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 > Steering problem. Does not go straight on highway

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rajdude

Virginia

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Posted: 07/25/12 08:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok so I did a couple of things:

Centered the safe-t-plus

Since the MH was pulling to the right even after alignment, I centered the safe-t-plus steering centering spring. It was easy enough. After that the MH started going straight. The pull to the side was gone.

However I did notice that the steering still behaved slightly strangely. It was most noticeable while turning slightly while on the road. It felt like there is something which suddenly moves the steering on its own. For example, if I am turning slightly to the right side, at first the steering had to be moved with slight force then suddenly it felt that there is something which is now moving the steering on its own to the right side. At that point I’d have to correct the additional movement. This problem was there even before the tire alignment.

It was weird…as if the steering pump or steering assist mechanism was not working linearly.

Just as a test, I removed the safe-t-plus.

Two things happened:

1. The strange behavior of the steering went away!
So it must be the safe-t-plus which was causing the sudden additional force I mentioned above. Maybe it was the centering spring’s resistance which had to be overcome before it allowed movement to the side. And that resistance was not linear.
I am happy with the steering now; it is as linear as a car now.

2. The steering wandering increased slightly.
The increase in wandering is very slight… not too bothersome, but it did increase a bit.
Well, this is not what I am too happy with. I guess the safe-t-plus was trying to keep the steering centered (as it was designed for).

Bottom line, I think I will keep the safe-t-plus off. The weird steering response in not worth it (in my opinion).

I am aware that the steering centering system is helpful in case of tire blowouts. I think we should all educate ourselves on how to handle such an event properly. For example, as mentioned in this education video from Michelin Tire:

http://rainbowrv.com/rv-talk/how-to-recover-steering-with-a-tire-blow-out.html

We are supposed to “give it more fuel, ‘step on the gas'.” I know it is counter intuitive but I guess it works.

One last thing… I am going to take the MH to Mccarthy’s again. The steering wheel needs to be centered. While going straight it is always a little turned to the right side.
Also I am going to ask them if they can make the wheel a little tighter. Right now the turning force is too little. I prefer it a little tighter.


-Raj
rajdude.com
'02 Fleetwood Terra 26Y MH

SpinRite

Research Triangle, NC

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Posted: 07/25/12 09:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rajdude wrote:

Posted: 07/21/12 01:06pm....The wandering is almost gone, but the steering is still a little loose. I mean it takes very little effort to turn. Don the mechanic ... he likes them to be a little harder. I asked if he can adjust something, and he told me that he did not know how. ...

rajdude wrote:

Posted: 07/25/12 10:44am ...Also I am going to ask them if they can make the wheel a little tighter. Right now the turning force is too little. I prefer it a little tighter.

As Perry Mason used to say: "...asked and answered, Your Honor."

Quite a saga - glad you finally got it (mostly) fixed. And thanks for posting the outcome, since many folks lose interest in further posting once they have gotten a solution. Also, the local RV-ers got two shop reviews (one positive, one not so good) out of your experience.


'94 Holiday Rambler Navigator
38', Cummins 8.3 300hp, Allison 3060
pushed by a 2005 Honda Element

rajdude

Virginia

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Posted: 07/25/12 09:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, I am hoping that there are other mechanics in the shop who know steering adjustments. I suspect Don is only their alignment guy.

wny_pat

Western NYS

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Posted: 07/25/12 11:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rajdude wrote:

Well, I am hoping that there are other mechanics in the shop who know steering adjustments. I suspect Don is only their alignment guy.
Good alignment guys are worth their weight in gold!!!

And you might want to visit the Workhorse chassis club over at IRV2. Lots of good info you your chassis.

Also it is not unusual to see people around here with the same problem on a P-32 chassis.


“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

Jerry B

Lake of the Ozarks

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Posted: 07/25/12 09:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

stripit wrote:

Easy, you align the rear to the chassis and then the front to the rear. Is done all the time and corrects many steering issues. In the old days it was called dog tracking and the rear axle was installed just a bit off of true. The rear axle is then pushing the vehicle to the direction the rear wheels are aiming. The driver is trying to compensate for the push and steers the other direction. Caused all kinds of handling issues and abnormal tire wear.



How and where are the adjustments made to align the rear axle with the chassis? The only adjustment I can envision would be to move the spring attach points?


Jerry B
Mobile Suites 36TK3

BigRabbitMan

Cottage Grove, OR

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Posted: 07/25/12 11:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Light steering can be a symtom of too much relative weight on the rear and it causes too little weight on the front. That reduces the friction of turning the front wheels and causes "light" effort.

Do the weighing and then take a look at it. Then put some sandbags on the floor up front and see if that reduces the light steering. If it does and your axel rating will allow it, put some weights behind the front bumper as permanent weights.

You are doing a good job of analysing the problem. Keep it up.

SpinRite wrote:

rajdude wrote:

Posted: 07/21/12 01:06pm....The wandering is almost gone, but the steering is still a little loose. I mean it takes very little effort to turn. Don the mechanic ... he likes them to be a little harder. I asked if he can adjust something, and he told me that he did not know how. ...

rajdude wrote:

Posted: 07/25/12 10:44am ...Also I am going to ask them if they can make the wheel a little tighter. Right now the turning force is too little. I prefer it a little tighter.

As Perry Mason used to say: "...asked and answered, Your Honor."

Quite a saga - glad you finally got it (mostly) fixed. And thanks for posting the outcome, since many folks lose interest in further posting once they have gotten a solution. Also, the local RV-ers got two shop reviews (one positive, one not so good) out of your experience.



BigRabbitMan & DiamondGal
Gas to Diesel Conversion project
76 FMC #1046, Gas Pusher becoming a Diesel Pusher
"You're never too old to learn something stupid."
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stripit

Casa Grande, AZ

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Posted: 07/26/12 09:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sometimes the mounting is installed off of true and needs to be cut and re-welded. Sometimes the spring mounts are not lined up and need to be loosened and shifted. The back axle needs to be true to the frame, then you aligned the front to the rear. When the rear axle is not even checked to see where it is in relation to the front, there is no way to ensure the front will track correctly. Think about it, cock the back axle ever so slightly off to one side so the axle would make the coach go in that direction. Now have the front straight, the back will want to push the rear of the coach and the driver is trying to correct the "feel" that it isn't going straight down the road. Makes if feel like a wander or the driver is always correcting the rear push. Semi trucks that are wearing tires out find the rear axle out of position a lot causing the tire wear and poor driving feel. I ran the bodyshop and a 4 wheel alignment was mandatory to ensure a good driving repair after any axle,frame or suspension work was done.



Jerry B wrote:

stripit wrote:

Easy, you align the rear to the chassis and then the front to the rear. Is done all the time and corrects many steering issues. In the old days it was called dog tracking and the rear axle was installed just a bit off of true. The rear axle is then pushing the vehicle to the direction the rear wheels are aiming. The driver is trying to compensate for the push and steers the other direction. Caused all kinds of handling issues and abnormal tire wear.



How and where are the adjustments made to align the rear axle with the chassis? The only adjustment I can envision would be to move the spring attach points?



Stacey Frank
'04 Mobile Suites 36 TK3 #1341
'99 Int'l 4700 Lo Pro MDT
'08 Lexus 400H

bigred1cav

ohio

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Posted: 07/26/12 12:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stop drinking alcoholic beverages 12 hours before departing thta usually gets me ok to drive in a straight line.





rajdude

Virginia

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Posted: 07/26/12 01:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I asked Don, the alignment mechanic about rear alignment. He said that the rear on my MH is not adjustable. He felt that the problem is not the rear anyway.

Jerry B wrote:

stripit wrote:

Easy, you align the rear to the chassis and then the front to the rear. Is done all the time and corrects many steering issues. In the old days it was called dog tracking and the rear axle was installed just a bit off of true. The rear axle is then pushing the vehicle to the direction the rear wheels are aiming. The driver is trying to compensate for the push and steers the other direction. Caused all kinds of handling issues and abnormal tire wear.



How and where are the adjustments made to align the rear axle with the chassis? The only adjustment I can envision would be to move the spring attach points?


rajdude

Virginia

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Joined: 06/15/2011

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Posted: 07/26/12 01:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, that is very much possible. however I cringe at the thought of driving around with extra weight to fix the problem. gas mileage will surely take a hit, right?

BigRabbitMan wrote:

Light steering can be a symtom of too much relative weight on the rear and it causes too little weight on the front. That reduces the friction of turning the front wheels and causes "light" effort.

Do the weighing and then take a look at it. Then put some sandbags on the floor up front and see if that reduces the light steering. If it does and your axel rating will allow it, put some weights behind the front bumper as permanent weights.

You are doing a good job of analysing the problem. Keep it up.

SpinRite wrote:

rajdude wrote:

Posted: 07/21/12 01:06pm....The wandering is almost gone, but the steering is still a little loose. I mean it takes very little effort to turn. Don the mechanic ... he likes them to be a little harder. I asked if he can adjust something, and he told me that he did not know how. ...

rajdude wrote:

Posted: 07/25/12 10:44am ...Also I am going to ask them if they can make the wheel a little tighter. Right now the turning force is too little. I prefer it a little tighter.

As Perry Mason used to say: "...asked and answered, Your Honor."

Quite a saga - glad you finally got it (mostly) fixed. And thanks for posting the outcome, since many folks lose interest in further posting once they have gotten a solution. Also, the local RV-ers got two shop reviews (one positive, one not so good) out of your experience.


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