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Old 05-02-2022, 07:26 PM   #71
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Update on wheel slop

Hi all,

I wanted to add an update on our 2007 Magna 45’ Rembrandt number 6700.
We have had the coach almost a year and experienced the same wandering and soft/sloppy on center steering on the highway. We have about 4500 miles of driving on the coach now and it has about 21,500 miles now.

1. Added Centramatic wheel balancers on all axles. Did not have a vibration issue, just wanted a smooth ride. These definitely work! Obviously did not help the steering issue. We have one year old Michelins.

2. Added a Safe T Plus steering stabilizer. This helped a bit with the on center steering. Not the “fix”, but adds piece of mind in case of a blowout. Safe T Plus is available for these Magna’s and Affinity’s. Smitty lists the proper number and kit number. The tech just had to get longer bolts for the mounting bracket. The bracket mounts to the generator cage frame. A call to Safe T Plus will confirm this.

3. We had the coach weighed by the individual wheel weight method. This confirmed we were running too much tire pressure in the steers and tag. This helped quite a bit for the sloppy steering on the highway. Steers now at 120, drives at 95-100 and tag at 100-105. The Federal tag in the coach is too high pressure for the steers and tags.

4. We took the coach to Josam’s in Orlando for an alignment. They checked ride height, the drive and tag alignment and then the steers. Found ride height a bit low on the left hand side and that was affecting the camber I think the tech said.
They then adjusted the rest of the front including toe and then set the Safe T Plus properly. This made the biggest difference with the wandering and soft on center steering wheel.

5. I then added Lucas Transmission Fix 24 oz. to the hydraulic tank that is serviced with Dexron III. I figured I know this works great in transmissions, and all a transmission is is a big hydraulic pump. This really helped a lot to stiffen up the steering and my hydraulic pumps are much quieter. This may be part of the “Fix” for some of us!

I don’t think there is slop in this steering system, at least there isn’t in mine. Slow speeds the steering is tight and responsive. At highway speeds it has a “soft” on center feel that is exacerbated by ruts and rough roads. On smooth and even asphalt I can now drive with two fingers on one of the wheel spokes. I also think it is very easy to “oversteer” this coach on the highway. If I put one hand at the top of the wheel and look way down the road I tend to settle down on the oversteering. You can also grab the top spokes of the wheel and steer from there with less leverage, tends to reduce oversteering. I feel the coach is now 90-95% better than what it was on the highway and it is great below about 45-50 mph.

Please all let me know your thoughts.
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Old 05-02-2022, 10:37 PM   #72
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RCattell, do you know how many degrees of caster is specified for your chassis? You should be able to see what the caster was set to from the receipt and paperwork you should have received when you had it aligned, you should actually have a printout of all the angles from the alignment including the specification range. IF caster is at the very bottom of the specification range, you probably want to go back to the alignment shop and ask them to adjust it to the high end of the range and make sure you take it in for the alignment Exactly like you travel in it. That means if you travel with full tanks of water and fuels, provisions for 30 days, a four seasons wardrobe, and a pair of 500 pound toolboxes, that is how it needs to be aligned. Do it this way even with level-ride suspensions, loading can effect them as well. This applies for any vehicle you are getting aligned, you want to give the mechanic the best chance to duplicate your complaint, so he can solve the problem.

Now, back to caster. Caster is the angle of the king pin or a line between the lower and upper ball joints where it intersects the center of the axle (wheel), positive numbers are behind the axle centerline, and the higher the number the more the vehicle likes to go straight forward, the caveat is steering effort to leave center increases as caster increases. Low caster numbers reduce the effort to leave center, but the price is it begins harder to go straight because it is easier for leave center for not only the driver, but external forces as well.


I almost edited this because I got too detailed, but decided to leave it as it may benefit someone that doesn't know what caster is and how it works. Heck, might jar something for someone having a problem.
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Old 05-04-2022, 03:44 PM   #73
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Caster explained

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the great explanation on caster and alignments.

I did have them max out the caster as much as they could.
They were set at 2.5-3.0 degrees positive caster. I do not know the range.

We had the coach full of fuel and fresh water and black and grey tanks almost empty. We were also stocked for a trip with clothes and food.

This coach is long and heavy. It is 45’ long with a 289” wheel base.
From what I understand it is common for the steering in these coaches to be a bit sensitive on the highway especially on rough and rutted roads.
On brand new smooth asphalt highways I can now drive it easily with 2 fingers.

Thanks again for the awesome explanation.
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Old 07-17-2022, 12:18 PM   #74
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I wanted to update on what I call my 'numbness while on center', and the coach having a tendency to wander some while heading straight down a non crowned highway, and no wind condition.

I had Colton truck help me on a few items. This included replacing the Passenger Side X's 2 Goodyear Air Bags, to match the X's 2 Firestone (9459's) on our coaches Drive Axle. (Covid parts shortages, resulted in non matching air bags being installed on the Drive axle with our Chassis Refresh at purchase. The GY and FS bags are referenced as being compatible, but minor differences between them were noticeable while driving. So Kaiser helped me with the sourcing of matching FS 9459's, and Colton installed them for me, saving probably $1K in fuel to avoid running to Eugene, OR!).

Colton also did an all axle alignment, and the front Steer Right was off quite a bit, which had the right and left steers working a bit agains each other. ParkHouse Tires in San Diego, installed 6 new Michelin X-Lines about four weeks ago. We moved the new when we bought the coach about two years ago, to the Tag Position. The right tire wear was irregular, as well as the left had signs of unusual wear too. They should be fine on the Tag, and will over a few thousand miles, wear back into a matching condition. It was this wear pattern, that had me wondering what happened to the All Axle Alignment that Kaiser did with the Chassis Refresh. We all know that some our highways are less then in stellar condition... A few heavy impacts to Pot Holes - can, and does, impact alignments!

We bought the coach with ~40k, and now are art ~53K...

Finally, I also had Colton install the Source Engineering Comfort Control Check Valves (Which 'check' in the direction that matters on bag stability, and 'not check' in the other direction. Were as I believe other Check Valves 'check' - in both directions.

====

So still breaking in the 6 new shoes, steers included. And I did decide to run with 5 more PSI, going from 120 to 125PSI on the Steers. I also bumped the Drives from 105 to 110PSI - nor doe load, but to see if the tad higher PSI effects MPG.

====

Back to the subject of the post. After the changes, and IMO a combination of getting the matching FS 9459's on the Drive Axle (Which frankly do the highest work in Left to Right stability of the coach, and Alignment reset properly on the Steers (Drive and Tag were fine, and I also asked Colton to set the Front to the Higher End of the small range of ride height. Probably went up about 1/2" higher, so was close to the top of the range already.) - I'm pleased that the coach on our run from Colton to San Diego, and then on over to Yuma, the wandering or slight lane drifting is much reduced. Still have the 'on center' numbness, and 'steering wheel slack', but I feel with he Super Steer SS400 Steering Dampener also helping 'on center' - the coach is very probably a good 60-70% more relaxing to drive.

On the run down I8 East from the San Diego mountains to the desert floor, the front 'set' faster on the curves. As well as the coach would do a single bounce, on expansion joints that would previously do a double bounce. I feel the Source Engineering Comfort Control Valves have helped the Front End Set faster. (On our Allure, I also had the CC Valves added to the Rear Drive (Single Bag on each side, where as the Magna's Drive have X's 2 on Each Side (Not Outer and Inner, but in series Front to Back of the axle.). Source Engineering would have been pleased to sell me X's 4 CC Valves for the Rear Drive Bags too - but, suggested they were not needed. So, I decided to run with on the Steers. And, I'm pleased as is.

(As FYI! The coach came with Road Kings 2 1/2" diameter shocks on the Steer and Drive, and Kaiser replaced the Koni FSD's Gold on Tags.)

Overall, now with ~13K miles of set time, in all kinds of conditions, including side winds gusting into the low 60's (Not like I wanted too be in the winds, but we slowed down to the mid 50MPH, and the coach was stable enough to continue the ~20 miles we had to go to reach our park.) - all of this except the last 500-600 miles before getting the matching FS 9459's and CC Valves... I feel the Magna handles predictably, and now with the incremental improvements from the Colton visit - is a fine riding coach! (Sure, I'd love to retrofit with TRW Comfort Steer - but that ain't going to happen. And Howard's are no more:(!).

One big plus, and one of the reasons we wanted to shift form the Allure to the Magna, is the added safety of the shorter stopping distances via the Front Disc Brakes. We had an occasion to make a very hard slow down to avoid an Over The Road Trucker that miss judged a stopping distance, and had to swing his cab over into our lane (Two lane, and we were in the left lane at about 55MPH to pass the 20-25 truckers backed up into a weight station going East out of El Paso.). Even with the heavier weight of the Magna vs the 40' Allure - those Disc's brought us down to a slow enough speed to just slide by the front fender of that tractor truck, and NOT go off the shoulder down into a center divide gully. I believe I would have made contact with that truck, and still been going 15-20MPH's faster - if I had been in the Allure. (NOT knocking the Allure. But just as I wanted more HP/Torque for speed capability reserves with the ISX (As well as Braking HP via the Jake, which was also on in this stop, in Stage 3) - the combo of Jake and Disc, made a difference on this one! All IMO!).

===

Enough rambling. But I've had may fellow RV'er's contact me on my thoughts on the 'handling of the Slant Nose Magna/Affinity/Intrique' - due to my comments here, and on Facebook, as I was sorting things out. And I wanted to confirm that I feel the slight numbness On Center - is not near of a bother as I had first felt it was. Obviously, my front end, and probably non matching Air Bags on the Drive - made negative difference!

Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 07-18-2022, 03:54 PM   #75
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Nice write-up Smitty, thanks for sharing where you ended up. Good to hear your handling is nicely improved. We can attest to the value of an appropriate alignment. After fighting our handling for about a year we got our alignment properly adjusted at Henderson's in Grants Pass, OR and that was a significant improvement. Some of our prior settings turned out to be basically opposite of what they should have been.
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Old 07-21-2022, 07:01 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ55 View Post
Nice write-up Smitty, thanks for sharing where you ended up. Good to hear your handling is nicely improved. We can attest to the value of an appropriate alignment. After fighting our handling for about a year we got our alignment properly adjusted at Henderson's in Grants Pass, OR and that was a significant improvement. Some of our prior settings turned out to be basically opposite of what they should have been.
Agreed. Nice update.

I've found on these models, at least on our 2005 Magna with Goodyear bags that tire pressure is pretty much everything.

Set right we get almost no wandering except in deeply grooved pavement and on most highways steering is a one handed affair.

For reference we are set cold to: 120 f / 110 duals / 110 tags

My next move will be shocks, the comfort valves and alignment and then reassess.

Ch
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