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Old 03-21-2015, 05:42 PM   #1
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Steering Column Shake When Hitting A Bump

2008 Monaco Monarch, Ford v-10 W/ 18,000 miles.


Hey everyone, thanks for checking my post. While driving from 1MPH to 60MPH if I hit a large bump in the road my steering column shakes to the point to where it is audible. It first began when we took the coach through some bad back country roads in Louisiana (I know now never to take back roads in that state). I have checked all linkage under the coach and checked the bearings of the wheels with nothing seeming loose. Could this be originating from the linkage in the cab? Has anyone heard of this? I do not feel as though it made this sound when hitting larger bumps before and was just checking if any other Ford owners experienced this? Thanks for your time!

CHris
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:27 PM   #2
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Check your sway bar bushings and links. Mine did this off and on and it was the links to the sway bar and there is a bulletin out for this to install z brackets on the links and noise is gone. This was on my 2003 so it's a thought for your year.


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Old 03-21-2015, 09:44 PM   #3
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Check your sway bar bushings and links. Mine did this off and on and it was the links to the sway bar and there is a bulletin out for this to install z brackets on the links and noise is gone. This was on my 2003 so it's a thought for your year.


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Awesome, thanks for the info!
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:38 AM   #4
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Chris,
My experience with diagnosis in matters dealing with suspension issues can be very troubling and not always easy. We are trying to help without being able to see what you're seeing. The problem also involves several other issues. We don't know your level of experience. You may be very competent and knowledgeable or not. Put yourself on a scale of 1 to 10. This will give us a better idea of how to respond. Suspension parts involve springs, bushings, shocks etc and they are always under stress because of the weight of the coach. Then when in motion that weight is unloaded then loaded etc, etc. When trying to diagnose those parts are static but under load. So when just inspecting it's sometimes very difficult to spot issues. That's where having some lifting devices and pry bars comes into play. These tools help to mechanically unload the suspension parts to determine worn bushings etc. Also consider even many of us who have worked on all kinds of vehicles having to work on suspensions is not something one does every day.

It's been years since I removed a steering column. I believe their main connection just below the steering wheel under dash involves some rubber bushings to absorb and isolate road shock. There is also, at the bottom of the column, a rubber flexible coupling that connects the steering column to the steering gear box. I'll not assume that you checked those two areas because if you didn't pry on them to determine their integrity then you might have missed something.

When you hit a bump all suspension parts come into play. Your shocks will control the compression and rebound when hitting bumps. If that's not controlled it could allow more road shock to get up into the steering column. What's the ago of the shocks???? They could be bad and you can't test them as we do on cars.

All diagnosis involves careful step by step testing of all parts involved. It's not always easy to test some items. I'd start with those items and see where it leads.
TeJay
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:42 PM   #5
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Chris,
My experience with diagnosis in matters dealing with suspension issues can be very troubling and not always easy. We are trying to help without being able to see what you're seeing. The problem also involves several other issues. We don't know your level of experience. You may be very competent and knowledgeable or not. Put yourself on a scale of 1 to 10. This will give us a better idea of how to respond. Suspension parts involve springs, bushings, shocks etc and they are always under stress because of the weight of the coach. Then when in motion that weight is unloaded then loaded etc, etc. When trying to diagnose those parts are static but under load. So when just inspecting it's sometimes very difficult to spot issues. That's where having some lifting devices and pry bars comes into play. These tools help to mechanically unload the suspension parts to determine worn bushings etc. Also consider even many of us who have worked on all kinds of vehicles having to work on suspensions is not something one does every day.

It's been years since I removed a steering column. I believe their main connection just below the steering wheel under dash involves some rubber bushings to absorb and isolate road shock. There is also, at the bottom of the column, a rubber flexible coupling that connects the steering column to the steering gear box. I'll not assume that you checked those two areas because if you didn't pry on them to determine their integrity then you might have missed something.

When you hit a bump all suspension parts come into play. Your shocks will control the compression and rebound when hitting bumps. If that's not controlled it could allow more road shock to get up into the steering column. What's the ago of the shocks???? They could be bad and you can't test them as we do on cars.

All diagnosis involves careful step by step testing of all parts involved. It's not always easy to test some items. I'd start with those items and see where it leads.
TeJay
Thanks for the info TeJay. I did check the steering column but have not had the entire front suspension up in the air. I am about to get the front tires trued and balanced so I will have the shop check while I am there. One thing that is happening that may help the diagnosis is this. While driving down the highway the steering wheel will be at 11 0'clock. Then, when I took an exit on a bumpy road it once again went to 12 o'clock. It seems as though the vibration changes the balance of where my steering wheel is. And I would say my level of experience is at a 5.


Chris
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:50 PM   #6
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Chris,
Did I understand you to say that if you hit a bump your straight ahead steering position changes from 12 to 11 ????? That's crazy, crazy. When it moves does it move to any other position besides 11 O'clock?? Do you know what a spline shaft is??? If not just google it and you'll see.

OK, The steering wheel is bolted onto the top of the steering shaft. That's a male and female spline shaft connection. The bottom of the steering shaft connects to the pittmen arm in the same manner. There are worm gears inside the steering gear box. The steering wheel should not move out of position unless something is radically wrong. Those three spline connections can't/won't allow anything to move. I can think of no way that comes to mind of how that could easily happen.

You need to get that checked by a decent shop. Make sure you tell them all that is happening.

TeJay
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:05 PM   #7
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Chris,
Did I understand you to say that if you hit a bump your straight ahead steering position changes from 12 to 11 ????? That's crazy, crazy. When it moves does it move to any other position besides 11 O'clock?? Do you know what a spline shaft is??? If not just google it and you'll see.

OK, The steering wheel is bolted onto the top of the steering shaft. That's a male and female spline shaft connection. The bottom of the steering shaft connects to the pittmen arm in the same manner. There are worm gears inside the steering gear box. The steering wheel should not move out of position unless something is radically wrong. Those three spline connections can't/won't allow anything to move. I can think of no way that comes to mind of how that could easily happen.

You need to get that checked by a decent shop. Make sure you tell them all that is happening.

TeJay

That is correct, crazy huh? We are going to call around tomorrow and see if anyone can get us in in the morning. Thanks for all the great info and I will keep you informed on what happens.



Chris
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:09 AM   #8
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We ran into this problem quite a few times with the F53. Sit in the drivers seat pull the steering wheel toward you. If you can feel the steering moving toward you, You have a loose tower. The F53 chassis is delivered with a steel platform that is about three feet high and two feet wide. the brake petal, emergency brake, steering wheel, etc. are mounted to it. This platform has to be mounted to the firewall. Some mfg's just use sheetmetal screws, some use low grade bolts. Either one will sheer. If you get movement in the column, check around the platform and I think you will find broken or missing screws.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:34 PM   #9
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ga traveler,
Did you read Post #7 above???? He's reported that after hitting a bump his straight ahead steering changes from 12 O'clock to 11 O'clock. That sounds a little more serious than just a loose steering column. You've got a lot of experience with these coaches. Can you think of any simple not to serious causes for this happening?? I know I can't.

He did say they were going to take it somewhere on Monday. Lets wait for a report because I'm curious.

TeJay
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:03 AM   #10
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ga traveler,
Did you read Post #7 above???? He's reported that after hitting a bump his straight ahead steering changes from 12 O'clock to 11 O'clock. That sounds a little more serious than just a loose steering column. You've got a lot of experience with these coaches. Can you think of any simple not to serious causes for this happening?? I know I can't.

He did say they were going to take it somewhere on Monday. Lets wait for a report because I'm curious.

TeJay
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I am sitting outside of the shop right now waiting for our turn to go in. I will keep everyone posted!

Chris
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:31 PM   #11
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Chris - Don't keep us in suspense. What did they find?
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:09 PM   #12
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Chris - Don't keep us in suspense. What did they find?
Haha, I figured I would add to the drama!!! JK, we hit the road right after the shop and forgot to post. The shop said it was the kingpin in the front suspension. What was happing is when I hit a pump it would bounce within the steering wheel. And being the kingpin is off my alignment is out of whack. When I was driving down he road at 11 o'clock it was actually my tires out of alignment.... $180 later we are on the road again with the knowledge I need to replace my kingpin. Would driving on super bumpy roads cause this?

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Old 03-26-2015, 05:13 AM   #13
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Yah, if the bushings are worn or split, bumpy road could push them over the edge.

How old is your MH?
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:15 AM   #14
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He has a Monaco 2008 on a F-53 chassis. It's in his post #1. I'm still trying to understand this problem. A king pin is much like a door hinge. The KP keeps everything aligned and still allows the steering knuckle to pivot which allows the wheels to change the direction of the the coach.

The KP is at least 1" or more in diameter and made of hardened steel. The bushing is usually some type of bronze or bronze alloy. When a chassis lube is done that is one of the key greasing points. The KP's have to be pressed into position. The tolerances are very close so there is little slop in the steering knuckle.

1. Unless the vehicle take a sharp blow to a wheel and is bent the KP's will usually wear evenly. So if one is worn therefore not keeping the wheel in position both should be worn. Maybe in the past the now worn KP could not be lubed so it was skipped. Eventually that resulted in only one working KP.
2. When the KP's are worn the alignment will be off as they indicated. That will cause abnormal and accelerated tire wear and nothing was mentioned. Depending on how the alignment is off there may also be some driving (steering) or handling issues
3. Why they charged you $180 and sent you down the road with no repairs or even suggestions about tire wear does not compute with me. That's an incomplete and limited diagnosis.
4. I still don't understand why hitting a bump (with a worn KP) would cause the steering wheel to change it's straight ahead position. The wear of the KP in only a very small way would allow the position of the SW to change. Yes the position of the steering knuckle and tire will change in relation to alignment angles but not in relation to the steering wheel. At least not to the extent you mentioned (12 O'Clock to 11 O'Clock).
Lets say that the tire leans in (at the top) on the bad side as a result of the the worn KP. That's called negative camber. The weight of the vehicle keeps it leaning at that position. If you hit a bump the weight is lessened and when it settles it's back where it was before.

One last point. Your coach can not be aligned unless all worn or bent parts are replaced. If a vehicle is correctly aligned at the factory only worn or bent parts change the alignment angles.

The KP style of front end is one of the strongest. It is used on most heavy duty truck chassis. While any hard bumpy driving causes more wear I doubt your coach or many RVs for that matter are driven like a dump truck is driven on bumpy roads. Using your coach on 5% rough roads won't hurt it much. Usually when we are on those bumpy roads we have to drive a lot slower than normal.

TeJay
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