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Old 09-15-2011, 10:10 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=Old Scout;958490]This a really great topic--begs the question as to exactly what can be "aligned" on an Alpine coach. Notwithstanding the bolt-issues on the first 50 2005s, the rear axle geometry is pretty much locked in at manufacture.

Old Scout, I agree there is a lot of emphasis on alignments on this forum.
I have never seen caster shims fall out. I guess some fine tuning can be done but doubt that any big tire wear problems will be corrected. Watching front tire wear and checking toe in every so often is all I plan on doing. With the kind of service most of us do on our Alpines, worn parts at low mileage does not seem likely either.
Balance, tracking, shocks and tire inflation are the big items to avoid irregular tire wear. Not necessarily in that order.
Many truck fleet shops that don't have alignment racks or toe in boards just do a quick check on the toe in by using simple method of painting a narrow band around the tread with a rattle can and then scribe a mark on the paint. Then it is a simple matter to use tape rule to measure toe in. I have found this to be very good way to check out toe in specs when there has been damage to steering axle components.

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Old 09-15-2011, 12:34 PM   #16
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Beagle--we agree! I am getting out beyond my headlights on this issue but while axle shimming might help with camber in a static leaf spring or coil suspension, the dynamic/reactive nature of air bag suspension is going to cancel out any axle shim adjustment--I think?
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:47 PM   #17
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After having to replace the ball joints on the drag link at relatively low mileage, -20K, and having it aligned 3 different times, putting on king shocks, safety steer, and ???. We are on our 3rd front RT tire (2nd one was used) - have Michelin on front now- and the wear seems to be even at 57,310 miles. Hendersons was the last alignment in 09. Have not had an issue since.

Mike - did you replace your Alpine with a Beaver?
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:50 PM   #18
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The Swans,
Yes we did but I still have a soft spot for Alpines after having been an Alpine owner for over 12 years.
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:27 PM   #19
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I had a shim added to the front right side to adjust for a hard pull to the right. A 2 1/2 degree shim caused a pull to the left. A 1 degree shim was just right. Adding a shim worked on my coach.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:57 PM   #20
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alpine coach 34' 2004 alingement

I went back to Evergreen and got a spect that what my spects were before and after they did the alingenment and switch the front wheel and that didnot make any differents. It still pull to the right. They added a 1/8" shim to the right side. It help but did not completely fix the problem with it pulling to the right. Soo they put a thicker shim and we test drove it.
Wa. state had a higher crown in there rodes and it did start drifting to the right but when I drove it down the center of the road, it help true, Did not pull either to the left or the right but when I drove to the left side of a two lane road, it would gradually pull to the left. This seem to fix the problem. The tech suggested that I change out two back tires and put the two back tires on the rims in the front due to the fact he thought that it might be the tires that might be creating the pulling problem,
I don't think that I am going to do that but drive from Wa. State back to Ky. and then down to Fl. This will be around 5 thousand miles. This should give me some idea if what has been done worked?? Open to any suggestion? Dilley.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:40 PM   #21
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After reading about the alignement problems with the alpine coaches and seeing what was done on Jim & Sandies 2008 34' alpine coach, it appears what Evergreen here in Sequim, Wa did should work for us'
There is know way to change any settings on the rear wheels as they are fixed.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:49 AM   #22
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My first thought on a vehicle pulling either way if no damage is done to the steering, would be to install matched set of tires on the front to rule out tires as a cause. Having a tire shop move 2 rear tires forward for this test will save lots of grief trying to chase caster shimming corrections.
It is likely, if and when new tires do get put on the steering axle, that pulling could be an issue again.
In the past, bias ply tires didn't seem to have critical need to be matched as do radial tires.
I am sure there are tire experts out there that can shed expertise on this...

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Old 09-18-2011, 10:13 PM   #23
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I agree with Beagle. The Toyo 11R22.5s that came with the coach new had a tendency to pull to the right, and it stopped when we rotated the tires at around 10,000 miles and moved the two from the left rear up to the front. The tires were already showing a lot of river wear. Before we changed the tires to the Bridgestone 295/80's, we had the coach aligned at Redlands Truck Service. Alignment was still on spec at that time - around 30,000 miles. The coach still doesn't pull or show uneven front tire wear at 51,000 miles. I was impressed by the alignment shop personnel at RTS.

So based on my experience, if the coach is aligned correctly and the tires are symmetrical, there shouldn't be any pull, other than that caused by crown in the road. Minor road issues like that are probably dampened, however, by my Safe-T-Plus steering stabilzier.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:28 AM   #24
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I agree to a point but according to the tech. at Evergreen collison service in Sequim, Wa. the Alpine Coach that I have has 11-R toyo with the same problem that u talk of but the W/V chassis rear wheel system is a fix system that there is no adjustment.
I had the front wheels cross over and it still pulled to the right.
I don't know what degree of shime that was installed but seem to take care of the problem. Evergreen also said that I should switch the two front tires out with two from the rear .
At this point I am going to drive 5 thousand miles and see what takes place.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:14 AM   #25
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My preference is to take two tires/wheels off of the rear and keep them rotating the same direction. (RR to RF and LR to LF)
Tires that 'pull' do not necessarily show any wear issues.
At one time, reversing rotation on radials was not the thing to do. I still believe cross switching should be avoided. (Tire guys jump in here and advise us what your thinking is.) Of course, if there is any unusual wear patterns on the tires to be put on the front, the test is no longer worth doing. Best to just go with new tires if tires on getting close to the 6 year age. Our front tires are going on craiglist as soon as they get to 5 years old.

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Old 09-20-2011, 04:03 PM   #26
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Dilley- I'm inclined to agree w/your approach. If you want to investigate the tire issue further, you should be able to raise the coach front off the tires and manually rotate the tires, put a point gauge in place to see if there is an out of round condition (which you'd probably feel driving at some speed as a vibration anyway). But if you are straight ahead on a level pavement then the issue is apparently resolved.
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