Thinking out loud - steering...


Well-known member
This is the Perentie...rhd with P/'s the 4-bolt LR box and the Isuzu pump.

Drove it for a year with no issues and have been very happy.

On the way back to Iowa last Sept from the Solihull rally in Moab and I began to notice some extra play in the steering wheel to the ground connection.

Wasn't much of an issue in town, but un-nerving on the highway.

Put it away for the winter and guess what, it didn't fix itself.

I've looked at wheel bearings / swivel tension / all the rod ends and all look good.

Did replace the track rod bushings...they weren't too bad but the fasteners were totally inappropriate and non-matching!?

Lift the front tires off the ground and there's 10-15 degrees of play in the wheel...not terrible by my estimation.

Drives like there's no caster...hey, maybe that's it....bushing deterioration????

Any contradictory thoughts before I order up some radius arm bushings???

Ah, and now the OE or poly debate... ???



Well-known member
When everything is correct the only play should come from the tire deflection. It should be very small at the steering wheel. With the wheel off the ground, there should be basically no play.

- Steering shaft u-joints.
- Steering box freeplay (adjustable).
- Tie rod ends (four).
- Panhard rod bushings including that the bolts are very tight.
- Swivel pin preload.
- Hub bearing preload.

The best way to properly check is to have someone sit in the ca and move the steering back and forth. Go to each item and put you hand across the two things. It is easy to feel when there is relative movement.

Radius arm bushings should not affect this. They are simple to check by looking at them.


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Does this setup have four tie rod ends or three tie rod ends and a single drop arm ball joint? Either way check them all


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Same as out '97 ... the drop arm doohicky on the steering box end and regular ball joints at the other three locations.

The tie rod is sleeved and ~1" OD though, that's different ;)



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Mine is doing the same thing... i think it's the steering box. but will check the wheel bearing play, and its time to do the ball joints anyway..


You can also start from the steering wheel and work your way to the suspension. My steering shaft u-joint (as Red90 listed) just past the firewall, was the culprit.


Well-known member
Grrrr...after finding no play in any of the u-joints / drop arm joint I had a look at the steering box.

Terrifically complex - 3 step - process needed to adjust the box itself, and I find that the play cannot be adjusted out.

Raise the on stands...remove drag link from pitman arm..."centralise" the steering wheel...adjust the box...nope :(

Even with the adjustment screw all the way tight there's still a good eighth of an inch in play at the drop arm.

So, it looks like I'm in the market for a replacement 4-bolt RHD steering box.

A-googling I will go :)


Well-known member
I went superpro on everything and I think they are great, I know there are various opinions of Poly but once I had to remove OEM bushings I never looked back, superpro also seemed far superior to everything else on the market in terms of fit and design.

FWIW I had a stubborn steering issue recently and it was actually the panhard rod mounting bolts causing the rack to shake, this is after I went and replaced:

- Steering shaft u-joints (mine were definitely worn)
- Tie rod ends (four).
- Panhard rod bushings

I also found that my steering shaft was installed upside down which probably added a considerable amount of wear to the little u-joints.

Not saying its your issue but its worth checking all other steering issues since it could be a cause vs an effect (of the bad steering box)