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-   -   Sloppy Steering... (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f311/sloppy-steering-27175.html)

Minnie's Mate 10-31-2006 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swebster
Minnie, the tires are $280 each. Since I have eight of them on the 345 I'm all about keeping them happy.

The centramatics are much cheaper...something like $180 a pair for steer tires.

Oh, I thought you meant the centramatics were $280 each. Still, at $90 a piece, they can add up for 8 tires.

I can see where you would want to extend the life of those tires as long as possible. You don't have to replace the centramatics every time you replace the tires so they are a one time investment to prolong the life of every tire you buy.

dmac 10-31-2006 09:31 AM

Beginner has great advise... sloppy steering is annoying at best, dangerous at worst. Something must be loose. Jacking it up and hand wiggling the joints will not work as easily as on a small car. However the procedure mentioned by Beginner should give a hint as to what is loose.

I had an SOB MH that wandered all over the road, especially in wind, and had sloopy steering. I replaced a tie-rod, installed new front tires, and had it aligned. It still wandered all over and had sloppy steering. I sold the thing... but if I had it to do over again I would have a mom-and-pop front-end shop go through it.

Auretrvr 11-03-2006 08:10 PM

Thanks Beginner...
 
My husband had the moho at a front end shop today and pretty much found what you have posted here. Karma coming your way for taking time to help us out!!

balrgn 11-03-2006 08:32 PM

That's great! You won't believe how the ride will improve. Let us know how you make out!!! :cool:

overlander63 11-03-2006 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swebster
But checking for play and loose ball joints is just not as easy as it is on my Beetle. ;)

Actually, it is.
Jack up one front wheel under the lower control arm, so the bottom of the tire is about two inches off the ground.
Place a jackstand under the motor home so it won't fall on you.
Shake the wheel in and out at the top. Note any play in the upper ball joint (an assistant is invaluable for this).
Take a long pry flat-end bar, and place the flat end under the tire about halfway under the tire's width.
With your assistant watching the lower ball joint, lift up on the end of the prybar not under the tire.
If movement is noted with either test, the ball joint is worn out, and should be replaced promptly, and the front end aligned.
Repeat the test on the other side.
If movement is noted when moving the wheel in and out, but the ball joints are not moving, you may just have loose wheel bearings. Adjust the bearings and retest.

swebster 11-03-2006 09:48 PM

Thanks for all of the tips and tricks. Does any single element contribute to cupping of the tires more than others?

Terry - as always thanks for the DIY version for testing my rig.

Beginner 11-03-2006 10:34 PM

Sloppy Steering
 
Yes it good to do it yourself, but, the small shops in my area will make these quick checks for free and being reptuable, not needing to change parts for a larger bill because they are usually swamped, will tell you the truth. Also, dealing with this type of failure on a daily basis, these mechanics will pickup wear and tear that that those of us who don't do such things daily may miss.
Beginner

ROBERTSUNRUS 11-03-2006 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by balrgn
Like ashock, right front.

looks like this

:) Hi, this can be somewhat confusing. Although the shock like thing on it's side is actually a steering dampner; And that is what it actually does, dampen the shock of the steering from bumps and grooves in the road. This dampens the sideways shock of the bump in the road to the steering linkage. But sometimes they are called steering stabilizers.
:) The bar on the bottom of your picture [post #13] is the stabilizer and or sway bar. And it is connected on each end by stabilizer links.
:) So when you ask for a stabilizer; Do you really want a stabilizer bar or do you want a steering dampner?

:) :) Bob:) :)

balrgn 11-04-2006 05:28 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
:) Hi, this can be somewhat confusing. Although the shock like thing on it's side is actually a steering dampner; And that is what it actually does, dampen the shock of the steering from bumps and grooves in the road. This dampens the sideways shock of the bump in the road to the steering linkage. But sometimes they are called steering stabilizers.
:) The bar on the bottom of your picture [post #13] is the stabilizer and or sway bar. And it is connected on each end by stabilizer links.
:) So when you ask for a stabilizer; Do you really want a stabilizer bar or do you want a steering dampner?

:) :) Bob:) :)


It is a Stabilizer Bar, they will know what you mean. They should look your chassis year and engine up in a parts book to get the correct part.

One other thing I have noticed. If you have a bit of air in your lines, which I did, when you push on the brake pedal it will pause, sort of, and pull to one side momentarily... (did that make sense?)

:cool:

Beginner 11-04-2006 02:53 PM

Sloppy Steering
 
One thing that I forgot. On the steering column between the steering wheel and the steering box there may be universal joints and segments(steering column not a straight shot to the steering box) and there will probally be a vibration isolation damper (to remove road shock from the steering wheel). The different manufacturers had their own ideas of how this vibration isolator should be built. Dodge trucks and vans have a "ball and trunion" looking araingement, GM used what looked like a piece of tire sidewall riveted to the steering column shaft then rotated 90 degrees and then riveted to the steering column going to the steering wheel. At any rate have these additional sources of loosness (play) checked out also.
Beginner

Cracker 11-04-2006 05:01 PM

I had an '85 22' Winnebago on the Chevy chassis with the 454. I completely rebuilt or replaced everything on the front end, including new air bags, tires, stabilizer, shocks, and tie rod ends. It still handled sloppy and it would wear you out on a long trip. The alignment was done by a top notch heavy truck shop. I installed the Steersafe system and the problem was cured immediately. I could now enjoy a cup of coffee while steering with one hand on the wheel! It may not work for everyone - but I sure was impressed.

swebster 11-07-2006 09:15 PM

Cracker,
Which system? The stabilizer or the spring returns on the wheels?

Cracker 11-08-2006 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swebster
Cracker,
Which system? The stabilizer or the spring returns on the wheels?

I'm not sure that I understand your question. The Steersafe assembly is, in effect, a pair of spring loaded centering devices ("---spring returns"?) mounted at each front wheel that help to keep the wheels from wandering. The "stabilizer" I referred to is the OEM horizontal shock absorber that attaches to the transverse tie rod to "dampen" the same wandering tendancy - as discussed earlier. The latter, although marginally effective, just doesn't seem to have the degree of effectiveness that the Steersafe does. This is probably due to the normal "lash" or sloppiness in the vehicles steering apparatus that the OEM horizontal shock absorber simply cannot address - regardless of new tire rod ends and the like.

Beginner 11-08-2006 02:03 PM

Sloppy Steering
 
Just got off the phone with one of the local front end shops and one of the sloppy steering problems(wander) was reffered to as memory steering. He went on to explain that stiff components(frozen stiff ball joints, frozen tie rod ends and frozed idler arms) can cause this. This problem I am addressing is the failure of the steering wheel to center after a turn by its self. This can also be caused by a stiff steering stabilizer(center drag link shock absorber).
The wheels when seperated from the steering box should move freely from left to right.
Just food for thought.
Beginner

Cracker 11-08-2006 03:48 PM

I think that, for many motorhomes, once all of the steering components are up to specification, and the vehicle is properly aligned, the very nature of the beast, i.e. - high profile and high center of gravity, plus relatively poor aerodynamics and a lot of weight forward - makes the wandering tendancy a common problem. A dip in the road, a cross-wind, a passing vehicle - all contribute to wander. The Steersafe simply provides a substantial force to keep the wheels straight ahead. It is also suppose to prevent loss of control if the right wheel leaves the pavement and encounters a soft shoulder. I can't vouch for the latter as it never happened to me personally!

Beginner 11-08-2006 07:06 PM

Sloppy Steering
 
Somewhere I read that the angle of inclination of the king pin(when vehicles still had kingpins) combined with the weight of the vehicle made the wheels return to straight if you let go of the steering wheel. Of course ball joints have replaced the king pin, but they do the same job and should maintain the same amiginary angle of inclination that is supposed to make the wheels center when you release the steering wheel when the vehicle is rolling.

I have found this to be true on all the vehicles that I have owned except for the Dodge van and the present GMC van.

That being said I can see the distinct advantage of having the Steersafe system that is supposed to force the wheels straight inspite of a blow out or wandering off the road.
I had a blow out on a walk in van one day( no power steering) and as I remember it was a bear to hold(only doing 35 Mph or so).
Beginner

ROBERTSUNRUS 11-08-2006 11:51 PM

:) Hi, Beginner. The king pin angle and the offset of the ball joints is called "Caster" Like the wheels on a cart, Casters, they lean back to follow in the direction of motion. Three basic parts of wheel alignment are Caster, Camber, and Toe.

:) :) Bob:) :)

Beginner 11-09-2006 05:48 AM

Sloppy Steering
 
Thanks
I understand the concept, but because I don't use them on a daily basis I forgot the labels.
Seriously, thank you for the gouge though, I never put the two together (Casters: Caster angle, duh) been saying for years.
Soon as my sholder gets a little better, Im going to disconnect the components of the front end on my van and see if there are any stiff joints like the fellow at the front end shop referred to.
Beginner

Chuckles 11-09-2006 02:13 PM

One item I replaced - two actually - were the Bell Cranks. Well that's what they are called in the USA, we refer them to the "Idlers".

Driving an Airstream on the narrow UK roads full of ruts and pot-holes, and not to mention mad truck drivers! (I said don't mention the mad truck drivers!) Steering has to be spot on.

It was a bit hairy when we first had the 310, but after getting Mary to wrench the steering wheel from one side to the other, while I checked under, a small amount of vertical movement could be seen. It was only a small amount but after fitting "SuperSteer" Bell Cranks, it was marvelous - She actually stayed in a straight line. I can drive now one handed with a glass in the other now!!

All this on a coach with only 43000 miles! I did replace the front air bags as well but the main benefit with the air bags was no more vicious banging from underneath when hitting a bumpy road, We have a lot of those here!

For my money the SuperSteer units were well worth it.

Howard Lefkowitz 11-09-2006 03:09 PM

Check the Kingpins
 
Before you purchase new parts, shocks, stabilizers etc. you should have the king pins checked. The grease fitting's are almost impossible to get too without jacking up the chassis with the wheels on the ground. That is what my problem was. Get a front end alignment and have them check the king pins first. A good shop will always check for worn parts before doing an alignment. If you are in the Greater Washington DC area I know a great place. After you are aligned and worn parts have been replaced, including shocks, you should have no more problems with the steering.


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