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Old 11-07-2012, 12:04 PM   #1
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My fixed Steering Issue

To those of you who have been following my thread under “alignment issue” , I started this new thread labeled “Steering Issue” because I now have determined that it was not an “alignment” problem. The best part for me is that I no longer have the problem, period.
It is fixed! Done! Solved! I am on to whatever comes next, since we all know that it usually is just around the next bend.

My specific problem was the coach not steering in a straight line. It required a constant back and forth correction with the steering wheel when going straight. I had 2 alignments done, ride height, air pressure, steering box, tires, etc checked, re-checked and nothing changed the symptom. I had good suggestions from several people including one member who suggested the spool valve + pump pressure. THANK YOU MR. RASTISS!

We finally went in that direction. First we took pump pressures and they were 1270psi at idle, 1400psi at full rpm. This was approx 1000psi below what is called for in this pump so they knew that oil was bypassing. They took the pump apart and found the o-rings in the flow valve to be hard, cracked and with some aluminimum particles imbedded into them. The barrel were the gears run was also noticeably worn. You could easily see and feel the ridge groove which would cause less pressure but the primary culprit was the damaged o-rings.

As explained to me: With everything running straight down the road the shuttle valve would be in a neutral position. When you move the steering wheel, the flow valve directs oil to one side or the other and the shuttle valve directs that oil to individual ports. When oil would bypass the circuit valve and move the shuttle valve, I would correct the wheel in the opposite direction which in turn would cause the constant back and forth movement of the steering wheel. Then it all made sense of why I was just ever so slightly moving the wheel to redirect the flow of oil to compensate for the oil that was bypassing the o-ring and moving the shuttle valve on its own.

What we did was to replace the Sauer Danfoss gear pump with a Vickers vane pump. Primarily it was because my hydraulic specialist considers the gear pump to be a very cheap, short life, throw away pump. But it was also badly worn. Had it not been worn out, he would have just replaced the $2 oil rings and that would have solved the problem too.

It has taken 5 months of asking questions, trying different fixes and following different leads. Some repairs are more difficult to diagnose than others and when we don’t see a broken part, worn out part or an obvious leak, then it comes down to opinion and experiences. A mechanic on car steering will have experiences that can apply to the same symptom on a m.h. , as was the case here.

Should anyone need additional specific information, I would be happy answer that to the best of my ability. Happy steering.



Norbert
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:51 PM   #2
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Hey Norbert, glad to hear you solved the problem.

Just for the record, could you post the Name Plate Data (Make, Model etc) as I'm sure it will be the 1st question folks who read this will ask.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #3
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Many thanks for sharing the solution. I salute you staying with it until the coach will take you straight on down the road to fun!

Good previous thred, and good participation... Good group of people...

Best,
Smitty
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:46 PM   #4
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Yes, I will post all the data on the coach, pump, serial # tomorrow.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:26 PM   #5
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Norbert, i am amazed at what you found. Given your explanation i am surprised on that new of coach. Glad you stayed with it and thanks for the great detailed follow up. Just curious, you said the pump was worn out or had excessive wear, how many miles on it?
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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I am not clear where the spool valve is. Is it part of the steering box? Joe
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:51 PM   #7
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laj,
Yes, I am also disappointed in the early demise of this pump. A 2006 Intrigue with 18K miles, I really thought I would have a lot more trouble free miles ahead of me but miles is only part of the equation. It was probably put into service late 05 so it does have 0-rings that are 7 years old. Add in a cheap pump, that will also have the lowest grade of rubber seals and you have a recipe for early failure. It is definitely not built to Military specs.

One example I was told was over the failure of my Xantrex 3000 inverter. I could not believe that it was kaput. Why? It is still so young. Magma models had a higher quality unit and Intrigue got the cheaper one built in China. They used a very inferior silver solder that over time grew "whiskers" and those would contact and ground out between themselves. Sales predicted a 40% failure rate but they were wrong. They have a 100% failure rate but it was after the warranty period or in our case, the factory was closed.

The factory bean counters have a lot of say in the quality they buy, how long it is scheduled to last, what the sales price should be and who will be the owner when it is scheduled to fail. Those of us who are second or third hand owners just have to swallow and pay the piper when an item needs replacement. We have no clout. IMHO.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:59 PM   #8
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Thanks Norbert. Hope you get lots of trouble free miles now.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jofo777 View Post
I am not clear where the spool valve is. Is it part of the steering box? Joe
It is inside the pump body. The gear pump has a large input hose from the resavoir that feeds into the rotating gears The gears compresses the fluid creating pressure, if the gears are no longer tight against the walls of the housing (because of wear) then some of the fluid squeezes past those gears and it can't build up the required pressure (that is why mine had a 1000# less pressure) The pressurized fluid is pushed through a valve that regulates the pressure to not exceed a certain limit (2250psi in this case) and then it passes through the flow valve into the chamber that has a spool valve which moves left or right to open ports that allow the pressurized oil to enter ports for the respective movements that is being asked for in the movement of the steering wheel.

In my case the flow valve had bad o-rings that allowed the oil to pass into the spool valve area without the steering wheel movement, that would allow oil to move the spool valve before I moved the steering wheel and when the spool valve moved, I would be forced to move the steering wheel in the opposite direction to correct the direction I was going.

This was all under quick action/reaction type movements. Just tiny corrections in the wheel to compensate for the excess fluid going in the wrong direction. With time it would have gotten much worse.

Again, I am not the expert. I am just repeating what was explained to me and I was just nodding my head like I understood. So others in this field, please feel free to explain it better if I am off base. Thank you.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:52 PM   #10
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For those who were interested in additional information, I offer the following info:

2006 42' Intrique
Removed a Sauer Danfoss steering pump Part# 550135762200150 Retail Price: $575
Replaced with a Vickers vane pump # V20F-1P-0P-38C-5H-11 Price: $735 plus $50 for 2 additional fittings to mate with our hoses.

We could have stayed with the original gear pump at less cost but the mechanic wanted the type of pump that he knows gives the best life. Bolt pattern was the same, no reason not to switch. Pump comes with pressure relief valves set to either 2000 or 2500, we chose the 2000psi . CC called for 2250, we could have ordered that but he felt that 250# less pressure was not going to matter.

Again, we only replaced the pump because it was worn badly enough to loose 1000# pressure in the test. If the pressure would have been higher we could have just replaced the damaged o-ring because that was the primary culprit in allowing oil to leak past the spool valve into the shuttle valve.

One additional note of caution. This pump only fed the steering box, nothing else. Some pumps also service the hydraulic driven engine fan at the radiator. My former Spartan/Cummings had a pump that fed both steering and fan motor. In that case it will have a different flow volume and a different part # then the one I just listed.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:47 AM   #11
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Thanks for your update and post on your steering problem. I'll watch and see if new tires and FA will solve the rest of my problem.
THANKS again
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:39 PM   #12
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Hookum,

If possible, could you post the brand, model number and serial number of your steering gear box?

Thanks
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:06 PM   #13
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Hookum,

If possible, could you post the brand, model number and serial number of your steering gear box?

Thanks
I will get that for you in a day or two. I have it in the shop for my weekly checkup. ha ha This time it is the backup camera, it works fine when the parking brake is ON but when I release the brake the camera goes off. I was jokingly explaining to them that it defeats the benefits of having a camera. That was a new one on them too. I am very lost when it comes to electronics and I depend on others to fix anything that has a wire attached. It turns out to be cheaper to diagnose the problem then to have them diagnose my attempted repair.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:23 AM   #14
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Hookum, you are awesome - you explained so thorough even a layman like me can understand it (just thought so . Nice job and have fun to drive.
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