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Old 07-05-2014, 03:29 AM   #15
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......

,,,,. I have another 3-6K mile trip when returning to Florida so would have a great comparison. My trim kit for the safe-t-plus will be reinstalled for the return trip so could have an amazing fun ddriving experience.
Myron,

Sounds like you have moved from California to Florida?

Bob
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:59 AM   #16
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Myron,

Sounds like you have moved from California to Florida?

Bob
Yep, moved in Sept. Found a piece of property on a lake with a boat dock and close to Walt Disney World.
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:37 AM   #17
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Craig,

Fantastic work. You put me in mind of one of my favorite quotes from Calvin Coolidge.

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

Bob
I LIKE it, and THANK YOU !
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:42 PM   #18
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JIG !

Ok so why we all are hoping for more matching bolt patterns I got a jig together, as an example of what you could use should a bolt pattern match be found for the other "playful" Sheppards out there, for the pitman arm swing and index on the bench...or in my case the tailgate of my truck.

You need :

2 foot X 2 foot Piece of 3/4 plywood...I used 7 layer because it is a little stronger and for only $1 more.

4 Spare nuts to match your mounting bolts...mine were 5/8 course thread....you do not want to over use the locking nuts that bolt the box to the coach...and yes I will use locktite Blue as a back up on final mounting.

6 extra mounting bolt washers, mine were 5/8 and I only bought 4 wish I would have had six.

A 6 inch bolt with threads running the entire length.

Place the Sheppard on the plywood, careful drill two mounting holes through the bolt bosses and through the wood. I used a wood bit to make the marks, then moved the Steering box out of the way to drill the plywood.

Center the 6 inch bolt with some washers in the Shepard pitman arm drag link end, run the pitman arm from stop to stop....more than once just to get a feel for how far it moves and then make your marks.

Unbolt the Sheppard from the plywood, carefully bolt on the TRW. Use the new pitman arm and just put it on the TRW Steering box shaft enough to move to from stop to stop...again maybe more than once then LEAVE IT at the top swing. Remove the 6 inch bolt from the Sheppard pitman arm and install it in the new pitman arm. Place the bolt in the circle on the plywood and the place the splined end on the TRW shaft.

Indexed !

Now just to let you know, there is more on the bench travel than there will be on the coach,
There are built in wheel stops at the wheel. Once the bench swing matches you can mount the box on the coach.

STEP ONE !!!!! BEFORE I EVEN TOUCHED THE Shepard box I CENTERED the wheels so the coach is going straight ahead. I measured from the inner rim on the front and back of each front wheel until the measurements matched...or they were REALLY darn close...then and ONLY then did I unbolt the drag link and wire it out of the way.

Then have at it.

Again if you decide to go down this path...post it and I will list all the little things I would have done different to so save you some time and hassle.

THE JIG ! See the shadow on the drag link end, that is my bolt that goes down and ALMOST touches the plywood. Guess I could have taken a picture form the side.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:15 PM   #19
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Very cool is that your new TRW box with Pitman? deSanford
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:52 PM   #20
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No that is the playful Sheppard. I get my new pitman arm Monday and the TRW box is hanging on the Motorhome right now. The picture is me setting up the jig and then Monday I will use it.

Test flight should be Tuesday or Wednesday, 50 miles each way. One way without the TOAD, hook it up and drive back 50 miles, mostly interstate run. I will go play with the rigs and the ruts to establish a real baseline and proof of concept.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:56 PM   #21
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Well a bit of a MAJOR set back today. I picked up the new pitman arm this morning to fit to the coach, mounted the TRW box to the JIG to index the pitman arm for mounting on the coach and discovered a BAD THING, that the Tech did not catch and what I found on the tech specs did not show. THE TRW DOES NOT have the full range of motion the Sheppard does.

The TRW has about 5/8 to 3/4 of the range of motion so I indexed the pitman arm in the best position possible and mounted it to the coach. I had made some range of motion marks on the bottom of the coach frame showing lock to lock position of the pitman arm before I removed the Shepard and with the TRW mounted up in a test position, lock to lock....NO GOOD ! The TRW will not allow a lock to lock turn like the Sheppard did. i REALLY like the turning radius of my coach....LOL

SO WHAT NOW you say, well I called the Master tech and he happened to be on vacation this week so I asked the tech who answered the phone about the situation and he had no good ideas. I am trying to locate a TRW with this bolt pattern or one that is REALLY CLOSE with more range of motion but so far it looks like I am down but not out.

I have decided to have Weller rebuild my Sheppard and shim the HECK out of it and CONTINUE to search for a TRW. I need the use of the coach and I can have the Sheppard off in less than an hour should a TRW replacement be located. TO ME it is more about a GOOD FIX to a problem than the $$$. I would like this process to NOT include major coach modification if at all possible, because at SOME point it becomes more of a chore that at least I feel it is worth.

I think the MINIMUM we Sheppard owners can do, if you do not want to "live" with what you have, is to have a reputable repair facility make what you have better
I have over $250 in gas,fluids and gatoraid so I do not want to just GIVE up but if the answer to this EFFORT is to IMPROVE what you have than so be it.

When the Master tech returns from vacation we will have a long talk on the phone. I will continue to research the options.

DOWN but no DEFEATED !!!!

Thanks for following me on my journey and the VERY KIND words of ENCOURAGEMENT !!

Time for a LARGE cold one !
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:01 PM   #22
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How many turns lock to lock with your TRW box? I could check mine if it would help. Also, what is the stroke of the drag link? And, is the new pitman arm length the same as the OE? Using my box part number, can you cross it to a "left hand" box?
Just thinking.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:57 AM   #23
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Craig, Just some thoughts, are you saying that the range of motion of the TRW less than the Sheppard box? Are the TRW Pitman arms shorter or longer on the TRW boxes that are used with coaches like Harry's that have Disc brakes, or are the spindle arms that connect to the drag link to the pitman arm shaped differently.
Just some thoughts, I could be off base here.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:21 AM   #24
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Is it the angular range of motion that's less? Couldn't that be countered by using a longer Pitman arm, so it gives you the same linear range of motion on the drag link?
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:22 AM   #25
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Ok, after a very long day yesterday that ended with putting a hole in the sidewall of my truck tire to the tune of $225. I just finished emailing VAN, yes we shoot ideas back and forth.

The pitman arm I used for the TRW was and exact replica of the one used for the Sheppad, OE, now that being said I can not use a much longer arm due to the fact that the drag link goes through a frame member, I think it is for the storage bins if I remember right. The drag link is bent and with a much longer arm it would be low enough to come in contact with the frame member.

After a good nights sleep, I located a TRW box number in my notes that I gave to the tech, that is where and when he came up with the bolt in box. Being around long enough to know that was almost to good to be true but hey MAYBE. The other model of TRW had more pitman arm movement.

I think Harry is right in a way, number of turns lock to lock but I would try and avoid changing the output shaft direction. I will CONCENTRATE more of my efforts on TRW boxes used in coaches already, even different makes if that would help the cause. I may even be able to locate a bolt in again or one I could drill a new hole or two.

What Van and I discussed, and maybe someone else can chime in, the TRW box I tested did not allow enough range of motion...OK I get that BIG truck and motorhomes are VERY different when it comes to turn radius, I have driven enough of them to know my coach will out turn the HECK out of a large delivery truck but this TRW seemed very limited in its range of motion. I called a tech to get help and he told me what to do to double check, he stayed on the phone to make sure I had it right and I did. SO ? Mechanical difference ? I will dive into that today with someone who know A LOT more about that than I do.

I will get range of motion in degrees from Vans coach and I will measure my OE box and compare the numbers. I do not believe the Sheppard uses all of the motion I get with it on the bench in the coach.

The MAIN reason I sent my Sheppard off are.
1. I need the use of my rolling lake/mountain house...:-)
2. I was NOT bolting that wandering POS back in my coach the way it was, an improvement was better than nothing.

To let you all know, I am in NO WAY DONE ! $550 for a tighter Sheppard in the interim, while a TRW BOX is being located in my mind a small price to pay. I will not even have to buy the cheap beer.

BACK to the parts yard with a protractor :-)

I have just yet begun to fight ! ONWARD !!!

THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR IDEAS and HELP....keep it coming PLEASE !!
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:59 AM   #26
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Can the TRW "box" be modified to have a greater range of motion? deSanford PS you are doing your best and we all pray you are successful.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:30 AM   #27
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I have found another TRW box that uses the same case as the one I tried. WHEN my tech returns from vacation I will check to see if that TRW box has more range of motion or if there was an issue with the one I had or the tech I talked to was unsure of my issue.

This allows me to at least compare 2 TRW boxes that would be bolt in's.

KEEPING THE FAITH !
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:32 AM   #28
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GAME ON ! I just got off the phone with a different tech than I talked to yesterday on the phone. I HAVE to index my arm on the output shaft to connect to the drag link at the same angle as the Sheppard pitman arm was. Then install the box and it TAKES PUMP PRESSURE to reset the poppets in the box to EXTEND the motion range of the pitman arm. They are set REALLY tight from the factory and human force on the bench will NOT move them.

WISH I would have known this last night. I guess the tech I talked to did not understand my situation. NOT being able to index the pitman arm on the vehicle is the tough part but NOT INSURMOUNTABLE !

Back to Weller to pick up my parts, they did not ship them out yet !

KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED !!!
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