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Old 04-15-2010, 09:24 PM   #1
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Calibration of Driving Experience Expectations

Hi all,
We just bought a 2007 Winnie Journey 36G. I understand that it has the Freightliner XC chassis. I am pleased that it also has the 350HP Cat upgrade. I've had the local Cat dealer go through the drivetrain and it has received a clean bill of health... but, with only 8000 miles I should hope so!

This is our first diesel. We traded in a nice 2007 Fleetwood Terra 31M that rolled on the Workhorse chassis. I am shocked to say this, but the Workhorse seems to be a more comfortable driving experience. This is contrary to EVERYTHING I understood (or wanted to believe!). I had always envied the comments on the forum about the ease of driving a diesel.

However, I am thinking that I might just possibly have problem in my front end. But, I don't know if it is a problem or if it is to be expected. Thus, the title of this thread... maybe I just need to recalibrate my expectations.

My disappointment is simply this; I feel every bump, crack, and jiggle on the road through the steering wheel. It would be incorrect to say that it I feel a shimmy, but I can feel constant low level tugs back and forth on the front end. There isn't anything that pulls hard. Its just these annoying little blips that transfer to the steering wheel.

Before I picked up the unit, the dealer claimed to do an alignment. I've checked the tires and they are in good shape and are at 105PSI. I've weighed on the scale and have a front axel weight of 8000# (exactly!) and a rear axel weight of 16210#.

Is this slight jittering to be expected? Or, might I have a problem of some sort?

Any insights would be appreciated.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:07 PM   #2
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My unit is older than yours, but is a freightliner xc chassis. I do not have what you described. I did have a hard ride on heavy expansion joint type bumps. Changing to Koni FSD shocks helped a lot. I have also increased tire size, and run 95 psi where you're running 105, so this will make a slight difference. Be sure you need this much, as too high air pressure can cause some problems. I've read several times that this chassis needs a little more toe in than most alignment shops do. Sorry, but I can't give exact tow in. Mine is set to whatever the alignment shop put in. I did not have the symptoms you describe before installing the steer safe, but the steer safe has reduced the tendency for the tires to follow ruts in the road. I hope this info helps...Fred
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:09 PM   #3
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I have the same coach in an earlier year. I can tell you that tire pressure can make a big difference. I run 95 psi in my fronts based on a real loaded front axle weight and the Goodyear load inflation table (I have Goodyear G670RV tires). I can also say that my coach rides and handles far better than the gas motorhome I had previously on the Chevrolet P-32 chassis.

Your shocks should be fine at 8K miles. I did replace my Bilsteins with Koni FSD's and also noticed a big improvement.

I would first try reducing tire pressure in 5 lb increments (as long as you remain inflated properly based on the load inflation chart for your tires) and see if that makes any difference. If not, and you can get to Oregon, Hendersons has a reputation for being experts in dealing with ride and handling issues on all forms of RV's.

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Old 04-16-2010, 06:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for the insight on the tire pressure. It makes me feel a lot better! I'll work on dropping it down a bit and see.

I have the Michelin tires and according to their table, it looks like my current pressure supports max load, which is far from my current load. At literally my current load, the recommended pressure is only 75PSI. It seems pretty explainable why I don't like the ride! I'll try 95PSI and hope that helps... and it gives me plenty of margin for load imbalance, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:19 AM   #5
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I too used to be able to feel every bump through the wheel. I weighed the coach and although I did not get a four corner weight I was able to adjust tire pressure to 100#s all the way around. Next was an ultra steer bell crank, koni fsd shocks, and a safe t plus steering controller. Replaced some busted drag links in the steering and had the alginment checked. Now I have a problem of keeping more then one finger on the wheel. My DW used to call me "the devil dog driver from h_ll" before. Now I can do a 400 mi day with very little fatigue. From steering at least.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:08 AM   #6
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I have the same chassie. Brazels checked my steering bell housing. and guesss what. it was frozen. put a new one in and it is alot better now!
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:04 PM   #7
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Yes tire pressure too high can be very rough. And yes I also found out that toe in as someone else mentioned, should be set to slightly more that specs say. You don't sacrifice any tire wear and you won't believe how much better it will drive, very little wind problems and no rut following. Had our '98 discovery 36T done after herding it down the road for 10years and 100k kms.Also had our new 2010 tuscany 4051 425ISL done when purchasing it. Love the floor plan and other than a few new coach problems we feel this unit is very well built with very good quality materials. If it serves us as well as the Discovery did we will be very happy.

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