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Old 02-03-2013, 02:40 PM   #1
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Anti-sway and steering issues

I am trying to reduce the steering issues I am having with my MH. My specific problems are that the entire coach wants to blow off the road whenever we are passed by a big rig. Additionally, The steering is extremely soft and I have to constantly adjust the steering wheel back and forth to keep the coach moving straight down the road.

In the past 6 months I have had a full alignment, new tires, and new front airbag shocks. These dramatically improved the ride from what it was (extreme vibrations and no cushion over bumps) but they have done little to improve the way it handles when we get passed, when we encounter high side winds, and the amount of steering required to go straight.

I have read about the safe-t-plus steering system and think this may help, but I want to be sure before I throw another $500+ at the problem.

I have a 1998 Itasca sun cruiser 36 ft with a Chevy P-30 chassis and the 454 engine. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:24 PM   #2
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Call Source Engineering and see if they have a handling kit. I added their sway bars to my 40 footer and it handles like a go cart now. Well at least my wife white knuckles it while I just grin. Not cheap but the best handling fix for mine to date. I have the Safe-t-plus and it helped but nothing like the sway bars.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:27 PM   #3
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Personally, I suggest you start at the back and work forward.

Since you have new tires, shocks and such consider this"

1. Rear trak bar
2. Front trak bar (assuming it will take one.)
3. Upgraded rear sway bar

The steer assist could be good option ahead/instead of the front trak bar if you wish. It is a good addition regardless.

I think the longer overhangs of a gasser make for a more pronounced tail-wagging-the-dog effect. Keep in mind that the track bars will control side to side motion like that when being pushed by a truck or cross winds. The sway bar will control side rolling like what you have when taking a corner fast and you think it wants to roll over. Certainly there is a tendency to have some rolling in the same truck/crosswind situations. Excess rolling will have some affect on steering.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:46 PM   #4
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I agree with SkyBoss. Start at the rear and work your way forward. A Track bar will give you the most bang for the buck, as it ties the rear axle and chassis frame together, eliminating the 'tail-wagging-the-dog' symptoms. First do the rear, and if one is available for the front, do that one next. Then sway bars. Steering stabilizer last.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:51 PM   #5
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I agree with YC1. I got a better ride with the addition of the rear sway bar than the track bar. Other people will say that constant steering wheel correction needs a track bar to help with the "tail Wag" but on my rig, the rear sway bar did more to stop the tail Wag.

If you want to save few dollars, buy a Hellwig, they are a lot cheaper than other brands.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hellwig-7162...item4844993029

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Addco-2017-R...item4605b66cfe

I have purchased from these guys, they have a good rating. Free shipping and no sales tax.


My old rig was an 2002 with a P32. It had a front sway bar, I replaced the front bushings and got a big improvement in handling. Are your bushings worn? You might be able to slip a washer behind the worn bushing to tighten it up. Also check the mounting bolts and make sure they are tight. I had to run at least 60-80 lbs of air in the front air bags to help the 18 wheeler push.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:55 PM   #6
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My previous coach was a P30. I have been where you are...

P30 chassis steering bellcranks wear out. Requires constant correction and very hard to keep a straight line, and downright scary sometime in curves. Stock bellcranks are with bushings - good for 15-20k miles, sometimes less. This is highly likely your steering problem.

Air bags with proper air - I used to run 80-85psi. And bellcranks. Then assess the handling to see if you want/need any added items such as swaybars, etc. After I did bellcranks and got the bags right all was good for me.

Replace the bellcranks with these roller bearing units:
Bell Crank for Workhorse and Chevy P30, P32 and P37 Chassis
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:21 PM   #7
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I have a 95 Suncruiser P30 454. When we picked up our Suncrusier from the dealer last year I got hit by a blast of side wind and in a blink of an eye we were out of our lane onto the shoulder.
I nearly soiled my pants and said to myself "What the H#$$ did I get myself into"
I also fount that I was constantly steering to keep it in the lane.

Did a bunch of research on steering stabilization and it came down to a couple of products:

SteerSafe Steer Safe

or

Safe-t-plus

I went with the SteerSafe for a couple of reasons. 1. Bolt on, easy to self install. 2. Nothing to wear out or service.
Steer Safe also protects you against front tire blowouts, high winds, wandering.

After I got it installed we went on a 1100 mile trip. I could not believe the difference that it made.
First 200 miles was in a bad rain / wind storm, handled great. Trucks passing us, could barely feel them. I could actually drive with one hand. Best $435 I have spent so far.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:21 AM   #8
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You might want to go to BlueOx.com and check out their steering stabilizer and tiger track products. I put them on a gas mh and they made all the difference in the world.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:38 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone for the advise.

I was hoping that there would be one "smoking gun" to solve the problem, but the responses seem to be split between starting at the back and adding a track bar and/or sway bar, or installing a steer system in the front. I did look into the replacement bellcranks, but for the cost I could install either of the steering systems (Steer straight or Safe-t-plus) which purport to do the same thing with additional benefits.

Based on all of the above, and the fact that we are going on a trip from Florida to Michigan next month, I think I am going to install one of the steering systems (I like the insurance of maintaining steering in a blowout) and also try to fix the back end by installing either a trackbar or swaybar.

With this in mind, does anyone have any opinions on the difference/benefits between the Safe-t-plus system versus the steer straight? Also, should I do the trackbar or the swaybar with the steering system?
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:55 PM   #10
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X2. Also, I may get flamed for this but; I think the various steering stabilizer products only mask or otherwise help with steering, but don't really affect the root cause of handling issues. These are resolved by track bars, sway bars, wheel alignment, shock absorbers, springs, bell cranks, etc. I think a steering stabilizer may be the final fine tuning after you have really addressed basic handling problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pusherman View Post
I agree with SkyBoss. Start at the rear and work your way forward. A Track bar will give you the most bang for the buck, as it ties the rear axle and chassis frame together, eliminating the 'tail-wagging-the-dog' symptoms. First do the rear, and if one is available for the front, do that one next. Then sway bars. Steering stabilizer last.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:10 PM   #11
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I'll side with George and Pusherman.
Try this - With the motorhome parked - have someone sit on centerline in the back (bed maybe) while you walk/jump around - move the RV side to side. Then have them sit in the front (doghouse) while you do the same gymnastics. See where the problem is - I'll bet you find the rear is wagging, not bouncing = trackbar.
I'm not an expert here - these are just my thoughts.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:57 PM   #12
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Having had a P30 chassis, I would sure fix what is worn out of the stock suspension (bellcranks, air bags, swaybar bushings, shocks, etc.), before introducing any add-ons. Same for any chassis, for that matter...
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