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Old 02-23-2010, 01:32 PM   #1
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Freightliner suspension

I have a 2002 Winnebago Journey on a Freightliner Chassis. Currently it has over 75,000 miles and it doesn't seem to be tracking like it used to. I've been reading so much about Super Steer Bell Cranks and all the different brands of replacement shocks, and I'm numb. At this point I'd rather do nothing than do something dumb.

How can I cut through the bull and find out what my real options are? Is there a consensus on a preferred shock for the rear diesel?

Thanks,

Paul
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:33 PM   #2
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I have a 34ft Itasca Meridian on a Freightliner chassis. It has a solid front axle. If it is the same set up as mine I think all you need is to grease the chassis every 6000 miles. I have 62,000 miles on mine with all the original equipment and it works just fine. So many chassis out there have an independent front suspension that is weak and require all kind of junk thrown at them to try and make them drive OK. Read all the other chassis forums. You will see that we are lucky to have a Freightliner chassis. I do all of my own maintanance so am very familiar with what under there. Alot of what they are selling is to seperate you from your money. I hope this helps. There are a million different ideas of what is the correct thing to do. This is what I do and has worked for me.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:24 PM   #3
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It's in the manual. Every 6,000 miles.
Has worked for me so far.
Everyone thinks about that 10-15K to oil change and forget about 6K chassis lube.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:29 PM   #4
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With 75k miles you are probably due for shocks. If you were happy when it was new in 2002, why not just go with the originals shocks again? According to the Freightliner web site, your 2002 had tuned Monroes as OEM shocks. Bilsteins would be similar or maybe a but stiffer.

FL also says your coach has a TRW steering system. Not sure if that had the old bell crank in it or not. The Supersteer Bell Crank replaces one known to wear quickly and start steering sloppily, but I don't know if your 02 had that type of not. Maybe a call to Henderson's Line-up, originators of the Supersteer crank, could clear it up for you. They probably know what years of FL had worn bell crank problems. I think it was in the 90's, though.

http://www.freightlinerchassis.com/p...C0305-2002.pdf
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:30 PM   #5
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I talked with a tech at Freightliner this afternoon. He assured me that a problem with the bell crank would be very rare, but he did tell me how to check it. In his opinion, the problem is with the alignment. Supposedly, if I have the alignment done with 1/32 to 1/16 toe in, the problem. I'll have the alignment done next week and report back.

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Old 02-23-2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TEO View Post
I talked with a tech at Freightliner this afternoon. He assured me that a problem with the bell crank would be very rare, but he did tell me how to check it. In his opinion, the problem is with the alignment. Supposedly, if I have the alignment done with 1/32 to 1/16 toe in, the problem. I'll have the alignment done next week and report back.

Paul

Had you had a 4 wheel alignment done.Your chassis thrust angle may be off.Have someone follow in another vehicle,to note if your coach is dog tailing,if it is then the thrust angle may be off.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:23 AM   #7
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I have an '05 Journey and wasn't having any handling or driving problems that I could tell but decided to "tweek" it a bit because I drive hard and did not like the way it handled in wind. So I talked to Brazil's and had my alignment checked. All was within spec. Then I had a Safe T Plus steering control put on and a new Ultra Trac bell crank and while I was doing that I had four Koni FSD self adjusting hydraulic shock installed. To say that it drove better then new after that would be a gross understatement. My biggest problem now is that I can't tell when there is any wind or when I pass a semi on a two lane going the opposite direction.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:23 AM   #8
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Tom, How much did all of that cost ? I have a 34ft and I also think mine handles well but if there was that much improvement it might be worth considering. Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:13 AM   #9
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My Freightliner chassis needed a wheel alignment at about 55000k. I had it done and the out of alignment wrecked my front tires so we replaced them as well. Now I can driver her with fingertip steering. Never been better and well worth the money.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:07 AM   #10
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I have a 2000 Freightliner XCS chassis with a solid front axle that handles great and always has. The design is good so before looking for add-ons take the advice already given, look at alignment and shocks. You are probably already lubricating it.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:47 AM   #11
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Chuck1935, PM me and I will be glad to tell you the price
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:17 PM   #12
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I have a 2000 Freightliner XCS chassis with a solid front axle that handles great and always has. The design is good so before looking for add-ons take the advice already given, look at alignment and shocks. You are probably already lubricating it.
Curious to know if you have air suspension?

If so how is the ride?

I have a real problem with the front suspension on my coach. On some roads it seems to get real stiff while going over expansion joints. It threatens to disassemble the coach while it is happening.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage View Post
Curious to know if you have air suspension?

If so how is the ride?

I have a real problem with the front suspension on my coach. On some roads it seems to get real stiff while going over expansion joints. It threatens to disassemble the coach while it is happening.
If you have air suspension on your coach, then it sounds like you might benefit from new shocks. Koni FSD's have a good reputation for your concern.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:00 PM   #14
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Winnebago Alignment Article...

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Walker View Post
I have a 2000 Freightliner XCS chassis with a solid front axle that handles great and always has. The design is good so before looking for add-ons take the advice already given, look at alignment and shocks. You are probably already lubricating it.
You are correct because this is right from Winnebago Service Tips:

"Winnebago Industries aligns each motor home as it leaves the assembly plant using precision alignment equipment. The alignment toe is set to the chassis manufacturer’s specification for initial delivery to the dealer. Once the vehicle is retailed, it is the owner’s responsibility to load the coach for travel and to have the alignment verified. "

My coach is in the shop right now for this very reason. (along with a fogged window) Joe
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