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Old 11-06-2019, 03:59 PM   #1
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2020 GT5 Front End Alignment Results (2019 chassis)

In case anyone is interested. In fine print it shows the acceptable range. Interestingly, the Ford dealer told me they had never changed the caster on a motorhome and the ones they had seen recently had more caster than the spec like ours does. I'm OK with that.

We were having fairly constant back-and-forth on the steering wheel even with the Safe-T-Plus stabilizer so I was hoping an alignment might help with that. Too early to tell but it does seem to have less now. That may be just wishful thinking because based on those numbers a reduction in toe-in should have made it a tad worse, right?

Maybe the decrease in toe in will help my mileage.

I'm not sure what the significance of the handwritten note on the final Total Toe is. I did not notice it until I got home. This link does have some explanation: https://www.hunter.com/Portals/0/Media/995-T-2.pdf

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Old 11-06-2019, 10:05 PM   #2
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In case anyone is interested. In fine print it shows the acceptable range. Interestingly, the Ford dealer told me they had never changed the caster on a motorhome and the ones they had seen recently had more caster than the spec like ours does. I'm OK with that.

We were having fairly constant back-and-forth on the steering wheel even with the Safe-T-Plus stabilizer so I was hoping an alignment might help with that. Too early to tell but it does seem to have less now. That may be just wishful thinking because based on those numbers a reduction in toe-in should have made it a tad worse, right?

Maybe the decrease in toe in will help my mileage.

I'm not sure what the significance of the handwritten note on the final Total Toe is. I did not notice it until I got home. This link does have some explanation: https://www.hunter.com/Portals/0/Media/995-T-2.pdf

Ray
The decrease in toe may not improve fuel mileage but it will certainly improve tire mileage. On some vehicles excess toe also causes wander as the vehicle "rolls" from side to side which is common with higher profile vehicles.

The had written note was merely there to show you that the "spec" was .06 degrees and your finished setting was within .01 degree. Not just "within spec" but darn near dead on.


Nice to see someone using Hunter equipment. I was working for that Company when the software that generated the report shown was first introduced. The machines have come a long way since I was there.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:08 PM   #3
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Alignment

Now that you are closer to spec (the handwritten .06 note)) it may drive better because your original toe in was too much. Maybe when you can drive some good roads with no wind you can tell if the alignment helped. It seems that between the wind and roads that are humpback, rough, have uneven ridges, or dips causing swaying it is hard to tell how your M H handles.


My drive today was on very good road ( I-30 East from Shreveport to Little Rock ) with no wind. It was an easy drive most of the way that let me know my M H drives rather well and does not road walk, but trucks, wind and roads still cause swaying.

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Old 11-07-2019, 09:33 AM   #4
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My 2012 was at 5/16 toe out. It would wander all over the road. I found a previous alignment sheet from a TV previous owner. Everything was good but the toe. I set it to 3/16” toe in with a taper measure and it drives amazing. No more wander, easy to drive with no constant steering inputs.

With yours now your at .06 (5/64) toe in. It should drive good with that. Even your before number was OK at .14 (9/64) (just over an 18 toe in). Maybe the specs are different from my 12 chassis to the 19?

Hopefully it works out for you
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:32 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=Dodge Guy;2217358]My 2012 was at 5/16 toe out. It would wander all over the road. I found a previous alignment sheet from a TV previous owner. Everything was good but the toe. I set it to 3/16 toe in with a taper measure and it drives amazing. No more wander, easy to drive with no constant steering inputs.


How do you measure to determine the toe in?. Center line of tread front and rear or side wall to side wall with the difference being the toe in. My GT5 drives very good like it is. If something happens and I know the measurement I can put it back. Probably the best thing to do is check the current alignment specs. so I can have them for later use.

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Old 11-07-2019, 12:06 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Btm;2217451]
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Originally Posted by Dodge Guy View Post


How do you measure to determine the toe in?. Center line of tread front and rear or side wall to side wall with the difference being the toe in. My GT5 drives very good like it is. If something happens and I know the measurement I can put it back. Probably the best thing to do is check the current alignment specs. so I can have them for later use.

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Anyone with a tape measure can measure toe.

Here's how it was measured long before alignment machines:

1. Jack up wheel and "scribe" a line in the tread using a nail in a block of wood. Drive a 16d nail into a piece of 2x4 just enough to hold it in place, Cut head off with pair of diagonal cutters.

Rotate tire and slide block on ground toward tire until tip of nail touches tread. Rotate tire so tread is traveling up against nail so the nail doesn't dig in. When you have a nice black scribe line on tread that goes all the way around tire stop.

Take a heavy plastic trash bag and fold it over so you have several layers and place under tire. (the plastic bags are a field substitute for the "bearing plates" used on alignment machines that reduce friction between ground and tire. Without this the vehicle will not settle correctly, tires moving in/out and left/right to driving positions)

Lower tire and repeat the above on the other side.

When second tire is lowered on plastic bag "Bounce" the suspension by pushing up and down as hard as you can on the front bumper Just settling suspension so alignment angles have settled.

2. Using a tape measure, with assistant, measure between scribe lines on rear of tire as high as you can without having tape measure deflected by suspension parts. Record measurement.

Repeat on front of tire at same height and record measurement.


Subtract front reading from rear. If result is a positive number (front measurement less than rear) the toe is IN by that amount. If result is negative (front reading more than rear) the toe is OUT.


If you want readings to be a lot more accurate if there are low hanging suspension parts do this:

Take a piece of lumber longer than the width of the vehicle and using a framing square scribe a line near the end. Lay the board across the ground behind the tire that has the scribed lines on it. Place the framing square on the board with the corner of the square lined up with the line on the board. Move board and square so vertical edge of square lines up with both line on board and line on tire. Put a weight on the board so it doesn't move. Cinder block works great.

Go to other side and place square on board with vertical edge aligned with scribed line on tire. Mark bottom of vertical edge on board and label "Rear"

Repeat this on front. Measure between two marks. If Rear mark is outside the Front mark, toe is IN. If Rear mark is inside the front, the toe is out.

Using the framing square you will be able to align the square to the scribed line on the tire at the center of tire height which is more accurate.


Only thing you can't easily do with this method is center your steering wheel. If it's straight, and you choose to make your own adjustments make sure to do so equally on both sides.

OR-------

Now that you know you have an issue with Toe, take it to a shop and have them use their modern equipment


(Feel like I'm back in 1972 when I actually taught the above to new mechanics. Not all of them had $40k alignment machines in their shops. )
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:05 PM   #7
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Maybe the specs are different from my 12 chassis to the 19?
At the very top of that PDF it say "2008-2019" and "16,000 to 22,000" chassis so maybe. Is your XL a 26,000 lb chassis?

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Old 11-07-2019, 01:09 PM   #8
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Exclamation

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Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
Here's how it was measured long before alignment machines:
Thank you for taking the time to write that. It opened a lot of possibilities for some unknown future project.

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Old 11-07-2019, 01:26 PM   #9
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Ray, I hope you enjoy your GT5 as much as I enjoy mine (2017 GT 31L5 - 20,000 miles to date).

Your post says, "We were having fairly constant back-and-forth on the steering wheel even with the Safe-T-Plus stabilizer."

I experienced the same thing until I made two inexpensive/free changes to my coach.

1.

On the yellow sticker on the wall beside the driver seat you'll most likely find a tire pressure recommendation of 92 psi. This is what I followed on my first outing, which was 3,000 miles of fighting the wind and lots of steering wheel motion. I had a "feeling" that part of my steering problem, in addition to wind and trucks and front-end mis-alignment was a too low tire pressure allowing the sidewalls to flex too much.

For the next outing I increased the tire pressure to 94 psi. There was a noticable improvement.

For the next outing I increased the tire pressure to 96 psi. There was a noticable imporvement.

For the next outing I increased the tire pressure to 98 psi. There was a noticable improvement. I kept this pressure for a year.

For my most recent 3,000 mile outing (just arrived home 10/30), I left home at 98 psi and returned home at 100 psi. There was again a noticable improvement in handling when moving to 100 psi.

With my tires rated at 110 psi max, I'm not even close to overinflating my tires.

2.

Also for my most recent 3,000 mile trip, I made the Cheap Handling Fix (Move roll bar bolts to rear position on both front and back) and had the front end aligned. This also resulted in a noticable improvement in handling.

So, with the CHF, front end alignment, and moving to 100 psi, I experienced improved handling and a much relaxed driving experience.

I'll summarize by saying the increase in tire psi has shown the most improvement in handling.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:34 PM   #10
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Ray, I hope you enjoy your GT5 as much as I enjoy mine (2017 GT 31L5 - 20,000 miles to date).

Your post says, "We were having fairly constant back-and-forth on the steering wheel even with the Safe-T-Plus stabilizer."

I experienced the same thing until I made two inexpensive/free changes to my coach.

1.

On the yellow sticker on the wall beside the driver seat you'll most likely find a tire pressure recommendation of 92 psi. This is what I followed on my first outing, which was 3,000 miles of fighting the wind and lots of steering wheel motion. I had a "feeling" that part of my steering problem, in addition to wind and trucks and front-end mis-alignment was a too low tire pressure allowing the sidewalls to flex too much.

For the next outing I increased the tire pressure to 94 psi. There was a noticable improvement.

For the next outing I increased the tire pressure to 96 psi. There was a noticable imporvement.

For the next outing I increased the tire pressure to 98 psi. There was a noticable improvement. I kept this pressure for a year.

For my most recent 3,000 mile outing (just arrived home 10/30), I left home at 98 psi and returned home at 100 psi. There was again a noticable improvement in handling when moving to 100 psi.

With my tires rated at 110 psi max, I'm not even close to overinflating my tires.

2.

Also for my most recent 3,000 mile trip, I made the Cheap Handling Fix (Move roll bar bolts to rear position on both front and back) and had the front end aligned. This also resulted in a noticable improvement in handling.

So, with the CHF, front end alignment, and moving to 100 psi, I experienced improved handling and a much relaxed driving experience.

I'll summarize by saying the increase in tire psi has shown the most improvement in handling.
You might find further improvement if you weighed the front axle, divided the weight in half then consulted the tire maker's inflation/load table. Adjust front tire pressures to the indicated pressure for the load plus 10%.

Then inflate rear tires to MAX as indicated on the tire sidewall.

This will help overcome any Oversteer which is considered unstable and causes vehicles to have sensitive steering. This will cause one to have white knuckles where Understeer is more comfortable.

Many manufacturers will specify a front/rear tire pressure differential for this very reason. As long as the front tires have enough pressure for the load and margin for bumps, perfectly OK to inflate to less than max.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:03 PM   #11
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Thanks for the observations. Our sticker is 90 lbs psi all the way around. Per the Michelin XRV inflation chart that actually is the pressure to safely accommodate the GAWR of both the front and rear axles.

I run 98 psi cold because I want some margin for temperature changes without the TPMS going off. For example, at 35 degrees F the other morning the tires had dropped to 88-89 lbs psi. Yes, I'd rather be putting air in the tires when it's 65 degrees instead of when it's 35 degrees.

I just received TeJay's front plates for doing the CHF but it probably will be a while before I can install them. The motorhome is on 7.5" tall front blocks to get it level on the driveway and, of course, 7.5" puts the lower bolt head squarely in the middle of the springs so the bolt cannot come out without taking it off the blocks and re-leveling it. And it started snowing on and off today.

I have the rear sway bar z-brackets where there is no bolt head on the bushings but rather the "head" is flat and thin. The link top and bottom bolt and bushings are splined and the bushing is "fused" to the bracket. So the z-bracket does not separate from the bolt easily.

This apparently requires that I fully remove each rear link and somehow press the four splined bolts out. Then I put it together in the CHF position and press each bolt back into its splines, four times total. And the top ones are not nearly as easy to get to as the bottom ones are, of course.

The rear may be more effort than it's worth to me because there is no way to easily undo it, unlike TeJay's front brackets. I can just see me doing it, getting a hundred miles from home and "someone" complaining that my changes made the ride worse.

Conditions when weighed:
8,000 lb front axle GAWR
15,000 lb rear axle GAWR
26,000 lb GCWR
Full fuel, full water, two adults, two large dogs and fully packed up. We normally only keep the fresh water at 1/3'rd.

Unfortunately I do not have a four-corner weigh.

Ray
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:05 PM   #12
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TitanMike,

Thanks for the info. I'll try it.

My travels take me through temperature swings and elevation changes.

Home base is 5,000 feet. Travel-to destinations vary from 10,000 feet to 12 feet.

On this last trip, leaving temperature outside was 75 degrees at 1200 feet. Arriving temperature was 7 degrees at 5,000 feet.

Any thoughts or suggestions on tire pressure with these wide swings in elevation and air temperature?
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:18 PM   #13
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My travels take me through temperature swings and elevation changes.

Home base is 5,000 feet. Travel-to destinations vary from 10,000 feet to 12 feet.

On this last trip, leaving temperature outside was 75 degrees at 1200 feet. Arriving temperature was 7 degrees at 5,000 feet.

Any thoughts or suggestions on tire pressure with these wide swings in elevation and air temperature?
Teach your DW to inflate the tires.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:52 PM   #14
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Any thoughts or suggestions on tire pressure with these wide swings in elevation and air temperature?
Over the last 5 decades I just check my tire pressures before I start driving in the morning and really don't obsess over the elevation or temperature changes.


Take a hint from the commercial truckers. Can you imagine how "busy" a truck driver would be if he adjusted his tire pressures all the time for temp and altitude. Especially one that has 24 or more tires on his tractor and trailer combination (2 Steer, 2 Drop Axle, 8 Drivers, and 12 on triple trailer axles.)T hey get set ONCE and are merely checked for leaks.

Imagine a long haul trucker starting in South Texas with temps in the 70's and 80's on a winter day then travels North to Minneapolis where temps drop below zero.


My TPMS shows temps increase on cold days and pressure rises rises to what I started out with on a 60 degree day. As long as pressure is above the minimum to carry the load you're good.

If you want to take the time and continually adjust pressures for temp and altitude, read here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_inflation_pressure

The "article" includes a chart for temp corrections. You'll probably note that a tire that isn't loosing air will not really need any "adjustment".
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:19 PM   #15
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Mike wrote it up very good.
Yes I went from the tread to tread. Always the same area. My tread is flat so there are no high or low spots. So just measure from the front of the tire and the rear at the same height. Very easy if you've done it before.

I also straightened my steering wheel because it was down on the right. With the year of our chassis you disconnect the steering shaft at th gear box and move it one notch on the spline. I belive there is a TSB from Ford telling you how to do this. I did it and now the wheel is straight.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:57 PM   #16
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My 2011 Georgetown was delivered with over 0.75" of toe-in. It took only 18000 miles of driving to wear down the front tires to the cords. Unfortunately, it took until that point until I could find a shop to do an alignment. FR paid for the alignment and a new set of front tires!


It's always a good idea to have the alignment checked on a new rig.



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Old 11-13-2019, 08:19 PM   #17
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Reread the post here an effort to tame the GT5 that was all over the road on the 450 mile trip home from purchase. First did the CHF, which greatly calmed down sway until 18 wheeler passes. Had truck tire place do a total checkout as GT pulled hard to right and steering was a back and forth effort to keep it straight in my lane. Findings, right tire was not aligned to wheel, once this was corrected very little weight to balance. Left tire was good. Caster on right was off, took a 1/4 inch wedge to fix. Drove home and installed Safe T steering, man what a difference in holding it road! Only sway is now sharp turns and big rigs. Had a short trip planned to adjust Safe T which is off very little.
Tire place recommend 98 pounds on my 26,000 pound load chassis. Will be looking into Sumo springs on recommendation from SOB owner that this cut down on sway. Will pursue further if Sumo does not do trip. 2020 unit has 960 miles so a little break mileage is needed, doing first TOAD pull after weather breaks.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:19 PM   #18
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Findings, right tire was not aligned to wheel, once this was corrected very little weight to balance.
So the tire somehow was not installed on the wheel straight? I've never heard of that.

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Old 11-13-2019, 10:22 PM   #19
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So the tire somehow was not installed on the wheel straight? I've never heard of that.

Ray
I was looking at one of the video's on Centramatic's web site and one of the inspections prior to using their products was to look for this condition ( distorted bead seating ) because it would not let it balance correctly.

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Old 11-13-2019, 11:13 PM   #20
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Ray, tire dealer is set up to school buses and small trucks for the county as well as service vehicles. They have a machine that actually spun the wheel inside of the tire. They found the tire was not perfectly round as wheel had a slight high spot. Tire was rotated on wheel to get it perfectly fitted to wheel. Tire was actually bouncing on the road, now no bounce. The machine uses a laser to get the tire and wheel to be rounder to stop road bounce they spin on the machine. The tire tech stated they see condition on service vehicles due weight that is added with bed, tool boxes and tools.
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