Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Alpine Coach Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-09-2009, 08:57 PM   #15
Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where ever
Posts: 99
Jim & Ingrid,

At the Chula Vista Pre Rally I was able to purchase the kit from Engineer Mike and will have it installed in Fresno. Duncan Bellinger is having one shipped to him in NY and will have it installed locally. Dale Gerstel told me any competant shop can do the work and directions come with the kit.

Enjoy the East Coast,
__________________

__________________
Paul "Sully" Sullivan

40' MD Apex
Paul "Sully" Sullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-10-2009, 02:38 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
takepride's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 1,563
Sounds like 5 hours labor. Does it really take that long?
__________________

__________________
2003 Alpine 40FDTS (400HP)
Long Beach, CA
takepride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 03:11 AM   #17
JWT
Senior Member
 
JWT's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 137
I'm I missing something here? It seems like a lot of money ($363.00) for a piece of 1/8"- 3/16" angle iron and a half dozen of 1/2" grade 8 bolts, nuts, and washers. Maybe the difference is in the manufactures liability insurance ?
__________________
John & Greta
'05 36' FDDS
JWT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 01:35 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 1,100
John,

That may seem like a lot, if you can and want to track down, cut and drill the parts. Mike has done the design and testing, which he has been very considerate to post for us on this forum. For every one else, it probably easier to just get get the kit. For anyone who doesn't want to build their own and isn't coming to So. Calif, you can get one directly from Mike and have it installed by any good mechanic or if you are so inclined, do it your self.
__________________
Dale Gerstel
AMG GTS
Las Vegas, NV
Had: 2007 Limited SE 40fdts
dgerstel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 01:55 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
John- the kit isn't rocket science, but it does come set up as close to a drop-in solution as I believe could be managed.

For those with the time on their hands and inclination to examine the problems, dimensioning, and other physical requirements, then order the steel components and do the fabrication, then the clean up & paint, you can assemble your own kit for less. The 5/16" steel will be spendy in short quantities as it is an odd size and not regularly stocked, and some shops don't want to break a 40' piece to be able to sell 19" and then maybe not sell the rest for a long time. Even still, you can save some money assembling the parts yourself. You will need a decent drill press & maybe steel punch machine, or else need to supply a fab shop that has these things with the requisite shop drawing. You could even design a custom weldment (composite of multiple shapes joined by welding) that didn't rely on an otherwise odd (uneven leg) angle as its base, tho now you are talking about significantly higher labor to design, and significantly higher labor to assemble, the weldment.

The intent of the kit was to form a solution to the bracket bending, and do so in a way that most DIY'ers could decide whether to tackle the installation or take it to a shop, and at the same time have a kit that most most competent service shops could implement without re-inventing the mold, or having to side-track installers to become part time fabricators. I asked two major service centers that cater to Alpiners if they wanted to assemble the kits for their own use before embarking on this sojourn. One wavered and ultimately didn't opine; the other said flat out No, we are in the service & installation business, so if you supply kits, we are happy to do installations. That later outfit was Redlands Truck & RV whose service is discussed here.

I fully expect that some inventive owners will take this task on as a personal challenge (motorhomers are an adventurous lot, else we wouldn't seek out each other's company). Hopefully those owners will post their successes here on iRV2 to deepen the dialogue.
__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 04:13 PM   #20
JWT
Senior Member
 
JWT's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 137
Dale and Mike thanks for your reply, I'll more than likely make my own bracket I have a shop where I repair my own equipment. I do appreicate all the time and effort you and others put into this forum, thanks again......... John
__________________
John & Greta
'05 36' FDDS
JWT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 06:11 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
It was actually my (idiotic) assumption after posting the prototype details elsewhere that crafty, fun loving, adventure seeking Alpine owners would dive under their coaches all across America, mark out measurements, head for the garage and cobble up similar fixes. After all, what better place to find some cool shade and recreation on a hot summer day than under your coach attending to some refabrication of frame work? Surprise!- turns out most folks buy one of these rigs to spend time above the floor boards or on the patio alongside, rather than underneath. You can imagine my shock.

So after talking to Keith Shomaker at Redlands, the kit was born.
__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 06:54 PM   #22
JWT
Senior Member
 
JWT's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 137
Mike I try to stay and enjoy the view from above the floor level, but occasionally I view the underneath from the fall of to much fun after having a few to many marga-eaters..........
__________________
John & Greta
'05 36' FDDS
JWT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2009, 05:24 PM   #23
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 105
Send a message via AIM to Louie & Linda
Thumbs up

Yesterday I installed the steering bracket kit on my 05. We have 59,225 miles and it did not show any signs of cracking but we wanted to ensure that it stayed that way.

The install took 2 1/2 hours and went just as the instructions stated. I choose to install the two threaded bold as well as the other six. I cut the huck bolts about 3/4 of the way through and then used a BIG hammer to break off the remainder. This saved some time and elbo grease. My only confession is that I broke two drill bits on the last hole I drilled. I had purchased two of the 17/32 bits just for that eventuality. I was almost all of the way through so finished up that hole with a bit 1/32 inch smaller. This made the threading of the hole a little bit harder but going slow, I was able to complete the task. I used a lot of cutting oil on the drilling(high speed - slow feed) and tapping and it seemed to help a lot.

Would I do it again? Sure it was really a moderate effort thing. I add my thanks to Mike and all who made this kit available. Job Well Done!!!
__________________
Louis & Linda
2005 FDQS
F150 SuperCrew Toad
Louie & Linda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2009, 07:43 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
Some questions have been coming up on the installation:

1) Two Upper Bolt holes into OEM Bracket: Instructions call for these two 17/32" holes to be drilled thru the OEM bracket AFTER installing the six 5/8x2-18tpi Grade8 bolts w/oversized washers and torquing them to 120 ft-lbs w/red (permanent) Loctite or equal. Comments have been made that the stiffener kit holes are 17/32 and not 5/8. That is correct. The intent is to first install the main bolts and torque them down to achieve contact between the new stiffener & the face of the OEM bracket. Then tap threads continuous thru the stiffener & the OEM bracket. This will result in the bolt shank having essentially zero distance where it is not in threads between the stiffener & bracket, so minimal chance for movement, maximum capture of the stiffener to the OEM bracket face. If there is a fine crack or possibility that one exists due to mileage but isn't showing just yet, these two additional bolts should help minimize further working of the flange fold to hold ongoing creep of the crack to a minimum. If the 5/8-11 had a clean 5/8 hole in the stiffener, it could rock more in that larger hole (net thread outside diameter is slightly under 5/8) and allow more OEM bracket movement.

2) No Shim Behind the 2nd Frame Bolt from Top: This is correct also. Torquing the bolts in the order given in the instructions should put a bit of spring load into this mid section of the stiffener (you will be torquing the stiffener over a 1/4" gap) to help minimize creep over time.

3) 36' Coaches w/the Narrow Front Door: On these rigs the electric step cover mechanism has 4 bolts holding the tag end to the upper frame channel close enough to the necessary stiffener location to conflict at the forward two mechanism bolts. Two solutions have been offered, and either one is fine. First, take out those two bolts and leave them off. There isn't much stress on them, and two appear to be adequate. Second, you could remove the two conflict bolts, install the stiffener after cutting the two Hucks off and do the temp snugging of the two huck replacement bolts, and when marking your new holes, mark these two with a centerpunch mark from the center side of the frame; drill the holes, and install longer bolts to replace the two OEM conflict bolts. Here is the conflict resolved leaving the two bolts off:

As a third option, you could cut the offending portion of the upper rear corner of the stiffener off to clear the heads.
If you are doing a really sexy installation, the oversized washer on the center side of the frame should be shaved (using a cutting wheel or hacksaw) to miss the mechanism flange and lay flat on the frame channel (I think it takes about a 1/4" cut).

4) Steering Hose Conflict: Most of the later coaches have a 90 degree fitting on the power steering hose that exits the upper rear of the steering box. Occasionally I have seen a 45 degree fitting used. IIWM, I'd swap for a 90 degree fitting. Alternatively you could wrap the hose in split loom, but that may leave some bending pressure on the fitting; this doesn't move much but I'd rather not have the stress if it was my coach. You can see the blue hose in the above photo, but not the 90 degree fitting below to the left; sorry.
__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2009, 09:07 AM   #25
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: El Dorado Hills
Posts: 73
steering bracket road test

If I recall correctly my 34 was the first Alpine to receive the production version of EMikes steering bracket. My bracket was inspected by EMike and did not show evidence of fatigue at 28,000 miles. However, considering the value of an ounce of prevention and living somewhat close to EMike he agreed to do the install for the practice and the pictures.

We have just completed our first significant trip since the bracket instillation which include approxomately 300 miles of winding Sierra roads in the Yosemite and Tioga Pass areas. Anyone who has driven 120 into Yosemite Valley is aware of just how important precise steering is especially when passing the tour busses. I am not an engineer but I am sensitive to the driving feel of the Alpine. My coach has always felt responsive and precise on winding roads. I feel that the steering was just a little more precise with the bracket installed because there was no flex taking place. But more important I was driving with the confidence that the bracket flex and possible failure was no longer a concern. This solution is well worth the cost.

So, thanks to EMike the steering concerns are behind me.

Jerry 34 2006 Alpine
__________________
jerry and toni smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2009, 09:36 AM   #26
Senior Member
 
Audrey & John's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: wandering North America
Posts: 484
We had Buddy Gregg Motor Homes in Lewisville TX install Mike's Steering Bracket Upgrade Kit for steering box. The service writer was JP. It was their service department's first installation of Mike's Upgrade kit. I had the two optional bolts installed which added an hour of work. The mechanic (Paul) did a professional installation in a reasonable amount of time (five hours). He used threadlocker on the bolts and torqued the bolts to the specified values. The installed kit is shown in post #24 above.

I ordered Mike's Upgrade kit to have it with us when we arrived for our appointment. We decided to try Buddy Gregg because they had installed the Carrier and Sons Upgrade kit for Dale777.

Buddy Gregg has a nice camping area with room for about 14 coaches, concrete pads, 50 amp, and water. The camping area is outside the locked fence so you can come and go anytime.

John
__________________
36ft 2006 Alpine Coach FDDS
Audrey & John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2009, 07:24 AM   #27
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 335
Joel, the $532 charge, did it include other service work, or just the bracket?
__________________
Melorene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 12:21 AM   #28
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
I did an install of the bracket stiffener kit on an 05 FDDS 36 today, and we replaced the two forward bolts holding the tag end of the entry step cover motor with two standard head 3/8" bolts. The standard heads fit under the overhang of the upper bracket main angle. Just for fullest clearance, I turned them so the forward facing part of the hex heads were vertical tho that may not have been necessary. I consider this superior to leaving them off.

I also trimmed the oversized washer to miss the step cover flange on the inside of the upper frame rail, so the washer lies flat. I used the angle grinder w/the same cutoff wheel for removing the Huck bolts to slice off about 7/16" from one side. Also IIWM, and the welds on the rear inside of the OEM bracket don't fully miss the oversized washers, I'd also take a quick slice from them so they also lie flat; torquing those to spec will bend the upper edge of those two washers so the main part of the washer lies flat as it should, but the slice is cleaner.
__________________

__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steering bracket brace for '04 and later Alpines dgerstel Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 12 10-05-2009 06:36 PM
Broken steering bracket 2004 FDTS royboy Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 1 07-03-2008 12:20 PM
WRV You Have A "Raving Fan"! Jim & Ingrid McIntosh Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 3 02-10-2008 05:38 AM
32" LCD TV upgrade in 2000 Alpine Danny Gayhart Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 25 12-12-2007 03:24 AM
Steering Bracket Poor Boy's Dream Spartan Motorhome Chassis Forum 1 05-23-2007 04:43 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.