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Steering rack bracket failure - 2004 TD4. LHD conversion

Discussion in 'Land Rover Freelander' started by AdzTheUprightMan, Oct 18, 2019.

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  1. AdzTheUprightMan

    AdzTheUprightMan New Member

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    Hi All,

    I have been a LR owner and member of various LR forums over the years since. My first experience into LR was purchasing a L322 Vogue. It was mint, 1 owner from new, 56k auto box. After 45 days of ownership the gearbox died - this was my welcome to the world of LR ownership :).

    Since I have had a D3, then D2 (which I loved more than the D3 apart from the leaky roof and MPG) - all dirty diesels.

    Anyhow I digress, I now own a Freelander 1 2004 TD4. I bought this as I was moving to France and it was a LHD conversion from a RHD. I bought it from a guy that did the conversions, he had a yard of Freelanders and as he modified he would sell on the results. It all seemed good and had been a good car for the 12 months of ownership. Now I noticed what felt like a knock on the steering, I've had this before on an old volvo and assumed it was a track rod end gone. So until I had time I sort it out, I lived with it. However yesterday, the steering felt odd and then i heard and felt a noise on the bulkhead. So I got the missus to turn the wheel as I looked yonder at the connection to the rack in the engine bay. I saw the rack move side to side and thought "that aint no good" and the fear that the car may be destined for the scrapheap hit my stomach. I thought the mounting on the chassis had failed or it had been some bodge modification that had finally given up.
    So I investigated further this morning. I have attached photos of the issue .So when i first looked at the bolts coming through into the footwell I thought "Christ, the nuts are not even there" and the lower bolt looked like it was about to fall out. Then in the engine bay I saw that the bracket supporting the rack (that end) was broken. There was relief, a bracket is an easy fix (so I thought) but the panic still resided that the nuts were missing on the mounting bolts, but then I discovered as the wife aided me, that the bolts go into threaded fixings in the bulkhead (still why nuts are not on there "belt n braces" as my father in law always swears!)?
    So I then get the broken bracket off and head for the laptop to google the solution and find the part. I am then baffled by what I find, this rack is totally different (yes it is a LHD one) from all the other Freelander 1 series ones I find on fleabay and elsewhere. They all have a cast flanged mount near the steering column connection. My one just has the flared mount to which said saddle bracket was afixed to (same as the opposite end) - photo 3 shows this point (clean metal). So I am laying my hope in that someone on here knows if this is right, that my freelander just has a newer type of rack and where I can order/obtain a new saddle bracket. We only have the one car and need wheels rolling.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Adam.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    Some fly by night cowboys use Vauxhall racks to make a cheap conversion to LHD. The correct rack has cast in fixings on one end, so it can't move from side to side.

    I'd get the correct rack, and hope nothing else has been dangerously modified.
     
  3. andyfreelandy

    andyfreelandy Well-Known Member

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    Death trap!! I'd be checking how the brake pedal conversion was done at least!!
     
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  4. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. The rack definitely shouldn't be clamped at both ends. It's relying on the column and fiction to keep it in place. These cowboys should be imprisoned, or have there hands removed, as a conversion like this is an accident waiting to happen.

    Presumably the brake will be bolted to the other side, which should be OK, but you never know with a cowboy.
     
    ian mitchell likes this.
  5. AdzTheUprightMan

    AdzTheUprightMan New Member

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    Many thanks for the replies and OMG, my worst fears have been realised. It just didn't seem right. I have recently changed the headlights to LHD ones so not to have to use stickers, so have found myself a good Landy breaker over here. I have already messaged them for a proper rack.

    After more research I found a good work list from a guy on another LR forum about undertaking the conversion and he highlights the importance of good welding skills needed, so when I read that the willies have been put up me about the remounting work. I will have a good look tomorrow, it beggars belief that someone would knowingly do this. I still have the bloke'd details so I shall be reporting him to the necessary bodies.

    I will also see if he is still doing this (he was advertising quite a few cars when I bought this one) and if so will post his details so that others can avoid.
    I'm just so glad I found this out willingly as it yet and not when I was driving on a hard bend with god knows what to crash into!!!
     
    ian mitchell likes this.
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