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Power Steering Pump Problem on Monaco


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#1 nelsokelso

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:18 PM

I've had steering issue with my 2001 38' Monaco for over a year. According to a reputable Freightliner dealer in Las Vegas I have a low pressure issue with the power steering pump causing the coach to wander in cross winds. The pump is attached to the right side of the Cummings engine and is hard to remove (approx 5 hours labor) and the pump is expensive (in stock at Monaco). Has anyone had similar problems with this pump with only 50,000 miles?? Nowhere can I find any info about the pump(adjustable,rebuildable or available anywhere else)
Please advise...I'm in Lake Havasu Az. and don't want to drive home with this condition.
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#2 hermanmullins

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:46 PM

nelsokelso,
Sound to me like an alignment problem and not a power steering problem. How are your tires wearing? Is there any signs of cupping? It may be something as simple as too much toe out on the front end. Toe out and the coach will try to center both front wheels and they fight each other. Too much toe in and you will have scuffing on the tires due to each tire pushing on the other.
Before replacing the pump have the alignment checked.

Herman
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#3 nelsokelso

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:37 PM

Thanks for the quick response. Alignment was done with new tires ,12,000 miles on them now but this has been an issue since I purchased 3 years ago. Tire wear is very unusual. Right front indicates very low tire pressure for a long time, I know this isn't true because I check all of them before every trip. However, upon coming to Arizona a few days ago I stopped at a truck tire replacement shop (that"s all they do) and the owner looked at the tire and suggested the alignment was bad. That being said, what about low power steering pressure as indicated by the Freightliner dealer? The Sheppard M110 steering gear has lot of travel (about 2") at the steering wheel. Alignment wont affect this in any way. It will still be there regardless. Isn't this what's causing the wandering in cross-winds and when a semi passes me at highway speeds?

I'm lost with this situation and don't mind spending the necessary money to correct but what should I repair first? Alignment is the least expensive if I can find a good shop that will do a complete front/rear alignment.

My Engineering background is not answering these simple questions.
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#4 wolfe10

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:53 PM

These guys have an excellent reputation for blueprinting Sheppard steering boxes to reduce play: http://www.redheadsteeringgears.com/
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#5 oldmarine

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 11:29 AM

nelsokelso,

Just saw your writeup. Seems to me you have more then one problem. I worked front end in dealership for over 45 years.

1st, you mentioned roadwander, then unusual tire wear but only on r/fr.tire.

I agree w/Herman, you should have the fr.end alignment looked at first. Any experienced fr. end Tech would do a Inspection on the steering components and frame first before making such a attempt. It could be as little as the steering gear not being tightened to the frame properly. But just say that the alignment was
off & you still have the wandering issue. Since you are not the original owner & you had this problem ever since you owned this vehicle, you might want to consider replacing your fr. tires. One hard hit with either of the tires going over a curb or big rock could easily break a cord or damaged the steel inside the tire that's not visible from outside but will cause the symptoms you describe.

Also, have the technician check the steering gear pinion play at the output side of the gear. If there is excessive play, then this will prove that at least one tire or the other had struck a hard object at one time (possibly even a accident).

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

old marine
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#6 nelsokelso

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:08 PM

Thanks again for the help. Alignment will be done this month(found a local RV shop that will do the work). Also talked to Sheppard steering gear tech guy and he said that low pressure from the power steering pump would only cause hard steering. Looks like a new tire is in order prior to the alignment so on goes the quest to motor down the highway safely.
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