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More articulation?

Discussion in 'General Land Rover Forum' started by Rorie, Apr 20, 2016.

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  1. Rorie

    Rorie Active Member

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    disco 200tdi.

    I need to replace the a-frame ball joint. I have read several posts that mention the option of changing the standard with a 'high articulation' version.

    I have a 2" lift and big mud tyres. I am wondering what exactly will become 'more articulated' and whether I would need to perhaps cut up more of the body work to allow the articulation to be reached? Is it only the articulation of the read axle?

    Also, will this make must difference to 'on road' driving? With my mud tyres, she's already all over the place!

    Thanks!
     
  2. 109inches

    109inches Well-Known Member

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    I would imagine you won't see a huge difference just with replacing the ball joint but it should give it an easier time and more longevity as it's designed for more articulation.

    It will only affect the rear. As for handling I don't see why it would make it wander it should be as before. Mud tyres also shouldn't make it be all over the place although it will affect handling especially in the wet, if you're having to fight to keep it in a straight line I'd imagine something isn't right with your steering set up.
     
  3. Rorie

    Rorie Active Member

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    I do not need to put in much effort, but above say 50mph, there is a fair vibration / wobble comes through the steering wheel...

    I am not sure if I should just chuck in a standard one or if the extra articulation will be of any benefit....
     
  4. Paul D

    Paul D Old, nackered 'n broke, but the Landy is fine . :) LZIR Despatch Agent

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    As 109 says ... notalotta difference without doing more to the rest of the suspension. Has it got +2" or more, shocks, or just lifted/extended springs? Has it got standard front radius arms?

    Does it drive correctly with 'normal' tyres on? Are all the steering TRE's in good condition and same for all the suspension bushes?
     
  5. Rorie

    Rorie Active Member

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    Its got 2" lift with extended radius arms, shocks etc....

    I am actually keen to chuck some road tyres on it to make that comparison, but I don't have that ability just yet.

    The bushes are all in good condition. I have a bag of poly bushes that I got with the car so when I find any looking in poor condition, I change them out.
     
  6. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    I mean this in a nice way. But I'd highly suggest reading up on suspension and specifically how the Land Rover suspension work. I'm sorry to say, but some of what you've just said is total nonsense.

    The suspension is an entire system, all the parts of it need to work well together to make the most of it. Changing an A frame joint will not magically make it articulate more. And chances are, most modded and lifted Disco's actually articulate less than standard vehicles.
     
  7. Rorie

    Rorie Active Member

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    I am not sure how you can deem what I have said to be nonsense, as I have been asking questions to allow for understanding, not making factual statements.


    Regardless, it is obvious that I do not understand how the full system works, nor the implications of installing a higher articulation ball joint. That is why I created the thread – to try and gain that knowledge base.


    I am also not suggesting that by changing the ball joint alone will increase articulation. In fact, that too is the whole point in my thread. I have noted the mods my car currently has (all done prior to my ownership) and I am trying to work out whether the new ball joint will work in sync with these mods, or if it will have any adverse effects.


    Do you have any answers to the questions I have put forward, or perhaps a link to where I can read up about how the suspension system works, as that would surly answer my questions and hence, the thread.
     
  8. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    Afraid there is no single link....

    www.google.com

    is a good place to start. You won't learn or understand all this stuff in a 5 min read. Some of it's complex, and the reality is, you'll never stop learning. I am by no means an expert on the matter. But I have taken the time to go off and read up and learn about it, so as to have an informed opinion. This has allowed me to answer many of my own questions, but also importantly what to ask when looking for help or additional information.


    For the record, I'm trying to help. But I'm not going to hand it to you on a platter, you'll have to do the grunt work yourself. And to write up a fully detailed answer might take several hours and be very very long. To which, chances are it wouldn't get fully read anyhow.


    As for the nonsense. There really isn't any such thing as "extended radius arms". There are long arm kits, but that isn't really the Land Rover aftermarket, not in the UK at least.

    You've also not really said what your mods are, even when asked. It's fine if you don't know, but building a good suspension system will require you to know.


    2" lift is meaningless. There are many different ways to achieve this. So you need to be more specific.



    I'll give you some pointers.

    The total articulation available is from the axle fully compressed on the stock bump stop, to fully extended at the bottom of the travel. If you have no shock or spring fitted, the limiting factor on the rear will be the trailing arm bushes and maybe the A frame joint geometry. You can mod these and gain a bit more travel.

    As a rule, shocks and springs will limit this travel, they certainly do on a standard vehicle. So you need to address them in order to actually attain all of the available travel or as close too. However this is easier said than done. And will normally be a series of compromises and cost.

    Some mods, such as lifting, may in turn give you less available travel, or may make it more difficult to make use of the travel. This isn't always the case, but it can and often is.


    The front is a bit different, it uses radius arms and a panhard, rather than an A frame. This design works well for road handling, but has less total travel. Although in stock form it will still be restricted.
     
  9. blue beasty

    blue beasty Leaks an prone to bits dropping off Global Moderator

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    Here is as good a place to learn as anywhere....better than most.

    There is no minimum level of knowledge required to ask questions.


    If there was I'd be well fooked
     
  10. 109inches

    109inches Well-Known Member

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    Do you need the extra articulation is the other factor. A stock coil Sprung Land Rover articulates pretty well. About 4 inches extra travel is all that's really useful for off road the only reason to go over that is to show off and for the cost to get that much articulation you could afford a locking diff which is vastly more useful.

    But what do you want to achieve through your suspension? The Land Rover suspension is a complete compromise between on and off-road so if you improve off-road you'll make on road worse and vice versa unless you invest huge amounts of money and time.

    The a frame is mainly used to locate the axle and prevent it being left behind when you accelerate, hence why worn ball joins create a loud clonk when you take up drive.
    The ball joint has quite a lot of movement in stock form but wear will be accelerated if used on its limit often.

    If you want to improve articulation take it over some axle twisters and see what limits the suspension, springs, shocks, a frame etc. Bushes also take a beating the more extreme you go. But it gets to a stage where you have to refabricate shock mounts as longer shocks are longer when compressed so you lose upward travel and as its live beam axles whatever one wheel does the other does the opposite so if a wheel can't move up then the other won't move down.

    I'm not an expert but I have changed a lot of suspension components on leaf Spring and coil Spring land rovers. But I have never done extreme suspension.
     
  11. blue beasty

    blue beasty Leaks an prone to bits dropping off Global Moderator

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    Pretty much what 109 says ^^^

    It's all a compromise and it's worth considering what you want to achieve.

    It's easy to undermine stability which can have serious consequences on and off road.

    The advantages of increased articulation are limited and mostly negated by diff lockers.
     
  12. 300bhp/ton

    300bhp/ton Well-Known Member

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    Diff lockers are ok. But can get you in more trouble. They also cost and can break stuff.

    And if you plan to compete in any events they sometimes aren't allowed.

    Good suspension will make a vehicle far more stable off road. But to be fair the stock setup is quite capable and a very good middle ground for mixed use. But some well chosen mods and you can gain good extra potential off road, for little loss for other uses.
     
  13. towsey956

    towsey956 Active Member

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    How much money do you want to spend and how much work are you willing to do or have done?

    I've driven a discovery with the 4xforce ex-art kit on and it performs really well. Because of how it's made, about half of the bushes are replaced with what's basically truck track rod ends and the bushes that remain are standard density, not sloppy poly bushes. This means the road manners are spot on with no slop or wandering at all, and when it comes to off road it left me near speechless. I drove it round kirton and there's that much unrestricted articulation that the body stays level and you get a sort of strange feeling of not been able to feel what the axles are doing but it's so stable over axle twisters it's unreal and you just know the axles a are down there doing the right thing. It then also went on to win on the twist off ramp. And the kit can be bought a part at a time which helps

    Unfortunately I think the marketing and website might make it not too easy to see pics or get a lot of info, and i have some really good pics on my phone but no idea how to get them on her for you

    Just something else to think about :)

    Towsey
     
  14. Rorie

    Rorie Active Member

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    Thanks for the help folks!

    As it happens, I do have air lockers in my rear diff.

    But, given the complexity, I think i'll just replace the a frame ball joint with a standard one for now. I wasn't sure if it would be a simple choice or not!

    In regards to my "extended radius arms", 300bhp/ton, I meant "cranked". A simple typo leading to my apparent nonsense haha.

    I'll get my new ball joint ordered up today!
     
  15. pressbrake

    pressbrake Well-Known Member Forum Sponsor

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    travel and articulation are different things mixed up by 99% of landrover
    owners
    If its a road based vehicle leave the basic spec alone as rover went to great pains to get good roll centre
    values as shown by the fact its pretty good to drive even without a
    anti roll bar
    If you want true articulation the rear end is already good you need to go three link front
    This will compromise on road handling unless you fit a switchable rear anti roll bar
    Rover fitted a fairly rigid radius arm front end to make it safe for the road

    a good way of improving the front without major fab work would be disco 2 radius arms with soft axle bushes
     
  16. Rorie

    Rorie Active Member

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    A follow on question...

    Island 4x4 have a few different versions. I called them up and the guy is suggesting I get the adjustable version (i.e. not the standard or the high articulation). My understanding is that this will allow me to adjust the angle of the ball joint?

    I haven't found anything online about setting this up or the advantages of having this ability. Should I just stick to the norm and go for the standard?
     
  17. towsey956

    towsey956 Active Member

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    Rorie...sorry can't help about the choice of ball joint, but, why not give it a go? But you might want to be ready with penetrating oil, good punch, big hammer and maybe the gas bottles.

    Pressbrake...why the disco 2 arms, and wot fab work is involved, cheers

    Towsey
     
  18. Gottschalk

    Gottschalk Well-Known Member

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    I've got plus 2" shocks with spring relocation cones, uprated spring clamps and brand new, totally standard springs. Gives a lovely ride on the road, a bit more drop away articulation (will get longer shocks perhaps as funds allow) but my intention I to keep as is and fit atb's to both diffs. This set up keeps all castor and geometry correct, but gives a bit better performance than standard short skinny shocks!!
     
  19. Gottschalk

    Gottschalk Well-Known Member

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    Hi mate! I would go for one with a grease nipple, that way you can actually maintain it! Thats what I'm doing when I replace mine! You could of course drill and fit a grease nipple to a standard one, but if you're replacing it anyway it would seem to make sense! :)
     
    jamesmartin likes this.
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