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Taxman 12-24-2006 09:51 PM

In praise of P30 chassis - drivetrain mods
:) As some of you may know, my wife and I recently purchased an exceptionally clean, well-maintained 1990 33' LY, and drove it to Jacksonville FRom Grand Rapids MI.

I FReely admit to being a "gearhead." Consequently, after checking around, I elected to have some high dollar chassis and drivetrain upgrades installed at Camping World; Bilsteins all around, two Super Steer bellcranks, a Steer Safe stabilizer, the Roadmaster Front sway bar and rear sway bar bushing kit, a Banks PowerPack and a Gear Vendors overdrive unit.

Well! I am here to tell you that the nine large it cost me to have the mods done by Camping World were worth every penney!

I picked the LY up yesterday, and though it is only 34 miles FRom St. Augustine to my home, it was immediately apparent that I was driving an entirely new coach!

It was an order of magnitude quiter, much more responsive to steering inputs, much less responsive to big trucks passing and the acceleration (compared to pre-Banks) is astonishing. Passing slower vehicles is a piece of cake! And, the GV does not even downshift in 60-70 MPH passing situations!

Coupled with the Gear Vendors 500 RPM reduction in cruising RPM (at 60 MPH, which is the speed I plan to drive) and a 15 degree drop in water temperature, the engine seems much, much happier.

Can't speak to gas mileage, but am hoping for 2-3 MPG increase. Will be taking a roughly 250 mile trip over the New Year's weekend and will get some MPG figures.

A word of advice to all of you Airstreamers who own coaches built on the P30 chassis: The mods I had done, albeit expensive, are well worth it! You may never pay for them in pure $$$$$ terms, but they will repay you many times over by providing a much more pleasant, much more responsive coach.

I'll be happy to answer any specific questions any of you may have about what I have had done to my LY.

And, by the way, if anyone knows of a panhard rod kit which will fit a P30 chassis with a tag axle, I'd like to hear about it. I really wanted the Super Steer Rear Trac Bar installed on my LY, but it will not fit due to tag axle interference.

hill4th@gvtc 12-24-2006 10:06 PM


I have a 28ft motorhome and just had the front end check and align so I could install the steersafe. Can you tell me if the roadmaster sway bar is better then the stock bar and what is the supersteer bellcranks.

Taxman 12-24-2006 10:19 PM

:) Thanks for the comeback.

Is your MH built on a P30 chassis? If it is, the Roadmaster sway bar kit is much better than the stock bar. The P30 chassis Roadmaster sway bar kit includes a 1 5/8" FRont sway bar, polyurethane bushings and polyurethane bushings for the stock rear sway bar.

The Super Steer Bell Cranks reduce road wandering, rut tracking and steering wheel play. Much safer, more comfortable and relaxing drive. Well worth the price, IMHO.

For more information, go to Camping World or Henderson's Brake and RV, Inc..

I'd also recommend Bilstein shocks -- pricey, but they work!

hill4th@gvtc 12-26-2006 01:10 PM


Thanks for the information on the bell cranks. Do you still need the steering safe if you have the new bell cranks? My motorhome is a 280 tubo diesel with a p30 chassic.

Thanks John

Robfike 12-26-2006 06:34 PM

The main function of the SteerSafe unit is to help you maintain control in the event of a front tire failure, or some other event that would jerk the steering wheel to one side. It just helps you keep the coach from changing direction too quickly.

Silvertwinkie 12-26-2006 10:55 PM

Mods good....stock bad. :D

Not that I'd know anything about the disease call modding or being a gearhead...or anything like that..... :rolleyes:

Sound like you have a fun project RV. A least you can get under it better than I can my car. :D

Taxman 12-27-2006 08:38 AM

As you may know, P30 chassis needs all the help it can get. "Chassis Mods" are a gearhead's "comfort food?"

Now, the Banks kit and the GV overdrive, that is pure gearhead stuff. MSD-6 and full tune up is on schedule for FRiday. Then, I may just go our and ride around some!:)

Fortunately, the coach has been very well maintained, so I can concentrate my efforts on chassis/engine stuff.

DW takes care of the domestics, which is the way it should be. I doan know nothin' 'bout no domestic stuff! LOL!

Silvertwinkie 12-27-2006 10:26 AM


Originally Posted by Taxman
As you may know, P30 chassis needs all the help it can get. "Chassis Mods" are a gearhead's "comfort food?"

Now, the Banks kit and the GV overdrive, that is pure gearhead stuff. MSD-6 and full tune up is on schedule for FRiday. Then, I may just go our and ride around some!:)

Couldn't have said it any better meself. ;)

CarlGeo 12-28-2006 09:27 PM

I just purchased a 1992 AS Land Yacht 30' .The engine and chassis modifications you made sound very appealing to me, and something I would like to have done.
Could you list the mods, and the order of preference if you couldnt afford to have them all done at one time? I would like to certainly improve the overall handling of the coach, and perhaps the performance and economy of the engine.

Taxman 12-29-2006 09:06 AM

CarlGeo, I had all of the mods done at one time, so I'd be hard pressed to tell you which one works the best at improving the P30.

My suggestion is to first go with the Bilsteins (shocks and steering dampner), then the Roadmaster sway bar. Then the Super Steer Bell Cranks. IOW, attack the P30 handling deficiencies first.

(The Safe Steer does not directly affect handling, but will provide a margin of safety on rough roads and in the case of a FRont tire blowout or a wheel dropping off the road surface.)

Does your '92 LY have the overdrive transmission? If it does, then you do not need the Gear Vendors overdive.

If, OTOH, you have the three speed Turbo 400 transmission, the GV is SWEET!

Lastly, the install the Banks PowerPack.

Let us know what you decide to do and keep us informed as to what you think of each mod you do, please.

Happy New Year!

CarlGeo 12-29-2006 07:44 PM

Thanks for the reply. Yes, my MH does have the OD tranny, and I will certainly keep you advised of my progress with the modifications.

Taxman 12-29-2006 10:22 PM

We'll be standing by for your progress reports.

I'm taking a "shakedown" trip tomorrow -- roughly 125 miles -- to a Moody Air Force Base campground -- Grassy Pond -- near Valdosta, GA. I'll have a better feel for the mods I have made to my LY when I get back Tuesday PM, and I'll post any pertintent comments here on Wed, probably.

In the meantime, Happy New Year!

GlenCoombe 12-30-2006 06:37 AM

Taxman, come on up to Shaw AFB in Sumter SC. We'll treat you right. We also have the best darn golf course in the AF.:D

Chuckles 12-30-2006 04:46 PM

I too found a vast improvement in handling with the Super-Steer bell cranks. Being in the UK the standard OEM replacements were very cheap compared with shipping over a pair of Bell Cranks - We call them Steering Idlers.... well then we would! But they are worth every penny (Dollar)

The immediate handling responses were very noticeable indeed. She now goes in a straight line and make traveling down our narrow roads with oncoming trucks a little more reassuring.

Recently we went to a little country pub that we went to to celebrate the Airstream's arrival in the UK in December last year, only his time we came from a different direction to our usual route. All here were amazed we managed to squeeze through areas locally known as the Blackmore Vale and "The Deverills".... It is about 40 miles of country lanes barely wide enough for the Airstream, not to mention trucks coming the opposite direction:eek: , but we made it.

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