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How to adjust the steering play on a Land Rover

So I have had the new Land Rover for a few weeks now, and the first thing I noticed from driving around was the play in the steering box.

The steering wheel moved around 2-3inchs before it started to turn the wheels. The Land Rover steering box has some adjust built into it, so the play can be adjusted to some degree.

Its an easy enough job to do, and here's how I did it.

There's two tools you need for the job:

  • 17mm Spanner
  • Allen key

The size of the spanner/allen key may be different for different Land Rover models.

Adjusting the play in the steering box

The steering box, with the lock nut and adjuster in the middleThe image on the right clearly shows the locknut and allen key adjuster in the middle of the steering box.

UPDATE: Thanks to Trialerfitter who emailed in to say park the Landy on full lock before adjusting. The reason for this is that in the centre where it spends most of its life, it wears at that point. If you adjust it in the centre position and try to turn lock to lock whilst test driving it may not turn and some one may have an accident.

1: Undo the locknut using the spanner. You may need to use the allen key to stop the adjuster turning with the lock nut.

2: Once the locknut is loosened, wind in the adjuster about half a turn, nip up the locknut and have a feel at the steering wheel to see if the play has improved.

Use a spanner to undo the lock nut, and an allen key to adjust the play3: Continue with step two, until there is satisfactory play.

Note: Adjusting the play will involve a bit of trial and error. You do not want to tighten up the adjuster too much, as it will lead to premature wear.

4: Once satisfied with the play (about 2cm at steering wheel) tighten the lock nut, making sure the centre adjuster doesn't turn by using the allen key to hold it in place

Test drive

When you take the Land Rover out for a test drive, you want to check the steering has no tight spots, and that the steering wheel self centres. If there are tight spots, or it doesn't self centre, then adjuster has been tightened to much. Slacken it off a little, or you risk wearing out the steering box internals!

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