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Old 08-16-2010, 06:07 AM   #15
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Pikeville, NC
Posts: 1,705
I had a P-30, 454 Chev, with a tandem rear axle, for 7 years. The handling was so bad, after one year of ownership, and after two alignments (swaying, side to side loose steering) I almost got rid of it. I could barely keep it in one lane on a windy day. I too put new air bags on it, new tires and all hardware was confirmed as being in good working condition. When I took it back to the truck alignment shop and left it, I was planning on an "extended stay" for the unit. An hour later the tech called me back and said "I think your problem is solved". I went back immediately, drove it, and agreed with him. I asked how much, and what was it?? - He said no charge!! You could have knocked me over with a feather . He had adjusted the "Saginaw Steering gear box". I drove it for 6 years after that and it was a different vehicle. When I sold it, it drove like a dream. The steering gear box had an excessive amount of play, from whatever!
When I bought it it had 23,000 miles on it.

This was my experience with this problem.

Max H,
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire, 37', 3778, W-22, 8.1 Vortac, Ultra Power upgrade, CAI (cold air intake), Taylor wires, colder plugs, Koni shocks.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:32 AM   #16
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az bound's Avatar
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Surprise Arizona
Posts: 1,987
Originally Posted by JimM68 View Post
Michelle, gas Motorhomes have solid beam axles and leaf springs (your air bage are helpers)
Camber is fixed in the axle, cannot be changed.
Caster is changed by putting wedge shapped shims between the axle and the leaf springs. In the real world, nobody is doing this, not ever.

That leaves Toe. Toe is whether the front tires point straight ahead, toe in a little, or are pigeon toed, pointing out. There is a single tie rod running left to right, and toe is adjusted by turning this rod after loosening the clamps. screw it in, tires toe in, screw it out, tires toe out.

"Proper" alignment is a little bit of toe in. You can do this yourselves, it is not hard. All you need is a tape measure and a couple of wrenches. If you measure from tire to tire in front, and then at the rear of the tires, the difference is your toe.
you want the front measurement to be 1/16 - 1/8" less than the rear.

Go easy on the adjuster, 1/2 turn at a time. Drive the MH before measuring again, and always be traviling in the forward direction and then stop, then measure.

If the tires are toed out at all (pigeon toed) handling will be horrible. Toed in too far will still handle fine, but will wear the tires quicker.
Wanted to wait untill we had Micd on the right track before answering your post. The GM/Workhorse gas chassis are not all solid front axles. The P30 is but the P32 has independent front suspension. Both utilize airbags held within coil springs as a means of adjusting for front suspension loading (the amount of weight carried by the front suspension) and is almost infinately adjustable.

Harold & Linda
2009 CT coachworks siena 35V
W22 Workhorse 8.1L. Explorer Sport toad,
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:44 AM   #17
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Driving well

Originally Posted by Max Hubrich View Post
He had adjusted the "Saginaw Steering gear box". I drove it for 6 years after that and it was a different vehicle. When I sold it, it drove like a dream. The steering gear box had an excessive amount of play, from whatever!
Thanks Max! This is good to know for future problems. I knew my unit could drive like a dream because it did when I bought it and it did after the Montana on-the-road alignment. I just had to keep eliminating variables to get back there. In addition I didn't want to be fiddling with stuff until the shop gave it their best shot so as not to cause a new problem or to confuse the issue. The mechanic did say that they assessed the gear box and it had a little play but they didn't think it was enough to cause the problem I was seeing and they thought that it was in fact very little.

Thanks again!
Proud owner of 1994 Winnebago Brave 29RQ.
Chevy 454 on a P30 chassis.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by phranc View Post
I was at a FMCA rally and went to a seminar hosted by the fellow that
owns Precision Frame and Alignment..Elk River Mn..There are several good frame shops across the country, but If I was up north that is where I would go..
Absolutely agree about Precision Frame. Dick is the best. Closest thing to Hendersons in the midwest. I plan an annual trip to Minnesota just to have him work on things like replacing tires, shocks, alignment, etc. He did a great job installing a steering box kit for my Alpine and my motion control units. He can recommend a combination of things to get you the best possible ride and handling for your particular coach.

He will ALWAYS do a 4 wheel weighing on any coach he works on, as he considers it an essential safety issue. Can't go wrong with Precision Frame.
Jaime & Dave (and our 3 cocker spaniels)
2005 Alpine Coach 36FDTS w/ 2009 Honda CR-V, Doran TPMS, Roadmaster Towbar, US Gear Braking
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:18 AM   #19
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Its unfortunate that Precision Frame is 885 miles away. Google map estimates 15 hr drive but if my RV was out of alignment it could well be 30 hrs. Surely there must be a closer place??? It would be slightly closer for me to go back to Helena Montana which is only 776 miles away.
Proud owner of 1994 Winnebago Brave 29RQ.
Chevy 454 on a P30 chassis.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:05 AM   #20
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Interesting thread; We had 2 p32 chassis, The last one being a Winn. Vectra 1994 34'.I spent most my life Working on cars/trucks/RVs. The p30/p32 Were designed for a truck/van. In a motorhome with the great differance of load applied on the front end the Frame rails would actulleybend in on top changing the camber of the wheels along with the caster;. We found the sweet spot. 1/8 " tow in 3 Deg.camber, Caster to aligiment specs; also on the Vertra 95 lbs. air pressure, All tires. The air bags. Worked the best at 80/85 lbs. It wasn't quite right; so we took the wheels and checked them for truness, not much to our suprise the wheels were all at least 3/16 " out of round. Now in the back that is ok if they are balanced, I say just balance the egg and put it on. but on the front I put a set of aluminum alcoa wheels. Being that they are machined wheels they were spot on. Before I go on ask your self why do all the trucks have aluminum wheels;; The driving was so much better it was unbelievable; With the tires/airbags pumped up, Little or no cross wind affect; I know there are those that dissagree, We had our coach to at least 4 align shops. Before we fixed it. Oh now we have a Ultimate advantage, XL freightliner chassis With a Cat 330. pusher. 38' with INdependent front sispension It's a nice driver also; life is good; Enjoy;

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