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Old 09-06-2011, 10:29 AM   #1
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Hello to all. I feel it is a privilege to be a member of this forum. I have gotten much information from this forum, so I decided to join in. I have a 1998 Coachmen 370MB on a XC Freightliner chassis. It wanders all over the road, so i checked for play in steering gearbox and found about half inch of play in it (which translates to about 3 inches at the steeringwheel). I am hesitant to adjust the gearbox for fear of messing it up. I found the adjustment screw from reading posts on this forum. I was wondering which direction to turn the adjustment screw to take out the play before I give it a try. Thanks

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Old 09-06-2011, 12:48 PM   #2
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Is the play truely in the steering gear box? There are other components that will contribute to wheel play.

"The XC Chassis has one Bell Crank on the left front frame rail."

Excessive play in the bell crank can cause steering wheel play, too. Some bell cranks are adjustable, others are not. Turn the wheel while someone watched the bell crank. If the connection arm shifts when the wheel is turned, it could be worn.

As far as adjustment, not sure witch way to go. Logic say in (right) to tighten, but just a guess on my part. (my old Cougar steering box is in to tighten).

Good Luck

Mike and Carla
1998 42' Overland Larado Diesel Pusher
On the road - here and there - Full Timing
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:36 PM   #3
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:52 PM   #4
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Welcome to IRV2 & good luck on your problem! Happy trails & God bless!
Joe & Annette

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Old 09-07-2011, 07:28 AM   #5
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Play in steering gearbox

Yes, the play is definitely in the steering gearbox. I crawled under the motorhome and turned the steering shaft with my hand where it comes out of the gearbox. I got about 1/2 inch of play just turning it by hand. I could hear a kind of "klunk" in the gearbox when I turned it hard and fast to make the gears mesh. Then I went inside and turned the steeringwheel and measured about 3 inches of play in the steeringwheel. I did these checks with the engine off. There could very well be play in the bellcrank also, but I definitely know there is play in the gearbox.

I figured to remove the excess play in the gearbox and see how she drove, then check for wear in bellcrank and other areas if I'm still having steering problems.

Thanks to everyone for the welcome.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:07 PM   #6
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Removed most of the play from gearbox

I called Freightliner today and gave them the last four digits of my vin # and asked for the tolerance of backlash allowed in the input shaft of the steering gearbox. They said 0 to 1/4 inch. I brought it down to what feels like about 1/4 inch (just a little bit more than 1/2 a turn of the adjustment screw, clockwise); didn't want to go too much on the first try. Took it for a quick 5 mile test drive on the interstate, and it felt better, a little hard to tell too much with a stiff, gusting wind blowing from the passenger side, but it seemed to handle the crosswind better.

Will take a short 250 mile trip in a couple weeks and will know more.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:19 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:21 AM   #8
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LJB, Welcome to the forum...

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