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Old 01-26-2011, 10:38 AM   #71
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Old, I had the same sensation after installing my bracket. Not sure if it was psychological or not. It just felt more positive, less corection, not that it took much before.
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:35 PM   #72
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I have the same steering bracket shown in Algoma's photo on my 2000 Alpine FDS. For grins I just crawled underneath it and checked the bracket. There are two cracks in the welding along the bottom beads both about an inch long, one on each side. They emanate from the frame end of the weld. Is there a fix for this steering bracket as well?
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:00 PM   #73
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Steve,
There is a fix. I just had mine fixed as the welds has about 1.5 inch cracks on each side of the stiffiner. I had them V-channel and reweld the cracked portion. I will need to paint the welds here in a few days. That way if the cracks reappear, I'll know it. Cost of the fix was $65 with the tax. BTW there is another thread on the steering bracket and that is where I got the idea. Ther is a local dealer here that wanted to install the stiffiner that e-mike developed. They would do it for a "mere" 6 hours labor. I told them I wanted to research the issue. They looked disappointed. Oh-well. Figure I saved myself a BSWM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:22 PM   #74
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Steve:

The later coaches were built with a thinner material and slightly different design. Yours ought to only be suffering from welding fatigue, not metal fatigue. eMike's design was to stiffen the poorly designed originals on post-'04's IIRC. Mine is of the older design, too.

Now I need to crawl under there again, just for peace of mind. Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:58 AM   #75
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Thanks for the information. I am presently in Yuma Foothills and there is a welder down the street who has a portable unit. I'll see if I can get him to weld it for me.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:19 PM   #76
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For the early coaches you want to get a pretty good welder to do the work. I've seen photos that were pretty lousy work. Because of the position, not just anybody w/a welding outfit can do this and actually help the situation (a bad weld just heats up the weldment causing more harm than good).
Here is an example of a great weld job; note the added strap fore-aft next to the frame that seals off the inside corners of the OEM welds so they won't start cracking again:


If you are going to go to the trouble of welding up the early bracket to cure weld cracks, I recommend adding a 3" x 1/4" strap where shown above, grooving out the existing cracked weld, grooving the strap (both 3" ends) and proceeding w/the weld. If your welder can't figure it out from that, get a better welder cuz that guy isn't up to the challenge.

Then paint the resulting weldment. IIWMI'd paint the strap prior to grooving, then repaint over the welds when done.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:22 PM   #77
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Jeff- whoever is trying to put my 04+ bracket fix on a 99 coach isn't doing a very good job of figuring out the job at hand. The 99's don't have the upper frame channel the later model coaches have, so there is nothing to bolt or weld the upper end to.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:56 AM   #78
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Thanks to everyone who responded to this post especially EngineerMike for the tip on adding the additional stiffener next to the frame. I got the welding done while I was sitting on an RV lot in Yuma Foothills. The welder first noticed that the WRV welds were welded from the top down which results in a shallow weld and not much of a crown on the welding bead. He said this type of weld is easier and faster but will not pass any formal weld inspection. He ground out the old welds and re-welded them. I also added the stiffener that EngineerMike showed in his picture. I made a template out of cereal box cardboard and went to the local metal supply. I searched through the end runs pile (scrap) and found a piece of 3/8 inch flat stock. They cut it according to my template for a total cost of $3.50. I like to use end run material because they sell it by the pound instead of by the foot. The welding cost was $90.

The coach has always driven good down the road but required constant minor steering adjustments when driving. With the re-welded steering bracket it has dramatically reduced the need for these minor adjustments.

Again, thanks to all!
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:09 AM   #79
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Steering Kit Install In The East

No, but if I need it done I would call Garden Spot Truck Garage in Leola, PA
and ask for Dave Gunning or Andy McComsey.
The phone number is 717 656 7589.

The will do any type of RV service work.

Good luck, John
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:32 PM   #80
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Unhappy Bracket installed.......FINALLY.

Greetings from Palm Springs, HOT & WINDY,

I had put off installing the bracket I have had since DRR X I guess because I was a bit afraid I was in over my head. Heck, it was a cake walk that I did alone except for needing a friend to hold a wrench on the top frame bolt while I torqued it from the inside of the frame.

I made a couple of deviations from E-Mike's detailed procedure:
1) With the bracket installed with the 2 bolts in the huck bolt holes and c-clamps, rather than use a sharpie or scratch awl to outline the holes and mark the center, I wrapped electrical tape around the tip of my 17/32" drill bit to approx 5/8" diameter and drilled center points in the 4 hole locations. This centered the holes perfectly and no filing was required. I did not mark the 2 upper holes. See 2) below.

2) Rather than mark the two upper 17/32" holes (to be tapped), I installed the bracket and then drilled thru the existing holes for perfect alignment, no filing required.

Observations:
Cutting off the 1" dia huck bolt heads was easy using a 4 1/2" angle grinder.

The 11/16" holes were easy to drill with the recommended hole saw. I was glad I got 2 as one got dull in the middle of the 3rd hole.

CAUTION....CAUTION....CAUTION
Carefully follow the safety instructions about drilling large holes in heavy steel. When I was drilling the first 17/32" hole with my "Binford" 10 amp 1/2" drive drill (Great buy at Harbor Freight for $30), the bit bound up and the drill really torqued my wrist. OUCH!!!! Still sore!

I discovered on the second hole that the drill had a speed control. DUH! When I reduced the speed to minimum, I had no problem at all.

All said and done, it was a fun project. Thank you E-Mile for a well engineered kit.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:04 AM   #81
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FWIW - Yesterday, I finaly finshed the extra two holes recommended if the original bracket was cracked. It went excellent, used the drill to do my center starting point. Then used a small bit first, a medium sized bit, then the 17/32 finished sized bit. It never hung on me doing it that way. Tapping the holes was also easy, started it several turns, then removed it, cleaned out the debres, then added more turns until I had the thing done. Used a bottom tap to make sure is was nice and clean. Put red locktight and bolted her home to 60ft/lbs. Job took about 1.5 hours since in the middle had to go buy a socket for the torque wrench. Lowered the coach, and had hydraulic fluid on my jack pad. Cleaned off the bottom of the pad/jack, put coach back up, and no leaks, go figure. Checked all around for leaking hose, nothing. It will surprise me going down south, I just know it will.
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:45 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Rv'er View Post
Lowered the coach, and had hydraulic fluid on my jack pad. Cleaned off the bottom of the pad/jack, put coach back up, and no leaks, go figure. Checked all around for leaking hose, nothing. It will surprise me going down south, I just know it will.
FWIW - If you raise the jacks to their full extension, they may leak some hydraulic fluid and it pools in the jack pad. I ran into this once in an extreme leveling situation.

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Old 10-06-2011, 08:06 PM   #83
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Hmmmm, don't believe I extended them that far in the air, but then might have been since I did not bleed down the air prior to this operation. I needed the space to get under the thing to do the repair. FWIW - Today I checked them again, and no leaks. So it must be as you mentioned, too far extended, and they leaked at that point, I will continue to watch this however.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:20 PM   #84
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I know HWH makes a wonderful product but I would never crawl under the coach with only the HWH jacks holding it up--especially if it was raised significantly on the jacks. Call me chicken but its either a 12t bottle jack and jack stands or I eat a few less tacos before venturing under--have to admit, I tend to trust the air bags. I know, cut an air line or puncture a bag and you could be in real trouble too; but trust the HWH jacks, not so much!
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