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Old 10-04-2022, 07:12 AM   #1
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Looking @ 2003 - 2004 AM Eagles

Hello everyone, first post so thank you for your patience. My wife & I are looking @ 2003 ,2004 AM Eagles. Is there any thing that are inherent problems to be looking for. This would be our second coach we owned. Previously we owned 1996 Fleetwood Southwind 35' for 10 years. First DP. Thanks in advance to your input & advice.
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Old 10-04-2022, 10:07 AM   #2
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These coaches are prone to have storage bay frame rust. Check carefully. To rebuild one bay cost me around 1500.00. Also check the ball joints. The rubber boots fail and debris compromises the joints.
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Old 10-04-2022, 11:08 AM   #3
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Jake21 thanks for information. Are the ball joints sealed or do they have grease fittings?
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Old 10-04-2022, 12:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gripall View Post
Jake21 thanks for information. Are the ball joints sealed or do they have grease fittings?


No fittings but I have read where some people have installed their on zerk fittings in them. I kept mine good by cleaning the old grease off as best as possible and forcing grease as far as I could into the area. I had the joints checked about once per year and they always passed.

I was never able to find a ďsplitĒ style boot that would work as a replacement for the old worn boots.
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Old 10-04-2022, 08:27 PM   #5
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2004 was a ground-up redesign year, so the 2003 is much different than 2004 & up. The '03 had the rust problem; the '04 does not. The '04 uses a modular chassis (can be Spartan or Freightliner) and a Fleetwood built center bridge, called the Liberty chassis.

The front ends are different on 04's too, but the boots still fail all too often. But at least it has zerks.

I suggest you do some research on the 2004 Eagles and the Traditions too. The Tradition moved way upscale in 2004 (replacing the Dream) and a well-optioned Tradition is almost an Eagle. In fact, they are sometimes referred to as "Treagles". Find the brochures and read about the Liberty chassis and the Eagle/Tradition features.
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Old 10-04-2022, 08:42 PM   #6
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We have a 2002 Eagle with bad rust issues in the tube frame for the basement compartments. It’s on a raised rail chassis that has lots on flex when leveling or hitting big dips in the road. We really like our coach it drives well and has a great floor plan for us. Has been very dependable overall. If it had the liberty frame it be the perfect coach for us.

I would look at 2004 and up.
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Old 10-06-2022, 04:41 PM   #7
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Gary RVRoamer is definitely right..BIG difference between '03 & '04 in chassis & coach design...go for the '04 Gripall!
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Old 10-08-2022, 07:31 AM   #8
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Goodmorning everyone, we are the proud owners of 2003 AC AE 40W. This my first first DP. There is button on my dash to the right of steering wheel. It is marked AIR REL. Then directly below this top line is marked UP DN. I have tried looking for dash layout for description. Can anyone explain the purpose/operation. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-08-2022, 08:30 AM   #9
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Congrats on your American Eagle purchase..that switch dumps & raises the airbags ONLY while the engine is running.
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Old 10-08-2022, 04:04 PM   #10
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Thank Groveln. Can you tell me where I can ifind how to use, why & for what reason? Thank for your response
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Old 10-08-2022, 05:11 PM   #11
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It's to briefly raise of lower the suspension a couple inches, say if you needed to squeeze under a low bridge. The suspension automatically adjusts to the correct "normal" ride height, but you have the capability to override that if needed. In normal driving you should just ignore the Air Release switch. It's there in case you need it, and you hope you never do.


When parked, your air system should automatically dump air from the suspension when you activate auto-leveling. And automatically refill the air suspension when you raise the levelers for travel and start the engine again. No need to touch that AIR switch then either.
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Old 10-09-2022, 12:14 PM   #12
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I sent you a private message about the American Coach Owners Group. I think you would find that hugely beneficial.
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Old 10-09-2022, 12:42 PM   #13
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Looking @ 2003 - 2004 AM Eagles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gripall View Post
Goodmorning everyone, we are the proud owners of 2003 AC AE 40W. This my first first DP. There is button on my dash to the right of steering wheel. It is marked AIR REL. Then directly below this top line is marked UP DN. I have tried looking for dash layout for description. Can anyone explain the purpose/operation. Thanks in advance.

I use the Ďdump airí switch quite often to lower the rig when dry camping overnight at a rest stop or whatever, and for storing at home and Sometimes when camping on level ground, where I donít find it necessary to use the leveling jacks. It dumps the airbags, not the whole system. Your step will be much closer to the ground and the suspension resting on the bump stops will be pretty stable when moving around inside. As mentioned deploying jacks does this for you automatically. Even if you donít have auto-level.

In regards to pre-2004 ACís being prone to basement frame rust, we donít see much salt on the roads down here in south Texas, so our 2002 Tradition so far (knock on wood) doesnít show signs of any rust issues, as I would assume would also be the case in other southwestern climates.

In regards to the ball joints. Ours still has the original ball joints and they were dry and squeaking, so I drilled and installed grease fittings about 4 years ago at 45k miles. The boots are pretty much gone so I grease it every 2500 miles or so and the ball joints are still tight and no squeaking. From what Iíve read, expect to pay $3000-$4000 to have them replaced and the new ones still do not have grease fittings.
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Old 10-11-2022, 02:44 PM   #14
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In regards to pre-2004 ACís being prone to basement frame rust, we donít see much salt on the roads down here in south Texas, so our 2002 Tradition so far (knock on wood) doesnít show signs of any rust issues, as I would assume would also be the case in other southwestern climates.

I've been told by owners that the corrosion in the pre-2004 coaches is due to electrolysis (unlike metals in contact) rather than road salts, but I don't know that for a fact. I suspect a dry climate would mitigate that as well.
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