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Old 07-08-2014, 06:12 PM   #911
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Originally Posted by DieselTech39 View Post



Just one other thought, if Monaco went to a different design can that be retro fit to your unit?? Might be worth some investigation. There are three areas that would need to be addressed:
!. Overall length of the assembly;
2. The size (internal diameter) and number of splines at the steering shaft (Column) end; and,
3. The size (internal diameter) and number of splines at the input shaft of the steering box.
I was thinking retrofitting a standard design that is readily available like you mentioned. I can get confused easily though. My intention was to to mark the lower shaft position to the upper shaft prior to removing the lower u joint. Then remove the lower ujoint, slide out the lower shaft, remove the upper ujoint at steering column, remove upper shaft, reassemble the two shafts where I marked the lower shaft. Bring this whole assembly to a spicer shop to find an equal.

You lost me at spline count. I would thin that would not matter considering I'm replacing the entire assembly? Please let me know if I missed something.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:40 PM   #912
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You lost me at spline count. I would thin that would not matter considering I'm replacing the entire assembly? Please let me know if I missed something.
The removal, reassembly and taking it to a spicer shop is OK . When I took them apart I usually made sure the front wheels were straight by sighting down the outside of the tire side wall to the rear tires so equal space showed and then I would mark the steering wheel to column position so I wouldn't have to reset the after re-installation.

There is no universal standard for the diameter of the steering shaft in the column or the input shaft of the steering gear. It's important that the inside diameter of the assembly points at each of those locations fit what you have or you won't be able to tighten them sufficiently to keep them from being loose; or, they just won't fit over the existing shafts.

Each of the shafts has splines/groves on the outside of them that match up with splines/groves in the inside of the slip joint ends that connect to them. Some may be indexed, not have splines all the way around, so they can only fit one way. Also the relief in the shafts allow for the bolt that secures the slip joint assembly to the shaft at each end has a relief for the bolt to go through.

Hope that helps to clear it up for you.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:16 PM   #913
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That is/was probably the case. I don't have any history if the previous owner greased the joint. I found out about it through this forum. The zerk is covered up by the dust boot so you wouldn't normally see it. My only comment to that is that I would think most owners don't know about this zerk. Out of site out of mind I guess. Monaco went to a different design in later years as well.
Craig,

I have a hard time believing even if that zerk was never greased after the coach left the factory that the slip joint would wear that much in 30,000 miles. There can't be much movement if any in that joint as the coach travels. I'm guessing 0.050 of an inch and the frequency is very low. My guess is that your coach had a defective slip joint from day one.

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Old 07-10-2014, 06:49 AM   #914
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Good morning all,

While all you steering wheel experts are looking at the last few posts, I would like to ask for information please.

The input shaft bolt relief on the Sheppard steering box was in a slightly different position on the TRW box I have installed and it caused on final installation the Steering wheel to be offset 1/8 of a turn to the right...SEE PICTURE. The TRW and Sheppard steering boxes must be installed with the steering box OUTPUT shaft in the centered position so the inside the coach shaft has to be indexed as it affects steering wheel position and turn signal operation.


I am asking is this and easy job and can it be done from inside the coach only BEFORE I tear it apart.
As you all know I have been working on the other end of the steering wheel. :-)

Thank you !
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:40 AM   #915
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Craig,

There should be two ways you can adjust the steering wheel alignment.

The first which might be a little more difficult to get at, but easier in the overall scope of things to do, is to remove the slip joint upper end from the steering shaft at the base of the steering column. It works the same way as the lower end does when attaching it to the input shaft of the steering gear, but in most cases is not indexed to the shaft with the bolt relief only in a single position . Usually there is a bolt relief that goes around the whole shaft at that position.

The second is by removing the steering wheel and adjusting as necessary. This requires a steering wheel puller and a lot of care to make sure you don't damage the turn signal/multi-switch that's contained in the area under the steering wheel.

PM me if you need.

[edit] To make sure you get the steering wheel straight, drive the coach on level ground and when traveling straight use a crayon or piece of chalk to make a mark on the steering column collar and the steering wheel. When you are ready to adjust the position align these marks and disasemble and reassemble with the steering wheel in the desired position.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:55 AM   #916
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If all you need to do is straighten the steering wheel then adjust the drag link length, that's why it is adjustable. If there isn't enough adjustment THEN look at the other possibilities. Based on the many times I have made this adjustment on cars, you should have no problem adjusting that 1/8 turn to 0.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:05 AM   #917
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If all you need to do is straighten the steering wheel then adjust the drag link length, that's why it is adjustable. If there isn't enough adjustment THEN look at the other possibilities. Based on the many times I have made this adjustment on cars, you should have no problem adjusting that 1/8 turn to 0.
Just a note: You are correct that you can do that, but this will change the amount of turning angle you have in each direction if the steering box/pitman arm are adjusted to center. IMO
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:20 AM   #918
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Just a note: You are correct that you can do that, but this will change the amount of turning angle you have in each direction if the steering box/pitman arm are adjusted to center. IMO
No it shouldn't because you haven't changed the travel, just the distance between the two. I do this all the time and it's never effected the steering angle. What I do is drive the vehicle and mark the steering column where center should be then stop in the shop with the steering column in the center position, adjust the drag link until the steering wheel is in the center position without allowing the axle end to move the tires. If the drag link is straight and has left/right hand threads this operation is quick and easy but when the drag link has a bend in it where one or both ends have to be removed to be rotated then it's not so easy.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:30 PM   #919
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No it shouldn't because you haven't changed the travel, just the distance between the two. I do this all the time and it's never effected the steering angle. What I do is drive the vehicle and mark the steering column where center should be then stop in the shop with the steering column in the center position, adjust the drag link until the steering wheel is in the center position without allowing the axle end to move the tires. If the drag link is straight and has left/right hand threads this operation is quick and easy but when the drag link has a bend in it where one or both ends have to be removed to be rotated then it's not so easy.
Dennis, I know what you are saying is true. I've seen many alignments where the tech would adjust the drag link (or its equivalent component) to get the steering wheel centered. However, what Craig wants is to have the steering wheel straight ahead at the same exact point that the steering gear is at its exact center point of travel AND his wheels are straight ahead. It is difficult to visualize sometimes, but changing the drag link length would enable you to re-position the steering wheel to center, but your straight-ahead position would no longer be at the exact center position of the gear's travel. In some cases, and perhaps even in Craig's, this might not be objectionable. But by design, one can only have zero play in the TRW gear when it is dead-center.

The TRW gear is made with a cone-shaped sector shaft gear AND a crowned rack gear. The sector shaft gear attaches to the Pittman arm. The crowned rack rides on the ball nut of the input shaft. The combination allows you to have zero play at the exact center point of travel. A properly adjusted TRW gear will have zero play at center postion...BUT turn the input shaft one full revolution and then feel the Pittman arm--it will be loose.

The transition is gradual from zero play to "some play". But imagine what would happen if the rack gear were not crowned. At some point, the rack gear would become more worn in the center position, where it spends 99% of its life. If you then tried to adjust out all the play by moving the sector gear deeper into the rack gear, it would begin to bind as you moved to either side of the center position.

I hope I explained that well enough. But Craig's installation required him to mount the steering box with its travel exactly centered AT THE SAME TIME that his wheels were pointed dead ahead. Otherwise, he could not achieve zero play at the center position. Therefore, his only choice is to re-position the steering wheel. Actually, I just got through talking to him, and he found the telescoping shaft could be slipped apart (between the U-joints) and re-oriented using its very fine splines. Problem solved. He said that change was very easy. He will relay the rest of the story in the "Sheppard" thread.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:36 PM   #920
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Originally Posted by DieselTech39 View Post
Craig,

There should be two ways you can adjust the steering wheel alignment.

The first which might be a little more difficult to get at, but easier in the overall scope of things to do, is to remove the slip joint upper end from the steering shaft at the base of the steering column. It works the same way as the lower end does when attaching it to the input shaft of the steering gear, but in most cases is not indexed to the shaft with the bolt relief only in a single position . Usually there is a bolt relief that goes around the whole shaft at that position.

The second is by removing the steering wheel and adjusting as necessary. This requires a steering wheel puller and a lot of care to make sure you don't damage the turn signal/multi-switch that's contained in the area under the steering wheel.

PM me if you need.

[edit] To make sure you get the steering wheel straight, drive the coach on level ground and when traveling straight use a crayon or piece of chalk to make a mark on the steering column collar and the steering wheel. When you are ready to adjust the position align these marks and disasemble and reassemble with the steering wheel in the desired position.
It was SO EASY, ok I had to do it twice to get the wheel right on center. I used the lower yoke that was just as you said. Splined and with a bolt relief all the way around the shaft.

The TRW swap is now COMPLETE ! It would only take about six hours to accomplish again if I had all the parts and fluids sitting in front of me.

Thanks for the HELP !
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:41 PM   #921
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Just a note: You are correct that you can do that, but this will change the amount of turning angle you have in each direction if the steering box/pitman arm are adjusted to center. IMO
CORRECT, you must remove and install the new box with the BOX output shafts centered and you set the poppets from that center with a turn to full left and then full right turn to the mechanical stops on the spindles. That procedure sets your true turning angle then see where the steering wheel is and set to center.

Centering the wheel with the in coach yoke was VERY simple.

Thanks.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:42 PM   #922
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Dennis, I know what you are saying is true. I've seen many alignments where the tech would adjust the drag link (or its equivalent component) to get the steering wheel centered. However, what Craig wants is to have the steering wheel straight ahead at the same exact point that the steering gear is at its exact center point of travel AND his wheels are straight ahead. It is difficult to visualize sometimes, but changing the drag link length would enable you to re-position the steering wheel to center, but your straight-ahead position would no longer be at the exact center position of the gear's travel. In some cases, and perhaps even in Craig's, this might not be objectionable. But by design, one can only have zero play in the TRW gear when it is dead-center.

The TRW gear is made with a cone-shaped sector shaft gear AND a crowned rack gear. The sector shaft gear attaches to the Pittman arm. The crowned rack rides on the ball nut of the input shaft. The combination allows you to have zero play at the exact center point of travel. A properly adjusted TRW gear will have zero play at center postion...BUT turn the input shaft one full revolution and then feel the Pittman arm--it will be loose.

The transition is gradual from zero play to "some play". But imagine what would happen if the rack gear were not crowned. At some point, the rack gear would become more worn in the center position, where it spends 99% of its life. If you then tried to adjust out all the play by moving the sector gear deeper into the rack gear, it would begin to bind as you moved to either side of the center position.

I hope I explained that well enough. But Craig's installation required him to mount the steering box with its travel exactly centered AT THE SAME TIME that his wheels were pointed dead ahead. Otherwise, he could not achieve zero play at the center position. Therefore, his only choice is to re-position the steering wheel. Actually, I just got through talking to him, and he found the telescoping shaft could be slipped apart (between the U-joints) and re-oriented using its very fine splines. Problem solved. He said that change was very easy. He will relay the rest of the story in the "Sheppard" thread.


Great explanation Van. My description and assumption were based the four lobe design of the slip joint as in crah's photos.
Just one point to check, normally the ujoint ends are aligned in the same plane, by moving them the one spline it may not matter, but could cause a slight bind when turning lock to lock.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:51 PM   #923
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Would be interested in hearing how you bleed the system and if the hoses need new fittings. And how much of a mess it makes. I would love to do the change sometime soon. Many thousands of miles ahead before getting home.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:21 AM   #924
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Would be interested in hearing how you bleed the system and if the hoses need new fittings. And how much of a mess it makes. I would love to do the change sometime soon. Many thousands of miles ahead before getting home.
NO hose changes at all. When you disconnect the hoses from the Sheppard have a gallon jug around, I used an old distilled water jug. This also gave me a chance to change the steering fluid which is recommended every 30K miles and it is only $15 a gallon,

To bleed the system, when you hook the hoses back up I just left the return hose a little loose, filled the reservoir and let gravity fill the first line and the steering box and when the return line started to drip I tightened it up. Check the fluid level again in the reservoir, fill to cold full line. Fire the engine up and let it IDLE ONLY for a few minutes and check the fluid level in the reservoir as it is idling, you will see the bubbles on the fill stick, fill little at a time.

After about 3 to 5 min you will have it really close.

Place the coach on the front leveling jack only, to get as much weight off the front wheels then it is time for a poppet set. That is a FULL right turn until the hard stop, hold for a second, FULL left turn to the stop hold for a second. Done

I will paste and copy this to the Sheppard thread also....just for info.
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