1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

MihiT
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1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby MihiT » Mon May 23, 2016 10:32 am

As title, My Saf has developed headshake, occurring randomly between 60-100 km/h, happens whether tracking straight or turning, accelerating or braking. Lasts anywhere up to 10 seconds then disappears. Usually only on the first drive of the day.
Bushes were done by previous owner, so are not old.
Steering damper?

And my clunk - sounds like front right. Occurs when turning left (so the weight is on the FR) Sounds similar to CV but is not constant, just clunk-clunk then quiet.

Obviously I need to jack it up and jiggle things, but are there any likely culprits from this vintage/model?
- 1990 LWB Safari flatdeck, TD42 -

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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby curly12 » Mon May 23, 2016 1:23 pm

Panhard rod bushes, they may look fine but they need bugger all wear to sart shaking. Upgrade to a heavy duty one while you are at it, Should last another 25 years........
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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby muddy » Mon May 23, 2016 6:26 pm

Could be a crack in the chassis - have a good look around the panhard and steering box mounts

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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby slidenyo » Tue May 24, 2016 8:23 am

The clunk in mine was a body mount that had compressed more than the crush tube . Tony Differ at speedy lube diagnosed that one for me
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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby MihiT » Thu May 26, 2016 2:04 pm

Well, thanks for the suggestions, but it doesn't APPEAR to be any of the above.

On getting under it the only thing I could wriggle with a prybar was the drivers' side shock. Infact even with the suspension loaded I could move it by hand and the rubber mounts looked like sh*t.

So, I got new shocks fitted today and it's quietened the clunk down a bit and the shake didn't happen on my drive home.

As to a cracked chassis (yikes!) I couldn't SEE anything, welds all look good, everything has a nice unbroken layer of gravel dust on it...

Any other diagnostic I can do? or should I thrash it around for a week then take it back to the shop?
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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby MihiT » Thu May 26, 2016 2:39 pm

As to the panhard bushes - as said they were all (radius arms, pannys) replaced by P.O. with red ones, so I'm assuming Nolathane, and I can't detect any play in them at all.

Now, the shocks were OEM, so I'm assuming the damper is too.
In terms of my options: $250 gets me a stock-ish replacement (I don't think I need a return-to-centre?)
Is there any advantage to tripling the cost and replace/upgrading tie rods & panhard at the same time?
This is by no means a "serious" offroader compared to you guys but I am not kind to crap gear, so...
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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby churchill » Fri May 27, 2016 11:29 pm

King pin bearings?

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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby MihiT » Sat May 28, 2016 7:52 am

churchill wrote:King pin bearings?

I am thinking about just overhauling them, they will probably be original. Is there an easy test for 'em?
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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby mudtroll » Sat May 28, 2016 9:27 am

9 out 10 times this problem will be caused by panhard bushes, even if they look & feel ok I've changed them & it fixed the problem. Pull your panhard off get some genuine Nissan bushes pressed in & it should sort it out.

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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby Suza » Sat May 28, 2016 9:48 am

Will be your bushes, what ever you do put rubber ones in nolathane shit lasts less than 6months I have found and then you are back at the start

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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby muddy » Sat May 28, 2016 11:20 am

A lot of things can cause the "death wobble" but panhard bushes are the most common culprit. But it's often a combination of relatively little wear in a number of components with a cumulative effect. Other areas to check - wheel balance, wheel bearings, kingpins (removing a shim can tighten them up) tie rod ends, drag link ends, radius arm bushes (especially if you have caster correction bushes which slog out really quick), also the chassis end of the radius arms.

The "clunk" noise is unlikely any of the above. Cracked chassis at the steering box is a known Safari problem, and would also contribute to the wobbles. Most trucks have a reinforcement bracket fitted, but even with that given the age of the trucks and the abuse they receive, there is huge stress on the chassis from both steering forces and the panhard so it's worth a pretty good inspection. Excessive play in the steering box could also be factor - easily tightened up by the adjustment bolt on top of the box. Body mounts or shock bushes could cause the clunk but not the wobbles.

Best way to check components for wear is to get someone to work the steering pretty vigorously while you look for any movement in all the above

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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby MihiT » Sat May 28, 2016 11:27 am

Appreciate all the feedback/ideas guys, I'll check it all out when I'm back home. I assume 4wdbits is the good business to get bushes from?
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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby Clint » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:14 am

Some top advice above.

Another couple of things to check that can cause or contribute to a wobble are a bent wheel rim or a distorted tyre.

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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby MihiT » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:53 pm

I should update, that since doing the shocks it's basically cured it. I will still be doing all the bits mentioned, just as a matter of preventative mainteance.

Tyres, I will start a new thread. They're 90% dead and I want to put some muddier ones on, so the balance/alignment will wait until then.
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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby DieselBoy » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:28 pm

With wheel shimmy, which is what you describe, the very 1st place to look every times is ALWAYS the panhard rod bushes.

Especially if they are horrible red nolathane bushes.

Pull those out and burn them. Go to Nissan and get genuine rubber bushes that will last another 150,000km and 30 years with out any drama.

It only takes a tiny tiny amount of play in those panhard bushes to get wheel shimmy going and make it almost undriveable
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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby MihiT » Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:12 pm

Okay so I am finally getting around to ordering bushes, going to do panhards front and rear. Easy.

But the p/o also put nolathane in the radius arms, so I want to swap it out, but I am noobie when it comes to this.

Do I just need new bushes? (4 of?)
http://www.4wdbits.co.nz/ProductDetails ... uctID=3578

and/or do I need these spacers?
http://www.4wdbits.co.nz/ProductDetails ... uctID=4039


The existing nolathane looks more like those spacers, I believe they're
Image
(http://www.nolathane.com.au/product_det ... 50&sq=8453)

Anyone???
- 1990 LWB Safari flatdeck, TD42 -

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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby MihiT » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:41 am

Aha! $500 worth of bushes under it and the wobble is gone.
I will post a more full writeup later, but the ones that were most severely worn were the leading arm to chassis ones, with quite a bit of pitting on the shaft. But there was a bit of play in at least one of the panhards once it was out of the socket.
My mate that helped out reckons the nolathanes would have been allright, if they had been installed with grease, they were all dry as a bone.
One problem down, now all the clunks are more obvious, but less severe.
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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby MihiT » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:53 am

I also notice when driving that it still feels like it wants to start the wobble, so I think theres a wheel balance/ alignment thing happening, they're next on the list, but at an eye watering $2700.
The steering damper is poked, and taken a few hits as well, so that will have to be done.

Is there a reason/ preference for pin to pin or eye to eye? (or eye to pin) I probably have a couple of old shocks laying around that would fit but they'll be mix n match fittings.
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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby MihiT » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:49 pm

OK. Since I found precious little when searching for this (and the haynes manual is next-to-useless), It's pretty straight forward, but hopefully I can help the next guy looking. Thanks obviously to anyone who chipped in diagnosing the issue.

What I did: Swap out panhard rod bushes (front and rear); Swap out leading arm bushes (radius arm) - front, rear and chassis. My tractor (1990 Nissan Safari, TD42)

What I had: ring spanners, 1/2" socket set, (particularly M22 and M24) 20t bottle jack with two roughly-immovable parallel surfaces (aka bush-mechanic's press), 4" bench vice, ball joint separator, torque wrench and haynes torque specs. Miscellany hand tools: hammer, punches, impact driver, breaker bars, levers, screw drivers, files etc
18 box of beer.

What I would have next time: cylinder hone, anti seize, new split pin for tie-rod castle nut, vehicle hoist, the swedish women's volleyball team and a thai masseuse


The process:
Rear Panhard
- Undo nut on stud at diff end (22mm?)
- Undo bolt at chassis end (spanner + socket)
- Remove old bushes (6" bearing puller)
- Clean bores (wire brush, file, emery paper - this is where a light hone would have been good)
- Fit new bushes (dishwashing liquid, bench vice and bearing puller)
- Refit to vehicle - bolt end first, nip it up without crushing the bracket into it. swing on a lever/have your mate scrum the car to line up the stud, fit and tighten (115 ft lb?), torque bolt end to (130ft-lb?),


Front panard
As for rear, adding:
- Disconnect steering damper (M12 spanner and vice grips for pin-to-pin version) before removing rod.


Leading Arms:
- Jack up the front/ take the weight of the diff
- Undo tie rod at driver side and swing out of the way
- Crack off/remove front, rear and chassis nuts leaving bolts in place
- Remove rear chassis bush too
- Drift out bolts, using jacks, levers etc to avoid stripping the threads.
- Lower front of arm and pull toward front of vehicle
- Press out old bushes (In my case these were two-piece nolathane, so drift out the metal sleeve and pry out the red bits. OEM/rubbers would be the usual process)
- Clean the bores and the chassis-end shaft (hone, emery tape)
- Fit new bushes - these were TIGHT. oil as lube, press,
The arms have a chamfered edge on one side to lead in to the bore which can help starting the bushes in.
- Roughly centre the bushes on the vertical axis

Refitting the reverse of removal, torqued to 120ftlbs(?) at the front, 95(?) at the chassis and 40(?) for the tie rod end.

As I said, pretty basic. I would (/will) undo it all again and anti-seize the threads, then torque em, then re-torque em. I would also have liked to clean up the bores and shafts more than I did, the leading arms had some heavy pitting on the chassis-end shaft and a decent glaze on the front bores (mostly dealt to with a file and P80 sanding belt.)
As a note I found the passenger side looser than the driver side in terms of undoing bolts, and the shaft more heavily worn, whether this is previous mechanics or the nature of the vehicle? whether it matters? I don't know.


Took 3 - 4 hours and I had three beers left at the end.
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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby Big » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:16 pm

did that stop your problem ?

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Re: 1990 Safari Death Wobble, and a Clunk.

Postby MihiT » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:58 am

Big wrote:did that stop your problem ?

It has certainly improved it a hell of a lot, the wobble is gone.
I still have to track down all the clunks.
- 1990 LWB Safari flatdeck, TD42 -

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