farm woods again this year Ryan, last weekend, like I always do, no difference to anything before or after.
Steering damper, yep I guess it could be this - I had a another steering column fitted after the break in back in April, and maybe I'd always had the vibes but only noticed it recently within the last 3 months or so.
Measuring was on level ground.
The difference in height between drivers and passenger side has been like this for about, er, 2003 or 2004 I believe, maybe even earlier, probably first appeared in about 2002 when I got back from a major stint in the Sahara.
No, I did think initially Locrep that the vibes got worse after 50 mph, I remember I said on the forum that I thought they got worse after 50 but on driving it around now, it seems not to be the case.
No idea Ryan what state the steering damper is in...perhaps its time I looked... the currrent steering column is from an 'L' reg 80, but the steering damper I don't know; I guess if it comes as a single unit bundle of bits than it will be the same age as the column?
Cheers
Renate
Actually, I forgot to add: the slopeyness is worse when viewed from the back so maybe the shock or coil under the rear driver's side wheel...
 

HauptRenate

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Mar 14, 2010
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Hi
I was thinking about the wheel balancing chris, there is another place in Bristol that I used to regulalrly use - I'll give them a ring to arrange to get the wheel balancing done again.
What speed is the best speed to run the vehicle at when checking to see how it feels with a new wheel balancing? I just got the front ones done today.
If its motorway speeds then I'll check when I drive up the M5 again on Tuesday.
Cheers
Renate
 

Mark Whiteside

Active Member
Mar 26, 2010
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from memory when i did your colmun
your front tyres were shouldered off quite bad
i would check your wheel bearings 1st and your swivel housing bearings if all ok
then i would swap your wheels front to back and then get the tracking checked
 

chriscolleman

Well-Known Member
Sep 7, 2010
284
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Belgium
When a tire or wheel is out of round you'll get the hop when driving in second gear on most vehicles.

If it's wheel balance that is off, you'll start to notice at about 90 km/h. Sometimes it disappears again above 120km/h.
Weird thing is when gone offroading you'll often feel less unbalance, because the mud tends to stay attched in the wheel where it counteracts the unbalance. Like those dynamic balancing beads.
As stated before check anything for play.
 

HauptRenate

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Mar 14, 2010
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Yes they are a bit Mark... :( (this is what made me think about their alignment) I'd changed them all around last year so they would be okay for the MOT but fully expected they'd also be a fail point, but they weren't. I guess I should change them around again soon.
Motorway speeds then, Chris, fine, I'll floor it and see what happens (if I'm not stopped by the bright boys in blue for speeding) on Tuesday.
Speeding to Lincomb and back I did not register any stronger shimmys than usual in 'D', 2nd was okay at Lincomb, 3rd was a little more vibrey but not excessively so, and just by about 27-ish to 35-ish before changing up to 'D'
Actually, I might take the beast to another wheel balancer tomorrow or saturday in the interim.
I did however, receive a cautionary VT32 'Advisory' notice on tyre wear in 2009, and 2008 the issue with the condition of the coils raised its head, so yep, I guess it'll all be solved when I've put new ones of both coils and shocks on... The shocks look in reasonable condition though, and I'll attend to recommendations made by you guys - no harm in trying any combination.
Er - by the way, what are 'swivel housing bearings'? Are those the bearings that go inside the CVs? Told you, I haven't a clue...
Cheers
Renate
 

Paul

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I am in england
Mar 1, 2010
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Couple of things you can try or check.

If your rear tyres are ok then put those tyres on the front to see if steering improves.
You might need a steering box adjust to help improve the freeplay.
Have a check of your propshaft UJ's as these can be a source of vibration.

HTH
 

Andrew Prince

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Feb 23, 2010
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Joburg, sunny South Africa
HauptRenate said:
Er - by the way, what are 'swivel housing bearings'? Are those the bearings that go inside the CVs?
They're the little bearings at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock in the swivel housing as you look at the hub. AKA kingpin or trunnion bearings. They do seem to wear fairly quickly - if some of these are collapsing, I would think you might get some of the symptoms you're describing ;)
They're pretty cheap to replace but require a full strip down of the hub to remove the CV. If you decide to go in there, you may as well do a substantial service (replace inner axle oil seal, regrease CVs if they're in ok shape, check the wheelbearings, check drive flange, thrust washers etc).

Cheers,
 

HauptRenate

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Mar 14, 2010
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Hi
Both front CV's were completely stripped and replaced in 2004 Andrew; I got them from Dana Motors in USA (MUD 80), had them shipped over than did the deed - I wasn't entirely happy with my attempt but it seemed to have worked for 6 years...
OOOH ARGH! please, I don't want to do the front CVs again!
Cheers
Renate
 

Andrew Prince

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2010
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How many miles since they were done (i.e. since 2004)? You don't have to separate the CVs and half shaft but you will need to pull them out to replace the swivel/trunnion bearings. If your inner axle oil seals have gone, then the diff oil will have diluted the grease in the CVs and they will be wearing fast...
What do the back of your swivels look like? Very wet/oily or bone dry and rusty are not good - the former means the diff oil is diluting the CV grease and its draining via the wiper seals, the latter means that the former has probably taken place and your CVs are running dry!

Maybe check the front diff oil level as an indicative test - easy to do as the filler cap is on the front of the diff (looking from front of truck). Stick your finger in the filler hole and if you can touch the oil surface, then the level probably isn't too bad. If not, the oil has gone somewhere and you need to at least top up your diff oil! Better still would be to drain and refill the diff, then you can see the condition of the oil - if it's thick and sludgy, then you know where some of the CV grease has gone and you need to sort the swivels out soon. Filling the diff and not replacing the inner axle oil seal will mean the diff oil will be heading back into the swivels/CVs, so it's not a solution, just a stop-gap to stop the diff dying (mucho $$$)!

My guess is new swivel bearings and inner oil seals for both sides will be around £50, maybe less - so a sound investment to keep everything working as it should be and avoid replacing CVs (assuming they are still ok) or the diff. And who knows, it may solve your vibration problem :idea: Although I suspect that this problem may be more related to the bushes being worn but it's all a process of elimination!

Cheers,
 

HauptRenate

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Mar 14, 2010
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Hi, you've lost me andrew, have you got pictures of swivel bearings and swivel housings? or if not can you paste a link so I know where to look for pictures of them?

Oftimes the beast has been either SORNed or not driven for weeks on end and up to three months at a time. Recorded mileage was 131,000 in 2004, 142,000 miles in 2005 and has now 158,500 give a take three hundred, and I don't off-road that often these days. But I will check diff fluid level and condition if I can get the damn thing opened to have a feel inside, as its pretty seized tight shut at the mo. I know the last time it was refilled was in October 2008 I believe.

A stupid question, can I attack the filler cap without having to jack the vehicle up? The reaon being is that I haven't the stamina or the strength to jack up the car, and my back cops it everytime followed by my wrists and the rest of my skeleton, meaning I'm crippled for a long time afterwards. Same with taking off the wheels and doing the interior examinations of the CVs etc.

I know I've got all these things I want to do on the car myself due to severe financial contraints but I'm just beginning to wonder now, whether I've been making some pretty stupid and irresponsible decisions about my future with l'beast, and whether I can hack it at all. My greatest fear is that its all going to get too much for me, and that I will abandon everything half way through, because I simply can't manage it any more.

Regards
Renate
 

Andrew Prince

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2010
2,232
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38
Joburg, sunny South Africa
HauptRenate said:
Hi, you've lost me andrew, have you got pictures of swivel bearings and swivel housings? or if not can you paste a link so I know where to look for pictures of them
This is a good place to start - lots of info and pics ;)
I'll try and repost some of the relevant pics when I have time.

HauptRenate said:
A stupid question, can I attack the filler cap without having to jack the vehicle up?
Yes, very easy - look at the diff from the front and you will see the filler cap (24mm). You can remove it with the truck as it stands, no need for jacking up or removing anything heavy!
 

HauptRenate

Member
Mar 14, 2010
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Hi
I checked 80sMud group, as I remembered I used to be a member, but couldn't log on as I'd forgotten me login details..., but as it was, I saw some postings there, old postings that seemed to bear some resemblance to what my limited understanding was with regards to stuff like swivel bearings and housings, and saw some kits too and I began to remember the bits I replaced when I did the front.
I do have a number of bearings and spare gaskets anyway as I didn't need to replace them then. I also remembered how difficult and awkward it was doing them...as I'm still a novice and will be so until the day I die.
So I'll nip out and under the truck after lunch and see what state the fluid is in, I just needed to replace the half shafts and a couple of seals in 2004 and som eother bits and pieces -- another stupid question, how long do the OE CVs and bits last on an 80? I know Greg broke two CVs at Lincomb.
Renate
 
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