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Old 10-20-2017, 10:10 AM   #2451
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Originally Posted by SandandSun View Post
A big thank you shoutout to ROY and DEBBIE (RMCB) for all their help with Watts links, crossbars, and steering box replacement. I have been slow to get the project done and just finished the last step, Rear Watts Link. The whole process was guided by Rpy and Debbie; Huge help. The modifications totally changed how our '07 Monaco Diplomat drives. Even pulling a full sized Chevy HD 2500, no more wandering and chasing the coach all over the road. Almost drives like a pick-up truck.

Paul and Susan
'07 Diplomat PDQ, 38'


Glad to hear! Roy and Debbie always helpful like many great people in the forum.
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:26 AM   #2452
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Thanks Paul,
You did the out-of-position drilling of the 1/2" holes through the down tubes. That was the hardest part for sure!!

Roy
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:39 PM   #2453
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R&D

Van and I never have enough knowledge

I drove my coach to Van's house a few days ago. A new record for a TOTAL coach bushing swap. 20 ATRO urethane bushings installed in 10 hours. Van having all the right, and HEAVY, tools and custom made Monaco bushing replacement dies for the press made ALL the difference. On and off the pavement for me NUMEROUS times. YES a stiff tall drink was in order afterwards and we were both sore for a day or two but......TOTALLY WORTH IT !

Van and I did a bushing load deflection test (see picture below):
7/8" rod placed in the bushing and a 50 LB load applied to one end of the rod and and deflection measured on the opposite end of the rod.
Test performed 3 times with stock bushing and 3 times with ATRO bushing.

Stock bushing deflected .085 (57K miles on them)
ATRO bushing deflected .032 (New out of the box)

Shows you the stiffness difference in the two materials.

A detailed drive report will follow after I get a chance to tow the toad and compare the two experiences and drive more miles.

First impression: The coach is tighter and more responsive to inputs, a small input gets immediate response. You can "feel" the coach is not compressing the rubber bushing and then responding. NO bushing push from winds or trucks. Body roll and lateral movement decreased. I have to be careful entering curves 10 MPH over the posted speed limit (can not let the wife see this post) I drove 370 miles home on some skinny roads, some interstate and the last part of the trip in the wind and rain. I have a 3000 mile trip planned in a few weeks and will really lock down a detailed comparison.

Quartzsite here we come !

I know all the mods made keep improving the coach but this bushing replacement effort was more about knowledge and seeing the difference between the stock bushing and the ATRO urethane bushing. I have driven my coach over 35,000 miles with the other mods and it was time to "learn" some more so I can share my experience. The next seminar will include more information on bushings and their affect on the coach.


Cheers,

Craig

PS: Chad (Onechaddude) you were right
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:45 PM   #2454
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More pics

Just a few more pictures.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:49 PM   #2455
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyKnight View Post
Van and I never have enough knowledge

I drove my coach to Van's house a few days ago. A new record for a TOTAL coach bushing swap. 20 ATRO urethane bushings installed in 10 hours. Van having all the right, and HEAVY, tools and custom made Monaco bushing replacement dies for the press made ALL the difference. On and off the pavement for me NUMEROUS times. YES a stiff tall drink was in order afterwards and we were both sore for a day or two but......TOTALLY WORTH IT !

Van and I did a bushing load deflection test (see picture below):
7/8" rod placed in the bushing and a 50 LB load applied to one end of the rod and and deflection measured on the opposite end of the rod.
Test performed 3 times with stock bushing and 3 times with ATRO bushing.

Stock bushing deflected .085 (57K miles on them)
ATRO bushing deflected .032 (New out of the box)

Shows you the stiffness difference in the two materials.

A detailed drive report will follow after I get a chance to tow the toad and compare the two experiences and drive more miles.

First impression: The coach is tighter and more responsive to inputs, a small input gets immediate response. You can "feel" the coach is not compressing the rubber bushing and then responding. NO bushing push from winds or trucks. Body roll and lateral movement decreased. I have to be careful entering curves 10 MPH over the posted speed limit (can not let the wife see this post) I drove 370 miles home on some skinny roads, some interstate and the last part of the trip in the wind and rain. I have a 3000 mile trip planned in a few weeks and will really lock down a detailed comparison.

Quartzsite here we come !

I know all the mods made keep improving the coach but this bushing replacement effort was more about knowledge and seeing the difference between the stock bushing and the ATRO urethane bushing. I have driven my coach over 35,000 miles with the other mods and it was time to "learn" some more so I can share my experience. The next seminar will include more information on bushings and their affect on the coach.


Cheers,

Craig

PS: Chad (Onechaddude) you were right
Wow, that's a long days work for a couple of old guys !!! LOL. My results were the same, definitely can tell the difference. I was curious if the difference was as dramatic with the rr8r versus my rr4r chassis. Actually I would think it would be greater on the 8 bagger due to the difference in design. Our resident engineer (Vanwill) should be able to confirm that.

Glad it worked out well Craig. Hopefully you and Van are not too sore. I wish I'd known you were in the area. If you'd have stopped by we could have weighed your coach. I have scales and a perfectly level concrete pad to weigh on.

Chad
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:01 PM   #2456
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Originally Posted by onechaddude View Post
Wow, that's a long days work for a couple of old guys !!! LOL. My results were the same, definitely can tell the difference. I was curious if the difference was as dramatic with the rr8r versus my rr4r chassis. Actually I would think it would be greater on the 8 bagger due to the difference in design. Our resident engineer (Vanwill) should be able to confirm that.

Glad it worked out well Craig. Hopefully you and Van are not too sore. I wish I'd known you were in the area. If you'd have stopped by we could have weighed your coach. I have scales and a perfectly level concrete pad to weigh on.

Chad

I think the result is more dramatic on the RR8 than it would be on the RR4. I have only driven 1 RR4 with stock bushings but with sway bars. The RR4 starts out more rigid due to the design but our RR8 ride qualities are different than the RR4 due to those differences . I have driven 6 other RR8 coaches in various stages of modification. I do not have sway bars but I have driven RR8 coaches that have them with stock bushings and there are some similarities.

I was in a time crunch getting home and actually thought about you as I know I was "in the area". I leave for NM in a few days and much more to get done before we depart.

Hope to see you sooner than later my friend.

Cheers,

Craig (Kind of old guy )
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Old 12-08-2017, 03:49 AM   #2457
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyKnight View Post
Van and I never have enough knowledge



I drove my coach to Van's house a few days ago. A new record for a TOTAL coach bushing swap. 20 ATRO urethane bushings installed in 10 hours. Van having all the right, and HEAVY, tools and custom made Monaco bushing replacement dies for the press made ALL the difference. On and off the pavement for me NUMEROUS times. YES a stiff tall drink was in order afterwards and we were both sore for a day or two but......TOTALLY WORTH IT !



Van and I did a bushing load deflection test (see picture below):

7/8" rod placed in the bushing and a 50 LB load applied to one end of the rod and and deflection measured on the opposite end of the rod.

Test performed 3 times with stock bushing and 3 times with ATRO bushing.



Stock bushing deflected .085 (57K miles on them)

ATRO bushing deflected .032 (New out of the box)



Shows you the stiffness difference in the two materials.



A detailed drive report will follow after I get a chance to tow the toad and compare the two experiences and drive more miles.



First impression: The coach is tighter and more responsive to inputs, a small input gets immediate response. You can "feel" the coach is not compressing the rubber bushing and then responding. NO bushing push from winds or trucks. Body roll and lateral movement decreased. I have to be careful entering curves 10 MPH over the posted speed limit (can not let the wife see this post) I drove 370 miles home on some skinny roads, some interstate and the last part of the trip in the wind and rain. I have a 3000 mile trip planned in a few weeks and will really lock down a detailed comparison.



Quartzsite here we come !



I know all the mods made keep improving the coach but this bushing replacement effort was more about knowledge and seeing the difference between the stock bushing and the ATRO urethane bushing. I have driven my coach over 35,000 miles with the other mods and it was time to "learn" some more so I can share my experience. The next seminar will include more information on bushings and their affect on the coach.





Cheers,



Craig



PS: Chad (Onechaddude) you were right


Canít wait to hear the information Craig see ya at QZ.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:53 AM   #2458
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Originally Posted by 10Boomer View Post
Canít wait to hear the information Craig see ya at QZ.



I'm also very interested to hear more!

Drive safe

Jim
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:16 PM   #2459
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There sure is a big difference between the cartridge style bushings that came out of Craig's and the all-urethane bushings that came out of mine. Sure wish I'd had Vans press (NICE) and drivers. I used some old bearing races, scraps of plate etc. and a POS chinese press- had to turn the bed over several times as I kept pushing a bow into it... I am also curious to see how Van's rear end alignment / adjustable torque arms project turns out.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:20 PM   #2460
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Craig,
Can't wait to hear about your bushing swap. I can feel it coming! Looking forward to seeing you at Q again!

Roy
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:58 PM   #2461
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Two Bro's wrenching...

I always enjoy wrenching with Craig, my "brother-from-another-mother". In fact, I've enjoyed wrenching with all you guys who have come to my house and shop to work on some project. Although this project involved no welding, I can tell you something about Craig. You can stuff that boy into a barrel, roll him under a coach and hand him a MIG gun and he can do some AMAZING out-of-position welding. I thought I was good, but Craig is fantastic!

After having done bushing replacement on some older coaches with the two-piece bushing, I was a bit hesitant to tackle this job. Craig is nearly twenty years younger than me, though, so I thought I could put all the "grunt work" on the young'un, if necessary. Job turned out to not be too bad at all. It's still a big job, but every bolt come out easily, and THAT was the bugaboo on the two-piece bushing replacement jobs.

Yes, the difference in stiffness of the later OEM style bushing and the ATRO surprised me. And this job answered a question that has long been in both Craig's and my mind--would stiffer bushings help a coach that already handled and tracked very well, and had a Watts link and rear X-braces. As Craig said, he and I are always wanting to get "just a little bit more" out of the handling of our coaches.

Based on Craig's results, you might think I'd be ordering a set of ATRO bushing for my coach (and inviting my Bro up for a "visit"). NOPE. We're going to take this experiment one step further. I'm going to machine up a set of bushings for my coach that have a UHMW (ultra high molecular weight) body with a heavy steel center sleeve. I'll do the same deflection test on these that Craig and I did on the OEM and the ATRO. The urethane in the ATRO is quite stiff, but the UHMW is just one step removed from a solid metal bushing.

Don't know when I'll install these. I have a full calendar for next year, but I will work the project in.

As always, I can never thank all you guys enough for all the ideas, support and suggestions you have all had. I think we have some of the best and most inquisitive minds contributing to this thread...more so than any other thread on this entire forum. You guys ROCK! Thank you!

Stop in to see me any time you are in southeastern NC.
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:58 PM   #2462
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One day love to stop in when we are in your neck of the woods.
It will be nice to see you and Craig at QZ, would love a quick once over under the coach. Mike H and I will be installing the X-Braces under the rear of coach. We installed the watts last year.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:41 AM   #2463
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Van and Craig, when you installed the new Atro bushings, the outer sleeve was steel held firmly in place by the press fit. When the arm was reinstalled on the vehicle, the center sleeve was pinched in the bracket when the bolt was torqued down. So the only rotational movement is the bushing material itself due to the inner and outer sleeves locked in a fixed position. No different than a 73 Chevrolet A-frame bushing.

My question is, did you put the coach at ride height before tightening the pivot bolts? Otherwise, there would be a constant load on the bushings until the moment the control arms met the same position at which they were tightened.

I mention this to keep my buddies Craig and Van from revisiting another 10 hour job in a couple of years.

Not knowing the Atro bushings, does the bushing material rotate on the inner and/or outer sleeves to keep the urethane from torquing? Or, are the pivot bolts not torqued to the point of stopping rotation of the inner sleeve? If either is true, the above is pretty much moot.

On a different note, it sounds like you're going to use only a center bushing with the UHMW. Will these be able to rotate in some fashion, or is all the rotation going to be in the UHMW?

With either the Atro or UHMW bushings, the amount of front to rear movement of the control arms will be all but eliminated. Hmmm, have I run out of projects yet?
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:07 AM   #2464
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanwill View Post
I always enjoy wrenching with Craig, my "brother-from-another-mother". In fact, I've enjoyed wrenching with all you guys who have come to my house and shop to work on some project. Although this project involved no welding, I can tell you something about Craig. You can stuff that boy into a barrel, roll him under a coach and hand him a MIG gun and he can do some AMAZING out-of-position welding. I thought I was good, but Craig is fantastic!

After having done bushing replacement on some older coaches with the two-piece bushing, I was a bit hesitant to tackle this job. Craig is nearly twenty years younger than me, though, so I thought I could put all the "grunt work" on the young'un, if necessary. Job turned out to not be too bad at all. It's still a big job, but every bolt come out easily, and THAT was the bugaboo on the two-piece bushing replacement jobs.

Yes, the difference in stiffness of the later OEM style bushing and the ATRO surprised me. And this job answered a question that has long been in both Craig's and my mind--would stiffer bushings help a coach that already handled and tracked very well, and had a Watts link and rear X-braces. As Craig said, he and I are always wanting to get "just a little bit more" out of the handling of our coaches.

Based on Craig's results, you might think I'd be ordering a set of ATRO bushing for my coach (and inviting my Bro up for a "visit"). NOPE. We're going to take this experiment one step further. I'm going to machine up a set of bushings for my coach that have a UHMW (ultra high molecular weight) body with a heavy steel center sleeve. I'll do the same deflection test on these that Craig and I did on the OEM and the ATRO. The urethane in the ATRO is quite stiff, but the UHMW is just one step removed from a solid metal bushing.

Don't know when I'll install these. I have a full calendar for next year, but I will work the project in.

As always, I can never thank all you guys enough for all the ideas, support and suggestions you have all had. I think we have some of the best and most inquisitive minds contributing to this thread...more so than any other thread on this entire forum. You guys ROCK! Thank you!

Stop in to see me any time you are in southeastern NC.
Van, sounds like an interesting approach.

Just out of curiosity, are you anticipating the transference of additional road vibrations into the chassis with the much more rigid UHMW bushing setup?

I've used the urethane bushings quite a lot in off-road, racing and street rod applications and the one drawback has always been additional vibrations that have been transferred, but in those applications a little additional vibration or rigidity from a bushing is not a bad thing nor avoided, but in a coach that you want to be quiet and smooth is a different story, so I am just curious. Will be interesting to hear about the results.

Mike
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