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Old 07-01-2014, 07:07 PM   #869
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Originally Posted by Vanwill View Post
Craig F--are you still as amazed as I am that this steering gear swap is turning out to be so easy?

It reminds me of when I first decided there was no reason for my old 93 Dynasty to be a road-wild beast. I began asking questions of the "experts". That got me exactly nowhere. All the answer I got was things that I knew would not work (like changing shocks and tires), or being told, "They all do that. You just need to learn how to drive a motor home."

It is certainly worth respecting those with a lot of experience, but when they tell you something that just doesn't seem right to you, ya gotta go with yer own head.

And like Myron said, his wife can stir him to thinking in a new vein, even if she really doesn't understand the problem he is working on. One thing I learned as a young engineer was to never dismiss what the machine operator tells you the machine is doing when you are troubleshooting it. You may be the designer, and think that what he is telling you just cannot be. But if you dismiss what he tells you, it will likely make you feel foolish in the end and you will end up apologizing to him. <G>

This thread has certainly proven that you have a lot to gain by encouraging folks to contribute their thoughts, even if those folks are not mechanics or engineers. I always thought the steering gear change was possible, and if I'd had a Sheppard, I would have looked into it. But Craig F has certainly made me realize I should have gotten off my duff and at least researched the idea thoroughly. Looks like he may soon be able to take total credit for solving the one handling problem that the whole Monaco universe thought there was no solution for.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread!!
Van,

It seems we started in the same place. I listened to a bunch of people, had it aligned, weighed, tire pressures, tires checked and balanced, safe-T-plus for a blow out, the learn to drive it speech, that ends with I grew up driving big stuff and have about 200K miles driving stuff over 35k LBS coast to coast. All the stuff above helped but I wondered if it was ME. I believed I had a problem and all I wanted to know is WHAT it was and IF THERE was a fix. The "experts" told me not fixable or sure give us $1000 and we will make it "better". Then I asked those detailed questions that someone with a little more than average mechanical ability starts to ask, then they give you this look.

I just did not want to throw money at a problem. Like you said I went with my head.

Then I posted a few threads about steering play. READ all I could find about the Sheppard box and found out this was "normal" play i was experiencing. Ok what else could I tighten up to help.

Then I READ THIS THREAD, YES the entire thing, Cross braces ? OK I like the idea, strengthen a "box" of sorts with cross braces. GREAT IDEA !!!

Then I met Van at Perry and he understood the issues I was encountering. After a long discussion about steering box design including gear design and the Roadmaster chassis, OK now what. A few emails and posts and I said ok lets just see where this road leads, I would either get the box I had fixed or ? Could a swap be really done ?

I have an aviation background and when we have an issue we go looking for more experts and engineers to get their input. Yes I was told more than once by email and phone call, HOT POTATO liability wise we are not touching this. I kept going and keeping data.

I also asked for the forums help and WOW you guys started the ball rolling, TAS 65 ring a bell ! That helped. I SPENT HOURS at a parts yard in the Georgia heat looking and taking pictures, writing down numbers and trying to get bolt and mount set ups that would work. I took pictures of every Monaco and HR in a HUGE storage lot where I keep my coach. Then with all the information I had I FINALLY found a tech who understood the problem and agreed with the design differences between the Sheepard and the TRW.

It does APPEAR that those with the same model box I have will have a very easy time swapping boxes, I still need a pitman arm to arrive and a road test.
Next is the next most popular box number I received PPN31, I say this because one of VAN's and my own goals when I started this was not to just fix my coach but TRY and help others along the way.

My "Fix a Sheepard or swap a TRW Steering box" should be out soon.
Thanks again...TEAM ! and Van !
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:02 AM   #870
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If you follow the "money" trail is the Sheppard cheaper to purchase then the TRW box? Even thought I seem to have some play (mostly hidden by the Safe-T-Plus) I will definitively UPGRADE to the TRW. Curious if there is any trade in value on a slightly used Sheppard? deSanford
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:26 AM   #871
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I thought I posted the length of the pitman arm earlier in this thread. If you don't readily find it, I'll measure it again.

Were there any numbers on yours? If so, I'll clean mine and look.

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Old 07-02-2014, 01:11 AM   #872
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After somewhere around 3000 miles we arrive in Kalifornia at our old home town. From this long almost daily drive I can tell you that all of the modifications together make this a really nice RV to drive. I can cruise at 70, pass anything on the road with confidence, drive right next to those concrete fences they place in the construction zones with about a foot or less on the sides, have a truck blow by, make sudden lane changes, drive at 80 on occasion although not the norm of course, and have enough confidence in the handling that I can drive for 6-8 hours, stop, have a beer, and cook dinner. Then do it again tomorrow.

The one thing I really missed was my electric trim control for the safe-t-plus. I built it myself but managed to kill the mechanism just before leaving. The new one should arrive in a couple of days, long before our return trip. The trim lets me take out cross winds or crowned roads.

This said, it is still not what it should be. There is that annoying slop that actually is forgotten at times when the crown in the road is just right or the radio is playing a tune I really like. Yep, I would plow another $500 to tighten it up.

Adding my thoughts on TEAM. Together everyone achieves magic. Motorola engineers designed two way radios and I believe they would sometimes run into things that stumped them. Bottom line, they would put radios out that might have some issues. Well ten thousand technicians will come up with solutions quickly and the next thing you know there was a SRN out. Not a recall but "the fix". We were paid well for warranty and understood that the technology was evolving so rapidly it was impossible to send out perfect products in those days. The theory is Ready, Fire, Aim. (yes in that order) You can only spend so much on design and research before trying to recoup your money. As we all know this group has provided literally millions of dollars in research and development and we don't have to worry about litigation or payroll.

I belong to another group that builds experimental airplanes. We do the same things and have people from all walks of life. Pastors to engineers. What an amazing talent pool.

Once the retrofit is working perhaps a "cradle" of some sorts could be fashioned that would use a bottle jack or scissor jack to raise and lower the heavy monster into place. We built an engine mount jig that we pass around for the airplanes we built. Could save some smashed fingers.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:59 AM   #873
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deSanford View Post
If you follow the "money" trail is the Sheppard cheaper to purchase then the TRW box? Even thought I seem to have some play (mostly hidden by the Safe-T-Plus) I will definitively UPGRADE to the TRW. Curious if there is any trade in value on a slightly used Sheppard? deSanford
deSanford,

That is the GREAT part. To rebuild or SHIM a Sheppard it is about $550. To purchase a rebuilt TRW $565 and I was able to use my Sheppard as the core so in the end no core charge. That being said I had to purchase a used pitman arm for $175, 4 new grade 8 mounting bolts due to length, 2 quarts of power steering fluid and a roll or two of paper towels.

So far the "upgrade" will cost about $225. I was going to get my Sheppard shimmed anyway when this all started.

I am up early, trying to beat the GA heat, and will be mounting the TRW box to the coach this morning after drilling the adjustment screw hole in the mounting plate. I spent most of yesterday getting parts and trying to locate a different pitman arm. I will have to wait for the pitman arm it is be shipped as I type.

The tough part for someone else would be labor, it is not really hard to do but the boxes are heavy. I have a bunch more hours on the web, emails and the phone on this project than I do under the coach turning a wrench.

I wil try and get the new thread up tonight, burning both ends of the candle today and will pass along part numbers, specs and pictures.

This is not done YET, road test to follow, so no one follow me off this cliff until I know there is a soft landing.

TIME FOR COFFEE !!!!
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:02 AM   #874
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Originally Posted by Happycarz View Post
I thought I posted the length of the pitman arm earlier in this thread. If you don't readily find it, I'll measure it again.

Were there any numbers on yours? If so, I'll clean mine and look.

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Harry,

I have the length I think but post it again and if you find a part number that would be helpful. I have found the pitman arm I need but your part number may fit another coach along the way. I will try and find your arm in the parts yard so I know what I am looking at.

Thanks
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:25 AM   #875
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YC1,

That would not be the EAA would it ?

Totally off TOPIC but here is my BABY :-) and yes I built it, slow built kit, finished 2004.

SORRY...back to OUR coaches and back to COFFEE.......SQUIRL !!!!
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:10 AM   #876
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Looking forward to the test run Craig. deSanford PS the mod price is a 'BARGAIN'. You and Van are the heroes of this long thread.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:21 AM   #877
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Well after an evening away from the computer due to a family issue, NEW thread tonight.

SUCCESS ! Box is mounted and I will just need to index the new pitman arm, on the bench, when it arrives on Monday. You can not index it to the coach on the coach because there is no room, do not ask how I know, we will call it a successful test fit. Should be able to drive the coach mid next week.

I will email my tech the next Model numbers and see if we have another matching bolt pattern.....KEEP YOUR FINGER CROSSED, as that will make this an EASY swap for the next group of owners. Van and I are still AMAZED that there was a matching bolt pattern from a Sheppard to a TRW.....go figure.

I will post all the information on TRW model numbers, pitman arms and specs VS Sheppard in a LONG thread tonight so you can see if we all agree on how to proceed.

Thanks again TEAM for all help.
Looking forward to a road test !
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:54 PM   #878
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"Indexing" sounds challenging. deSanford PS Very good tenacity and perseverance Craig.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:04 PM   #879
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Here we go

Steering Box Play- Sheppard M100 SHIM or Swap for a TRW ?
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:10 PM   #880
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"Indexing" sounds challenging. deSanford PS Very good tenacity and perseverance Craig.
deSanford,

It is not that hard. The TRW box we are swapping goes in an International Truck and the timing mark on the steering box shaft for the pitman arm is designed for that application. The steering box is mounted say 35 degrees from horizontal.

Since we are mounting the TRW box in a more vertical position, say 65 degrees, we have to move the pitman arm accordingly. Follow me ? if we did not do this is it would turn one way REALLY well and not turn the other direction so well.

Thank you for the kind words !
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:11 PM   #881
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Craig,

Your other post brought me back to this thread. I read it all several months ago but haven't followed the updates.

Your solution is one I briefly considered but never put the effort into the research you have.

My Beaver has the Sheppard PMN31. I investigated replacing the box but was actually talked out of it when I tried to purchase. The guy told me they NEVER wear out.

I just learned to live with about 1.5" play. DW refuses to drive because of the play.

I added a Tru-Center (which helped a bit). Had it aligned (which helped a lot) but still not right.

Gonna be interested in your first test drive...

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:57 PM   #882
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Craig,

Your other post brought me back to this thread. I read it all several months ago but haven't followed the updates.

Your solution is one I briefly considered but never put the effort into the research you have.

My Beaver has the Sheppard PMN31. I investigated replacing the box but was actually talked out of it when I tried to purchase. The guy told me they NEVER wear out.

I just learned to live with about 1.5" play. DW refuses to drive because of the play.

I added a Tru-Center (which helped a bit). Had it aligned (which helped a lot) but still not right.

Gonna be interested in your first test drive...

Good luck!
Thanks,

Yeah the information I found even surprised me. Hard to believe we have to live with it, maybe not.

The tech I talked to said he could get the play in a Sheppard down to less than .5 even .25. Better ? worth it ? I think in my case the answer was YES.

The choices we make. The SWAP road has been challenging and very informative.
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