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Old 02-28-2021, 07:56 AM   #1
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Tag Axle Info

I have a 2019 London Aire on a Freightliner SL chassis that I have a steering wandering problem that I think might be a tag axle alignment issue. I combed through prior post looking for info and can’t seem to find what I am looking for.

I am looking for the 6 wheel alignment specs on the SL chassis which Freightliner designates as a XCP. Plus, does anyone know what the side to side offset tolerance for the tag is. My tag sets off center to the left by 1” when compared to the drive axle and the left side of the tag is toe’d in 3/16” compared to the right side.

I have been fighting with Freightliner for over a year now since I bought the coach new. The issue is when highway driving I have to constantly correct back an forth. I have had the coach in 6 times to Freightliner dealers, 2 alignments, a steering gear replaced and multiple conversations with Gaffney with still no fix. Thanks for any help.
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:33 AM   #2
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I have a Dutch Star with the XCR Chassis. We had some vibration when ours was new. We took it to Gaffney and they aligned it and problem was gone. Attached are the post alignment measurements for my chassis.
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sramer View Post
I have a 2019 London Aire on a Freightliner SL chassis that I have a steering wandering problem that I think might be a tag axle alignment issue. I combed through prior post looking for info and can’t seem to find what I am looking for.



I am looking for the 6 wheel alignment specs on the SL chassis which Freightliner designates as a XCP. Plus, does anyone know what the side to side offset tolerance for the tag is. My tag sets off center to the left by 1” when compared to the drive axle and the left side of the tag is toe’d in 3/16” compared to the right side.



I have been fighting with Freightliner for over a year now since I bought the coach new. The issue is when highway driving I have to constantly correct back an forth. I have had the coach in 6 times to Freightliner dealers, 2 alignments, a steering gear replaced and multiple conversations with Gaffney with still no fix. Thanks for any help.


My tag on my Dutch Star was off center to the passenger side about 1.3 inches. When the coach was aired down the tag tire was real close to the fender. Gaffney moved the tag using shims. If I remember correctly they said the off center tolerance was +/- one inch.
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:43 PM   #4
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I’m not sure what the differences are between the SL and XC chassis, but below is a link to a tag axle alignment document that affected my 2016 Dutch Star. It also applied to the 2016 London Aire.

It may or may not have useful information for you.

https://1drv.ms/b/s!AqykFGK8ec7Sgdgw-pj7x02YjUfIYw
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sramer View Post
I have a 2019 London Aire on a Freightliner SL chassis that I have a steering wandering problem that I think might be a tag axle alignment issue.
Tag axle thrust angle and toe alignment issues on the tag or the drive can cause the wandering. Is this the same issue you had, previously, hitting a bump and steer wanders?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sramer View Post
My tag sets off center to the left by 1” when compared to the drive axle and the left side of the tag is toe’d in 3/16” compared to the right side.
Curious, from all the posts I have seen over the last 4.5 yrs on this forum, the tag axle out of center was an issue for very many 2016-2017 passive steer fccc units. Had not seen anyone with later models. How do you measure the offset, specially with the L tag toe- in?

Do you have the thrust angle settings for your tag and drive axle from the alignments?
The tag toe-in could cause the wandering(or back-end floating). Have you had the lock straights on the tag checked? If the lock straights were not set properly, they can effect the toe out of spec on the tag. (have had that one too!!!). And last, the ride height spec or all three axles, would be relevant to know.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sramer View Post
The issue is when highway driving I have to constantly correct back an forth. I have had the coach in 6 times to Freightliner dealers, 2 alignments, a steering gear replaced and multiple conversations with Gaffney with still no fix. Thanks for any help.
I have also been dealing with the wondering and pull from day 1. Do you know if your coach is dog tracking, or if the back-end is 'floating'? I have had both of these from day1. Have you had someone follow your coach and observe the dog tracking? If it is dog tracking, sounds like the back-end would be to the right side of the road and front to the left. Floating, would be the back-end constantly moving left and right. If the thrust angle (or toe) on the tag and drive are pointing to different directions, as the road ungulates, the back-end will be floating and you may notice it as wandering.

At one of my many appointments for centering the tag axle, I met another LADP owner. He is on the forum. After his supposed tag centering he still had issues and steering plays. Later found the steering box was also a problem, which seems you had that one replaced. Perhaps if 'freen03' is around he can share his experience on that one, or you can reach out to him. Freen may have a better idea, but I thought at one point the xcp's had 2 steering boxes, or 2 different mechanical components to get the all the steering links connecting the steering wheel to the steer axle.

Here are the specs I have. tag toe should be 1/32 - 2/32
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rd1 View Post
Tag axle thrust angle and toe alignment issues on the tag or the drive can cause the wandering. Is this the same issue you had, previously, hitting a bump and steer wanders?




Curious, from all the posts I have seen over the last 4.5 yrs on this forum, the tag axle out of center was an issue for very many 2016-2017 passive steer fccc units. Had not seen anyone with later models. How do you measure the offset, specially with the L tag toe- in?

Do you have the thrust angle settings for your tag and drive axle from the alignments?
The tag toe-in could cause the wandering(or back-end floating). Have you had the lock straights on the tag checked? If the lock straights were not set properly, they can effect the toe out of spec on the tag. (have had that one too!!!). And last, the ride height spec or all three axles, would be relevant to know.





I have also been dealing with the wondering and pull from day 1. Do you know if your coach is dog tracking, or if the back-end is 'floating'? I have had both of these from day1. Have you had someone follow your coach and observe the dog tracking? If it is dog tracking, sounds like the back-end would be to the right side of the road and front to the left. Floating, would be the back-end constantly moving left and right. If the thrust angle (or toe) on the tag and drive are pointing to different directions, as the road ungulates, the back-end will be floating and you may notice it as wandering.

At one of my many appointments for centering the tag axle, I met another LADP owner. He is on the forum. After his supposed tag centering he still had issues and steering plays. Later found the steering box was also a problem, which seems you had that one replaced. Perhaps if 'freen03' is around he can share his experience on that one, or you can reach out to him. Freen may have a better idea, but I thought at one point the xcp's had 2 steering boxes, or 2 different mechanical components to get the all the steering links connecting the steering wheel to the steer axle.

Here are the specs I have. tag toe should be 1/32 - 2/32
Yes, same problem and Thank for the info. I did have my shop foreman (I'm the GM at a Honda Dealer) follow me and he did not see any Dog tracking or floating. Both alignments I had done by Freightliner dealers were half-assed. One was front only and the other was front and tag, they did not do the drive axle. FCCC has more or less washed their hands of it but I'm not going away.
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sramer View Post

I have been fighting with Freightliner for over a year now since I bought the coach new. The issue is when highway driving I have to constantly correct back an forth. I have had the coach in 6 times to Freightliner dealers, 2 alignments, a steering gear replaced and multiple conversations with Gaffney with still no fix. Thanks for any help.
Maybe it’s not related to the alignment, maybe. I say this because we had a similar issue when our coach was new. On the Highway we had to constantly correct our steering basically the same way you mention. I thought it was me until I watched the wife drive the coach. She had to constantly correct her steering by performing a sawing motion with the wheel as she drove.

Now, our coach sits on a Spartan chassis with IFS, a K2 chassis. I believe your coach has IFS. Anyways, the problem with our coach was that the king pins were rusted and frozen. According to Spartan, all of their chassis’s are to be greased every 5K miles. I was never told this and the dealer didn’t grease the chassis prior to us leaving. Took the coach to Spartan and they basically disassemble the king pins and rebuilt them, greased them, problem solved!

I now grease the chassis religiously between 4 and 5K miles and have not had a problem in 44K miles of driving.
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:18 AM   #8
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..Both alignments I had done by Freightliner dealers were half-assed. …...... FCCC has more or less washed their hands of it ..
When there is an issue, fcccc or their dealers are not going to tell you about it. The pdm issue took me more than 2 years of knocking heads with them and multiple dealers, before they started looking at it. It was being blamed on the body builder. 4 yrs later, still on going for some. The fan housing took 5 yrs and a legal fight (for an owner with 16LADP) before they issued a campaign and not a recall as it should have been thru NHTSA. The tag axle issues has never been officially acknowledged despite newmar PIB458 (2016 only!!!) and dozens of complaints on this forum.

In my experience of multiple alignments with multiple freightliner dealers, they would not provide me a complete alignment data. One dealer out right refused to provide the alignment data, except that they made some adjustment here or there and every thing is in spec. The others would provide alignment data that had no relevance. Thats why I tried an independent shop and found how everything was/is out of spec.

The front steer issue over bumps, as you describe it, almost sounds like a bump steer (or roll steer as some call it) issue. That would be a bit odd, as they are pre-set from factory. Unless there is an issue.

These observations are based on my own unit.
On the tag axle, to have the toe to be off in one side is a bit odd, as the toe link connects both wheels together. The tag toe links are not independent. However, the tag axle could have a positive thrust angle (axle rotated to the right), then you could have the RHS wheel 'look' in line and the LHS 'look' toed-in.

You could also have the LHS lock straight out of spec causing the toe-in. The lock straight is located on the back side of the wheel. If it is extended too far, it could push the wheel to exhibit a toe-in.

Your issue is also a bit peculiar as most of the complaints I have seen on this forum re tag axle indicated issues with the RHS tag tire wearing out!! Although, in these cases, the LHS has uneven wear too, it is just not visually obvious. A competent tech inspecting the tire could ID, if the RHS is wearing on the outside, the LHS 'could' be wearing on the inside.

To better understand what issues you may have, suggest looking for a competent independent alignment shop. Truck Frame repair and alignment shop 'may be' one such place to look for. You also want a shop that has a full alignment rack. You do not want alignment performed on a shop floor. You need to make sure their alignment rack is at least 32' long. That is long enough to cover steer to tag axles on your unit.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:37 PM   #9
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........ You also want a shop that has a full alignment rack. You do not want alignment performed on a shop floor. You need to make sure their alignment rack is at least 32' long. That is long enough to cover steer to tag axles on your unit.
to add.. you also want to make sure the alignment shop has a six sensor alignment equipment (one for ea. wheel).. Four sensor units work, but, if the shop is that cheap to go with a 4 sensor unit, it is not worth your time, specially, if you have issues to deal with. You also want to ask them, if they know how to deal with an axle out of center. Also, if their alignment system is equipped to account for an axle out of center scenario, to get all axles into correct alignment.
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