The Steering on a Series 3 consists of quite a few components and if these all start to wear out just a little bit it all adds up to a sloppy experience in the overall steering system. The Land Rover is often criticised for its vague steering and quite often this can be made much better by checking, adjusting and replacing any worn components. My steering was showing some signs of wear including ‘wandering’ when in the straight ahead position and also it was very stiff to turn when cornering.
A strip down revealed a few things. Firstly both ball joints at the ends of the drag link and one at the end of the Track rod had worn out, Secondly the steering relay had virtually seized solid (which was probably why the ball joints had given up) and thirdly the steering box had some excess play in it. So I renewed all the ball joints (3 right hand thread and 3 left hand thread), replaced the steering relay, renewed all the clamps/bolts and gave everything else a good clean up and paint.
The ball joints all came apart fairly easily with a proper ball joint separator, and although I had heard some horror stories regarding the removal of the steering relay it didn’t prove to bad. I removed the two cross bolts and the retaining ring underneath and used a bottle jack on some wood to push the relay upwards out of the chassis. Removal of the track rod ends from the steering tube proved a little more trouble and after copious amounts of heat eventually undone but in doing so the steering tube became slightly twisted so a new one was put on the shopping list.
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