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Old 11-16-2010, 05:56 PM   #1
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Steering wheel turns under its own power unassisted..

When I raised my front end to level the coach on uneven ground (had to have some blocks)...I noticed that the steering wheel would turn all the way to the right under it's own power, when there was little or no weight on the front tires.

What I have been searching for is info on the steering box(..or steering gear) that includes any instructions for adjusting the centering valve..if it has such an adjustment.

The coach drives great...but I had noticed a slight favoring to the right. I had attributed this to the crown of the road till it turned to the right on it's own (with the weight off the tires).

Does anyone know where I can get some detailed gear box info?

Secondly...does anyone else's Alpine do this, if you have noticed? Like I said it drives great.

Stan...
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:18 PM   #2
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Stan:

When I park by backing in or by pulling forward while turning, I always pull forward or backward again to relieve pressure on the tires. When I forget, the wheel moves when the jacks take the pressure off. This is good advice for trailerites especially, to reduce pressures on their tires and axles.

That being said, have you had the alignment and suspension all checked out? (Not to make you hurry. I am still working mine over, since May of '07)
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:18 AM   #3
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Stan:

When I park by backing in or by pulling forward while turning, I always pull forward or backward again to relieve pressure on the tires. When I forget, the wheel moves when the jacks take the pressure off. This is good advice for trailerites especially, to reduce pressures on their tires and axles.

That being said, have you had the alignment and suspension all checked out? (Not to make you hurry. I am still working mine over, since May of '07)

takepride:

That could be it..with the long distance between the pump and the steering gear. 80' of hydraulic line.

How far does your steering wheel move when you forget...all the way to the stop, or just a little? This one goes all the way or close to it...

I've had the allignment done...and lucky to get that in my area...seems to be only one place to get it done. We have done a visual on the rest of the suspension. Not much else to worry about if it tracks and drives well is there?

I have noticed that a lot of Alpiners suggest changing the Bilstein shocks to Koni's. I put a new set of Bilsteins on my 37' Fleetwood...and liked them real well. In that circle, Bilsteins are thought to be the best choice I thought. ( I also installed a hydraulic steering damper and Steer Safe on that coach.)

Is there evidence that Koni's work better...in other words a new set of Konis compared to a new set of Bilsteins on the same coach? Any brand of new shock will seem much better than an old one if that's all the comparison we have. (for instance...if the coach was manufactured using Konis...and a few years later we installed Bilsteins, the Bilsteins would seem like a huge improvement , and vice versa.)

I'm wondering about a "new shock" to "new shock" comparison on the "same" coach. I know on my gas rig the Bilsteins STOPPED a body roll issue...and graetly improved the ride in general. I had no comparison with new Konis though.

Stan..




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Old 11-17-2010, 08:32 PM   #4
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Stan- the maker of the gearbox is listed on the sales brochures posted to the Alpine Coach Tech Library. They were still in business last time I checked and had some but not a lot of info on their website.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:42 PM   #5
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Stan- the maker of the gearbox is listed on the sales brochures posted to the Alpine Coach Tech Library. They were still in business last time I checked and had some but not a lot of info on their website.
I looked everywhere I could think of the other day before this thread started.. Didn't see anything...I'll look again.

Thanks..Stan
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:17 PM   #6
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Stan- the maker of the gearbox is listed on the sales brochures posted to the Alpine Coach Tech Library. They were still in business last time I checked and had some but not a lot of info on their website.

I looked again and still found nothing on the 2001 sales brochures.

However on the later model coach brochures the steering box manufacturer was mentioned.

I don't know if they are the same for 2001 coaches though?

Stan..
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:35 PM   #7
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Stan:

My wheel moves back only slightly, maybe 1/8th to 1/4 turn. Sounds like another issue as suggested by eMike.

If it is driving, handling and tracking well, and it doesn't chew up tires, I'd say your doing great.

The shocks argument rages on. You'll see a half dozen threads on it in this forum alone. You're right, a new either brand will be better than an old shock. Bilstien OEMs were pretty much for C%#P. New new, upgraded and more expensive ones are surely better. In fact, Motorhome Magazine did a side-by-side and chose the Bilstiens over Koni's, though for reasons that seemed unrelated to actual ride, IIRC.

The general consensus on this forum was that the Koni's are superior, but that at triple or quadruple the price, Road Kings may have an edge. I put Koni's on my Vectra and was elated. Same with my Alpine. I, like many here, ordered mine from shox.com:
Bilstein Shocks | Bilstein PSS10 | Bilstein PSS9 | Eibach Springs | Koni Shocks | Tokico Shocks.

I added Steer-Safe Stabilizer to my steering (Steer Safe), others like the Davis Tru-Track or Super Steer, each works a bit differently and priced differently. Here is a discussion from RV.net

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Steer Safe, Davis Tru-Track or Super Steer?????

YMMV.....
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:46 AM   #8
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Your centering valve is bad, there are no adjustments - it can be absolutely deadly as it worsens. Take it to a shop that can rebuild or replace the Steering Gear. Don't know where you're located but here is a local shop in Columbus Ohio that rebuilds those units by the dozens: SteerandGearHOME
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:05 AM   #9
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Stan:

My wheel moves back only slightly, maybe 1/8th to 1/4 turn. Sounds like another issue as suggested by eMike.

If it is driving, handling and tracking well, and it doesn't chew up tires, I'd say your doing great.

The shocks argument rages on. You'll see a half dozen threads on it in this forum alone. You're right, a new either brand will be better than an old shock. Bilstien OEMs were pretty much for C%#P. New new, upgraded and more expensive ones are surely better. In fact, Motorhome Magazine did a side-by-side and chose the Bilstiens over Koni's, though for reasons that seemed unrelated to actual ride, IIRC.

The general consensus on this forum was that the Koni's are superior, but that at triple or quadruple the price, Road Kings may have an edge. I put Koni's on my Vectra and was elated. Same with my Alpine. I, like many here, ordered mine from shox.com:
Bilstein Shocks | Bilstein PSS10 | Bilstein PSS9 | Eibach Springs | Koni Shocks | Tokico Shocks.

I added Steer-Safe Stabilizer to my steering (Steer Safe), others like the Davis Tru-Track or Super Steer, each works a bit differently and priced differently. Here is a discussion from RV.net

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Steer Safe, Davis Tru-Track or Super Steer?????

YMMV.....
I'm a dealer for Steer-Safe...absolutely a great product!

However I 'm surprised that Alpine owners would feel the need for it. These things drive so well...and would be easy to control if there was a blow out. Plus they steer straight with no effort..at least mine does. (I'm always a little of buying a coach that has them on it because it generally indicates steering issues of one sort or another.)

SOB's though are a different can of worms...some of them need every bolt on helper they can get ...and they are still cr@#, when you are done.

Stan...
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:12 AM   #10
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Your centering valve is bad, there are no adjustments - it can be absolutely deadly as it worsens. Take it to a shop that can rebuild or replace the Steering Gear. Don't know where you're located but here is a local shop in Columbus Ohio that rebuilds those units by the dozens: SteerandGearHOME

I'm in Fort Worth, Texas..

Yes, it feels like a centering valve issue to me . Looks like it would be adjustable...it would be on most automobiles I have worked on it the past.

I don't have any info on what brand the 2001 model has for sure...maybe I can se something on the gear box itself.

Thanks for the link..

Stan...
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:48 PM   #11
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Stan:

I found the Steer-Safe does a great job returning the steering to center and helps by reducing the little corrections while driving. I had no complaints about the drive before installation, but have even less to complain about now. It certainly didn't make a HUGE improvement, more of a slightly better-type improvement, but I also worry less about blowout control. That makes it worthwhile.

I know several folks that have added thousands of dollars in extra gear and they still aren't even close to my ride and steering.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:54 AM   #12
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Stan:

I found the Steer-Safe does a great job returning the steering to center and helps by reducing the little corrections while driving. I had no complaints about the drive before installation, but have even less to complain about now. It certainly didn't make a HUGE improvement, more of a slightly better-type improvement, but I also worry less about blowout control. That makes it worthwhile.

I know several folks that have added thousands of dollars in extra gear and they still aren't even close to my ride and steering.

takepride..

You may be right..
I don't have the miles behind the wheel of a Alpine that you have. It may be a worth while addition to these already great driving rigs.

If it gives peace of mind alone, it's certainly a small price to pay.

I have made some really poor driving coaches very manageable with the Steer-Safe, a simple gas stabalizer bar and a set of Bilstein shocks. They were all gas rigs though..

I have a very high opinion of the Steer -Safe product... It's a very inexpensive upgrade that will really make a huge difference in rigs lacking the integrity the Alpine has. Of course it sure can't hurt the Alpine ..!

One of the reasons I bought the Alpine though...was to avoid having to redesign the front suspension to make a decent driving coach out it...like all the others I've had to work on incessantly.

I've had some really sloppy driving stuff early on, and "made" all the later ones drive well...so I feel like I'm in Alpine "driving luxury heaven" for now, Ha!

Stan...
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:58 PM   #13
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True. Several have commented they saw no difference. My most noticeable time is when there is a constant and stiff side wind. I don't have to apply any correction.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:15 PM   #14
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Stan- I believe the steering gear is the same brand as shown on the later brochures. There may be a lighter weight rating unit used early on for vehicles w/the 28,000 GVW rating; if yours is the later 33,000 rated GVW (my tag w/this info is on the front side of bulkhead under the gen slide on driver's side) then I believe its the one shown in the brochures.

In this thread, Hax notes: "My 2001 has a Sheppard M80 steering gear," then discusses the M100 unit. I believe those are the two WRV used.
You can check out the M80, M90 & M100 specs on Sheppards website.
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