Another area on the 90/110
front axles that is problematic for Land Rover Owners, is the location
and strength of the steering linkage. ie: the drag link tube and the track rod.
They get banged around,
damaged while four wheeling. In some cases, they get so damaged, that your
unable to drive the vehicle. Immediate road side repairs are required. ( How many of you know the
truth about this ? )
an article in Land Rover World, Sept. 1997, that is about DIY, beefing up your
rods. Its an easy DIY project, once completed , your steering rods will be indestructible.
Its a simple case of putting a sleeve
over your steering rods, of 30mm x 3mm square tubing. I did
cut my square tubing one cm short of the cut slots ( both ends ) on the original steering rods. In the drag link
sleeve, I drilled 3 holes equally spaced apart. In the track rod sleeve, I drilled 5 holes equally
spaced apart. These holes, I used for puddle welding the sleeves and the rods together. Don't forget
to grind back any paint that is on the rods where the holes line up.
Next I welded up the ends of
the sleeves and this was tricky. The author of the article warns the reader
to take their time welding up the ends , or the tubing will shrink and you won't be able to fit the tie rod ends.
It took me over an hour to weld the ends ( weld - coffee break......) and still the tie rod ends were stiff
to turn in. I cleaned out the treads, copper greased them well and that made a world of difference.
On my original track rod,
there was a fixing for the steering stabilizer. I wanted to have this back
the Land Rover, so, I carefully removed it from the track rod . I was able to trim it so that it looked
like a 90 degree angle opening, which allowed it to be welded on a corner of the sleeve. Before I did the
previous welding, I did carefully measure the placement of the steering stabilizers placement. No
problems encountered here.
To the right, you can see
the before and after pictures. The weight and strength of the new steering rods
are considerably better than original. This is a conversion/upgrade that I recommend to everybody !
Another thing on my list of upgrades
was the steering wheel itself. The original steering wheel is
uncomfortable as hell, during long drives. I did not want a generic steering wheel on my Land Rover,
because I think that they look out of place. Some research was required ( thanks to LRE Forum ) , I was
able to find that the 90/110 two spoke ( soft feel ) steering wheel is a direct bolt on to the series 3
steering column. I would have preferred the 4 spoke steering wheel, but they don't fit. I managed to
pick one up in England for just £ 20 plus shipping. Looks like it belongs there, doesn't it ?
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