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Old 09-21-2011, 06:23 PM   #1
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1996 32' Cutter Bus
Petaluma , California
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 112
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Broken shock mount '96 X-Line Cutter Pusher

Hi All,

We bought our first Class A, a '96 Airstream Cutter '32 this past June. It was in great shape and we immediately went on a vacation to Victoria BC from the San Francisco Bay Area. We discovered a few problems, the main one being that the shocks were shot. I figured I'd save a few nickels and install them myself. I broke the stud off of the first one I tried, so I took it to a tire shop to install the rest. The part is no longer in stock by Freightliner in the USA or Canada so I've got a few junkyards checking their yards for a new shock mount. I think my only other option would be to take it to a machine shop and see if they can put a new stud on there. The gentleman that I spoke with in Gafney was quite helpful as well as Golden Gate Truck Center in nearby Oakland, Ca. Anybody got any other ideas or suggestions?

Thanks for your time!

Adam
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:42 AM   #2
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,271
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Welcome to the joys of owning a motorhome.
What engine have you got?
I wonder if you have a Freightliner chassis? These units of this length were Ford or Chev. in previous years.
Freightliner just took over the chassis division of Oshkosh in Jan 1996 and may well have introduced the shorter chassis for a short period???
If it is a Freightliner chassis, and you have no luck sourcing the part, I agree your best bet is to have a machine shop rebuild/reconstruct what you need.
On a unit with this short WB you will always have handling problems on the open highway.
Ideally, the ratio should be over 50%. ie: WB x 100 divided by length = ?
Dave



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Originally Posted by AdamB View Post
Hi All,

We bought our first Class A, a '96 Airstream Cutter '32. We discovered a few problems, the main one being that the shocks were shot. The part is no longer in stock by Freightliner in the USA or Canada ---The gentleman that I spoke with in Gafney was quite helpful as well as Golden Gate Truck Center in nearby Oakland, Ca. Anybody got any other ideas or suggestions?

Thanks for your time!

Adam
e
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:08 PM   #3
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1996 32' Cutter Bus
Petaluma , California
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 112
Images: 34
Hey Dave,

Thanks for the reply! Yes, this is a (John Deere, OshKosh) Freightliner X-Line chassis diesel pusher. This one has the chassis upgrade with the 230hp Cummins Turbo Diesel 5.9 and Allison 6-speed. The Cutter '32 was only available as a diesel pusher with either the 210hp 5.9 + 4-speed Allison or with the 230hp 5.9 + 6-speed Allison.

The ratio for this rig is 49.6%.... so it's fairly close to 50%. But I've talked to a few old timers at different campgrounds recently on a trip to Victoria, BC and they all said that the handling can be a little unnerving and these guys had big Class A's, 5th wheels, etc.

Your rig looks nice! How big is it? I just uploaded some more pics of my rig to this site so you can see mine. We talked to several people from Nanaimo who were in Victoria for Canada Day like us in July. Got to see some Triple E rigs too!

Going to give it 2 more weeks to see if I can get that part from somewhere before heading to the machine shop!

Cheers!

Adam
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:45 AM   #4
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,271
Images: 55
Adam:
Your unit looks great and should give you many years of enjoyment with the chassis options you have. That drive train should outlast even you.
I expect you have this manual?

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Have you got pass thru compartments on that chassis? If yes -- Is the pass thru above or below the frame?

What is the Airstream build date on you unit? and the serial #710???.

These were great years for Airstream innovation, but every unit built seems to be a different configuration. No wonder they were priced so high.

Our Clipper is a HD chassis and we run with full water and fuel all the time when leaving home or campgrounds. It helps ballast the unit in high crosswinds and we have absolutely no complaints on the handling. It is just a pleasure to drive, whether on the freeway or the mountain highways of BC.
We just returned from our second trip to the east (NY ON) this year. Over 15000 miles this year so far. Can't wait to hit the road again, but we have no plans of any off Island trips until the new year.
Hope we can cross paths sometime.
Dave




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Originally Posted by AdamB View Post
Hey Dave,

Thanks for the reply! Yes, this is a (John Deere, OshKosh) Freightliner X-Line chassis diesel pusher. This one has the chassis upgrade with the 230hp Cummins Turbo Diesel 5.9 and Allison 6-speed. The Cutter '32 was only available as a diesel pusher with either the 210hp 5.9 + 4-speed Allison or with the 230hp 5.9 + 6-speed Allison.

The ratio for this rig is 49.6%.... so it's fairly close to 50%. But I've talked to a few old timers at different campgrounds recently on a trip to Victoria, BC and they all said that the handling can be a little unnerving and these guys had big Class A's, 5th wheels, etc.

Your rig looks nice! How big is it? I just uploaded some more pics of my rig to this site so you can see mine. We talked to several people from Nanaimo who were in Victoria for Canada Day like us in July. Got to see some Triple E rigs too!

Going to give it 2 more weeks to see if I can get that part from somewhere before heading to the machine shop!

Cheers!

Adam
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:48 PM   #5
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1996 32' Cutter Bus
Petaluma , California
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Hi Dave,

That manual is for something way more complicated than what we have. There's no information center or anything even remotely similar to that on our rig. I'll take some pictures of the dashboard next time I go to the storage space where it's stored at. We do have two big pass through compartments that pass through above the frame in the middle. The serial is 710159 and I just updated that on my user CP. Is the HD chassis made by Oshkosh or Spartan by any chance? Your rig appears to be a diesel pusher so I don't think it's a Ford or Chevy. We stayed one night at the Airstream Harbor in Washington on our Victoria trip. We saw a lot of Airstream motorhomes parked in the driveways of folks who lived there. I'll see if I can put a picture of my old shocks and new shocks on here so you can see how bad the old shocks were. The ride was not very good on rough roads, but very nice on smooth roads and highways.... but what can you expect with worn shocks? So we're very hopeful to get this issue cleared up and go for our first ride on the new Bilsteins. We got 11.4 miles per US gallon on that trip. And that trip to Victoria included a lot of city driving as we decided on not towing anything for our first trip. So we might be able to get higher MPG when we use a tow vehicle for sight-seeing on our next trip.

Talk to you soon,

Adam
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:47 PM   #6
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1996 32' Cutter Bus
Petaluma , California
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Well I finally got the shock mount fixed by a local machine/welding shop. The part the senior machinist made for me is actually better than the original and for only $150 installed! Now I have to try and get my $400 back from Freightliner for the backordered part that is no longer in production. Now ready for a trip to LA! I only drove it a short distance to our home from the machine shop, but the ride was awesome compared to before.
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