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Old 08-08-2016, 11:59 AM   #1
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Wander caused by Toyo tires? - 02 Freightliner XC - 39' Bounder

Hello - First time posting here so if I posted in the wrong place I am sorry.

I have an 02 Bounder 39' DP sitting on a Freightliner XC Chassis.

I have a wander at highway speeds that is beyond normal and it's to the point of being unpleasant to drive.

It seems to have gotten worse the last 6k unless I am just more aware of it now.

What I have done (in this order)
Added TruCenter Steering Control (Blue Ox)
Adjusted steering box 1/8 turn on the adjustment
Replaced factory Bell Crank with Super Steer SS100 Bell Crank
Had Alignment done at Josam's in Orlando, FL which is very reputable, alignment was slightly off but not way off, checked the sway bars, added some bushings to the front one, nothing major. Everything checked out okay with the steering.

Drove the coach and just got back from 2000 mile trip, honestly it's no better then when I started chasing this 6 months ago.

I did weigh the coach at some point I am sitting at 8360 Steer and 14880 Drive for a total of 23240. I couldn't get to a place with L and R measurements but I would bet 4200 lb per front tire would be a good number.

The coach will drift line to line with constant correction to keep it centered. A lot of sway when an 18 wheeler passes which I could live with if the rest of the time is was manageable. You can start to feel it around 50 mph. 55 - 65 mph it's the worst which is otherwise a good cruising speed. It starts to improve slightly at 70 mph but I really don't like going that fast especially car in tow 4 down.

At this point I am thinking tires are the last variable.

I am running TOYO M154 265/70/22.5 all the way around. 105 PSI all the way around. The tires are 2009 but installed 2011 so I am nearing, if not past the safe zone, however, there is zero checking, cracking or any signs of dry rot they literally look new. I looked on a lot last night at used coaches with Michelin's from 2013 they were cracking around the rim on the sidewall, I stopped by just to look at tires. Of the 5 I looked at 4 of them had Michelin, 1 had Goodyear.

The coach is kept under cover by the way but the Toyo's really seem to be holding up well.

Not sure if I should junk the front tires and go to a different brand that would help my problem? The Toyo's seem to ride extremely hard but I am afraid to drop the pressures. From what I am reading Toyo doesn't recommend setting the pressures to weight like some of the other manufactures.

Coach has 48k on it, never had a blow out - have an aftermarket Pressure Pro I watch the pressures all the time.

Any suggestions or comments would be helpful I have to get this coach tracking right because we love it 110% otherwise.


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Old 08-08-2016, 12:18 PM   #2
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Spartan Chassis
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Tire pressure

Here is a link to Toyo's pressure vs capacity chart.. Sounds like you are running over required pressure.. That can really affect tire ride and handling..


Ron Husak
Conifer, CO
Living at 9200 Feet and looking down at ya!
04 Travel Supreme 40DS04
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:17 PM   #3
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Thanks Ron, I will drop the pressure to 85 on the fronts and see if it improves the ride, I have had such good "luck" with the TOYO's I'm afraid to change anything but it's worth a shot.
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:02 PM   #4
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I bet front tires, one of them is defective or not mounted right. Had the same problem, they put my right front tire on the balancing machine to make it turn and it was not turning right. My problem was a noise and vibration at around 60mph.
I changed the front ones and problem gone!
I put Michelin on front but will go Toyo for the 6 rear...
'06 Mountain Aire 4309, ISL 400-CM850, Spartan MMGT
'16 Jeep Wrangler
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:17 PM   #5
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We're on an XC with Toyo's in front as well, and about the same weight. I originally thought ours had issues as well. Went though the whole thing, and to make a long story shorter, in the end, I believe I was my own worst enemy during the first few thousand miles.

Now, after having owned the coach for 4-5 years and 20K+ miles under my belt, I'm pretty comfortable driving in about any conditions, and I'm no longer chasing my own tail back and forth between the lines - which I now figure is what I must have been doing early on as I have made no changes to the coach. The only "trick" I learned was to fill the water tank, which runs side to side just in back of the front wheels, when I'm driving in windy conditions. That extra weight seems to stabilize the coach noticeably.
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
03 CR-V Blue Ox, Ready Brake
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:27 PM   #6
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Possibly, we went from Michelin 275/70 tires on 8.5" rims to Michelin 305/70 tires on 9" rims and the steering got worse on our '02 DSDP.
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:00 PM   #7
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Over pressure in the front tires and not enough caster will make a vehicle wander like you describe. I would ask that the castor be set to the high end of the spec to help as much as possible and set the pressure per the chart.
2014 Excursion 35B
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:07 PM   #8
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Agree that the pressure seems way high for that axle load. I don't see a 265/70R22.5 in the Toyo table, though. Could it be 265/75 instead? If so, 85 psi is plenty. A grossly over-inflated tire will wander easily, following imperceptible ruts in the road surface, trailing off crowned roads, etc.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:00 PM   #9
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So they aligned the front end.... What is the CASTER reading from the report... CASTER is the ability of the front axle to come back to a "straight ahead" position when you turn loose of the wheel... the higher the caster reading the faster the wheel will come straight and the better the tires will follow the road... CASTER is not a tire wear angle... which means that if your out of the factory specification (more positive) for better control it will not wear the tires....

Second... as you go down the road... the steering system either compresses or expands based on if the steering system is either in front or behind the rear axle... that's why you either have a "toe in" or "toe out" setting... if when the components (tie rod ends, drag link) either compress or expand... the toe goes out of specification it can cause the front tires to wander...

If your alignment guy hasn't been doing alignments for 20 years he might not have a clue what I'm talking about... you may need to find a different guy...

The frontend guy I use has been doing the job for 35 years... he listens, looks at the wear on the tires.. and sets the front end...

There are lots and lots of truck tires running around the industry that are older than the 5-7 years they sell you on when you buy tires for your car/pickup... remember that in most cases, front steer tires are pulled off when they are worn and than are re-capped at least one time for use on the rear or trailer applications... its not uncommon to see tires much older... my casings on my retreads for my 19.5" tires are all old GOODYEAR STEEL CASINGS... and I'm sure they will go another 3-4 years...

ONE LAST THOUGHT.... if he hasn't measured from the center of the front wheel to the center of the rear wheel on one side, and compared that dimension with the measurement from the other side... and correct anything that is more than 1/8" out... you might have a vehicle that is trying to "crab" down the road... that is.. the rear axle is not perpendicular to the frame and your adjusting the front axle trying to fix it... a rear axle that is NOT PERPENDICULAR will tend to try and lift and move on the highway to one side or another.. as it tries to follow the valley worn into the pavement....

Hope this helps...
Retired Business Owner, Re-manufacturing HD Clutches, Brake Shoes, Air Compressors, Sales & Installation of PacBrake and other Industrial Friction
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Old 08-09-2016, 02:28 AM   #10
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Toyo makes a great tire and I've been running them on all my vehicles with the exception of my V12 Jaguar for as long as I can remember. My tires are inflated to 80 PSI all the way around and handle well. I generally cruise between 55 and 65 mph. The coach will roll faster, but I tow 4 down and keep it right in that range. Granted I'm running a 36' gasser with a tag axel, but tires are tires. When mine reach their age limit showing signs of wear or not they get replaced. Can't beat Toyo tires regardless the chassis. JMHO
'97 Pace Arrow Vision 36 with Tag Axel, Ford 460 with Banks Power Pack. 2000 Jeep Wrangler Toad, one miniature schnauzer that rules the roost and a wife that enjoys traveling. Retired FTCS (SS) USN and loving it. FMCA#461483
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:35 AM   #11
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loose the toyo's and i believe you'll loose the poor handling. besides that i believe you have a belt separating on one, both or all. toyo's to me are a junk tire. schwab sells them because they get the highest profit margin over other brands. all jmo from experience.
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:39 AM   #12
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I had a broken belt in my Michelin...
The only reason I put Michelin's back on was for resale.
I have to switch the 6 rears, Michelin for $800. or Toyos for $550. ??
'06 Mountain Aire 4309, ISL 400-CM850, Spartan MMGT
'16 Jeep Wrangler
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:18 AM   #13
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Here are the reports from the alignment shop.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:37 AM   #14
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Belt seperation will cause a vibration and is very easy to diagnose.

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