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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:28   #1
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Default Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

My 2009 4x4 Invader is hard to steer. When new, it was easy to steer. I have had mechs take the whole front end apart and reassemble it twice. All the rubber bushings have been replaced. Tie rod ends and the receivers they screw into have been replaced. The steering column has been taken out of the vehicle, lubed, inspected and a bushing thru which the column passes has been replaced. The steering cross over seems okay, they say.

The vehicle was recently alligned by computer by Mahindra.

I was in the dealership in Pathenkot 3 weeks ago for this problem. I did notice a little oil coming from the steering box. No one there seemed too concerned about it. Out of desperation, I ordered a new steering box (I don't know anything about steering boxes, so...bombs away) They said it would arrive in 3 days and they would call me. Three weeks later I called them for the 4th time on the whereabouts of my new steering box. They boldly told me that since this Invader is no longer in production, the steering box is no longer in production and I cannot have one.

So, if you guys have a clue....

1.) What's the best guess for why this thing is steering so hard?
2.) What other vehicles besides Invader use this box? Probably half the
fleet, right?

The dealer I am doing the Tango with is Krishna Auto World, Dalhousie Road, Pathenkot. They serve pretty good chai.

P.S. I have been told there is some kind of adjustment screw on the top of the steering box...I don't know what to do with that and I have no idea what the "steering nut" adjustment is all about so please tailor your answers for a twelve year old.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 14:43   #2
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Default Re: Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

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Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
My 2009 4x4 Invader is hard to steer. When new, it was easy to steer. I have had mechs take the whole front end apart and reassemble it twice. All the rubber bushings have been replaced. Tie rod ends and the receivers they screw into have been replaced. The steering column has been taken out of the vehicle, lubed, inspected and a bushing thru which the column passes has been replaced. The steering cross over seems okay, they say.

The vehicle was recently alligned by computer by Mahindra.

I was in the dealership in Pathenkot 3 weeks ago for this problem. I did notice a little oil coming from the steering box. No one there seemed too concerned about it. Out of desperation, I ordered a new steering box (I don't know anything about steering boxes, so...bombs away) They said it would arrive in 3 days and they would call me. Three weeks later I called them for the 4th time on the whereabouts of my new steering box. They boldly told me that since this Invader is no longer in production, the steering box is no longer in production and I cannot have one.

So, if you guys have a clue....

1.) What's the best guess for why this thing is steering so hard?
2.) What other vehicles besides Invader use this box? Probably half the
fleet, right?

The dealer I am doing the Tango with is Krishna Auto World, Dalhousie Road, Pathenkot. They serve pretty good chai.

P.S. I have been told there is some kind of adjustment screw on the top of the steering box...I don't know what to do with that and I have no idea what the "steering nut" adjustment is all about so please tailor your answers for a twelve year old.
As your invader is a 4wd its should have Rane worm and roller type steering box, which came upto 2002/2003 boleros as well.

Oil dropping thru idler arm is quiet common after 1 to 1.5lac kms, this cannot be 100% fixed. Need to do shaft replacement, which will incur you @ 13000/-rs inclusive of labour + tax. New set is available for @ 23000/-.

Small screw on the top of the box is to adjust the play, which should not be adjusted until the unit is connected to service machine @ Rane service centre.

As you have did every thing on the vehicle, please give the box for service and get the reply from RANE team.

**** M&M normally wont open the steering box, they remove the assy and give to RANE team for service and they refit back, similar to a case of a fuel pumb.

Please dont ever think of a second hand box or parts for this..

Last edited by Rajith : 3rd December 2012 at 14:53.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 16:01   #3
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Default Re: Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

Hi DD,

Sounds like you are getting old and you're tyres are getting bald.

Have you replaced the "Knuckle Ball Joints" Recently? They normally last for 2yrs.

Regards,

Arka
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Old 3rd December 2012, 19:53   #4
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Default Re: Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

Hi,

IMO, (Not sure if this is a jugaad method, but still..) remove both the front wheels. And steer each hub by hand. There should be little or no resistance. If there is resistance, then start work from ball joints etc...

Now, if it is really the steering box, then I guess you have an MRCBT? If MRCBT, the brand new box will cost you ~11k. From Rane. As, I have heard overhauling the RCBT is not preferred.

As for sourcing it, in my experience, it'd be easy to source from outside, than from Mahindra A.S.S.

- Dhanush
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Old 4th December 2012, 09:39   #5
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Default Re: Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajith View Post

Small screw on the top of the box is to adjust the play, which should not be adjusted until the unit is connected to service machine @ Rane service centre.


**** M&M normally wont open the steering box, they remove the assy and give to RANE team for service and they refit back, similar to a case of a fuel pumb.
Googled 'Rane'. Got it. Thanks.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ex670c View Post
Hi DD,

Sounds like you are getting old and you're tyres are getting bald.

Have you replaced the "Knuckle Ball Joints" Recently? They normally last for 2yrs.

Regards,

Arka
No, I am getting bald and my tyres are getting old. Ball joints seem to be moving freely, no play. Will check them again, though. Looks like I will be back in there mucking around anyway.

And, I'll arm wrestle you anytime, you smart alecky young whippersnapper!
And, don't forget, I've seen the pictures of YOUR biceps.
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Old 4th December 2012, 10:31   #6
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Default Re: Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

Rajith, where is the Rane shop service center in blore?
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Old 4th December 2012, 10:55   #7
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Default Biceps, Ball-Joint & TREs

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Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
No, I am getting bald and my tyres are getting old. Ball joints seem to be moving freely, no play. Will check them again, though. Looks like I will be back in there mucking around anyway.
Hi DD,

Please Check the Knuckle Ball Joints & the Steering Linkage Tie-Rod Ends.

If the Ball-Joint or TREs are not moving freely(like a Joystick) in the socket, then the Joint is worn out. Or if they dont remain centred in the socket and tend to lean towards one side.

Since these are pre-lubricated the ball Joint & TRE will wear out over time.

Also check the Ball-Joint insert/seat in the knuckle clean then thoroughly, lightly grease and install the new Ball-Joints.

How is your suspension? Did you change the shackles recently?

Regards,

Arka

Last edited by ex670c : 4th December 2012 at 10:57.
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Old 4th December 2012, 11:46   #8
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Default Re: Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

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Rajith, where is the Rane shop service center in blore?
In Bangalore its Spectra Autombile Engg - Mr Vijay - 09440050579

In coimbatore its Autozone - Mr Swamy.

Chennai HO-04443949232.
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Old 4th December 2012, 18:20   #9
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Default Re: Biceps, Ball-Joint & TREs

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Originally Posted by ex670c View Post
Hi DD,

Please Check the Knuckle Ball Joints & the Steering Linkage Tie-Rod Ends.

If the Ball-Joint or TREs are not moving freely(like a Joystick) in the socket, then the Joint is worn out. Or if they dont remain centred in the socket and tend to lean towards one side.

Since these are pre-lubricated the ball Joint & TRE will wear out over time.

Also check the Ball-Joint insert/seat in the knuckle clean then thoroughly, lightly grease and install the new Ball-Joints.

How is your suspension? Did you change the shackles recently?

Regards,

Arka
I have only changed bushings and tie rod ends in the 3 years and 66,000K that I have owned it. Mostly a bad-roaddy, not true South Indian mud plugger use. I am over-due on the ball joints then, 'ay? Thanks for the info. Now I sally forth to find a guy who knows all that stuff.
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Old 7th December 2012, 08:46   #10
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Default Re: Biceps, Ball-Joint & TREs

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Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
I have only changed bushings and tie rod ends in the 3 years and 66,000K that I have owned it. Mostly a bad-roaddy, not true South Indian mud plugger use. I am over-due on the ball joints then, 'ay? Thanks for the info. Now I sally forth to find a guy who knows all that stuff.
Also, did you check your King Pin Inclination - If this changes, steering becomes harder and the effect is usually seen by Steering box failures.

Have you changed recently:
1. Wheel bearings
2. Wider tires
3. Recambered / reworked suspension that may affect steering geometry

When did you realise that the steering has become hard?

A simple test would be to over inflate the tyres and check the feedback on steering
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Old 7th December 2012, 11:52   #11
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Default Re: Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

1.) original bearings, I have kept them greased, no noises yet.
2.) Tyres are 235/70/16. I have used this size for 2.5 years, no trouble. It used to handle good at this size which is not so far from OEM.
3.) No mods to susp. . Have done front end allignment 3 or 4 times including last week by machine.

I have fooled around a lot with the air pressure of the tyres. No major relief. Handles better over-inflated but the ride will shake the fillings out of your teeth.

King pin inclination? I will look for anything out of the ordinary. I intend to install new ball joints (and charge them to Arka) and see what that does to the situation. I have had the problem for 9 months. Steering is so hard my co-driver does not want to drive it anymore and it's a real hard proposition to guide it thru market places and narrow roads. I am large and strong but I am tired of it too.

The farther from center you turn the wheel the harder it is to turn.

I have been thinking that this might be a good time to install P.S.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 8th December 2012, 14:45   #12
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Default Re: Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

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1.)
The farther from center you turn the wheel the harder it is to turn.
Hi Ken,

This leads me to believe that your steering geometry is out of sync. The load on the system comes as feedback via a hard steering. A new PS is NOT the solution, but a good mechanic who would understand the problem and help you out is.

Over inflation of tyres and the feedback on steering is again a pointer to the above and confirms the geometry being out of spec.

Your KPI setting - KPI bearings need to be checked and rectified.
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Old 8th December 2012, 14:56   #13
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Default Re: Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

Dear Ken - please post detailed photographs. I want to establish parts and dress level identity before commenting.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 12th December 2012, 00:59   #14
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Default Re: Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

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Originally Posted by Rajith View Post
Small screw on the top of the box is to adjust the play, which should not be adjusted until the unit is connected to service machine @ Rane service centre.

As you have did every thing on the vehicle, please give the box for service and get the reply from RANE team.

**** M&M normally wont open the steering box, they remove the assy and give to RANE team for service and they refit back, similar to a case of a fuel pumb.

Please dont ever think of a second hand box or parts for this..
I've adjusted the preload screw on most of the older vehicles I've owned (including our Marshal) and for other folks as well, and you certainly don't need to have a steering box hooked up to a machine to adjust it properly. Lift your front wheels off the ground and turn them to full lock either side. Loosen the locknut and hold it with a spanner while screwing down the center screw (clockwise) till some resistance is felt. Then back off half a turn or so and snug up the locknut (while holding the screw from turning). Turn the steering wheel towards full-lock opposite and see if there's any resistance at any point. If so, loosen the screw a bit (turn counterclockwise and re-check). If not, check free-play at the ends and center to see whether it's an acceptable amount (I don't personally like more than a couple inches of steering wheel movement). If so, you're done; if not, you can fine-tune it a bit.

Second, I have never seen / heard of any problems with second-hand boxes. I've installed them in a car or two myself, and a friend has one in his Marshal 4x4, a hard-daily-driven Rohtang taxi. Before buying second-hand stuff, inspect it. Or have a qualified mechanic do so for you. You can find near-new or like-new stuff in many, many wrecking yards.

I earlier worked for a company that remanufactured both conventional steering gears and rack-and-pinion units probably by the tens of thousands per week. It's by no means rocket-science, and nowhere near as precision as IP / Turbo work, excepting when you get into power steering spool valves, etc. A manual steering gear is one of the simplest mechanical systems in any vehicle. It's all well within the scope of what any reasonably perceptive technician / lathe operator should be able to deal with. A mechanic friend here in Manali says steering boxes are no problem for him, and I don't see any reason to doubt that.

Was this a Rane promotional?

-Erik
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Old 12th December 2012, 09:42   #15
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Default Re: Invader 4x4 : Hard steering and steering box leaking

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
I've adjusted the preload screw on most of the older vehicles I've owned (including our Marshal) and for other folks as well, and you certainly don't need to have a steering box hooked up to a machine to adjust it properly. Lift your front wheels off the ground and turn them to full lock either side. Loosen the locknut and hold it with a spanner while screwing down the center screw (clockwise) till some resistance is felt. Then back off half a turn or so and snug up the locknut (while holding the screw from turning). Turn the steering wheel towards full-lock opposite and see if there's any resistance at any point. If so, loosen the screw a bit (turn counterclockwise and re-check). If not, check free-play at the ends and center to see whether it's an acceptable amount (I don't personally like more than a couple inches of steering wheel movement). If so, you're done; if not, you can fine-tune it a bit.

Second, I have never seen / heard of any problems with second-hand boxes. I've installed them in a car or two myself, and a friend has one in his Marshal 4x4, a hard-daily-driven Rohtang taxi. Before buying second-hand stuff, inspect it. Or have a qualified mechanic do so for you. You can find near-new or like-new stuff in many, many wrecking yards.

I earlier worked for a company that remanufactured both conventional steering gears and rack-and-pinion units probably by the tens of thousands per week. It's by no means rocket-science, and nowhere near as precision as IP / Turbo work, excepting when you get into power steering spool valves, etc. A manual steering gear is one of the simplest mechanical systems in any vehicle. It's all well within the scope of what any reasonably perceptive technician / lathe operator should be able to deal with. A mechanic friend here in Manali says steering boxes are no problem for him, and I don't see any reason to doubt that.

Was this a Rane promotional?

-Erik
Dear Friend,

I dont work or linked with RANE in any ways , so no worries about promotional theme.

There are 2 ways of doing things either Follow a set SOP given by the manufacturer or do things on your own logical way . I follows the first and seems you follow the second.

Choice goes with individuals and not as hard and fast rule..

regards,
Rajith
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