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Old 05-20-2013, 09:11 AM   #1
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Nasty Surprise

When I picked up my Forrester from getting warranty work done I was forced to hold the steering wheel at 2 oclock to keep the the rig rolling straight. I checked the toad for a steering related issue and didn't find anything. The behavior held steady for about thirty minutes. Then I felt what I can only describe as a hydraulic ram movement through the steering column and then I was headed for the side of the road. The steering wheel had recentered and was back to a 12 o'clock position straight ahead. Has anyone experienced this before? The problem has not reoccurred so there is no chance a mechanic would be able to troubleshoot the issue but I would like some ideas as to what might have caused this behavior. FYI I've driven the stretch of I-40 that is occurred on repeatedly and I am certain that the crown of the road was not the cause.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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Steering Damper?

Look underneath your front axle and make sure the damper (looks like small shock) is not damaged, bracket coming lose on frame or u-clamps lose on tie-rod. This helps to keep your steering centered. Of course check tire pressures and steering fluid.

Just something quick to check that could be bidding the steering tie-rod.

Tim
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:54 PM   #3
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Pretty scary sounding. I don't have an answer, but tuning in hoping you get some input and resolve this issue. That could've been bad.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:06 PM   #4
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That is scary. Could be something in the power steering pilot or centering spool valve. Was the wheel fighting you such that if you let it go it would center and head for the side of the road? I would normally think it was a toad problem with it's steering column lock system kicking in or Toad caster issues. Not sure what your toad is but there are some vehicles that have caster setting such that they do not center well when towing which could push the tail of the RV and give the sensation you felt. However the "hydraulic" comment you made would seem to indicate a power steering system issue on the coach. Do you have a toad braking system? Could it be interfering with the toad ABS system somehow?

I've never been a fan of 4 down towing and think a dolly is a much safer and problem free method. A dolly has better braking with much less wear and tear on the towed vehicle.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:50 PM   #5
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Happened twice to us this summer...was told to put air in the tires. Problem resolved
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:57 AM   #6
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Just in case folks are wondering if the mystery pull claimed me, it didn't. The problem was that the club I was using to secure the steering wheel of the toad was getting moved and wedged in a turned position when the toad went over a bump going around a corner. At low speed the pull wasn't severe but once you got up to highway speeds it was. Pulling into the direction of the wedge or hitting another bump dislodged the club. That's why I didn't find the problem the first time. The fix was to swap the club with one that hooks to the clutch. I suppose I could have extended the handle on the club but that still allowed some one way movement when the club pushed into the seat instead of pushing against the console or door. There was nothing wrong with the rig.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyGuy View Post
Just in case folks are wondering if the mystery pull claimed me, it didn't. The problem was that the club I was using to secure the steering wheel of the toad was getting moved and wedged in a turned position when the toad went over a bump going around a corner. At low speed the pull wasn't severe but once you got up to highway speeds it was. Pulling into the direction of the wedge or hitting another bump dislodged the club. That's why I didn't find the problem the first time. The fix was to swap the club with one that hooks to the clutch. I suppose I could have extended the handle on the club but that still allowed some one way movement when the club pushed into the seat instead of pushing against the console or door. There was nothing wrong with the rig.

Assuming you are towing 4 down you should have the steering wheel free to turn. There should be no club and the ignition lock, if you have one, should be free. Restricting steering wheel movement in turns will cause severe stress on the steering system, tear up the tires in turns and possibly break something on the towbar/hitch. It needs to be free to track behind the coach. However if you are towing on a dolly then you want the steering wheel locked.
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Old 01-26-2014, 03:33 PM   #8
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I always thought that the steering lock was needed to keep the vehicle from wandering when large vehicles pass or in high winds...
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Old 01-26-2014, 04:07 PM   #9
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oddly enough

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Originally Posted by HappyGuy View Post
I always thought that the steering lock was needed to keep the vehicle from wandering when large vehicles pass or in high winds...

towing 4 down this may sound odd, but, the unlocked steering wheel allows the toad to follow and track properly and should not be affected by passing semis or heavy winds
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Old 01-26-2014, 04:14 PM   #10
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as odd as it sounds, the unlocked steering wheel allows the toad to follow and track properly
Maybe it's just me,but I don't think its odd to keep the toad steering wheel unlocked.

I would find it odd to lock the toads steering wheel when towing it - would you lock your vehicles steering wheel while driving it?
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