Not enjoying this, ride and steering help

Discussion in 'Mech Tech' started by bezy, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Hi everyone, had our latebay for about 3 years now, there is two issues that I'm finding really troublesome and havemt managed to make them better. We've been to isle of Wight and Devon and all over, I get out after a long drive and think never again! But I love the van so just wish I could make things better......
    Steering, I seem to be drifting a over as I drive, play in the steering although I have replaced joints and steering dampers etc...

    Suspension, when we got the van it was lowered on red 9 design shocks and roller bars. Every time I hit a slight bump in the road it feels like the van is about to fall apart. Even joints where repairs have been made to the road.

    Anyone overcome these things? Anyone feel the same? Any help appreciated.. Mike.
  2. What is your steering box like, that could have play that needs taking out.

    Tyres, what rating?

    Do you have play in the steering idler pin?
  3. Think you've answered your own question re the suspension ;). Take the Red 9 stuff off and go back to nice, supple stock suspension...
  4. Try adjusting the steering box and check the idler pin for clunking, and check the ball joints in the drag link to the steering idler, the steering coupler at the bottom of the column, and generally if the steering box is tightly bolted in or falling out.

    In the end the last slop on mine was worn out bushings in the steering box - not meant to be user- replaceable but it is possible to mill out the old bush and press in a new one - I did it with a screwdriver and a Dremel tool and amazing good luck - I began by FUBARing it then realised it wasnt going to be easy.
    The steps in the bushing are where the bushing wore, then the steering was adjusted, then it wore again ..

    Once everything was renewed, I can overtake trucks with a cross wind and only have to react to a general push rather than the steering suddenly banging to the other end and the bus swerving.

    A temporary and utterly useless fix I discovered by accident was to make the camber on the front wheel one side be zero and the other the correct value. The bus then tries to drive in a big circle all by itself and you have to keep hauling hard on the wheel to go straight. Its tiring and no good for the tyres, but the offset force stops the slop being a problem.
    bezy likes this.
  5. That's what I thought about the red 9 suspension, like the slightly lower look though.

    Could go for torsion leaves and some dropped spindles?

    As for steering box with the van stationery you can turn wheel each way for a short bit without wheels turning.

    Steering box play can be adjusted?
  6. yes the play can be taken out of the steering box. Somewhere on here is a link to the Bentley Manual (in pdf) which has the adjustment method included.
  7. Dubs

    Dubs Sponsor

    All of the above. I usually find play in the idler pin is the most common culprit. It only takes a tiny bit of play there to make it wander, especially if helped by camber and tracking being out, or missing anti roll bars.

    The trouble with dropped spindles is they are a bit too low to fit decent sized tyres under the arches, so you end up fitting smaller car tyres, which then don't handle very well, and give a harder ride... for a mild lowering, I still reckon adjusters are a better idea. At least you can then raise it back up when you have had enough of crap handling.
    snotty likes this.
  8. Your opening paragraph is exactly where I was some months ago. After changing and adjusting all I could think of and some good advice from @mikedjames I was left with only the idler pin which was beyond my ability. Went to T2D who changed the idler pin, re-adjusted the steering box and sorted the tracking correctly on all 4 wheels. The van is transformed and a pleasure to drive again.

    Can't comment about suspension in any detail but our van is slightly lowered with standard size wheels.
  9. Thanks for all the advice from everyone on here. Does any one have a picture of the idler pin? Area....
  10. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Middle of the front beam, you can't miss it.
    bezy and Razzyh like this.
  11. Exactly this
  12. I would do away with the aftermarket suspension stuff if you want a comfortable ride. My bus was extremely comfortable and I loved driving him. The overall feel was great and very comfortable from the original standard set up. I never felt tired driving him.
    I researched modifying my bus (and beetle) with regards to suspension upgrades, I found NO ONE telling me it was a comfier ride. I think the vehicles look great lowered but you sacrifice the ride in doing so. Ps check your steering coupler (rubber disc thing on the steering column), I changed mine and this help the wayward steering greatly.
    bezy and snotty like this.
  13. I think with Red 9 coilovers, the problem will eventually solve itself...

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