djordan1677

Steering/ Suspension/ etc.

29 posts in this topic

** DECISION TIME** Can someone help me with my decision. I have a 2003 Monaco Monarch SE36 on a Workorse W 22 chassis, Chevy motor and Allison trans and 22 inch tires; coach has 11,500 miles.

I'm ready to start my suspension upgrade. Sway bars front and rear (Hellwig, Roadmaster or Blue Ox), steering stabilizer (Safe T Plus, Steer Safe, Roadmaster or Blue Ox), steering bell crank (super steer) shocks (Koni or ?). Not sure what I should bundle together for the right ride. While driving you constantly have to move steering wheel to keep steady and it does sway for wind and trucks. The bounce not bad but could be better. Would appreciate your help.

Also what's the best place for pricing.

Thank You Dennis

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OK, in order, here is what I would do:

Set tire pressure per tire manufacturer's recommendation based on actual weight.

Check and replace any sway bar bushings that are not 100%

Check shocks-- don't automatically replace. Drive over parking lot speed bumps at normal/low speed. If an axle bounces more than 1.5 times, shocks need replacing. If it doesn't bounce more than 3/4 of a cycle, they are too stiff.

Get an alignment by a good truck shop that will set caster toward max of specs and verify correct toe-in.

Track bars (aka panhard rods) front and rear.

STOP and evaluate results. Let us know symptoms at this point and we can help spend your money.

Brett

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Thanks Brett, tire pressure is good and tires are new; will check shocks tomorrow. Alignment seems to be good doesn't pull either way. Just took it out two weeks ago approx 3 hours each way. It drove good except steering wheel movement "back and fourth" but not a killer. Other than the wind. Going underneath bridge good but coming out "did not like" immediate shifted sideways. My coach does not any sway bar at all "front or rear". Whats better in your opinion (track bar or sway bar). Dennis

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Actually sufficient caster and proper toe-in make a significant difference in tracking.

And, for your complaint, I would start with track bars. If you are not familiar with them, here is what they do: Those long leaf springs and the shackles allow side to side movement of axle to chassis. When side winds, bumps, etc cause this to happen, it IS a steering input. This requires you to make a steering input to correct.

A track bar (aka Panhard rod) allows for full vertical movement between axle and chassis, but substantially minimizes side to side movement between them.

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Best Steering Stabilizer for Blowouts.

There are many Steering Stabilizers on the market. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions as to which would be the best for blowouts.

Bilstein has a stabilizer which is much cheaper than all the other stabilizers but will it provide the safety that other stabilizers offer.

Thanks

Jerry

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Jerry,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Please tell us what chassis you have so answers can be more tailored to what you are driving. What works best on a Chevy P chassis would not be particularly relevant if you have a diesel pusher.

And, there are two features I look for in a stabilizer: dampening (important if you have a blow out) AND "return to center", particularly on larger coaches where releasing the steering wheel after a corner still requires you to "unwind" the wheel. I like a combination of positive caster and stabilizer/dampener that return the wheel after a corner when the wheel is released.

BTW, I am happy with the Safe T Plus on my diesel pusher-- provides both functions and is well built. Put over 150,000 miles on last coach (also a DP) with the Safe T Plus with no issues before we sold it.

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Hello Brett, I'm a new member and I'm reading a lot of information about steering control. I just bought a 2004 Winnebago 30B workhorse W22 I believe with Chevy 454 / Allison Trany. I could not keep it in the lane. Constantly adjusting left and right. Is what you offer Dennis good for my MH too?

Marty

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Marty,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Yes, a rear track bar/panhard rod would be a good addition to your W chassis.

BTW, you have a 496 CID/8.1 liter engine.

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Wolfe 10, I am new to the forum and not sure how to ask a question. I am buying a 2005 Newmar Mountain Aire Gas and the owner just added new tires and when I test drive the unit we heard a grinding sound more pronounced on right turns but there on lefts. Was even noticeable with slight adjustments to wheel. Steers good and appears solid but looking for ideas on the new grinding sound. The unit has not been driven more than 100 miles in last 6 years. Owners said it did not do it on way to tire shop yesterday and I never heard it when I drove the unit two weeks ago. Any suggestions?He is taking it back to tire store tomorrow.

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Jim,

Hard to diagnose over the internet, but having not been driven for that long opens up a lot of possibilities such as "front end has not been greased for 6 years, rubber bushings dried out, etc" in addition to some actual issue related to the tire install.

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Thanks for reply.Tire dealer recommended turning wheel all the way left and then right ten times to get air out of power steering lines. It worked.

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Jim, I would be concerned with how the air was introduced? This is common if the front tires were in the air and someone manually steered the coach by the wheels with the engine off. There is actually a tool to suck the air out of the power steering system when this occurs, usually only after a repair is made or like I mentioned above it was manually steered at the wheel end. If it happens again you might want to look at the system and check for leaks In the system, perhaps it's introducing air into the system?

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I have a Fleetwood Bounder 2005 38' DP that has what I would call a mild tracking problem. When going down the highway at 60-63 mph l have to adjust the steering wheel back and forth to maintain straight line. Passing semis don't cause any problem. I am putting new tires on front end next week and then I will get an alignment, is there anything special I should ask for in alignment? Two wheel verses 4 wheel? Castor and toe in. Any other recommend fixes?

Thanks in advance.

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I would get a 4wheel alignment done. I had my coach done shortly after I bought it. I can't find the sheet but the rear axil was off by a couple of degrees. Even if yours checks out you will be able to rule that out in searching for better handling. After you get your new tiers and set the air pressure for your weight try this. Look further down the road sometimes drivers will tend to watch the road right in front of the coach. This tends to lead to more correction but if you can look further out you will find you are doing less correcting of the wheel.

How do you like your 38N?

Bill

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Be sure they start by verifying RIDE HEIGHT (your getting them the specs will help). Particularly on trailing arm suspensions, ride height has a material effect on CASTER. Caster has a significant effect on tracking.

And, they also need to check front end components for wear, including steering gear, tie rod ends, drag link ends and bell crank (if present). Make sure king pins are properly lubricated.

Check sway bar bushings-- they are not expensive, and if play in the end links they do little to keep you from swaying, which is a steering input that you have to correct for.

Also, have them check front wheel bearing end play. A loose front wheel bearing will add to wander.

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Thanks Bill,

I do try to look down the road but still have more wheel adjustment than I think should be there. I know it won't be same as my jeep or Buick but I would like it less than it is now. Do you have this with your Bounder?

Roland

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I just had mh serviced and did have loose front wheel bearing which was serviced, all other components checked out ok. I will try to find ride height and give this to alignment service. If castor needs adjustment should it be on positive or minus side?

Thanks,

Roland

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Roland,

Contact Fleetwood tech. dept. and ask for the alignment specifications. Give them to the shop where you plan on having your coach aligned.

Herman

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Thanks Bill,

I do try to look down the road but still have more wheel adjustment than I think should be there. I know it won't be same as my jeep or Buick but I would like it less than it is now. Do you have this with your Bounder?

Roland

I think my coach tracks pretty good. The next time I have the front end aligned I am going to have them tweak the toe in and caster.

One thing to watch for is some roads have groves/troughs worn in to the wheel tracks from lots of traffic and heavy loads. You will see it more on asphalt paved roads. I have seen it on some concrete roads to. Your coach will try to climb the side of the grove causing a lot of wander. Long way to say sometimes the road contributes to the wander.

Heres hoping after you go through your checks and alignment it helps with the problem. I know how tiring driving a problem coach can be.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Bill

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Thank you Bill! Same to you and yours.
Roland

Thank you all for your input. I hope to get everything completed in the next two weeks.

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Got new front tires yesterday and had them set at correct pressure. Seems to handle better, only slight fidget now. Is it still advisable to get alignment ( 2 or 4 wheel ) ? Old tires where not worn uneven, just Michelin with cracking. New tires are Firestone.

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I would. That way you have eliminated one more or more things that could be affecting how it drives. I would have all 4 checked.

Go back and re read what Brett said about caster and tow in. Also, Herman had some good advise.

Bill

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As Brett said/ a little extra positive caster can help handling. Proper toe is also very important. The steering gear can sometimes be the culprit. Like Carl (Manholt) I have started running a few pounds cold air pressure over the sidewall number. Our Phaeton just handles better doing that. So far the tires are wearing well. Complaints of poor handling are common. Goes with the territory. Just look at the add on devices designed to "improve" handling. As well as our Phaeton handles, it doesn't compare to a premium 18 wheeler that is properly maintained or most any car, but it does ride better.

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