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Old 11-09-2014, 06:54 AM   #1
Rivet Master
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1995 36' Classic 36
Ludington , Michigan
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,540
Blue Ox Tru Center

My 360 had a Tru Center on it when I bought it 4 years ago. I had nothing to compare it to so I really didn't know how effective it was. It always seemed to be hard to set without steering well past the desired set point so it would return to the centered force you wanted. Blue Ox said they were unaware of that issue but reading different forums indicated it was common.

This spring it started slipping the set point in turns applying considerable force when straightening the wheel requiring it to be reset by steering well past the desired set point.

I called Blu Ox and was told I could send it in and they would refurbish it for $195. I paid $50 to have it packed and shipped. A few days later they called and said the unit was to old and could not be serviced. They offered me a new unit at 25% off their MSRP. (About $825 with the discount) A few days later the big brown truck brought Christmas early.

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The new unit was a definite upgrade from the older units. I drove it a bit without the stabilizer/centering system and didn't really notice much difference in stability in the driving conditions encountered which didn't include winds. It did steer easier without the 270lbs of centering force which, if I was only driving locally I have one.

While I had the front up on the jacks I noticed some play in the steering gear. It turned out to be wear in the sector shaft bearing. It appears that the Saginaw unit was not intended to be installed with the sector shaft sticking straight up. It created this nice well it catch crap from road that took out the seal and bearing. The Spartan manual shows an improved unit with a outer seal and grease fitting to keep the crap out. It cost about $400 to have the gear rebuilt at a local heavy truck shop.

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I found a seal that fit and packed the cavity with grease.

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I also flushed the entire hydraulic system which was really overdue. That brown goo is supposed to be nice red Dextron.

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It drives real nice with the rebuild and new Tru Center but I haven't had it out for a real test yet.

It was a unexpected $1500 repair but I'm glad to have been through another system end to end. I did find a rather amateurish installation of the wiring for the Tru Center. Wire nuts were used to connect the wires under the chassis exposed to corrosion. The smash on connectors were not really holding the wires to the switch. They were wrapped with tape to hold the wires in the connectors. Probably why it seemed to take multiple pushes of the switch to get it to set.

The Tru Center, and I don't expect things to last for ever, failed at about 20,000 miles and 6 years. The new units are definitely a better design. The $875 that I spent on the new unit and shipping of the old unit was about $100 more than just running down to Camping World and grabbing one off the shelf.

Just thought I'd share my experience.


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Old 11-11-2014, 08:36 AM   #2
Rivet Master
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1995 36' Classic 36
Ludington , Michigan
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,540
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One other thing. The new units come with a timer circuit to prevent the solenoid from burning out if you hold the button too long. I mounted it up in the nose and pulled power from a breaker that I installed in the unused ABS location. Much cleaner than installing more rats nest under the dash. I'm trying to clean up some of that mess. The options like CB, backup camera, stereo, we're not very eloquently installed.
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