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Old 03-08-2022, 10:45 PM   #101
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Mobile Alignment

I just got my coach aligned using a mobile guy in my driveway. Painless for me for sure. There was no real problem with the way the coach drove, I guess I just wanted to get it as good as can be. He and I talked about the settings I wanted to see, and I think he nailed it.
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Old 03-09-2022, 08:07 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by roblombardo View Post
I just got my coach aligned using a mobile guy in my driveway. Painless for me for sure. There was no real problem with the way the coach drove, I guess I just wanted to get it as good as can be. He and I talked about the settings I wanted to see, and I think he nailed it.
So how does it drive now and did your “guy” add bushings to increase the caster by 2+*?
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Old 03-09-2022, 09:38 AM   #103
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So how does it drive now and did your “guy” add bushings to increase the caster by 2+*?
Yes, bushings were added both sides, there’s no adjustment without them. I have not driven the coach yet, I will be going on a very curvy road trip this weekend, but I suspect the nature of that route and the Safe-T-Plus is going to mask much of the benefit of the additional caster. My hope is that on a straighter route the additional caster cuts down on some of the required micro corrections.
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Old 03-09-2022, 12:39 PM   #104
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roblombardo:

Thankyou for your most welcome and "hope/expectation" enhancing recent posts. Wow, having the professional, who knows what he's doing, willing to listen and respond to customer's concerns/wishes, then performing the effort to achieve the net changes per your report attachment, on your driveway no less, is quite an achievement.

Here in Phoenix, I found one (but now retired) shop owner/technician that would acknowledge the "E-" models' alignment issues once the motorhome is completed and had successfully performed the improvements in the past, but the entry to his service bay was a couple inches too low for my rig to enter. He couldn't recommend another service but thought I'd find someone. It took awhile to find him and so far no others have shown promise.

I'm broadening the search 100's if not 1000+ miles. Henderson's Line-Up in Grants Pass, OR is 1100 miles away.

My brother lives in San Rafael. I might visit him but his driveway may not be conducive to the challenge. Do you know if EIGHTEEN WHEEL has access to a location where a visiting customer can have him perform an alignment? Maybe rent a driveway for a few hours? What, too obvious?

Thanks again, take care, and do some short tests before getting yourself too deep into the "twisities" before realizing you have an unforeseen issue.
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Old 03-09-2022, 01:30 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by smlange View Post
roblombardo:

Thankyou for your most welcome and "hope/expectation" enhancing recent posts. Wow, having the professional, who knows what he's doing, willing to listen and respond to customer's concerns/wishes, then performing the effort to achieve the net changes per your report attachment, on your driveway no less, is quite an achievement.

Here in Phoenix, I found one (but now retired) shop owner/technician that would acknowledge the "E-" models' alignment issues once the motorhome is completed and had successfully performed the improvements in the past, but the entry to his service bay was a couple inches too low for my rig to enter. He couldn't recommend another service but thought I'd find someone. It took awhile to find him and so far no others have shown promise.

I'm broadening the search 100's if not 1000+ miles. Henderson's Line-Up in Grants Pass, OR is 1100 miles away.

My brother lives in San Rafael. I might visit him but his driveway may not be conducive to the challenge. Do you know if EIGHTEEN WHEEL has access to a location where a visiting customer can have him perform an alignment? Maybe rent a driveway for a few hours? What, too obvious?

Thanks again, take care, and do some short tests before getting yourself too deep into the "twisities" before realizing you have an unforeseen issue.

A fairly level location is required. I think this guy probably knows of a few places where he could do this work. I would think the back of a parking lot somewhere. Les Schwab offered me their lot after they determined their rack could not accommodate the coach.
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Old 03-09-2022, 02:54 PM   #106
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roblombardo:
Thanks for the reply, I may just resort to that route. Very accommodating of Les Schwab to make that offer.


I have no question in my mind that your Safe-T-Plus (or Roadmaster RSSC, or STEER SAFE, etc) steering stabilizer will mask or hide the improvements from the alignment. Exactly why my Safe-T-Plus sits in my office. A couple of the establishments I visited mentioned their use. I'm not putting it on until the MH's suspension is doing what it's supposed to be doing. The Safe-T-Plus is there for safety, to give me an assist during "an event" (big or small).


One thing you may already be aware of, and if this phenomenon wasn't addressed the other day - your Safe-T-Plus may need to be re-centered due to the alignment change. Ron Dittmer, a long time poster on several platforms and who had upgraded his coil springs was stumped a bit after an alignment wasn't working even though the printout indicated it ought to be good. In time he realized the Safe-T-Plus had to be re-centered with the new alignment settings in play. Just a thought.
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Old 03-11-2022, 01:34 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by smlange View Post
roblombardo:
Thanks for the reply, I may just resort to that route. Very accommodating of Les Schwab to make that offer.


I have no question in my mind that your Safe-T-Plus (or Roadmaster RSSC, or STEER SAFE, etc) steering stabilizer will mask or hide the improvements from the alignment. Exactly why my Safe-T-Plus sits in my office. A couple of the establishments I visited mentioned their use. I'm not putting it on until the MH's suspension is doing what it's supposed to be doing. The Safe-T-Plus is there for safety, to give me an assist during "an event" (big or small).


One thing you may already be aware of, and if this phenomenon wasn't addressed the other day - your Safe-T-Plus may need to be re-centered due to the alignment change. Ron Dittmer, a long time poster on several platforms and who had upgraded his coil springs was stumped a bit after an alignment wasn't working even though the printout indicated it ought to be good. In time he realized the Safe-T-Plus had to be re-centered with the new alignment settings in play. Just a thought.
Yes, we did reposition the Safe-T-Plus.
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Old 04-04-2022, 07:09 PM   #108
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So, we have had our class C 5 years now and I have never been happy with how it drives completely. It has been aligned with the adjustable Moog parts to the max (+5.5), upgraded to Hellwing sway bars front and rear, upgraded steering shock. The major complaint is any kind of a breeze will make it undrivable, all over the road. Towing 4 down likely adds to the tail wag, but we are always towing that way or with a dolly. I think our short wheelbase may be the root cause, our coach does not have a frame stretch (stock van length). So I am down to trading it or installing a SuperSteer SS450 trac bar on the rear. Does anyone have experience with adding a trac-bar to a short coach? The only other option I am thinking about is Sumo Springs (front and/or rear) to tighten it up, but I see very little talk about either of these options.
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Old 04-04-2022, 07:25 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by retireearly View Post
So, we have had our class C 5 years now and I have never been happy with how it drives completely. It has been aligned with the adjustable Moog parts to the max (+5.5), upgraded to Hellwing sway bars front and rear, upgraded steering shock. The major complaint is any kind of a breeze will make it undrivable, all over the road. Towing 4 down likely adds to the tail wag, but we are always towing that way or with a dolly. I think our short wheelbase may be the root cause, our coach does not have a frame stretch (stock van length). So I am down to trading it or installing a SuperSteer SS450 trac bar on the rear. Does anyone have experience with adding a trac-bar to a short coach? The only other option I am thinking about is Sumo Springs (front and/or rear) to tighten it up, but I see very little talk about either of these options.
The track bar is eazy peazy if you have large wrenches. I consider it a necessity for leaf spring suspensions, especially long thick stacks. I also suggest you lose the steering dampener and replace it with a stabilizer. Two good choices there, the Safe-T-Plus and the Roadmaster RSSC.

BTW, I can only assume your unit is a Ford chassis.
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Old 04-04-2022, 07:49 PM   #110
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Yes, it is a Ford and it does suffer from some bump steer due to that lousy double I beam setup. The install would be easy, I have a full shop. I would probably even dispense with the set screws and burn those brackets right on with a MIG. But, I want to be sure this will solve the problem 99% before I continue to mess with this thing.
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Old 04-05-2022, 09:43 AM   #111
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Yes, it is a Ford and it does suffer from some bump steer due to that lousy double I beam setup. The install would be easy, I have a full shop. I would probably even dispense with the set screws and burn those brackets right on with a MIG. But, I want to be sure this will solve the problem 99% before I continue to mess with this thing.
I cannot speak to the trac bar, but a centering stabilizer of some sort will probably be beneficial. This will give a strong "on center" feel. You probably already have rear air bags, so front sumo springs is probably what you'd look for if you wish to add those. I have really been impressed with those, but I don't think it will address the specific concern you've expressed. The front sumo springs on an E450 are like a variable spring. They will add no spring rate at ride height as they are just shy of touching the I beam at static ride height, but as the suspension compresses, the rate will increase smoothly until it can be depressed no more. They are inexpensive and very easy to install. Really helped with dips in the roadway where the sway bars would have no effect.
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Old 04-05-2022, 12:20 PM   #112
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So, we have had our class C 5 years now and I have never been happy with how it drives completely. It has been aligned with the adjustable Moog parts to the max (+5.5), upgraded to Hellwing sway bars front and rear, upgraded steering shock. The major complaint is any kind of a breeze will make it undrivable, all over the road. Towing 4 down likely adds to the tail wag, but we are always towing that way or with a dolly. I think our short wheelbase may be the root cause, our coach does not have a frame stretch (stock van length). So I am down to trading it or installing a SuperSteer SS450 trac bar on the rear. Does anyone have experience with adding a trac-bar to a short coach? The only other option I am thinking about is Sumo Springs (front and/or rear) to tighten it up, but I see very little talk about either of these options.

My 49K mile 2007 FR Lexington is 26ft on 174" wheelbase (158" from Ford factory plus RV builder extension to 174") E-450SD Cutaway chassis. I have SUMO Springs at all four wheel locations, the SS450 Trac Bar on the rear, as well as the replacement Hellwig HD anti-sway bars f&r, and KONI FSD shocks f&r. Each piece has improved the ride and competency of the vehicle by tightening it up or insulating the frame and coach from the pounding the chassis takes out on the open road. They should all leave the RV manufacturing facility with better components: HD anti-sway bars, RV rated shock absorbers, Trac Bar, dialed-in proper alignment for the vehicle's physical characteristics and environment it will be operating in. Let the owner then tweak it with additional items such as better steering stabilizers or spring assists.



From my short "active-use experience" with mine (sans any tow), I can't imagine driving it while towing without the trac bar. What an uncomfortable driving/steering experience at the front caused by the lateral shifting momentum's at the rear. The difference was immediately felt the day it was installed.


I believe your 2291 is built on the lighter E-350 chassis. If so, you certainly should look into Ron Dittmer's past posts (over several forums) about the near immediate suspension improvements done to his brand new 2007 E-350 chassis'd Phoenix Cruiser MH back then. No fooling around type of approach.


Look into your wheelbase ratio - it might give you a hint as to what may or may not help with the issues.


Trusting you'll improve it to your liking.
Safe travels.
Steve
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Old 04-05-2022, 01:52 PM   #113
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Thanks for the inputs, keep the ideas coming. I have the SS450 trac bar on order now. Our 2291S is setting on the Ford E-450 with the ride-rite airbags (and they leak). I have tried various PSI settings on those with no real benefit. I also usually haul a full tank of water for no good reason as the E-450 is a little stiff for a coach that is 10,263 lbs dry. On wheel base- it is 158" as the extension is added on the back of the van frame, not the middle. We are 294" long, so ratio is about .54
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Old 07-04-2022, 05:46 PM   #114
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Yes, bushings were added both sides, there’s no adjustment without them. I have not driven the coach yet, I will be going on a very curvy road trip this weekend, but I suspect the nature of that route and the Safe-T-Plus is going to mask much of the benefit of the additional caster. My hope is that on a straighter route the additional caster cuts down on some of the required micro corrections.



After reading this great info Caster thread i just had our 99 Ford Tioga 26 done. The RV an ex cruise america unit has driven great for years many miles we put on all conditions highway, mountains even kids used for music festivals and drove like 8 hrs straight thru rockies with it.

I decided for safety time for New tires Hankook Dynapro HT P12, new HD rear shocks, front brakes/hubs and new upper & lower ball joints. Looking back now I should of done one new item at a time as after new adds done the light steering issue started and needed the constant back and forth correction over center.


Shop said steering box after i complained about the change in steering but that did not make sense as steering was fine pre these new additions - with old ball joints old goodyear steel belted tires and shocks.

They had 70lbs all tires these were reduced to 65lbs made minor difference.

Requested but they added non adjustable caster sleeves then aligned, the steering stiffer getting better but it seems it still has slight small pulls to due to road surface now and does not go back to center.

Attached my alignment readings pre and after how do they look any thing maybe missed?

Next steps to try?
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Old 07-05-2022, 04:13 PM   #115
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You want the adjustable sleeves. You cannot align the Fords without them if you want the caster up 4 degrees plus. The photo is very blurry, but as far as I can read, your alignment specs look ideal. You should have a strong on center feel with that much caster. I'd look elsewhere for your issue.
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Old 07-05-2022, 05:01 PM   #116
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After doing the front caster bushing and the Koni shocks I'm going to add a rear track bar. I should have done it earlier on.
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Old 07-05-2022, 05:13 PM   #117
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Thanks kindly,
Yes the pics where just reference showing the fixed caster sleeves they used for the new readings. Stiffer and back and forth constant seems gone. just has a pull to left it seems and then you have to re center, like a wheel bearing or?


A lady who drove pre new additions is driving up to Golden Ears Mtn today so a couple hours various road conditions, winding, down, grooved, up and will get her report.



Next steps will be to 1. recheck tire psi as they first started at 70psi then moved all to 65psi and now i looked at attached specs and says 65psi front and 60psi rear cold? 5 psi more rear make a difference?


2. Find a good alignment shop in lower mainland BC to test drive and get a second opinion on steer box and current setup.



richard
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Old 07-06-2022, 03:54 PM   #118
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Richard:
Yes, do find a competent shop to double check what you have. Verify they can check the front as well as the rear axle. Maybe there is something askew back there that the previous front settings were neutralizing, but when (and if) the front was set correctly the rear problems are now apparent. Just a thought.
Also weigh each corner, review tire manufacturer's weight-pressure setting table to settle that possibility. You may find the vehicle could some balance addressing.

I would also suggest you contact Henderson's Line Up in Grants Pass, Or. They've been helpful over the phone with what they can by the caller's verbal input since the vehicle isn't right in front of them.

In my ongoing search for an alignment shop here in Phoenix I contacted Henderson's to verify I was on the right track with the intended caster/camber/toe settings. When I mentioned there is a drift/tug to the right, the mechanic suggested before anything else, they would immediately swap the two front tires to see what happens with that change even though I only have 1800 miles on these tires (the 2007 MH has 49K overall). Some of the shops I've interviewed never mention that quick test for that issue but immediately jump into the preliminary & preemptive dire prediction of bent tie-rod or bad ball joint, etc (see the $ padding of the work order coming?) and aren't interested in what other shops do or what I've read on the internet.


Good luck in your search and effort.


Steve
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