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Old 04-25-2014, 12:05 PM   #1
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Performance of IFS during front blow out

Hi all,
My '05 Winn Vectra 40' on an Freightliner XC with ZF IFS handles amazingly well. All stock at this point and I couldn't be more satisfied, but I am concerned about loss of control should I have a front blow out.

I just spoke with a tech in Gafney SC facility who said he didn't think any accessory to keep the vehicle from veering would be beneficial with IFS. He said that because the wheels are independent is enough to keep it from veering off. I am looking for other thoughts and opinions on this subject.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:38 PM   #2
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This reminds me of the Ford Explorers that was getting the bad rap for rollovers during a blowout. I remember seeing a news program (60 minutes?) about this where they purposely blew the sidewall of a tire to reproduce a blowout. If memory serves me correctly, I think they contributed the rollovers to drivers turning the wheel in a panic.

I'm curious...do motorhomes actually veer off in one direction or the other all by themselves when a tire blows out (front)? What is causing the moho to veer to the left or right when the lateral forces are the same? I can see where there would be a problem (loss of control) if you were going around a corner and the tire blew but what about a straight line? If the tire blew while going around a corner, I can't see how any steering stabilizer or accessory could help since the moho is already heading in a direction (inertia thru the curve) and the loss of a tire is reducing traction (by 50% or so).
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:28 PM   #3
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It's probably true, as no one makes an accessory like that for our chassis. I have looked before from time to time and even called manufacturers but have always come up empty handed because of the IFS.

I know of one person who had one custom made for his 2005 IFS chassis and greatly assisted steering/tracking but I am unaware of someone having a front blowout on an IFS chassis with a stabilizer installed.

I would like to have it (adjustable) just for the steering stability, which would allow me to reset the center point
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:08 PM   #4
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The information your dad gave you when learning to drive a car (all those years ago) will serve you best! When you have a blowout - foot off the gas, do not brake, hold tight and go straight until you slow down enough and then pull off the highway.
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:48 PM   #5
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The information your dad gave you when learning to drive a car (all those years ago) will serve you best! When you have a blowout - foot off the gas, do not brake, hold tight and go straight until you slow down enough and then pull off the highway.
NO.

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Old 04-27-2014, 08:44 PM   #6
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When you have a blowout - foot off the gas, do not brake, hold tight and go straight until you slow down enough and then pull off the highway.

NO! NO! NO!

If you have a blowout, GO TO WIDE OPEN THROTTLE! FLOOR IT! Get the coach under control with the power on and then SLOWLY back out of the accelerator and let the coach slow down. If you immediately back out of the throttle, or even worse...slam on the brakes...you will likely end up in a cornfield.


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Old 04-28-2014, 01:41 AM   #7
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Watch the video !!!!!!!! I was told the first 60+ years ago and discovered really quick that it was wrong. I learned this is the correct way to do it and in my school bus driving training,we saw a video very much like this one for the motorhomes.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:14 AM   #8
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Absolutely correct! when a tire loses air rapidly a side force is created. The only thing that can counteract that side force is a FORWARD force created by stomping the foot feed until you can get coach under control. Do NOT really accelerate, just push the pedal down for a few seconds to establish control and then gradually come off the foot feed and slow down. DO NOT come off the gas until under control and NEVER touch the brake or you will most certainly end up in big trouble.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:48 PM   #9
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Lots of contradictory advice here. Let me tell you from actual experience about what happened to me when my right front tire exploded.

The coach immediately pulled hard right. It took a strong left pull on the steering wheel to counter it. I had seen the Michelin video, and I did just what it said. I stepped on the gas for a few seconds, and then got off it and gradually slowed. Once you have the coach under control, you can brake slowly to a stop. Do not jump hard on the brakes, just a little to help it slow down gradually. Worked for me. No damage other than what the Goodyear tire caused when it exploded.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:00 PM   #10
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Now this thread has caused me to think about another situation. The YouTube video and other comments all say to slowly come to a safe stop. My coach and many others DPs have a Jake Brake and others have an exhaust brake. What effect do the brakes have on coming slowly to a safe stop? My thought would be to shut the brake off but I wonder how many of us would think about doing that under the duress of the moment? What are your thoughts?

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Old 04-28-2014, 04:52 PM   #11
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My $0.02. I'm not sure why an IFS would handle a blowout any differently. It is independent suspension, not independent steering. The two steer wheels are still tied together. Where one wants to go the other will want to follow. There are others here that probably have more knowledge.
Personally I plan to do what the video says.
Good question on the Jake brake. My first impression is that it does not brake hard enough to make a difference. It's not like slamming on the service brakes.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Now this thread has caused me to think about another situation. The YouTube video and other comments all say to slowly come to a safe stop. My coach and many others DPs have a Jake Brake and others have an exhaust brake. What effect do the brakes have on coming slowly to a safe stop? My thought would be to shut the brake off but I wonder how many of us would think about doing that under the duress of the moment? What are your thoughts?

Don
The Michelin Video clearly states to accelerate when a front blowout occurs to regain directional control, then carefully slow down and pull off the road.

Thankfully I have never experienced a blowout, but I would believe if one accelerated to regain control, the engine or exhaust brake would be about just right to slow you down after regaining control. If it's too aggressive, just feather the accelerator pedal and I would think it would work well to gently slow you down, in concert with the service brakes, while hopefully maintaining control of the coach.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:00 PM   #13
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My $0.02. I'm not sure why an IFS would handle a blowout any differently. It is independent suspension, not independent steering. The two steer wheels are still tied together. Where one wants to go the other will want to follow. .....
My thoughts exactly.

IFS is Independent Front Suspension, versus solid front axle beam suspension. The only thing different is the suspension design.

I would doubt that either suspension has an advantage over the other in a front tire blowout situation.

However. Having said that I have to admit that I have never experienced a front tire blowout on a coach.

I hope I never do.

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Old 04-28-2014, 10:00 PM   #14
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to regain control, the engine or exhaust brake would be about just right to slow you down after regaining control. If it's too aggressive, just feather the accelerator pedal and I would think it would work well to gently slow you down, in concert with the service brakes, while hopefully maintaining control of the coach.
You can also have the ECM reprogrammed so that the Jake brake does not activate until you depress the brake pedal. This is what I did and makes for easier driving. It still activates when canceling cruise control but after that you have to depress the brake pedal to activate the Jake brake.

FYI in case you want absolute control.
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