Originally Posted by Hookum
Straydog and fellow travelers,
I don't believe the alignment is the problem. As I described earlier, I have been having the same wandering problem. I first took it for an alignment in June, it did not change the steering issue. While traveling in Oregon, I took it to CC and they did a 2nd alignment plus they loosened up the steering box by 1/3 of a turn. Driving back to Tucson, I knew quickly that nothing was better. I then turned to our local coach specialist who asked to have a shot at fixing it.
I left it with them for 2 weeks. They consulted with their people, test drove it 50 miles and last Thursday (25th)we had a meeting to discuss their findings.
They did agree with me on the symptoms but we are still apart on the cure. Looking at the alignment printout # from CC, they said the caster # were within the recommended range, it was at the very bottom of that range and they wanted to see it at the top of the range. A 3.5 on left caster and a 4.0 on the right caster. Ok, I can change that but that is not the primary issue.
They also did not agree with the 1/3 turn that we added to the gear box and they reversed that. That was fine by me since it didn't improve anything anyway.
What they did recommend was to replace the Sauer Dan Foss power steering pump. They ran a flow check/ pressure on the unit: 700 rpms, 6 gpm, 200psi and 2000 rpms, 6 gpm, 300 psi. They said that was to low, there was not enough change in the psi at the higher rpm, and the pump needed to be replaced because it is a gear pump and not rebuildable. They did not do a load test, such as bottoming out the steering to one end or the other, which may give a different reading for max. psi.
I had asked a friend to join this meeting for his input. He is very experienced in this field and he felt that we did not have the full story regarding the pump issue. He wanted to know what the pump was set up to do and how the flow valves were tie into the working of the system. With part # in hand he asked to do some further research and testing before we just replaced this pump. And I agreed to wait for him to review this information.
Tomorrow, I am going in for the 3rd alignment in 4 months and I am doing this, not because I think it will solve the problem, but to remove any variances that might add to the problem. And I respect the technicians opinion on the caster numbers.
I am leaving for a 6 day trip to Vegas and San Diego and upon my return it will go to the hydraulic shop. I feel fairly certain that the problem is related to either the pump or flow valves in the system and they will look deeper into that specifically. I think we have all but eliminated all other sources to the problem.
It is still very driveable, it just is not as nice and relaxing as I know it can be.
Alignment and steering issues are very common and most of the time the simple fixes of alignment, tires, worn shocks, tie rods, springs, etc will solve the problem. The experiences that some of us are having is beyond the normal fixes and we have double and triple checked those, we are now into an area that is more rare and far less understood and harder to
I feel confident that with enough money thrown at the problem, I will get the steering fixed. If not look for a cheap coach on E-bay.
I will post again just as soon as I know something more that I can share with you. Fingers crossed, it will be two weeks or less.
Thanks again for your interest and input. Happy travels.