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Old 06-19-2011, 07:39 AM   #15
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A couple of things here on adjusting the steering lash. Make sure that the front wheels are straight when you do it and make sure you do not turn that adjuster screw all the way to tight. Go to tight and then back it off just a little. There has to be some slack on those gears or you will end up replacing that steering box $$$$$$$.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:33 PM   #16
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I finally got the gear box adjusted. I had to take it to a shop since I couldn't get the right angle laying on the ground to turn the set screw. He said he turned the screw about a full turn. It took the 'slop' out of the steering. There was between 3 and 4 inches of play. Now, move the wheel just a little and the tires respond.

I can't tell for sure how much it helped the 'wandering'. The wind is between 30 and 40 mph here in Amarillo (again). Trimming the Howard's Steering against the crosswind, it seemed to handle much better than before. But, the stretch of I-40 I took it down has recently been repaved. I need to get out for lengthy run to be able to tell for sure.

I'm still thinking about sway bars. I keep hearing how much they help overall. I'm having a hard time finding them for my '97 Spartan chassis. Plus, it looks pretty tight under there to mount the bars with air bags and such.

Thanks for all the help,
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:43 AM   #17
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Hi John: We have a 2000 37ft Pace Arrow Vision (gas) and were experiencing the "wandering", porpoising, swaying, etc., making for very difficult driving and steerability. We took our rig in on Monday to a place that was highly recommended where we live in Grants Pass, OR. First, the owner drove the RV and took us with him on the "test" drive. He determined and rated driveability, tracking, swaying, porposing, drifting, brakes, shocks, etc. We ended up having the following done:
Front/rear Koni FSD shocks, Safe T Plus steering control installed, Rear Supersteer track bar (to correct swaying), and Front Davis True Trac bar (to correct swaying), and front/rear sway bars installed. Total repair bill was approx. $5100 - not cheap but definitely worth it. The owner re-tested the rig with us after all repairs were made and we could really feel a difference. You can even take your hands off the steering wheel now and the rig tracks perfectly and stays straight on the road. Much more comfortable for walking around while the rig is in motion, and just relaxing on the sofa, etc. Hubby drove it home from the repair shop and said how much improved the driveability is now - he's even going to let me drive it now that it no longer requires a "death grip" on the steering wheel to keep it straight on the road.
Hope this helps you decide what you need to do next - safe travels.
Susan and Jim
Oregon
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:21 AM   #18
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Hi John: We have a 2000 37ft Pace Arrow Vision (gas) and were experiencing the "wandering", porpoising, swaying, etc., making for very difficult driving and steerability. We took our rig in on Monday to a place that was highly recommended where we live in Grants Pass, OR. First, the owner drove the RV and took us with him on the "test" drive. He determined and rated driveability, tracking, swaying, porposing, drifting, brakes, shocks, etc. We ended up having the following done:
Front/rear Koni FSD shocks, Safe T Plus steering control installed, Rear Supersteer track bar (to correct swaying), and Front Davis True Trac bar (to correct swaying), and front/rear sway bars installed. Total repair bill was approx. $5100 - not cheap but definitely worth it. The owner re-tested the rig with us after all repairs were made and we could really feel a difference. You can even take your hands off the steering wheel now and the rig tracks perfectly and stays straight on the road. Much more comfortable for walking around while the rig is in motion, and just relaxing on the sofa, etc. Hubby drove it home from the repair shop and said how much improved the driveability is now - he's even going to let me drive it now that it no longer requires a "death grip" on the steering wheel to keep it straight on the road.
Hope this helps you decide what you need to do next - safe travels.
Susan and Jim
Oregon
Letting my DW drive is what I'm striving for. She wants to drive, but sees how much I move the wheel back and forth. Hopefully, getting the steering gear box adjustment yesterday will make a huge difference. I plan on getting out this weekend for a lengthy drive.

Thanks,
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:50 AM   #19
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John, you need as other posters have said you need to find a good truck alignment shop (it will be worth the ride when you find the right shop they can do wonders) before spending a bunch of money on aftermarket stuff.
Make sure they know Spartin chassies, they will know proper ride height, and alignment specs, as well as how to check the steering for worn/mis adjusted componets. You also need to have the rear axle adjustment checked for ride height and proper alignment.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:33 AM   #20
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John, you need as other posters have said you need to find a good truck alignment shop (it will be worth the ride when you find the right shop they can do wonders) before spending a bunch of money on aftermarket stuff.
Make sure they know Spartin chassies, they will know proper ride height, and alignment specs, as well as how to check the steering for worn/mis adjusted componets. You also need to have the rear axle adjustment checked for ride height and proper alignment.
Therein lies the problem. I have had it aligned, but the shop said they couldn't adjust the caster on the chassis due to the air bag suspension. I've searched around and can't find anyone here in Amarillo that can/will align the Spartan MM chassis, camber, toe, and caster. They will do camber and toe, but not caster. From what I've been told, adding the most allowable positive caster helps a great deal on 'wander'.

But, three shops have looked at the steering components and all three state they are in great shape. And, yesterday, getting the gear box adjusted should help.

I've mentioned sway bars to our truck shops around here and they just stare at me. I call our two RV stores/shops here and they state they don't do chassis work and refer me to several truck shops. All of which are the ones I've tried calling.

I may simply need to plan our next trip to the near truly authorized Spartan service center.

Thanks,
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:59 PM   #21
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Don't the airbags self adjust? I have a '94 HR 35ft. DP.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:41 AM   #22
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Take it to Monroeville Chassis in Indiana, near the American Coach Factory. The specialize in suspension and alignments on American Coaches. They do the hard cases for the factory too.

Monroeville Chassis and Frame
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:15 PM   #23
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Take it to Monroeville Chassis in Indiana, near the American Coach Factory. The specialize in suspension and alignments on American Coaches. They do the hard cases for the factory too.

Monroeville Chassis and Frame
I would love to do that. It's about a 1200 mile trip for us. And, right now, we are booked with work and our son's high school football season coming up. We are good for a few more 4-6 day trips, but not back to back. We can't seem to get two+ weeks scheduled. This summer, there's always something going on.

Something like that may be part of next summer's vacation plans.

Getting the steering box adjusted helped, but there's still too much 'wandering'. But, at least it's more reactive when turning the wheel now. I know it can be better.

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Old 07-07-2011, 06:25 PM   #24
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If everything else is ok just add a Steer Safe unit on the front and a good trac bar on the back and it will be fixed....
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:00 PM   #25
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If everything else is ok just add a Steer Safe unit on the front and a good trac bar on the back and it will be fixed....
I have the Howard's Steering Center. Is the Steer Safe better?

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Old 07-07-2011, 10:57 PM   #26
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I have the Howard's Steering Center. Is the Steer Safe better?

Thanks,
I know nothing about the Howard's Steering Center so I can't say but a good front end stabilizer and a good rear end trac bar fixes most wandering problems if everything else is ok.
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