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Old 11-16-2010, 05:41 PM   #1
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2001 Alpine Drag Link..bent or straight??

Hi guys (and gals)..

If anyone is able to look ..I would like to know if your drag link is straight or if it has a bend in it? (drag link is the heavy rod that attaches to the steering gear box and goes back to the left wheel right above the straight axle)

If your jacks are extended it is easy to see from the front with the gen slide extended..(or not if you get down where you can see straight rearward "under" the nose cap).

After a frontend alignment ..my new left front tire is hitting the drag link on hard right turns. My drag link has a bend in it...which is facing out. I think they may have turned the drag link bend out when aligning my steering wheel. Perhaps it is supposed to be bent ..."but" with the bend inward toward the frame, so the tire will have more clearance.

Before I do more though...I need to make sure all 2001 drag links have a bend from the mfg.

Thanks for any help..

Stan..
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:45 PM   #2
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Hello Stan! Not sure if my 2002 is the same as yours but mine has a slight bend out. it runs parallel to the frame from the pitman arm until adjacent to the front of the tire then angles out slightly.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:01 PM   #3
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I don't know about the other model years, but on my previous 2001 Alpine Coach 38FDDS, there were adjustable STOPS that prevent the wheel from turning too far and rubbing. I discovered this when I had an alignment done and the alignment shop noted the STOPS needed to be adjusted to prevent rubbing.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally & Debbie View Post
Hello Stan! Not sure if my 2002 is the same as yours but mine has a slight bend out. it runs parallel to the frame from the pitman arm until adjacent to the front of the tire then angles out slightly.

Wally:

Bends out huh? Hmmm....looks like it should bend in to me.

The inside front of my left tire is hitting almost exactly where he drag link is bent ...with the bend facing out. In other words if the bend was facing in...it would be closer to the frame. (which would allow a sharper turning radius...I don't believe mine will hit the 50 degree spec that it's supposed to have with the drag link in its present position)

It also looks like it can easily be turned either way when the clamps are loosened.

I don't think mine was rubbing before I had it aligned...but I haven't driven it far...maybe 60 /70 miles, so maybe I just didn't notice it.

Thanks for looking Wally...much appreciated.

Now...would any one else mind verifying that mine and Wally's are as they should be. I guess it's remotely poissible that both were mispositioned by an inexperienced alignment mechanic.

Best regards..Stan
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale777 View Post
I don't know about the other model years, but on my previous 2001 Alpine Coach 38FDDS, there were adjustable STOPS that prevent the wheel from turning too far and rubbing. I discovered this when I had an alignment done and the alignment shop noted the STOPS needed to be adjusted to prevent rubbing.

Thanks Dale..

You are right ...this one has adjustable stops too. I am trying to figure out why it wasn't rubbing with the current stop adjustment before I had it aligned.. (at least I didn't notice it if it was)

Seems like the stops wouldn't need adjusting if it was correct before....??

If I get one more verification that the drag link is supposed to be bent, with the bend facing out, then a stop adjustment is all that can be done to keep from wearing the tire.

Thanks again for the input ..

Best regards..Stan
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:40 PM   #6
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Stan the way mine is angled is from the frame to the kingpin. this would allow the wheels to turn to the right further then if the rod/link went straight from ball joint to ball joint.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:50 PM   #7
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Gosh, dont recall now if the link is bent out or in but think the bend helps align the link so its movement parallels the frame thru the turning arc. As for shiny spots on the link--Ive had one since day one--it helps tells me that I have turned all the way to the right [smile]. 100+K miles, multiple tires [includes going from 295 75Rs to 295 80Rs] and no unusual wear, except for the original Toyos on the edges.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:49 PM   #8
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Stan:

Mine curves out (no comments from the Peanut Gallery!). The tires also rub when fully turned, ever since I had new tires put on. I went from Toyo 295/75R's to Goodyear 295/85R's (slightly larger). They did not rub prior to the change.

Now that I know about the "stops", I'll have to check them out.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:07 AM   #9
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The Drag Ling does have a natural bend in it from WRV. It was designed to allow the front wheels to have a few degrees more for turning about 45. Unfortunately sometimes when an alignment is preformed the mechanic will adjust the drag link so that the steering wheel is in the proper position and the bend is then placed in a position which can cause the tire to hit it during a sharp right turn.

If you look at the 2003 and newer Alpines they have a much larger Drag link with a more noticeable bend which gives them a 50 turn on the wheels. The drag link on the newer Alpines is harder to adjust because the drag link ends are both right hand threads; not right and left handed threads that are most other vehicles.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally & Debbie View Post
Stan the way mine is angled is from the frame to the kingpin. this would allow the wheels to turn to the right further then if the rod/link went straight from ball joint to ball joint.

In that case..wouldn't the bend be toward the frame ..or "in" Wally?

Stan..
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:33 AM   #11
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Stan:

Mine curves out (no comments from the Peanut Gallery!). The tires also rub when fully turned, ever since I had new tires put on. I went from Toyo 295/75R's to Goodyear 295/85R's (slightly larger). They did not rub prior to the change.

Now that I know about the "stops", I'll have to check them out.

takepride:

I'm assuming that you have had the front end aligned during this time too. I don't think a lot of front end guys pay attention...and just center the steering wheel...figuring the angle of the drag link is less important than the steering wheel placement.

I don't know about everyone else but I need all the steering travel I can get on this long wheel base 40' coach. Especially turning right.

I've done a lot of front end work on automobiles (which arn't straight axles) ....this just doesn't look right at all to me...it looks like there would be considerably more turning radius if the drag link bend is turned "in" toward the frame

Stan..
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:42 AM   #12
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The Drag Ling does have a natural bend in it from WRV. It was designed to allow the front wheels to have a few degrees more for turning about 45. Unfortunately sometimes when an alignment is preformed the mechanic will adjust the drag link so that the steering wheel is in the proper position and the bend is then placed in a position which can cause the tire to hit it during a sharp right turn.

If you look at the 2003 and newer Alpines they have a much larger Drag link with a more noticeable bend which gives them a 50 turn on the wheels. The drag link on the newer Alpines is harder to adjust because the drag link ends are both right hand threads; not right and left handed threads that are most other vehicles.

Ok Dave ..that's what I'm talking about.

Do you know what position is proper for maximum turning radius.

Seems like several of us have the bend in the drag link turned "out" toward the leading inside edge of the tire... it looks like it should be just the opposite to me. ("in" toward the frame)

My coach is a 2001..and has a noticeable bend like tha 2003 you mentioned and it's plenty beefy. You are pretty sure the 2003 is bigger and has a deeper bend than a 2001?

I'm pretty sure they turned the whole drag link to adjust the steering wheel on my rig..and that's when it started rubbing the tire.

Thanks..Stan
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:32 AM   #13
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Stan I increased the bend in the drag link and adjusted the stops on the spindles to increase the turning radius on my 99. The bend is supposed go toward the frame.
Thanks Mike
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:13 AM   #14
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Stan I increased the bend in the drag link and adjusted the stops on the spindles to increase the turning radius on my 99. The bend is supposed go toward the frame.
Thanks Mike
Sure looks like that's the way it should be to me Mike...thanks for your input. I guess you had to increase the length a little after increasing the bend , correct? None of that should change any other aspect of the alignment either, should it?

What do you think guys ??...I may not be the only one that "Speedy" the mechanic has flatrated...to get the steering wheel straight.

Better check it out...we might be able to drive around the corners in these 40 footers without hanging the curb on narrow streets.

You guys with 36's and 38's may be Ok ...but it shouild still make a considerable difference.

Any other input...??

Stan..
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