My Discovery 2 has failed its MoT because of excessive play in the universal joint that attaches the steering drag link to the steering box drop arm. I’ve been told this joint can be rebuilt with a repair kit, but the garage says it needs a complete new drag link. Is there a rebuild kit available for the joint, and is this a reasonable DIY repair? Michael Pointer, Chelmsford
Repair kits were available for earlier models, but the steering joint on your vehicle is an integral part of the drag link. So you’ll need to buy a new drag link, which will be supplied with a new outer joint attached.
Luckily, replacing the drag link is straightforward. First, disconnect the steering damper from the link, then use a ball joint splitter to disconnect the joints at the drop arm and at the hub’s steering arm. At the hub end, you can prevent the joint turning while undoing the nut by holding it with a Torx bit inserted into the underside of the joint. The nut sometimes proves impossible to release, in which case the joint’s taper pin may need to be cut through – take care not to damage the hub’s steering arm.
To maintain the steering setting, measure the distance between the joints of the old drag link from centre to centre when it has been removed. Then adjust the new drag link to this exact dimension and secure it with the locking clamps before fitting. If, after completing the job, the steering wheel is not centred exactly when driving straight ahead, make minor adjustments to the threaded portion and re-tighten the lock nuts. If you’re not confident, though, just ask a garage to set the steering for you.