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Old 08-19-2020, 11:32 AM   #1
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2002 Monaco Diplomat owner seeking steering upgrade advice

Hi this is John and Judy....Kentuckians.....making our first post. We are new to RVing and recently purchased a 2002 Monaco Diplomat 38PBDD. It has the Cummins 330ISC with a Allison 3000 transmission and is built on a Roadmaster RM8C Raised Rail Chassis. 8 airbags and 8 shocks. After a month of driving, the wandering steering is the first thing I need to upgrade. I have been unable to get the Monaco Service Department in Decatur IN to respond to my calls and emails, so I have scheduled a service at the Cummins Coach Care location in Evansville IN for 8/31. If you have experienced this problem, what would you advise me to ask them to do First to begin to address this problem? Other than new shocks periodically, I don't believe the previous owners have had any steering accessories added. I have read much advice on various forums regarding possible 'fixes', some of it conflicting, so want to try to get the most bang for the buck right out of the box; I can do other things in the future as time permits. Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jss540 View Post
Hi this is John and Judy....Kentuckians.....making our first post. We are new to RVing and recently purchased a 2002 Monaco Diplomat 38PBDD. It has the Cummins 330ISC with a Allison 3000 transmission and is built on a Roadmaster RM8C Raised Rail Chassis. 8 airbags and 8 shocks. After a month of driving, the wandering steering is the first thing I need to upgrade. I have been unable to get the Monaco Service Department in Decatur IN to respond to my calls and emails, so I have scheduled a service at the Cummins Coach Care location in Evansville IN for 8/31. If you have experienced this problem, what would you advise me to ask them to do First to begin to address this problem? Other than new shocks periodically, I don't believe the previous owners have had any steering accessories added. I have read much advice on various forums regarding possible 'fixes', some of it conflicting, so want to try to get the most bang for the buck right out of the box; I can do other things in the future as time permits. Thanks in advance for your help!
I suggest you read the following threads. They are long but have some great information from people who have "been there, done that".

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/ste...rw-210152.html

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/wan...my-124491.html
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Old 08-19-2020, 03:32 PM   #3
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Thank you very much, will do!
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Old 08-23-2020, 01:50 PM   #4
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Travel buddy Had a 2004 diplomat, only thing that cured the wandering was "watts x brace " rr8r chassis suffer from " tail wagging the dog"
Put a 4 ft 2x2 in the hitch reciever and push left to right, and watch the chassis "squirm".
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Old 08-23-2020, 07:31 PM   #5
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I don't think Cummins will work on the chassis. I would try a truck repair shop.
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:17 AM   #6
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I would start with a Truck Alignment shop. They would check the steering and related components for wear as part of the alignment process. No need to spend money on "handling kits" if you have worn out steering parts.

Also make sure you tires are inflated properly. Too much air is just as bad for handling as is too little air.

Lastly, the more weight on the front axle the better for handling (without exceeding the tire or axle limits). So you should get weighed - and if the front end is light you may be able to redistribute some of the heavier cargo to the front most bays.
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Old 08-26-2020, 02:23 PM   #7
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Thank you. I do have 6 new Michelins on it and was told one of the steering boots was leaking and should be replaced. I'm scheduled at Monaco Service in Decatur next week and will have this done and the the steering parts inspected while there.
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Old 08-26-2020, 02:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jss540 View Post
Thank you. I do have 6 new Michelins on it and was told one of the steering boots was leaking and should be replaced. I'm scheduled at Monaco Service in Decatur next week and will have this done and the the steering parts inspected while there.
Now get back to reading the threads on the wandering issue. Your answers are there or I will buy you a beer.
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Old 09-04-2020, 07:42 AM   #9
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Haha you are right about that Myron! Home now and starting rereading NOW.....
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Old 10-04-2020, 08:08 PM   #10
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Quick update on steering/handling issues on 02 Diplomat

Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm all in: 1) ordered TRW gear and Pitman arm from Weller, and i will deliver to mechanic this week and discuss installation and adjustment 2) emailed with Mike Hughes and have ordered front Watts and rear cross bars to be sent when he gets back to the shop mid-month 3) appointment for installation around 10/13 or so. I will update this after work is done with my results. Excited, and very appreciative of the hard work and documentation from those that have gone down this path previously.
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Old 10-23-2020, 04:53 PM   #11
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Let me add a quick note to all the above. I had exactly the same problem with my 2004 38PBDD when I bought it in 2015 and went thru the same process you have. I live in Washington State and head south every winter. Henderson's Lineup in Grants Pass, OR was convenient. They replaced the box and installed a new Pittman arm (with grease fittings). That took care of much of the steering problem but they installed air spring cross-flow restrictors (air pressure equalizer lines leading from on side's air springs to the other's), and that took care of a lot of the "lean" when going around corners and "sway" when making larger steering corrections. These changes made a huge difference, but handling was still a bit erratic. Sometime later, after a lot of research, reading irv2 posts, and agonizing or the cost of buying 8 expensive shocks, I replaced the shocks (probably the originals) with Konis -- and, oh my, did that make a difference!
The point of all this yaking is that it took more than just replacing the faulty steering box to fix my handling issues. In my case, a lot of those issues were hidden by the dangerous steering problem. The Henderson's people talked me into the cross-flow restrictors, which weren't that expensive and would be easy to install, and together those two things helped quite a bit. Then the new and much better shocks took care of the rest.
If you are still experiencing handling issues after the box has been replaced, and you haven't already had those fixed, I suggest that you have your repair folks look at these and other additional items.
In any case, I wish you safe travelling and happy trails!
Tom
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