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Old 10-23-2006, 09:46 AM   #1
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1983 31' Airstream310
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Sloppy Steering...

Our 310 Classic seems to have a lot of play in the steering. My husband looked at the linkage, and has decided that this is just the way it is. He has become quite skilled at handling it, but I find it unsettling. I want to learn how to drive it next summer in case of emergency and to give him a break. I just can't see myself doing that as things are now. Has anyone been able to improve the steering?
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:54 AM   #2
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Our '86 345 has 159,000 miles and NO slop in the steering. That is how yours should be. I think a trip to a good truck alignment shop would be in order. With a machine that large, sloppy steering is a really bad thing.
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:59 AM   #3
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You may have bad ball joints, they can be bad, and the truck can wallow around, and you won't be able to tell unless you check them in the right way.
Once that much weight starts moving in the wrong direction, and you overcorrect, it can feed on itself, eventually swaying all over the road at best.
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:15 AM   #4
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WE also changed out the bilstein steering stabilizer and added "steersafe"(which was a do it yourself installation". Both have improved the steering
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:31 AM   #5
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When I got the Peanut, the front end was so loose it felt like floating a boat. First chance I got I tore apart the front end and upgraded shocks, springs, stabilizer and airbags. (rear shocks too). Drives just fine now!
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Old 10-25-2006, 02:33 PM   #6
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Also, check the tire's air pressure. If it is too low you will have a mushy front end that will contribute to rambling. If it is a matter of excess play in the stering wheel, you may need a new stering worm. (that might be outdated by the time your motor home was built) I remember my Dad replacing the stering worm in an older pick-up he once had because of loose play in the stering system, but it didn't have power stering.
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Old 10-29-2006, 05:18 PM   #7
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Do not drive with loose steering. You will not be able to control the MoHo if you are trying to avoid an accident. Have your Airstream checked by a good truck shop. Our 345 drives great so why put up with loose steering when you know it does not have to be loose. Safety first.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:59 AM   #8
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Great replies!

Thanks all. Good to know that this is something we can ammend!
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:32 AM   #9
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I'm beginning to see some noticable cupping on my steer tires. In fact between 40 - 50 I get a related vibration in the front end.

I know this is related to suspension/steering or out of balance wheels. The tires are fairly new (< 25,000 miles on them) and while I've been thinking about adding some centramatics on the steer tires I was wondering about correcting the situation rather than simply masking it.

To date I have replaced the bags, shocks (bilstein), wheel bearings, steering stabilizer (bilstein) and the previously mention tires/balance.

I grease all of the joints regularly and have checked for end play on the lower ball joints (it's hard to tell if there is any since everything is so heavy).

Any suggestions on other items to check or tests to perform?

I don't get what I would ocnsider excessive wandering or steering play...the rig doesn't steer away from the crown in the road, etc.

For a long time I ran my front tire pressure too high (at the recommendation of the installing dealer) but have since adjusted to the correct pressure for the weight/wheels.

Is this simply an out of balance deal or something more?
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:39 AM   #10
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I had intermittent vibration and then sloppy steering. Recently I replaced the steering stabilizer which took care of both of the problems.
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:58 AM   #11
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dumb question...

...what is a stabilizer, was it quite expensive and where do you have work done? (We are in the process of looking for a good shop that can do work for us.)
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:00 AM   #12
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Uh oh, I did a search...

Please disregard my dumb question.
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auretrvr
...what is a stabilizer, was it quite expensive and where do you have work done? (We are in the process of looking for a good shop that can do work for us.)
Like ashock, right front.

looks like this
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
I know this is related to suspension/steering or out of balance wheels. The tires are fairly new (< 25,000 miles on them) and while I've been thinking about adding some centramatics on the steer tires I was wondering about correcting the situation rather than simply masking it.
I had never heard of centramatics before researching Airstreams (the only trailer I've researched) on this forum so I didn't know you could put them on anything except trailers. Can you get them for different sized vehicles or is it a one size fits or doesn't fit, no options kind of thing? I know they aren't a substitute for front end alignment and balancing, etc. But what are they also available for?
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