Why are there so many strange noises in the L400 Delica Space Gear? How to solve the noise problem and rejuvenate

The undercarriage of the Space Gear makes various noises, but why does it make so many strange noises from various parts of the undercarriage and why do various parts wear out? If you think about it in terms of humans.

Poor posture, poor use of the legs, and undue strain on parts of the body.

With that in mind for a moment, I did a space gear alignment adjustment and the results were great, so I’ll let you know!

It’s making noises all over the place.

If you look at the access analysis of this site, the search term “space gear noise” is what you will see. This car may be one of those rare cars that is really bothered by noise from the suspension.

There is no end to the topics around here on other sites. I’ve been bothered by these noises myself. The source of the noise is usually the front suspension sway link or the upper arm & ball joint.

What’s causing the noise?

Why are there strange noises coming from the undercarriage? When you think about it, it’s the stabilizer links and ball joints that cause it, but if you think about it in a bigger way, it comes down to

“Suspension creaks.”

I think it is. So why does the suspension creak? if you think about it

  • Decrease and deterioration of fats and oils
  • Elimination of moving partswear and tear
  • Distortion of moving parts
  • Foreign matter in moving parts

I took off the dust cover of the ball joint that was actually making the noise ・・・・ and washed it out with kerosene and found that the ball part was completely reduced in size and seemed to shake around. It was so small that I thought it would probably come off the housing section if I left it as it was. ・・・・

Why do the moving parts of the undercarriage links and ball joints have rubber dust covers to prevent foreign objects from getting into them and grease from getting into them, and why do they wear out so much, and only on one side (the passenger side in this case)?

Furthermore, after replacing the front and rear stabilizer links, the noise was gone for a few months, but after that, it started to make jerking and snapping noises again. The reason for the noise in less than a year can be found at ・・・・

Improper alignment.

It was. My car seemed to have quite a negative camber in the front, especially the alignment of the passenger side, so I adjusted the camber and toe by myself and the strange noise of the stabilizer linkage that was making the strange noise stopped completely without replacing any parts.

L400 Delica Space Gear Wheel Alignment Adjustment

Camber makes everything worse.

L400 Delica Space Gear’s camber is adjusted by eccentric bolts and the lower arm is connected to stabilizer linkage.

Sway bar linkage is a ball joint between Sway bar side and lower arm side to allow free movement to some extent. So when you adjust the lower arm, the stabilizer linkage will move together with the lower arm.

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It is easy to be influenced by the lower arm, but the state where the link is most likely to transmit the movement of the lower arm to the stabilizer is

It’s vertical!

If the link is not standing perpendicular to the lower arm, the movement of the lower arm cannot be transmitted to the stabilizer, so the stabilizer cannot function properly.

Therefore, we believe that this may cause the car to lean more on curves and sway to the left and right when going straight.

Proper alignment ensures that all parts work effectively.

I actually kept the old stock shock absorbers and adjusted the camber. Then…

  • I’ve stopped leaning when I make a turn.
  • No more rocking from side to side when going straight.
  • Less road noise.
  • Tires will not wear out. They last longer.
  • No more undercarriage noise.
  • Improved steering feel.
  • My hands don’t get tired anymore.
  • It’s easier to drive long distances.

I’ve strongly felt the effects of such pleasures!

As for fuel economy, the alignment was adjusted to make the front suspension easier to roll, which may have improved fuel economy a bit.

Alignment before replacing parts

I strongly believe that we should pay attention to the “alignment” which creates a smooth flow of movement of the entire undercarriage that supports the car, rather than just replacing parts that make noise or replacing shocks to improve comfort.

For example, if a person is suffering from back pain, before using a corset, taking painkillers, or having surgery, his or her back pain can go away simply by trying to be in good posture. ・・・・・

As a side note, I have back pain, and when I corrected my posture, it cured my back pain and even my knee joint pain!

Wheel alignment may be the first thing you need to do when you get this car.

So what do I do with the alignment?

Wheel alignment measurements and adjustments can be done at repair shops, dealers, and tire retailers that have alignment testers.

Alignment testers are very expensive equipment and require a dedicated space, so not all facilities have them, so it’s better to contact the nearest repair shop or store for further information.

There was a time when the price was quite expensive, like $100 per wheel, but nowadays, it’s not so expensive. It’s probably cheaper, but you can ask about that with them.

The L400 delica space gear is only the adjustment of the front left and right sides, so I have uploaded the maintenance record of the front alignment adjustment done by myself.

But it is not very helpful because it was an amateur’s own work. If you want to imitate it, please do it at your own risk ^^^;

But I think that DIY maintenance and modification is a world of self-satisfaction. If you can get a good feeling or good specs, it is a “success”, isn’t it?

Don’t forget to adjust the toe.

The knuckle is fixed by ball joints and tie rods, so when you move the lower arm, the toe is also changed. I think the standard toe is “0” but I set the toe to “IN” because I felt the slope of the road would carry me down the slope if the toe is 0. So I set it to “in”. This makes the steering wheel feel more solid when going straight. ・・・・

And by the way, if you tighten the toe-in to improve straightness…

  • When you turn the wheel as far as it will go, it’s like pushing the gravel with the outside tires.
  • After turning the steering wheel as far as it will go, the steering wheel does not come back when you release it.
  • You’ll get less mileage.
  • The front tires wear out faster.

You will have symptoms such as. I think the toe can be adjusted at a normal repair shop, so I’d better ask a professional to do it.

‘Alignment? I’ve never taken one, but ・・・・ so what?

In the design stage, all the parts should be functioning properly and should be able to produce satisfactory specifications. However, if you have symptoms such as “wobbling while driving” or “abnormal noise coming out of the suspension,” you might want to check the alignment before replacing the parts.

If you’re a normal user, you should just adjust the alignment and replace the sway bar bushes and the noise will stop and you’ll be happy with the ride. ・・・・

I can’t think of a car that can’t run 200,000km without changing the linkage and upper arm ball joint except for a space gear. ・・・・

The alignment is often out of whack from the time you buy a new car.

The camber will also be negatively affected if the springs are worn out and the ride height is lowered. ・・・・

Most of the L400s in existence are probably over 100,000 miles. And if it’s a diesel, it’s the latest car, but it’s a decade old. It’s odd that you don’t check the alignment of those cars at all.

It’s probably better to get them properly aligned, and then consider replacing parts to deal with the strange noises that come up and improve the ride and steering feel, so you don’t have to spend money, nerves, and energy in the end.

Really, it’s the best thing you can do right now.