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Old 03-15-2014, 03:36 PM   #1
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1982 31' Airstream 310
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Lots of play in steering corrected

Adjusted the steering gearbox and installed a new monroe steering damper today. Man oh man what a difference in going down the road. It took nearly all the play out of the steering, no more side to side constantly Correcting for passing semis and wind......Success must be celebrated when working on these old rigs that seem to fight back at every turn. So to speak.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:05 PM   #2
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Do tell! I was going to do the bell cranks this summer... I am googling "monroe steering damper"
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:17 PM   #3
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Adjusting the gear in the steering box is a breeze. The lock nut and screw "threaded shaft" adjustment is located on the drivers side of the steering gearbox located at the very end of the steering column. The screw has an allan head opening in the top. You will need the single "L" type allan wrench. You hold the screw steady while you loosen the lock nut 5/8". Loosen up the lock nut a few turns then turn the screw clockwise a 1/4 to 1/2 a turn to start. Then you will need to drive the rig and see if you need to tighten it a little more. You will feel the difference immediately, reduced side to side play in the steering wheel. Its very important to adjust it a little at a time or you can damage the internals if you screw it down too tight. Oh, after you screw the shaft in then you hold it steady with the allan wrench while you tighten the lock nut. Hope thats clear, if not let me know. Im no mechanic as you can tell but ive owned plenty of older trucks where i did this exact same thing. Eventually if the play continues to come back with wear, the internals will need to be rebuilt but you should get many miles out of an adjustment, im pretty certain this was the first time mine had been adjusted. Now the steering damper is a different story........if you need info on that let me know, it was a bit of a PITA.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:40 PM   #4
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Please share the information on the steering damper.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:19 AM   #5
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Wellll.....the front bolt on the stabilizer is kind of hidden though you CAN get to it. Once you get under there you will see what i mean. I ended up cutting a small section (1.5" x 3") out of the bottom of my plastic bumper wrap to facilitate ease of access. Unless you are underneath the bumper on your back you cant see the piece i cut out. I was able to hold the body of of the stabilizer with a pipe wrench while i backed off the front nut off the shaft. There is a small flattenned area on the front of the shaft that you could possibly get a adjustsble wrench on to hold it syeady while backing off the nut but i didnt need to. The front nut came off pretty easy and the rear did also after removing the cotter pin that goes through the tapered bolt that goes through the stabilizer and bell crank arm. Now the hard part for me was getting that tapered nut out of the whole in the bell crank arm. I pounded like heck trying to free it but you are on your back, swinging up with a hammer (2 lb in my case) and i couldnt get a good swing at it and i fidnt want to flatten the head on the bolt for fear of spreading it and making it hard to get through the hole in the BC arm. Sooooooo, without success in getting it to budge, i did search and found some info and tried banging on the side of the BC arm and it was "supposed" to pop right out........not. So, i ended up heating the end of the bell crank arm around the hole holding the tapered bolt with my plumbers torch using map gas. ( yellow bottle, its hotter than the blue bottle gas) i put the heat on it for quite a while, then used a pickle fork on the top of the bolt, there is room to get it started under the top bolt. SUCCESS! It popped right out. Thank god cause i was ready to give up. Once that is out, reinstallation of thenew stabilizer is a breeze. Now ive heard of these tapered bolts popping right out with a couple whacks with a hammer so dont be dicouraged, mine chose to be stubborn. Anyway, all is good, took it out for a test drive on the high way and man o man o man what a difference. Soooooo all in all, ive replaced the front air bags, adjusted the steering gear box, and replaced the stabilizer. It tracks real nice going down the road without all that constant side to side correction to keep it straight. It was so bad that i considerred it a safety issue really. Have at it, its not that bad really, glad to get to know my rig better anyway.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:25 AM   #6
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I used the monroe stabilizer, bought it off amazon for about $60 i think. But do a search for your year of the p30, there are several to choose from. You might use "steering damper" for your search, i think that is what chevy calls it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:28 AM   #7
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I forgot, i also replaced the front shocks!
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