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Old 12-08-2017, 10:20 PM   #2451
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Craig,
Can't wait to hear about your bushing swap. I can feel it coming! Looking forward to seeing you at Q again!

Roy
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:58 PM   #2452
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Two Bro's wrenching...

I always enjoy wrenching with Craig, my "brother-from-another-mother". In fact, I've enjoyed wrenching with all you guys who have come to my house and shop to work on some project. Although this project involved no welding, I can tell you something about Craig. You can stuff that boy into a barrel, roll him under a coach and hand him a MIG gun and he can do some AMAZING out-of-position welding. I thought I was good, but Craig is fantastic!

After having done bushing replacement on some older coaches with the two-piece bushing, I was a bit hesitant to tackle this job. Craig is nearly twenty years younger than me, though, so I thought I could put all the "grunt work" on the young'un, if necessary. Job turned out to not be too bad at all. It's still a big job, but every bolt come out easily, and THAT was the bugaboo on the two-piece bushing replacement jobs.

Yes, the difference in stiffness of the later OEM style bushing and the ATRO surprised me. And this job answered a question that has long been in both Craig's and my mind--would stiffer bushings help a coach that already handled and tracked very well, and had a Watts link and rear X-braces. As Craig said, he and I are always wanting to get "just a little bit more" out of the handling of our coaches.

Based on Craig's results, you might think I'd be ordering a set of ATRO bushing for my coach (and inviting my Bro up for a "visit"). NOPE. We're going to take this experiment one step further. I'm going to machine up a set of bushings for my coach that have a UHMW (ultra high molecular weight) body with a heavy steel center sleeve. I'll do the same deflection test on these that Craig and I did on the OEM and the ATRO. The urethane in the ATRO is quite stiff, but the UHMW is just one step removed from a solid metal bushing.

Don't know when I'll install these. I have a full calendar for next year, but I will work the project in.

As always, I can never thank all you guys enough for all the ideas, support and suggestions you have all had. I think we have some of the best and most inquisitive minds contributing to this thread...more so than any other thread on this entire forum. You guys ROCK! Thank you!

Stop in to see me any time you are in southeastern NC.
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:58 PM   #2453
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One day love to stop in when we are in your neck of the woods.
It will be nice to see you and Craig at QZ, would love a quick once over under the coach. Mike H and I will be installing the X-Braces under the rear of coach. We installed the watts last year.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:41 AM   #2454
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Van and Craig, when you installed the new Atro bushings, the outer sleeve was steel held firmly in place by the press fit. When the arm was reinstalled on the vehicle, the center sleeve was pinched in the bracket when the bolt was torqued down. So the only rotational movement is the bushing material itself due to the inner and outer sleeves locked in a fixed position. No different than a 73 Chevrolet A-frame bushing.

My question is, did you put the coach at ride height before tightening the pivot bolts? Otherwise, there would be a constant load on the bushings until the moment the control arms met the same position at which they were tightened.

I mention this to keep my buddies Craig and Van from revisiting another 10 hour job in a couple of years.

Not knowing the Atro bushings, does the bushing material rotate on the inner and/or outer sleeves to keep the urethane from torquing? Or, are the pivot bolts not torqued to the point of stopping rotation of the inner sleeve? If either is true, the above is pretty much moot.

On a different note, it sounds like you're going to use only a center bushing with the UHMW. Will these be able to rotate in some fashion, or is all the rotation going to be in the UHMW?

With either the Atro or UHMW bushings, the amount of front to rear movement of the control arms will be all but eliminated. Hmmm, have I run out of projects yet?
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:07 AM   #2455
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanwill View Post
I always enjoy wrenching with Craig, my "brother-from-another-mother". In fact, I've enjoyed wrenching with all you guys who have come to my house and shop to work on some project. Although this project involved no welding, I can tell you something about Craig. You can stuff that boy into a barrel, roll him under a coach and hand him a MIG gun and he can do some AMAZING out-of-position welding. I thought I was good, but Craig is fantastic!

After having done bushing replacement on some older coaches with the two-piece bushing, I was a bit hesitant to tackle this job. Craig is nearly twenty years younger than me, though, so I thought I could put all the "grunt work" on the young'un, if necessary. Job turned out to not be too bad at all. It's still a big job, but every bolt come out easily, and THAT was the bugaboo on the two-piece bushing replacement jobs.

Yes, the difference in stiffness of the later OEM style bushing and the ATRO surprised me. And this job answered a question that has long been in both Craig's and my mind--would stiffer bushings help a coach that already handled and tracked very well, and had a Watts link and rear X-braces. As Craig said, he and I are always wanting to get "just a little bit more" out of the handling of our coaches.

Based on Craig's results, you might think I'd be ordering a set of ATRO bushing for my coach (and inviting my Bro up for a "visit"). NOPE. We're going to take this experiment one step further. I'm going to machine up a set of bushings for my coach that have a UHMW (ultra high molecular weight) body with a heavy steel center sleeve. I'll do the same deflection test on these that Craig and I did on the OEM and the ATRO. The urethane in the ATRO is quite stiff, but the UHMW is just one step removed from a solid metal bushing.

Don't know when I'll install these. I have a full calendar for next year, but I will work the project in.

As always, I can never thank all you guys enough for all the ideas, support and suggestions you have all had. I think we have some of the best and most inquisitive minds contributing to this thread...more so than any other thread on this entire forum. You guys ROCK! Thank you!

Stop in to see me any time you are in southeastern NC.
Van, sounds like an interesting approach.

Just out of curiosity, are you anticipating the transference of additional road vibrations into the chassis with the much more rigid UHMW bushing setup?

I've used the urethane bushings quite a lot in off-road, racing and street rod applications and the one drawback has always been additional vibrations that have been transferred, but in those applications a little additional vibration or rigidity from a bushing is not a bad thing nor avoided, but in a coach that you want to be quiet and smooth is a different story, so I am just curious. Will be interesting to hear about the results.

Mike
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:48 AM   #2456
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Harry - Not Van or Craig, so I hope you don't mind me jumping in here, The Atro bushings are a "free rotation" bushing - not a bonded bushing. So you don't have to worry about the orientation. Their design also keeps the torque arm centered - so it doesn't rub or require any axial washers, bushings etc. This was something I puzzled on for a bit before I did mine. There are some videos on the Atro website that explain it pretty good, the polyurethane product is more complicated than you might expect. There is also a pretty good video on U-tube I posted a photo of a cutaway sample bushing when I did mine. http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/wand...ml#post3727775
You can see why it works the way it does. Also makes me wonder - do you suppose the factory assembled those bonded cartridge bushing at ride height? And what do you suppose it does to those bonded bushings when they sit with the bags dumped 90% of the time... Just some thoughts.
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Old 12-11-2017, 10:04 PM   #2457
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Kurt, what a great video. Atro has it figured out. Today, Iím a smarter person. Thank you for posting.
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Old 12-12-2017, 04:19 AM   #2458
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Averill View Post
Harry - Not Van or Craig, so I hope you don't mind me jumping in here, The Atro bushings are a "free rotation" bushing - not a bonded bushing. So you don't have to worry about the orientation. Their design also keeps the torque arm centered - so it doesn't rub or require any axial washers, bushings etc. This was something I puzzled on for a bit before I did mine. There are some videos on the Atro website that explain it pretty good, the polyurethane product is more complicated than you might expect. There is also a pretty good video on U-tube I posted a photo of a cutaway sample bushing when I did mine. http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/wand...ml#post3727775
You can see why it works the way it does. Also makes me wonder - do you suppose the factory assembled those bonded cartridge bushing at ride height? And what do you suppose it does to those bonded bushings when they sit with the bags dumped 90% of the time... Just some thoughts.
Kurt,

Outstanding post. That video made wonder if some of the many chassis broken welds we hear about on Monaco coaches are the result of improperly installed bushings.

Bob
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:09 AM   #2459
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I've often wondered if stiffer and stiffer bushings in the trailing arms create torsional stresses as the coach body leans. After all something has to give.

With the rubber bushings there is some movement allowing a small amount of body roll. With stiff bushings, such as Atro the trailing arms must twist to some degree. Could this induce stress cracking at the welds due to these increased torsional stresses?

Or, perhaps the long trailing arms were designed to twist. I don't know. Maybe the engineers in this group can chime in and contribute to my education.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:43 AM   #2460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmotorsports View Post
Van, sounds like an interesting approach.

Just out of curiosity, are you anticipating the transference of additional road vibrations into the chassis with the much more rigid UHMW bushing setup?

I've used the urethane bushings quite a lot in off-road, racing and street rod applications and the one drawback has always been additional vibrations that have been transferred, but in those applications a little additional vibration or rigidity from a bushing is not a bad thing nor avoided, but in a coach that you want to be quiet and smooth is a different story, so I am just curious. Will be interesting to hear about the results.

Mike
Mike, I have not finalized my design on the bushings, but if you go WAAAY back in this thread, I remember a guy with a Camaro saying that he had replaced the A-arm bushings with solid metal ones, and noticed no additional ride harshness. In the one installation I did using homemade UHMW bushings and heavy steel sleeves, I could tell no difference whatsoever in ride harshness. Quite frankly, based on that experience, I'm inclined to believe that solid metal bushings in the trailing arms would be OK...but I'm not quite ready to go there yet.

My UHMW bushings will either have 2.50 OD (larger than bushing OD) washers on either side bored to fit the sleeves, or some other method to constrain the trailing arm from moving side-to-side. Any ideas are welcome about how to do that. In a metal bushing, there is enough press fit to insure nothing will move sideways. With the UHMW, I'll have to make some other provisions for preventing that movement.

Also, I bore the UHMW so that the smooth-OD metal sleeve is a light, lubricated press fit in the UHMW. Then, when pressed into the trailing arm bore with about a .010 press fit, the sleeve will rotate, but it takes a modest amount of torque to cause the rotation. I could also constrain the sideways movement with a threaded pin through the trailing arm. Still tossing this around in my mind...
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:07 AM   #2461
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanwill View Post
Mike, I have not finalized my design on the bushings, but if you go WAAAY back in this thread, I remember a guy with a Camaro saying that he had replaced the A-arm bushings with solid metal ones, and noticed no additional ride harshness. In the one installation I did using homemade UHMW bushings and heavy steel sleeves, I could tell no difference whatsoever in ride harshness. Quite frankly, based on that experience, I'm inclined to believe that solid metal bushings in the trailing arms would be OK...but I'm not quite ready to go there yet.

My UHMW bushings will either have 2.50 OD (larger than bushing OD) washers on either side bored to fit the sleeves, or some other method to constrain the trailing arm from moving side-to-side. Any ideas are welcome about how to do that. In a metal bushing, there is enough press fit to insure nothing will move sideways. With the UHMW, I'll have to make some other provisions for preventing that movement.

Also, I bore the UHMW so that the smooth-OD metal sleeve is a light, lubricated press fit in the UHMW. Then, when pressed into the trailing arm bore with about a .010 press fit, the sleeve will rotate, but it takes a modest amount of torque to cause the rotation. I could also constrain the sideways movement with a threaded pin through the trailing arm. Still tossing this around in my mind...
Van, my biggest concern would just be the torsional stresses placed on the trailing arms as well as the mounting tabs such as when one side of the suspension droops out and the other stuffs up under (that being the farthest extreme). The OE style bushings (as well as the ATRO's) allow for this twisting motion to be accounted for, yet with a solid bushing these stresses would be transmitted elsewhere and possibly into a smaller bracket or tab that may not be able to withstand it.

I use my Jeep suspension as an example. A couple of years ago I fabricated new control arms or "links" with the rubber encapsulated bushings at the axle end because I was tired of replacing the weak proprietary bushings that the links came with. In doing so I machined new ends for the links and used bushings that had a fairly small amount of material between the OD and the ID of the press in rubber encapsulated bushing. It rode and handled great on the pavement but off-road there was enough flex in the suspension that with one side of the axle fully drooped out and the opposite end of the same axle fully stuffed up into the chassis it ripped off one of my mounting brackets at the axle and damaged a weld on the opposite side. Granted that is extreme movement compared to what our coaches suspension moves but I would have similar concerns.

I would however, be curious to see in that long of a trailing arm just how much twist would be in one with the suspension cycling. I would think with the weight of our coaches that it wouldn't be something that could be felt until something actually failed though.

Just trying to understand how the stresses will be handled as that is what I would be concerned with.

Mike
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:40 PM   #2462
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhughes View Post
I've often wondered if stiffer and stiffer bushings in the trailing arms create torsional stresses as the coach body leans. After all something has to give.

With the rubber bushings there is some movement allowing a small amount of body roll. With stiff bushings, such as Atro the trailing arms must twist to some degree. Could this induce stress cracking at the welds due to these increased torsional stresses?

Or, perhaps the long trailing arms were designed to twist. I don't know. Maybe the engineers in this group can chime in and contribute to my education.


Mike interesting to note: not RV related, but we had a similar issues in building Camping World NASCAR Truck framed for concrete tracks. With the extra torsional stress, we made structural changes in the rear truck arm pockets for the rear end trailing arms. We still used the newer bushings.
Thatís a good question to keep an eye on!
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:43 PM   #2463
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Van, my biggest concern would just be the torsional stresses placed on the trailing arms as well as the mounting tabs such as when one side of the suspension droops out and the other stuffs up under (that being the farthest extreme). The OE style bushings (as well as the ATRO's) allow for this twisting motion to be accounted for, yet with a solid bushing these stresses would be transmitted elsewhere and possibly into a smaller bracket or tab that may not be able to withstand it.

I use my Jeep suspension as an example. A couple of years ago I fabricated new control arms or "links" with the rubber encapsulated bushings at the axle end because I was tired of replacing the weak proprietary bushings that the links came with. In doing so I machined new ends for the links and used bushings that had a fairly small amount of material between the OD and the ID of the press in rubber encapsulated bushing. It rode and handled great on the pavement but off-road there was enough flex in the suspension that with one side of the axle fully drooped out and the opposite end of the same axle fully stuffed up into the chassis it ripped off one of my mounting brackets at the axle and damaged a weld on the opposite side. Granted that is extreme movement compared to what our coaches suspension moves but I would have similar concerns.

I would however, be curious to see in that long of a trailing arm just how much twist would be in one with the suspension cycling. I would think with the weight of our coaches that it wouldn't be something that could be felt until something actually failed though.

Just trying to understand how the stresses will be handled as that is what I would be concerned with.

Mike


Does anyone one have an old set of Roadmaster engineered drawings? Of course this would not help the snowflake effect we all experience. Wish I had a full shop at my finger tips again, like Van, Mike and many others I would be busy as heck!
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:29 AM   #2464
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Good morning everyone,

From what I can tell the video that Kurt posted wound not apply to single rear axle coaches (not sure about tandem axles coaches) because it is specific to walking beams.

The bushings in my couch have a sleeve down the middle for the bolt to go thru, and if a quality anti-seise was used on the bolt it would minimize torsional load on bushing material since the bolt doesn’t make direct contact with it.

Please keep in mind that I am not a engineer and I do think the video is informative I don’t think it would apply to most couches.

Steve
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