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Old 01-07-2020, 06:06 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by nodine View Post
My thoughts are that a bearing is not needed and will be more likely to allow movement than a bushing. The amount of movement of the bell crank is very small and it only moves when the coach goes up or down. That bushing will outlast the motorhome.

Bob

My thinking was if there was enough side loading to break the pivot pin then the brass bushing would not last long being brass is much softer than the pin. When I was thinking of a bearing I was intending on using an axle bearing which sees a huge side load on acceleration and deceleration.....well huge in my drag car..lol. And I understand there is a rotational issue with an axle as opposed to the Watts. Was just trying to think outside the box. No disrespect intended Bob. All you experienced guys are pretty sharp.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:03 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by BigLar368 View Post
My question is why you would not use any type of bearing? I would think side loading a brass bushing would wear out pretty quickly even with lots of grease. My thinking was to use a captured axle bearing for the pivot.


Van, I respect your opinion on all your replies that I have read. No doubt you are a very sharp guy. I only ask because I want to understand. Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigLar368 View Post
My thinking was if there was enough side loading to break the pivot pin then the brass bushing would not last long being brass is much softer than the pin. When I was thinking of a bearing I was intending on using an axle bearing which sees a huge side load on acceleration and deceleration.....well huge in my drag car..lol. And I understand there is a rotational issue with an axle as opposed to the Watts. Was just trying to think outside the box. No disrespect intended Bob. All you experienced guys are pretty sharp.
Like Van, I used a bushing in my Watts link as well and after 30k plus miles now it has not degraded the bushing at all. I did however have the pivot bolt loosen up within the first couple thousand miles when I was running a nylon washer between the bellcrank and the H-frame mounting point. After removing that nylon bushing and merely checking it annually and greasing it has not come loose nor any adverse wear. I crawled under it about two months ago when I did my annual maintenance and put a torque wrench on all of the fasteners on the Watts setup and noticed no change from the previous year, or the year before that. I also paint mark my fasteners for quick reference so I can kneel down and do a quick spot check from under the generator compartment.
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:20 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by zmotorsports View Post
Like Van, I used a bushing in my Watts link as well and after 30k plus miles now it has not degraded the bushing at all. I did however have the pivot bolt loosen up within the first couple thousand miles when I was running a nylon washer between the bellcrank and the H-frame mounting point. After removing that nylon bushing and merely checking it annually and greasing it has not come loose nor any adverse wear. I crawled under it about two months ago when I did my annual maintenance and put a torque wrench on all of the fasteners on the Watts setup and noticed no change from the previous year, or the year before that. I also paint mark my fasteners for quick reference so I can kneel down and do a quick spot check from under the generator compartment.
Thanks Mike. I appreciate your input.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:49 PM   #46
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My question is why you would not use any type of bearing? I would think side loading a brass bushing would wear out pretty quickly even with lots of grease. My thinking was to use a captured axle bearing for the pivot.


Van, I respect your opinion on all your replies that I have read. No doubt you are a very sharp guy. I only ask because I want to understand. Thanks.
No offense taken. Roller, needle and ball bearings are great choices for rotating loads. But they are not well-suited to OSCILLATING loads, especially oscillating loads with very little rotation. Needle rollers are probably best suited to most oscillating loads, but even they must have a minimum amount of rotation. That is the reason that the needle rollers in universal joints with TOO LITTLE angularity fail quickly. And within the space limitations imposed by most Watts link installations, you would be hard pressed to find an anti-friction bearing with the same load capacity as a solid metallic bushing.

I considered an anti-friction bearing initially, but there were just too many negatives. I settled on simplicity and ruggedness. Unfortunately, I underestimated side forces acting on the H-frame. As I said before, it’s no wonder Roadmaster chassis were so wander-prone with that much force acting sideways on the wobbly sub-assembly (H-frame) that the axle was fastened to.

Perhaps more importantly in this case, the unit is exposed to a harsh environment and non-ideal loads. By “non-ideal loads” I mean that the assembly will be regularly subjected to loads that are not perfectly aligned. There is regular off-axis loading of the assembly, something that anti-friction bearings have difficulty dealing with. Also, as the solid metal bearing wears (assuming there is any significant wear at all), it will wear gradually and predictably. An installation with an anti-friction bearing is likely to fail catastrophically. I made perhaps (50) Watts links before I was satisfied it was indeed a “silver bullet” and before I turned it over to Mike Hughes, who has done an excellent job with refining it. I’m not aware of any of the bushings wearing significantly. And even though Mike’s improvement in using sealed tie rod ends is a good idea, I’ve not seen a single one of the Heim joints I used to become worn, even though they are totally exposed.

I’m not saying you could not make an anti-friction bearing work in this application. I just think there would be zero advantage to it, and quite a few disadvantages.

PM me and include your email address if you want to discuss this further. I’ll be happy to help you any way I can.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:48 PM   #47
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Roadmaster chassis is a unique case

Glancing over this thread, I can see there are quite a few folks who have probably not read the “Wandering” thread. Also, well-intentioned folks who are owners of other brands that do not have a Roadmaster chassis often chime in with possible solutions that are generic.

Probably the two most misunderstood “cures” for wandering Roadmaster chassis are 1) alignment and 2) shock absorbers.

Alignment—
On INDEPENDENT FRONT SUSPENSION systems, there are provisions for adjusting toe-in, camber, and caster. On a Roadmaster chassis (or almost any chassis with a solid front axle) a routine alignment consists of setting toe-in. Nothing else is “adjustable”. Toe-in can be set by anyone mechanically inclined in his driveway, using a tape measure and a helper.

Changing camber requires massive hydraulic fixtures that can BEND the axle to a new camber angle. About the only reason for this is if the coach was in a serious collision and bent the axle.

Changing caster requires wedge-shaped shims inserted between the axle and its mounting plate. Increasing caster causes wheels to more forcefully seek a “center” position. However, if the sub-assembly that the axle is mounted to is wobbling around under the coach, increasing caster has virtually no effect on curing the problem. Almost all highway vehicles will perform adequately with very modest caster.

Shock Absorbers—
This is probably the “fix” for wandering that is most frequently (erroneously) touted. Without going into great engineering detail, just consider that a shock absorber ONLY works when it is going up and down. Roadmaster chassis are known to wander the worst on flat, level, pristine Interstate highways. Under those conditions, shock absorbers are doing virtually NOTHING.

Unfortunately, there is a huge group of folks who will tell you that changing to a “magic” (expensive) shock will cure everything from wandering to global warming. Perhaps you genuinely perceive some improvements to your coach from a new set of shocks, but if you think curing wandering is one of those improvements, THAT improvement is entirely between your ears.

Before this post gets too long, let me just say that there have been dozens of “solutions” for Roadmaster wandering and with the exception of the Watts link and rear cross bars, all the solutions were based on devices to modify the STEERING system. When your steering axle is wobbling around under you (a SUSPENSION problem), no amount of steering magic is going to cure it. Witness the famed Howard system…very complex and very well executed. But it didn’t cure the real problem. If it had, you would still be able to buy them today.

If you are going to spend money to cure the wandering of your Roadmaster chassis, start by preventing your steering axle from wobbling around under you and pointing your wheels in a direction you did not dictate with the steering wheel. After you’ve done that, you may find no reason to spend anything more. Work on the PROBLEM…not the symptoms.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:41 PM   #48
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On my Roadmaster chassis came with a Howard Steering System an all it needed was
the toe in adjusted. After I adjusted the toe in the vehicle ran straight down the road
and the only time I would turn on the Howard system was in heavy cross winds.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:55 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Vanwill View Post
No offense taken. Roller, needle and ball bearings are great choices for rotating loads. But they are not well-suited to OSCILLATING loads, especially oscillating loads with very little rotation. Needle rollers are probably best suited to most oscillating loads, but even they must have a minimum amount of rotation. That is the reason that the needle rollers in universal joints with TOO LITTLE angularity fail quickly. And within the space limitations imposed by most Watts link installations, you would be hard pressed to find an anti-friction bearing with the same load capacity as a solid metallic bushing.

I considered an anti-friction bearing initially, but there were just too many negatives. I settled on simplicity and ruggedness. Unfortunately, I underestimated side forces acting on the H-frame. As I said before, it’s no wonder Roadmaster chassis were so wander-prone with that much force acting sideways on the wobbly sub-assembly (H-frame) that the axle was fastened to.

Perhaps more importantly in this case, the unit is exposed to a harsh environment and non-ideal loads. By “non-ideal loads” I mean that the assembly will be regularly subjected to loads that are not perfectly aligned. There is regular off-axis loading of the assembly, something that anti-friction bearings have difficulty dealing with. Also, as the solid metal bearing wears (assuming there is any significant wear at all), it will wear gradually and predictably. An installation with an anti-friction bearing is likely to fail catastrophically. I made perhaps (50) Watts links before I was satisfied it was indeed a “silver bullet” and before I turned it over to Mike Hughes, who has done an excellent job with refining it. I’m not aware of any of the bushings wearing significantly. And even though Mike’s improvement in using sealed tie rod ends is a good idea, I’ve not seen a single one of the Heim joints I used to become worn, even though they are totally exposed.

I’m not saying you could not make an anti-friction bearing work in this application. I just think there would be zero advantage to it, and quite a few disadvantages.

PM me and include your email address if you want to discuss this further. I’ll be happy to help you any way I can.
Thanks Van....I appreciate your time you took to explain things.
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:08 AM   #50
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Van, I’m still wondering why the 2 RR10S chassis I’ve own (100+K Miles) handle well with the same H frame supported axles and the tag being the only difference.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:41 AM   #51
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Van, I’m still wondering why the 2 RR10S chassis I’ve own (100+K Miles) handle well with the same H frame supported axles and the tag being the only difference.
Dick, I think you answered it right there, the "tag" being the difference as it aids the coach's stability. That being said, like you, I wasn't as hard pressed to tackle this or make it a priority because I felt as though my tag axle S-Series coach handled what I thought was perfect after correcting my thrust issue. However, after I finally took the time to fabricate and install a Watts link I definitely did notice an improvement in handling but I'm certain not nearly as much as those without the S-Series tag axle chassis.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:46 AM   #52
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I had spoken to Mike once inquiring about the Watts setup for my Executive and he said he did not have a kit for it. While I feel that my Coach handles pretty well I still would be interested in making even better. Does anyone have drawing for this setup as I have never seen one and would be interested in building one for my unit?
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:00 AM   #53
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Van, I’m still wondering why the 2 RR10S chassis I’ve own (100+K Miles) handle well with the same H frame supported axles and the tag being the only difference.
Ivylog, the reason is simply that two rigid axles following one another closely make it more difficult for a vehicle to change direction. Remember the warning in your owner’s manual to raise your tag when you need to make a tight turn? Watch a multi-tandem dump truck making a turn from a red light. You can SEE the front tires being drug sideways, and you can SEE that the truck is barely able to make a tight turn.

The fact that Monaco coaches with tag axles have ALWAYS had more directional stability is not news. It’s physics. Just as the fact that the longer the coach, the less effect the wobbly front H-frame has in changing direction of the coach. That does not change the fact that the front H-frame is still wobbling around under you, just that its effect is less. Dave Pratt was probably one of our most “aware” Monaco owners. He was a race car driver with years of experience. He added a front Watts link to his tag-axle 2005 Executive and reported that he felt the difference almost before he got out of his driveway. I had asked him to install it as a favor to me. I wanted to know if a tag-axle coach could benefit from the front Watts link.

And I don’t want to dwell too much on this, but Bob Nodine and Craig French were two of my biggest helps in evaluating the performance of the Watts link, and we three have commented on the vast disparity of people’s opinions of how a coach drove. Craig helped me install several Watts links, both front and rear. Craig is much younger and more agile than me, not to mention being one of the best out-of-position MIG welders I’ve ever known. Something Craig and I frequently discussed was the wide variety of opinions different people would have about the handling of the same coach. There is no doubt that some folks (Craig, me, Bob and Dave) are much more sensitive to steering/wandering anomalies than others. Craig and I personally witnessed the two extremes in people's opinions. I once installed a Watts link on a fellow’s coach (non-tag) who said his coach handled perfectly, but he just wondered if it could be any better. I drove the coach before the Watts link and silently thought to myself, “I wouldn’t want to drive this wandering, wallowing pig around the block.” After the installation, the owner was absolutely thrilled at the improvement. One fellow even sent me a video of his wife driving his coach. He was physically unable to drive. He told me, “My coach handles great and doesn’t wander. Here is a video of my wife driving it.” I watched the video of the lady happily sawing the wheel back and forth constantly to keep it in her lane. But they were satisfied with the way it drove.

Conversely, Craig and I installed a front Watts link on a non-tag coach for a fellow who said his coach wandered badly. Neither of us drove it before the installation. After the installation, Craig and I BOTH drove the coach and thought it drove tight and straight. The owner said it was “much better”, but not as tight as he hoped.

Yes, ALL tag-axle coaches with Roadmaster chassis will exhibit less wandering than a non-tag coach. Can they be improved by a front Watts link? Definitely. But I always advised folks NOT to install a Watts link if they thought their coach tracked perfectly and did not wander. If you are not sensitive to making constant corrections, however small, to stay in your lane, why bother?
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:58 PM   #54
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Van, I was willing to let this one go until the last sentence “If you are not sensitive to making constant corrections, however small, to stay in your lane, why bother.” Now that I have an adjustable Safe-T-Plus (change where center is on the fly) I can let go of the steering wheel for 1/4th of a mile staying in my lane with a cross wind ...no operator induced corrections or movement in the H frame. Even with a tight TRW box it’s easy to oversteer these things and I’ve often posted “tightening the nut behind the wheel” is the cheapest solution. The fraction of a inch a watts link “corrects” is a lot less than what two axles 44” apart are going to keep from happening on a 240” lever, especially when one axle has only 2 tires. Often on tandem axles in a small turn, there is enough side flex in the tires that there is no scrubbing/sliding of the tires.
“the reason is simply that two rigid axles following one another closely make it more difficult for a vehicle to change direction.“ Not going make any difference on a quarter inch of side movement. I thought a axle on the H frame was not ridged, hence the need for the watts link... oh, never mind.

I still do the 1500 miles to CO in two days and last summer on the way home, ended up doing 910 to get me to the east side of St Louis...not going to be able to do that making constant corrections as I’ve already tightened the nut behind the wheel.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:32 PM   #55
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So to get back to the my original post!

The RR8R chassis is definitely a challenge. I have some issues to determine yet, With tire pressure, Over all loading and such, time will tell for me and only me!

It is amazing how fast things get off topic. Seems there are so many that are self proclaimed experts. No Wonder the average Joe gets confused! Just read the suggested Linked posts. They are all over the place and very hard to read! It would take a full day to weed trough and comprehend to determine who said what.

Has anyone really considered how The aging air bags and shocks may influence some of this? The design seems pretty good and after watching the suspension in motion The watts in the most simple form seems good to me. There is more to tell seemingly and each coach is as different as we load them and use them!
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:58 PM   #56
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Has anyone that has responded to this post been involved in this chassis development?

If so please respond.
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