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Old 04-23-2015, 09:01 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Rogers, AR
Posts: 799
Ill Handling F53 Chassis

There's been many comments on this and we had a 2013 18000 F53 Fleetwood that was horrible, and that doesn't really describe it. Alignment was way out and before it was corrected, we traded it for a new 2013 22000 F53 Thor that didn't drive real bad, just not good.
I started with big name , Freightliner dealer and 4-wheel laser alignment with promise of a good alignment. I happed to get around to see them do the final toe-in adj. with a tape measure, measuring tread to tread. Drove it home and was still bad. Went back the next morning and after some discussion about what they did, the body shop boss handed my check back and I left.
After some more time looking at different locations, I selected a truck tire dealer that a local RV dealer used. They agreed to have me by the work bay to watch and had 2-wheel laser. We added 2* shims to reduce castor to specs. & does make it steer easier. We also put a port-a-power on the axle and pushed it back the max on the locater pin before the U-bolts were tightened on the driver side end of axle. This was my last step in centering the steering wheel. We then set the toe and was done. Drove it home and was better but???
After two trips to Branson (about 2 1/2 hrs ea way) I still wasn't satisfied. At this point I got my toe alignment bar out and took my own measurements to determine it was 0* to slightly out.
I made adjustments to get to less than 1/16" (1/16" on 22.5" tires Is what you want) on my 19.5"tires. Measured two or three times to be sure it was correct.
We are today on our second day run to Wisconsin and couldn't be happier with it. If you steer it right, it goes right, if you steer it left, it goes left, and if you don't turn the wheel, you can look around some and when you look back down the road, it will still be going down the road. Interstate driving is now a lean back and use one hand operation. No more wondering all over the place.

The big name and laser equipment doesn't always live up to their reputation. I also did the CHF on the rear axle only and won't do the front. Don't want that much twist applied to the coach body. Nothing good will come of that.

I truly believe a proper alignment would solve many of the driving problems the forum members describe.

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Old 04-24-2015, 05:31 PM   #2
Senior Member
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 5,808
We are about 2 hours from Branson south west. You are spot on in regards to the alignment machines. If you know what you are doing it can be set with old tools. That's now mine was sent and it's just fine.

Doing the front CHF or not is your choice. And as long as you're happy with just doing the rear great. Most have reported that doing the fronts does more to improve handling than doing the rear. But every coach is different because of all the variables.

So far nobody has reported any issues with anything. As far as applying twist to the frame in my way of thinking it actually reduces the amount of twist to the frame because as the coach sways the torsion bar (anti-sway bar) twists so the frame won't twist as far. The pressure to twist the frame is being absorbed by the bar which is mounted on the axle.

Glad it worked out for you.

TeJay Auto Instructor/4-yrs USAF/ Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/CHF/5-Star/Koni * Bella & Izzy * Golden /Cocker mix/ Louie The Cat* All Retired
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