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Old 06-04-2014, 12:34 PM   #771
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Ok, I admit it. I do not know what a p rod is unless you are speaking of the pitman arm. I can take pictures and measurements easily. Parked on a concrete slab so getting under is easy.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:42 PM   #772
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YCI, what app did you use to attach the text and balloons to your pix? I need to be able to do that. Windows. Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:52 PM   #773
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
Ok, I admit it. I do not know what a p rod is unless you are speaking of the pitman arm. I can take pictures and measurements easily. Parked on a concrete slab so getting under is easy.
Sorry! This thread has gone on so long that I often forget someone didn't realize where I got the contractions from. P-rod is "Panhard rod". Sometimes called a "track bar", and on large trucks frequently called a "torque bar" or "torque link". It is the heavy bar, made from the same material as your trailing arms, that runs transverse to the coach. Your trailing arms run fore-and-aft. The P-rod runs side-to-side. You have one on the front H-frame and one on the rear H-frame. Without it, your long, spindly trailing arms would let the H-frames (and the wheels attached to them) to move sideways under the coach.

Look at Post #601. The lower pix is of a front P-rod (2" square tubing) with a stiffener (white) running alongside it.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:42 AM   #774
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Thanks for the info on the p rod. As for the text attachment it is a program called SnagIt by Tech Smith. Very good price and it does amazing things. For example, I can take a snap shot of part or all of this page or have it scroll through the whole thing and capture it in pdf format. It has some neat editing features, is very easy to use, and it will even let you capture videos now. I use it to grab pictures posted here all the time. It will convert existing pictures to pdf too.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:37 PM   #775
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Originally Posted by Vanwill View Post
YC1, thanks so much for the pix. 1) It appears to me that your generator support framework is as sturdy as mine and could support the center pivot of a Watts link, especially since the pivot mount would also triangulate the two vertical supports. 2) It appears that your P-rod is located toward the rear of your front H-frame. Are both those statements correct?

Pictures may be better than me trying to answer your questions. As a side note I included an example of using the SnagIt program to capture an error message I am getting on this forum when trying to go to advanced posting versus quick post.
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Attached Files
File Type: pdf Example use of Snagit.pdf (19.0 KB, 35 views)
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:28 AM   #776
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Another spec that would be great for your data base would be the length of the trailing arms. Mine are 31 1/2" rear and 60" for the front. I'm sure there are many variations.

Comment on the 480 mile drive from Phoenix to Durango, CO today. Both Terry and I agree that this has been the best drive ever, due to the 43" cross braces. (2) 40' 2008 coaches, one Monaco Camelot, one HR Scepter, 24 serial numbers apart. We just installed Terry's braces last week. Mine a month ago.

When you are behind the wheel for a full day, you sure enjoy the stop at the end of the day. Time to relax and unwind, from being "on" all day. Today was like a trip to the store. We still had more driving left in us, but we made our destination where we will stay for a bit.

Over the years we both upgraded the shocks and added Roadmaster sway bars. Now with the X braces, the handling fix is complete.

Thanks for all that contributed to this fix, especially Van.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:19 AM   #777
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Watts link for the front H-frame

Guys, brace yourselves. This is going to be another of my very long posts. I’m really sorry about that, but as an engineer accustomed to writing technical manuals for non-technical people, I try hard to be understood.

I told you I thought I had a Eureka! moment lying under my coach’s front end for so long last weekend. I think I truly did. After running this idea by some very savvy mechanical folks and finding nothing that would reveal this to be a brain fart instead, I’m going to share it with you.

I know you’ve seen me write dozens of times that I wish there was some way to add a second P-rod to the front and rear H-frames, because that would be the ultimate solution. Luckily (for most folks) the crossed braces did nearly the same thing as an additional P-rod for the rear suspension. With crossed braces in the rear, even though they are only on the LOWER trailing arms, I just don’t see how it is possible for the rear H-frame to do anything but stay pointed straight ahead. So, that left me looking at some kind of solution for the front.

The stiffener for the front P-rod is an attempt to keep the FRONT of the front H-frame from moving side-to-side, even though the P-rod is near the REAR of the front H-frame (on MY coach). The stiffeners are intended to increase the “wrist strength” of the P-rod. The analogy is like resting your forearm on a table, holding a baseball bat suspended in air horizontally with ONE hand and using your wrist strength to prevent someone from being able to move the big end of the bat with their hand. Someone can easily overcome the strength of your wrist, because they have such a long lever arm. If you use BOTH your hands (the P-rod stiffener), the resistance is more than double, but it is still fairly easy for someone to exert enough force at the tip of the bat to cause it to move. You just can’t make your wrists stiff enough to resist a force applied a long way from where your wrists are placed. OTOH, if you place one hand at each end of the bat, it is MUCH harder for someone to cause it to move at either end. Being able to place another P-rod on the front H-frame is like putting your other hand on the end of the baseball bat, and would increase its resistance to moving by orders of magnitude.

I have thought about using a Watts link in both the front and the rear, as an alternative to another P-rod, but there were the same problems with implementing that as there were with adding another P-rod—something always in the way, and difficult, out-of-position welding.

I have found an absolutely perfect way to mount a Watts link to the front of MY coach! There are two vertical members (1-1/2” sq tubing) that support the rear of the genny slide. They extend upward and are very solidly welded on both sides to the COACH FRAME. In my application, the pivot bar will be mounted to a plate that spans the two vertical members. Mounting the pivot bar to the COACH FRAME (as opposed to the H-frame) is what makes it possible for this whole assembly to be a bolt-on. I had previously always imagined the Watts pivot bar being mounted to the H-frame. That was simple enough, but where do you find a place on the COACH FRAME to connect the free ends of the Watts links? Doing that without welding was always the deal-breaker. I wanted it to be bolt-on so it would be possible for anyone to install at home.

With the Watts pivot bar attached to the COACH FRAME, the outer attachment points of the Watts linkages can simply attach to bolt-ons on the front of the H-frame’s front crossmember, as close to the shocks/air bags as possible. This may be even better than another P-rod, since it is all the way forward at the very front of the H-frame and with as much separation as possible between the Watts linkage and the existing P-rod. It is the first thing I’ve been able to come up with that seems to solve the problem from both a theoretical and practical standpoint.

The P-rod does cause a slight sideways movement of the H-frame as it swings through its arc, and the Watts link moves almost perfectly vertical. That causes a “fight” between the P-rod and the Watts link, but if there is sufficient distance between the P-rod and the Watts link, I do not think that will pose a problem. Not only is that amount of movement due to P-rod arc very small (less than .150” on even the shortest P-rods for a 6” vertical travel), but it comes into play only when the coach body is lowered onto the stops or raised all the way up with levelers. At the time that most folks are experiencing wandering, the vertical movement of the coach body is nearly zero, and therefore the sideways movement is also nearly zero.

One thing I have learned in the past week, much to my amazement, is that I have been laboring under a false assumption for quite some time. I have assumed that most Roadmaster suspension/steering layouts were very similar. Closer to the truth is what Harry Martin said—“Monaco’s are like snowflakes. No two are identical.” As more and more folks have sent me their suspension/steering measurements, I have learned there is a huge variation in 1) trailing arm length, 2) P-rod length, 3) P-rod placement. I had assumed that all Watts links would be placed at the front of the H-frame, since the P-rod was near the rear of the H-frame. It turns out that is only true on some coaches. So, the Watts link would be best placed at the rear of the front H-frame on some coaches, and at the front of the front H-frame on others. That makes “standardizing” a single “kit” impossible. But it may still be doable with a reasonable number of variations.

I’ll end this for now before you nod off. <G> Later, I’m going to attach a spreadsheet I’m compiling with suspension/steering measurements and hope you can help me fill it out.

Sketches attached. As always, your comments/ideas/suggestions/questions are welcomed.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Watts Link--front X-member mount.pdf (244.6 KB, 165 views)
File Type: pdf Watts Link--rear X-member mount.pdf (161.2 KB, 135 views)
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:22 AM   #778
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Originally Posted by Happycarz View Post
Another spec that would be great for your data base would be the length of the trailing arms. Mine are 31 1/2" rear and 60" for the front. I'm sure there are many variations.

Comment on the 480 mile drive from Phoenix to Durango, CO today. Both Terry and I agree that this has been the best drive ever, due to the 43" cross braces. (2) 40' 2008 coaches, one Monaco Camelot, one HR Scepter, 24 serial numbers apart. We just installed Terry's braces last week. Mine a month ago.

When you are behind the wheel for a full day, you sure enjoy the stop at the end of the day. Time to relax and unwind, from being "on" all day. Today was like a trip to the store. We still had more driving left in us, but we made our destination where we will stay for a bit.

Over the years we both upgraded the shocks and added Roadmaster sway bars. Now with the X braces, the handling fix is complete.

Thanks for all that contributed to this fix, especially Van.
Thanks, Harry. I'm glad your results were good. I definitely know the feeling of being completely exhausted after driving three hours. But then I learned how easy it could be to drive a 93 Dynasty for nine hours straight with two fingers and know I could go further if need be.
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:55 PM   #779
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Van, here's something that I found that I have been thinking about.
and I also think your inverted design would work well. But I'm still hung up on the premise that the axle itself should stay in vertical in a motion and that alone would take care of the wag and sway. Our coach has no sway or tail wag at all so I guess were lucky that way and I suppose that's why I have been slow to get too involved. Your work on the cross braces is amazing.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:22 PM   #780
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Van, here's something that I found that I have been thinking about.
and I also think your inverted design would work well. But I'm still hung up on the premise that the axle itself should stay in vertical in a motion and that alone would take care of the wag and sway. Our coach has no sway or tail wag at all so I guess were lucky that way and I suppose that's why I have been slow to get too involved. Your work on the cross braces is amazing.
Mike, I was intrigued by that pix when I first saw it months ago. Have you figured it out? I still have not. I'm sure it works. I just don't see HOW it works. I've read the explanation and looked at the other pix, and I still don't understand it.

You said, "But I'm still hung up on the premise that the axle itself should stay in vertical in a motion and that alone would take care of the wag and sway." Would you please explain that a bit more, please. I'm not following your meaning.

Thanks for your contributions!
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:55 PM   #781
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Mike, I forgot to mention that the biggest problem with implementing the Watts link has always been finding a place to anchor the outboard free ends of the Watts links. There were always possibilities, but there were never any easy ones, and almost all of them involved difficult welding. The primary advantage to the "inverted" design is that it offers easy, bolt-on attachment points on the ends of the H-frame.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:37 PM   #782
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Van, I found some detailed pictures that gives better info how it works.



I was interested in this design because it seems that it would save space.

The idea of keeping the axle motion from moving from side to side during the up and down motion would cure the wag which could be caused by the movement curve of the Panhard rod which may start the rocking motion or tail wagging. The Watts link would be much better at taking care of that movement.
When I first saw the H design suspension that Chrysler got from the Belgium bus company, it was on what looked like a 30 Ft. bus and was only used on the front axle. There testing was limited and then was shelved. When we bought our coach I had no idea the somewhat same design was in use by Monaco. Sorry for rambling. If my writings are confusing please disregard.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:36 AM   #783
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Quote:
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Mike, I was intrigued by that pix when I first saw it months ago. Have you figured it out? I still have not. I'm sure it works. I just don't see HOW it works. I've read the explanation and looked at the other pix, and I still don't understand it.

Thanks for your contributions!
Is there a link to that axle setup? I believe I see how it could work.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:10 AM   #784
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Darin, I found the pix originally by searching for "Watts link" on Google. It is in the part which displayed a large number of pix of various Watts link setups. I could never figure out how it worked until Mike posted the additional pix.

Mike, thanks for the additional pix. I understand how it works now. However, I'll stick with the traditional "pivot bar" type Watts setup. That one is too complicated for what it is achieving. What our coaches need is not really great sophistication in the mechanism, but simply a crude but effective method of anchoring the end of the H-frame farthest from the existing P-rod...much as the crossed braces do for the rear.

Everyone, I'm not sure when I'll have the first prototype of this Watts link made for my own coach. I am a man of multiple projects, and although this one has consumed me for almost two years, I've got to get some major engine and chassis work completed on my Harley before heading out West on my annual long ride. I ain't getting any younger.

My own coach is not the best test bed, since it exhibits only the slightest wandering tendencies. But compared to my 93 Dynasty with F&R crossed braces, it is a pig. Rest assured this project is not relegated to the back burner, but I've put off some others about as long as I can.

As always, if any of you are in my neck of the woods, stop by and let's talk. We may even end up working on your coach.
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