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Old 26th August 2012, 08:42   #1
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Default Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

I ended up toppling my Gypsy last week, a first for me after the steering wheel inexplicably locked up briefly . To be honest it has shaken my confidence to an extent. Looking for answers as to why it may have happened and precautions to be taken to avoid a repeat.

I was going through a forest on some work accompanied by a forest official when this happened. Terrain was typical of the western ghats with mud trails running across low lying hills. It had been raining heavily throughout that afternoon but had reduced to a drizzle when we set out around 1300 hours. Trail was somewhat slushy but not enough to require 4WD. The trail led up a small hill with a large gutter on right side to allow rain water to flow down and a near vertical wall. On the other side of the trail was a steep drop of 80 foot or more.

The last thing I remember was making a slight right turn on the steering (not all the way) to avoid a rock on the trail, and then trying to straighten out. To my horror, the steering had locked up: like what happens when you remove the key? There was a little bit of play in the steering, but the wheels were not responding to input. Panic set in, and perhaps i was a little slow in slamming the brakes. The vehicle went off the trail, straight into the gutter and then the front right wheel went up the near vertical surface on the other side of the gutter before toppling onto the left side. It was all over in less than 5 seconds!

It was fortunate that we were turned to the right and not to the left when it happened, because on the left was a sheer drop! We were both buckled in at the time which meant that we climbed out through the driver door with only superficial injury to both of us. The Gypsy had come to a rest in the rain-gutter on its left side after rolling a complete 90'. The forest officer at first berated me, and did not believe the steering had locked until he checked it himself!

We called for help on the walkie-talkie and some forest guards came 2 hours later on a FD tractor to rescue us. We pushed the gypsy such that the 2 wheels on the left were on the ground and the rear right wheel was on the near vertical side-wall. Tugging with the tractor alone proved to be insufficient, and I got in the gypsy to give an additional push as well as some direction control. The steering was still locked.

At this point, i tried to put the vehicle into 4WD mode and noticed the lever was in a halfway loose position between 2WD and 4WD. it refused to shift into 4H or L at first but a little back and forth pushing of the vehicle courtesy the forest guards and the tractor, and it finally slotted into 4L and voila! The steering was now working fine! We finally got the gypsy back on all 4 wheels, checked the controls once and drove at a slow pace back to the Rest house.

Vehicle has been ok since then except for the alignment which I think has gotten screwed. I drove it back to bangalore without incident and got it examined at the local MASS which has a gypsy "expert". he gave the steering a clean bill of health but I am not entirely convinced.

What could have caused the steering to lock? I am not going to take the Gypsy out for a forest trip until I have got a handle on this issue. I plan to take the differential and transfer case and steering box apart to see if there is some problem.

What are the things I should be checking for?


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Last edited by COUGAR : 26th August 2012 at 08:53.
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Old 26th August 2012, 19:02   #2
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Default re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

Have you checked the steering lock? That could have malfunctioned...
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Old 26th August 2012, 19:25   #3
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Default re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

Quote:
Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
.At this point, i tried to put the vehicle into 4WD mode and noticed the lever was in a halfway loose position between 2WD and 4WD. it refused to shift into 4H or L at first but a little back and forth pushing of the vehicle courtesy the forest guards and the tractor, and it finally slotted into 4L and voila! The steering was now working fine! We finally got the gypsy back on all 4 wheels, checked the controls once and drove at a slow pace back to the Rest house.
What I would do in this situation now

1) For the mental block I would have about the 'Locking ' I would remove/ disable the steering lock function , only to be fitted after through investigation ( please check the markings on the steering pipe where the lock dog engages )

2) I will suggest you to check Steering linkages , steering gb & related parts

3) Lastly check the Knuckle ( King Pin ) & the C V joints inside it -- something is striking my mind about the CV joints , what would happen if they are worn & malfunction ? would they lock the wheel in turned position ?
As you have mentioned that it unlocked after putting in 4 L , I sense/doubt/smell something about point 3

Sudarshan
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Old 26th August 2012, 19:58   #4
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Default re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

@COUGAR

Please check the clearance between the tie rods and the front L/R leaves, it could have locked due to articulation and released later on.

@Sudarshan

If Iím right gypsy also have UJ-cross joint like the jeep inside the closed knuckle.

Chengappa.
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Old 26th August 2012, 20:51   #5
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Exclamation re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timson View Post
@COUGAR

Please check the clearance between the tie rods and the front L/R leaves, it could have locked due to articulation and released later on.
Quite likely

Quote:
@Sudarshan

If Iím right gypsy also have UJ-cross joint like the jeep inside the closed knuckle.

Chengappa.
Sorry Sir , Those are Barfield Universal Joints in the MG 410 ( W ) AFAIK

Quote:
The major parts of the Barfield Joint are the outer race ( Integral with wheel spindle , to which the wheel disc is splined ). Inner Race ( splined to the live axle shaft ) , Six Steel Balls Disposed between the two races and cage ( holding the steel balls in a single row lying in a plane
, says the manual , I can share this much only Here .

Also check

Birfield rebuild

noise like a busted 'Áv' - 4x4 Community Forum


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Old 26th August 2012, 21:00   #6
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Default re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

There are two possibilities :

1. The steering lock is worn out, hence engaged when you turned the wheel

2. Some part in the steering mechanism - starting at the lower end of the steering shaft and ending at the wheels is worn out and got jammed most probably with other parts. There are quite a few rods, joints and a UJ which could interfere with each other if suitably loose.

Please get every thing checked and replace worn out parts. This happening in forest saved you. Imaging that happening in heavy traffic or worse on a highway, that would be dangerous even life threatening.
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Old 27th August 2012, 11:49   #7
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Default re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

Hi Roy,

There can be many reasons like Timson and Sudarshan mentioned.

I will list out my reasons.

1) Worn out TRE

2) Snagged Pitman Arm (with Anti-Roll Bar)

3) Flexed suspension

4) Damaged Birfield Cup/Rzeppa Joint.

5) Terrain - If the vehicle is not in 4WD mode then the steering can lock up due to off-road obstacles, as the front wheel is not live and will not climb over any obstacle.

6) FWH - please invest in a pair of free-wheeling hubs and carry the Front Axle Flanges as emergency spares.

7) Check if both the knuckle are turning equally and the stopper bolt is adjusted equally for both the knuckles.

Regards,

Arka

Last edited by ex670c : 27th August 2012 at 11:52.
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Old 27th August 2012, 14:58   #8
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Default Re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

I had busted the Birfield Joint of my Gypsy once and faced a similar situation. The Steering would just lock to a side and would not return. This happened during a trail when I tried to turn the vehicle to the right side and then it would not come back and the vehicle just moved in that direction only. Luckily, it was very slow speeds and I stopped.

At that time didn't know that the birfield was busted and somehow didn't face the issue again. After the OTR, when I gave the gypsy for overhaul, found that the birfield had gone.
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Old 29th August 2012, 16:24   #9
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Default Re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

Dear Cougar - please determine one thing first and foremost. 1. Did the steering lock physically prevent the steering worm shaft from rotating? or 2. Did something happen in the steering system which made the steering wheel not to return. Please confirm, was it 1 or 2, then I can analyse accordingly because based on your reply, the analyses will be completely different. I await your reply.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 29th August 2012, 16:54   #10
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Default Re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

Second Khan on this, check the front axles and then the steering box. If the steering box is wearing out you will feel a slight lock feel at certain positions, while turning to the sides. Easy way to check is lift the vehicle on a lift and turn the wheels left to right, while 4L is engaged and engine at idle.
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Old 3rd September 2012, 23:34   #11
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Default Re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Cougar - please determine one thing first and foremost. 1. Did the steering lock physically prevent the steering worm shaft from rotating? or 2. Did something happen in the steering system which made the steering wheel not to return. Please confirm, was it 1 or 2, then I can analyse accordingly because based on your reply, the analyses will be completely different. I await your reply.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
There was a little play in the steering at the time but barring that the wheel was most certainly locked. It freed up on its own afterward.

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Old 4th September 2012, 08:33   #12
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Default Re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

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Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
I ended up toppling my Gypsy last week, a first for me after the steering wheel inexplicably locked up briefly . To be honest it has shaken my confidence to an extent. What are the things I should be checking for?


Damages:
Roy
Well thank goodness it wasn't worse. Check for what Sudarshan wrote in point 3 and Khan Sultan mentions. Maybe somethings bad in there
Best

Last edited by deutscheafrikar : 4th September 2012 at 08:37.
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Old 1st January 2015, 18:33   #13
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Default Re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

I just stumled upon this thread and realised that I ve seen the same thing happening. My uncle's 2001 Qualis's steering lock had developed a snag once which caused the steering to lock after cranking the ignition. The key had to be moved back to the lock position and unlocked again 2-3 times along with twisting the steering wheel both ways till it unlocked. The lock assembly was finally changed when we experienced a total steering lock with the vehicle in motion. Toyota A.S.S. couldnt explain as to why this happened and blamed it on rough usage.
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Old 1st November 2016, 09:08   #14
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Default Re: Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled

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Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
There was a little play in the steering at the time but barring that the wheel was most certainly locked. It freed up on its own afterward.
Hi Cougar, any update on this? Were you able to figure out what exactly was the problem that led to the steering lock-up?

My Gypsy is facing a slight lock at certain points in the steering when turning, and a call to the MASS resulted in a dire warning not to use the vehicle in that condition.

So it would be enlightening to learn what was the actual root cause in your case.
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Old 1st November 2016, 15:34   #15
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An update on the steering issue in my Gypsy:
Took to an FNG, and was told that the steering box has leaked oil and is 'gone'. Also gone is the ''kingpin'' that I've heard mentioned here.

Am still able to drive it, albeit with the intermittent 'stuck' feeling occasionally, but not really stuck as it goes through with a little bit of push.

He says the steering box, kingpin and couple of other things will need to be replaced, and will cost approx 14K. Will get a 2nd opinion at the MASS tomorrow.

The steering box is visibly leaking oil. He said if it had been brought in earlier, perhaps it could have been repaired; now it's leaked all the oil and everything will be damaged inside and hence will need to be replaced.

I've attached couple of pictures below through a link, hope they load correctly (not showing up in preview).

Mod Note : Please update the image directly to the server instead of linking from other sites
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Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled-steering1.jpg  

Gypsy steering locked on the move, and toppled-steering2.jpg  


Last edited by suhaas307 : 2nd November 2016 at 13:13. Reason: Merged as requested
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