SOS - steering problem LR3

zelatore

Explorer
Just got a call from a buddy on a road trip back to California from Alaska. On the way down he stopped to play in some dunes somewhere in the Yukon territory. While playing he missed a big dip/ditch and hit one side of the front end pretty good but didn't notice any damage. Nothing visible to the tie rods or rack or control arms/ball joints/etc.

However when he got back on the road at higher speeds he got what he described as an awful grinding metal sound. Experimenting he found it will occur at a stand still if you rev the motor quickly in park/neutral, giving the noise as the engine spins up. He also found it happens when driving only when he turns left or when he gets over 2500 rpm.

There is no binding or vibration or other indicator of a problem with the steering rack.

He loosened the belt and the noise goes away. Spinning the power steering pulley by hand it feels fine.

I suspect it's got to be related to the pump, but I don't know why it would happen only when turning left. I also don't know how or if the dune jump would have damaged the pump but not the rack.

Any input you have would be great. He was able to limp it along at 45-50 mph to at least get some cell service and his only course of action at the moment seems to be to continue at low speed until he can get somewhere to make repairs but we're not really sure if swapping a pump would resolve this.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 

zelatore

Explorer
yeah, already had him check on the mounts and he reported 0 movement. Apparently he's now getting a faint bearing type noise all the time and it's getting worse. Not sure which pulley is the source. He's still suspicious of the pump but could be anything on that belt. He's sure there's no contact between anything rotating and anything fixed. Of course, I'm getting all this 2nd hand via text, so ???
Maybe I'll hear more tomorrow.
 

merr1ca

Member
I bet sand is somewhere it shouldn't be. He'll find out where when it breaks... Maybe in the alternator? It its super low and forward and is known to eat mud, so maybe the same is true for sand? I would just drive it. As long as a wheel isnt going to fall off, he should be fine right?
 

spikemd

Explorer
My right front wheel bearing just went and started wh small squeaks. Sounded like something stuck in the rotor. Turning changed the pitch until finally the noise grew to a horrendous noise and it was undrivable. Big play in wheel. Not much more than an hour to change it with a trusty Ryobi 1/2 inch battery impact and sledge to knock the hub off.
 

zelatore

Explorer
Sand sounds like a good bet, getting into a bearing somewhere is my guess. In this case not likely the wheel bearing since he can get the noise in park, but maybe it's slowly eating an idler or the PS pump.

Ted, this is Drew I'm talking about. He's on his way back down from deployment in AK.
 

zelatore

Explorer
Got an update from Mr. Yukon - looks like a combo problem. He did have a wheel bearing going south making the noise when turning. He also has a bearing going out on one of the belt driven accessories, though he has not yet isolated which. Wheel bearing is in-bound at some expense (I guess Amazon Prime doesn't pay off in the Great White North).
 
Isolate your AC pump as well, that's where my last one came from. PS and AC where the only ones I didn't replace at like 75k so it was a pretty easy assumption. Of course, they are the most expensive and hardest to replace so it would have to be those! haha Or just take the belts off one at a time and start the truck and see what you get. My guess is if you are doing a bearing you may as well put on new belts.
 

zelatore

Explorer
Well, *I'm* not doing anything.... my LR3 is happy and healthy in my garage. My buddy on the other hand....yeah, he's going to have to deal with it one way or another. I haven't heard anything new from him so I'm hoping all is well.
 
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