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Old 09-06-2008, 06:37 PM   #1
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We have a 1996 Gulfstream Scenic Cruiser, 36 ft. Some history.... I bought the motorhome used two years ago. It has a Spartan chassis, 250hp 8.3CT Cummins, and 120k miles. I have invested the time to keep it maintained - and enjoy doing it.

Late last year I noticed that the front sway bar bushings were deteriorating. We just got back from a short family vacation, but are plannning a 1,500 mile Thanksgiving trip. I figured I would order replacement bushings now for that long trip. I went under the coach to measure the diameter of the sway bar (1-5/8"), and one of the bushings is now completely gone and the other almost gone....wow!

Where can I get replacement polyurethane bushings? If anyone can help, what other info do you need to help me?

Thanks.

Brian
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:37 PM   #2
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We have a 1996 Gulfstream Scenic Cruiser, 36 ft. Some history.... I bought the motorhome used two years ago. It has a Spartan chassis, 250hp 8.3CT Cummins, and 120k miles. I have invested the time to keep it maintained - and enjoy doing it.

Late last year I noticed that the front sway bar bushings were deteriorating. We just got back from a short family vacation, but are plannning a 1,500 mile Thanksgiving trip. I figured I would order replacement bushings now for that long trip. I went under the coach to measure the diameter of the sway bar (1-5/8"), and one of the bushings is now completely gone and the other almost gone....wow!

Where can I get replacement polyurethane bushings? If anyone can help, what other info do you need to help me?

Thanks.

Brian
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1996 Gulfstream Scenic Cruiser 36' Class A
Spartan Alpine Chassis - Owned since 2006
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Old 09-07-2008, 03:41 AM   #3
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RBAJJK,
Welcome to iRV2. Consider calling Spartan. 800-543-4277

On edit, you will need the VIN # of your chassis/coach.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick reply Gary!! I'll call Spartan with the vin and see what happens.

Thanks again.

Brian
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:25 PM   #5
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A quick update.......

I called Spartan today. I connected to Retail Parts, gave the gentleman the vin, told him I needed the front sway bar bushings. We confirmed that the diameter of the sway bar in the vin records matched my physical measurement. Since I was on the phone with him already, I asked him to check if the coach had a rear sway bar, if the front bushings were bad on the front, might as well buy the rear. Well, no rear sway bar - I have never really looked for one and the rear mud flap goes across the back.

Thanks for the help.

Brian
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Old 09-21-2008, 04:30 PM   #6
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Update... I got the bushings changed out today. Well given that one bushing was completely gone, I guess I really only changed out one, but installed two. What was left of the remaining bushing was little more than some old worn green rubber that crumbled at the slightest pinch.

I started by raising the coach with the levelers to take some pressure off the sway bar. The bushings were bracketed to the front axle with a front and back plate, as well as the u-coupling holding the bushing, attached with two long bolts above and below the bracket. These bolts had obviously not been touched in the twelve years since the coach was built. Yesterday I sprayed some bolt loosener on the bolt to give it time to soak in - had BP on the can and bought at Home Depot. I tried to loosen the bolt yesterday with my basic socket set - not a chance.

I went to Sears and bought a 1/2" drive 7/8" socket (6 point), and bought an 18" long (for leverage) ratcheting breaker bar. The rear side of the bolt only 9/16" and I was able to wedge the rear socket wrench to hold the back side of the bolt once loosened. Needless to say all four nuts required consistent work until the nut actually came off the bolt. Without the extra few inches of clearance the levelers provided, this would have been near impossible. I first replaced missing bushing, and lube it up with plumbers teflon silicone (waterproof and suitable for polyurethane). Once I had that one done, then I went to work on the partial bushing.

The second one actually took a bit of work to get the new bushing to sit properly on the 1 5/8" sway bar up against the backing plate. It appeared as the bar seemed to settle closer to the frame plate than the width of the back side of the bushing (could not slide it into place). I had to raise the coach another inch or two and use the ratchet (remember it's 18") as a lever to get the bar far enough from the axle to get new bushing to sit properly on the bar next to the backing plate.

Unfortunately, no pictures, but this is done and will most likely never need to be done on this coach again.

Next, I'll change differential fluid, then grease the axle and every zerk I can find under the coach - using my new air grease gun. The axle looks like it has not been done in quite a while (at least the two years since I've owned it and probably a year or two before that). The u-joints look like they could use it - not whole lot of grease to be seen. Anyway hoping the axle and chassis lube, and the differential change to synthetic, add .5 to 1.0 mpg (I've read a few posts to that effect).

Thanks again.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:06 PM   #7
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Brian,

I am assuming that you have air brakes. If so, be sure to NOT apply too much grease to the brake slack adjusters as it will come out and ruin the brake linings.

Also, since you are changing the rear diff fluid, make sure your front wheel hubs have lube too. They take 80W90 gear oil while the rear diff takes 85W140 gear oil.

I just changed the rear (need to add a little more) and will be checking the fronts soon.

Good work on the sway bar bushings. I was just under mine and didn't see any issues but this reminds me to have a closer look soon.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:28 PM   #8
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the front sway bar bushing kept going out on my spartan mountainmaster chassis and found the two air leveling valves were not set to work together. the sway bar was always trying to equalize the frame to match the bar but it could not because the air leveling valves were not set correctly. check height on left and right side at the front axle while the airbags are fully inflated. 1996 newmar kountrystar.
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:03 PM   #9
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Quikduk and TW,

Thanks for the advice. As a matter of fact while on the phone with Spartan, I asked about proper height adjustment and they scanned and e-mailed the info. I do plan on checking the ride height front and rear. Last year I adjusted the air levelers to match, but not the height itself. Will do that the next time I air it up.

Thanks again.
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