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Old 10-14-2021, 08:11 PM   #1
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Freightliner XCR Chassis Handling Deteriorating

Greetings!
The handling of my regularly maintained 2009 Triple E RV Invitation QSDP Class A motorhome on a Freightliner XCR chassis with 68,000 km has been deteriorating over the past few years. Steering requires more frequent and greater corrections and is more affected by variations in road surface, side-winds, passing large vehicles, etc , than previously. All chassis suspension and steering components are OEM. All 6 tires were replaced in 2016 and are bead balanced. A TST TPMS is used to routinely monitor tires with adjustments made as indicated. Wheel alignment is ok. I am considering replacing/adding specific components as follows:
1. Replacing the OEM Steering Bell Crank with a SuperSteer Steering Bell Crank.
2. Replacing the original Front and Rear Sachs Shock Absorbers with Koni FSD Shocks.
3. Adding a Blue Safe-T-Plus Steering Stabilizer.
4. Replacing the bushings on the front Sway Bar.

Your considered advice and constructive comments will be much appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 10-14-2021, 08:25 PM   #2
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I’ll suggest bushings and shocks first then go for a ride.
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Old 10-15-2021, 01:15 AM   #3
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How many miles is 68,000 km? I don’t do metrics.
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Old 10-15-2021, 06:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNSNWT View Post
I’ll suggest bushings and shocks first then go for a ride.
See #2 & #4 above

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Old 10-15-2021, 06:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
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How many miles is 68,000 km? I don’t do metrics.


In future I will provide miles as well. 68,000 km x .6214 = 42,255 miles. Thanks.
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:48 AM   #6
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How many miles is 68,000 km? I don’t do metrics.
About 42K miles if I counted on my fingers and toes correctly
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:25 PM   #7
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See #2 & #4 above

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I think he means to try #2 & #4 and then see how it drives before doing #1 & #3.

Personally I would try #2 & #3 first and see how it drives.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:36 PM   #8
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I had the same issue on my previous coach, a 2007 with the XC chassis and about the same mileage. My plan to address the issue covered the same four areas that you listed. I did the most expensive change first, items #1 and #3, and the improvement was markedly better and the coach much easier to drive.


If I were to do it again, I would address the wear items first, shocks and bushings. I did not get to those before I sold the coach, but, logically, they would be the first to go bad. Also, consider the bushings in the drag link. Change those things out and test drive. If you still need stability, go to the Safe-T-Plus, then the bell crank.


Keep this in mind. The Safe-T-Plus works to keep the wheels pointing straight, but the tendency to wander is due to slop in the suspension parts. You may feel an improvement, but the cause of the wandering is still present, it's just being masked. It doesn't take a lot of mileage for rubber components to shrink and lose their ability to prevent unwanted movement. The geometry of the steer wheels is such that there are several areas where components, bushed by rubber, can loosen.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:57 PM   #9
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Actually, the very first thing I would do is check steering components for PLAY.


Takes maybe 5 minutes. If there are worn components, all the other "fixes" will still leave you wanting.


While under there, DO check front sway bar bushings. Just a little wear/looseness on the 8 bushings can render the sway bar pretty ineffective. Easy to replace with basic hand tools. Go polyurethane.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:05 PM   #10
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It sounds to me like you have some worn steering components. Since shocks damp vertical motion and you didn't say you were having issues with excessive bouncing or porpoising I wouldn't think shocks are the issue. The bellcrank is a distinct possibility along with any other steering components like tie rod ends and the like. Anything that moves the wheels in a horizontal direction. It could also be kingpins or ball joints depending on which you have. I agree that a steering stabilizer will only mask any issues you may have. If you didn't need one before something has changed and once you find the issue you shouldn't need one now. You may want to double check that your tire pressures are appropriate for the load they are carrying. The sway bar may have some effect on the steering if the coach is rolling over (leaning) when being passed by semis etc. thereby inducing some bump steer. Since it drove fine at one point I would try and figure out what has worn to cause the issues you are having today and not just start replacing parts willy nilly. It's a waste of good money much better used for some fun thing. Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2021, 02:36 PM   #11
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Check alignment after doing most of your own suggestions. I've got almost 50k (80k kms) handles very good. 68k kms is not much.
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Old 11-21-2021, 04:58 PM   #12
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Thanks so much to everyone for taking the time to provide your thoughtful comments and advice! ​
At this point I have decided to:
1. Replace the OEM Steering Bell Crank with a SuperSteer Steering Bell Crank.
2. Replace the original Front and Rear Sachs Shock Absorbers with Koni FSD Shocks.
3. Replace the bushings on the front Sway Bar.
4. Recheck the Wheel Alignment.
​I have ordered all parts, although some are on back order due to supply chain issues. Our coach is currently in enclosed storage at home for the winter, so hopefully all parts will arrive in time for installation before we resume our adventures in the spring!
I'll await the results of the foregoing before making any decision regarding adding a Safe-T-Plus Steering Stabilizer.
Your assistance is appreciated.
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