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Old 07-18-2008, 05:39 AM   #1
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The steering is loose on our 2001 Tradewinds LTC 39' riding on the Freightliner chasis. When driving down the highway, it seems that we have about 4 inches play in the steering wheel. When correcting to the right, I have to turn the wheel at least 4" back to the left and vice-versa. From under the coach, I can turn the shaft to the steering box by hand which I feel is way too much play.

I have read on another discussion that there is an adjustment on the steering box, but I cannot find one on mine. I have also read that Freightliner will only replace the steering box, at $$$$$, but will not do any adjustments.

We don't have a problem with trucks passing or high winds; only the amount of play in the steering.

Has anyone else had this problem with a Freightliner chassis? I would appreciate hearing from you.
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2003 Suzuki GV ] PressurePro TPMS
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:39 AM   #2
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The steering is loose on our 2001 Tradewinds LTC 39' riding on the Freightliner chasis. When driving down the highway, it seems that we have about 4 inches play in the steering wheel. When correcting to the right, I have to turn the wheel at least 4" back to the left and vice-versa. From under the coach, I can turn the shaft to the steering box by hand which I feel is way too much play.

I have read on another discussion that there is an adjustment on the steering box, but I cannot find one on mine. I have also read that Freightliner will only replace the steering box, at $$$$$, but will not do any adjustments.

We don't have a problem with trucks passing or high winds; only the amount of play in the steering.

Has anyone else had this problem with a Freightliner chassis? I would appreciate hearing from you.
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2001 39 ft. National Tradewinds LTC
2003 Suzuki GV ] PressurePro TPMS
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:20 AM   #3
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Hi Larry,

I'm surprised no one has replied yet. I don't know what box you have, but they are all the same.

The arm that comes out of your steering box to turn the front wheels is the one with the adjustment on it. That arm mounts on a shaft that goes through the steering box. The adjuster nut is on the opposite side of the box from the pitman arm.

It is usually on the inside of the box, facing towards the engine and can be hard to see. On my chassis, I have do do this by feel. There is a hollow hex recess in the adjuster screw and a jam nut on the outside of that.

My box is a Saginaw 710. If you do a google search for "adjust preload steering box" you will find out all kinds of ways to do it.

P.S. - The textbook way is to take the box off the vehicle. I have never done that, I just keep tweaking it until it's where I want it. I've done this on all the vehicles we own - trucks, cars, medium duty trucks, etc.

A word of warning - this may cause your steering box to start leaking as it physically pulls the shaft in, and causes the seal to ride on a new, likely dirty and rusty portion of the shaft.
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:53 AM   #4
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Larry, The other front end component that contributes to the condition you describe, is the steering bell crank. The Freightliner XC OEM bell crank does have a reputation for wearing quickly and adding to the steering slop. Last year I had the bell crank on my 2005 XC replaced with one of these improved units sold by the SuperSteer division of Hendersons Lineup, and noticed an immediate improvement in my steering.
http://hendersonslineup.com/uncatego...r-bell-cranks/

No, Freightliner is not going to admit they chose to save some money by using cheap sleeve bushings which wear out quickly, or help you cover the cost of upgrading. But the cost was well worth it, in my opinion.

Jim
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:23 AM   #5
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Hi Larry,
I will add my .02 to what has been said.
I have a 2000 Winnebago on the Freightliner chasis. I too had decided that my box did not have an adjustment but after looking for the second or third time, I found it.
It is on the side of the box next to the frame.
There is a small hole in the frame so that you can adjust it. There is a lock nut which is a challenge to maneuver and mine has a screwdriver slot to adjust with.
I had the DW move the wheel back and forth a little while I turned the adjustment. We did a little bit at a time and I checked it.
The play in mine may have been a tiny bit less than yours but the amount of adjustment for me was from 2 o'clock to 4 o'clock if looking at a clock face. I simply noted where the slot was pointing when I started (2 o'clock).
As already stated, you need to check it very carefully after adjusting. If the wear is great and you adjust too much, it can lock the gears when turning outside the worn area, such as turning a sharp corner.
BTW, I added the Steer Safe product to mine and that made it more stable with less tendancy to wonder.
With those two changes, it made a world of difference in the handling. I can drink a cup of coffee and drive at the same time now in comfort.

Matt
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:46 PM   #6
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Thanks, 50pascals, Jim and Matt,
I really appreciate that information. I think my steering box different from those you described. The Pitman arm comes off the bottom and it does not have a bell crank.
I called Freightliner and the rep said it was a TRW but could not tell me the name of the manufacturer. The numbers on mine are 380587 Hydrapower; the other numbers are #648307 and #04708.
I think it would have to be taken off and do a bench adjustment. There is no way to access it because the top almost touches the bottom of the MH. Anyway, maybe someone who has this type of steering box might pick up this string and have some information.
Thanks again,
Larry
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:49 AM   #7
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I though I would post a photo of my steering box, just to clarify. Here is the link to the pic:

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=9111

Thanks
Larry
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:29 AM   #8
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You most definitely have an adjustment on the TRW box! Do as previously suggested and use your hands to feel around on the other side of the box from the picture you took. It's there, just as previously described. It's a protuding threaded stud with a hex (allen) hole in the end of the stud. It is locked by locking nut.

Adjusting it on the coach is a trial and error process. Do it in slow increments. 1/8 of a turn at a time. If you get it too tight, it is WORSE than too loose.

I have also done it another way. I jacked up the front end so that the front tires were off the ground. I put a dial indicator on a tire, and I moved the steering wheel back and forth 1 inch. As you tighten the box the registered movment on the tire will increase, and then it will not get any higher as you tighten the box. You want to adjust the box to that sweet spot where the movement in the tire is maximized but not even 1/16 of a turn past that.

It is easy to get it too tight. The symptoms of too tight are that you have to actually steer in in the intial direction, and then steer back in the other direction to get it to go straight.

Also check your front end alignment. If the front is neutral, or toed out, then the coach will wander like you describe. FL chassis likes 2/32 toe in. Trust me on that one.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:50 PM   #9
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loose steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragman View Post
The steering is loose on our 2001 Tradewinds LTC 39' riding on the Freightliner chasis. When driving down the highway, it seems that we have about 4 inches play in the steering wheel. When correcting to the right, I have to turn the wheel at least 4" back to the left and vice-versa. From under the coach, I can turn the shaft to the steering box by hand which I feel is way too much play.

I have read on another discussion that there is an adjustment on the steering box, but I cannot find one on mine. I have also read that Freightliner will only replace the steering box, at $$$$$, but will not do any adjustments.

We don't have a problem with trucks passing or high winds; only the amount of play in the steering.

Has anyone else had this problem with a Freightliner chassis? I would appreciate hearing from you.
Hi
I have a 04 Journey diesel with only 50k on it . I took it Freightliner in Fort Myers Fl and they told me that was normal for those coaches. After $182.00 They said it had no problem so I told them to take on the interstate and get up to 50 or 60 miles an hour so they came back to me and said I need a new steering box for over $4000.00s
I got a second opinion and found the grease fitting on the box had never been greased. My 2nd party greased it and it now drives fine. Cheap fix and it works. So much for local Freight liner in Fort Myers.
Wrenrag
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