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Old 06-01-2020, 08:50 PM   #1
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Steering gearbox replacement?

I just got an 84 pace arrow, but unfortunately the steering gearbox is bad and needs replacing. Im having a hard time finding the right part. Any advice on where to find these older parts would be very appreciated.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:53 PM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2

I'll have to ask you to add more info about your RV.

Chassis manufacturer ?
Gas ? Diesel ?
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:04 PM   #3
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Sorry about that. It's a p30, chevy, and uses gas, not diesel.
I had to look that up, because I don't have any manuals or anything for it yet. Thanks for the quick response. ��
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:12 PM   #4
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Should be easy to find at your local auto parts store. The P chassis was used on a zillion heavy duty vans and trucks for many years. Look on the box for any numbers cast into the box. You may have to pull it and take it into a parts store.

I found one listed for a '84 P30 Motorhome, 454 engine, at Advance Auto Parts.

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/c4...54455444391685

Here's one at Auto Zone for a P30 Motorhome Chassis w/454 engine.

https://www.autozone.com/suspension-...0_0_6207_28336
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:57 PM   #5
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Thank you very much. I feel a little silly now, but every time I called a chevy parts store or even autozone, they kept telling me they don't make those parts anymore. So thank you for the link, it looks like the right part. I'll make sure it matches before I buy it but I'm not a mechanic myself, so I will have to find an expert next. I'll check those numbers on it if it isn't too worn down to read.
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:40 AM   #6
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All to often when dealing with a parts counter employee , if the vehicle you're working on , is older than they are , they won't put in the effort to get you what you need .
Having trouble getting parts for older vehicles , ask to speak to the oldest / longest term employee in the store.
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:58 AM   #7
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I'm lazy so I won't bother to get on the soap box opinion wise for this one.

But in short, as someone who worked for 3 different auto parts chains for a total of about 15 years the industry is deliberately shifting from the grumpy old guy who actually knows stuff behind the counter to the minimum wage teenager that won't be working there for more than 2 years.
They train for customer service first and mechanical knowledge maybe second.

The computer systems they use are specifically designed to be used by completely untrained idiots, they actually look more like web pages now.
If you can coach them through the lookup and feed the computer the info it needs to give an answer you are all good. Don't expect them to grab a catalog because the stores are no longer supplied with them. Some manufacturers have digital online catalogs but they can be difficult to access in store especially from the computers at the front counters.

If you are lucky you might still find an independent franchise napa or something with the grumpy old guy still in residence but its getting harder to find. Keep in mind those guys expect you to know what you are doing and will treat you like the idiot you are if you come in without the proper info or a clue what you are doing.

As far as age that's not a good indicator either, we had a lot of older people working part time as drivers or counter people that never learned mechanical stuff, and we also had old dogs that were uselessly incapable of learning new tricks (a huge problem at all three chains I worked for).
It doesn't matter if you can rebuild a carburetor with one hand in the dark if 98% of the people who come in the door have fuel injection.
Usually the stores try to keep at least one person with a clue on staff but they often move on to higher paying positions at dealer parts counters and whatnot.
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Old 06-02-2020, 12:07 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice.

I have heard lots of good things about these older pace arrows. Since everything is original, I am curious if I will need to upgrade the electrical system or not. Specifically whether or not the single 100ah battery will be enough to keep the fridge running all night when "boondocking?". I think that's the right term. Or is that a question for a different forum?
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Old 06-02-2020, 12:11 PM   #9
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Since you're not a mechanic, how do you know it's "bad"? What problem are you trying to fix?
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Old 06-02-2020, 12:17 PM   #10
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It's true im not a mechanic, but i did crawl under the thing with a mechanic that pointed out the issue to me for free, showing me the loose steering and the gearbox that seemed to be the problem. He explained that because the screw with the nut around it was already tightened down all the way and the steering was still loose, that it was just a matter of replacing that part.
He offered to fix it for free if i would do the dirty work of finding the right part.
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:32 PM   #11
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Its very possible that its that worn out on an old RV, but you need to actually see the input shaft of the box itself turning without the output shaft moving (its very slight movement due to the gear reduction) to be sure its worn enough to be worth replacing.
Turning the steering wheel while looking underneath can be super misleading.
Usually problems in the shaft parts between the box and the wheel itself or down below in other linkage parts cause more slop at the wheel.

EDIT: Also the way you described the adjustment on the box makes it sound like he has a misunderstanding of how it works.
Here is an example of the ghetto version of adjusting it.
https://bangshift.com/general-news/d...ith-two-tools/

As far as the battery question its best for another thread so the title fits the topic and more people will answer it. I don't have a DC fridge (mine is AC/Propane only) so I can't say for sure how long it will run on batteries. It does seem a tad odd that it only has one though, you are for sure looking at the correct set of batteries right?
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:42 PM   #12
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One regular car battery, and one deep cycle only. I can wait on the battery issue though, so it's not a big deal right now.

The steering though... I did get to see the shaft turn with the steering wheel leading into the gearbox but that was where it stopped, or didn't stop? I'm sure I'm doing a terrible job of explaining this. The wheel had about a quarter turn of nothing before the tires would move at all, and the movement ended at the gearbox. So I do believe that the output shaft did not move for the quarter turn of the steering wheel.

I hope that makes sense.
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:13 PM   #13
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Not sure if the pic will show up right but this is the shaft coming down from the steering wheel (upper right) and the joint right as it goes into the box, grab onto that part and turn it back and forth (if you have the steering locked it might prevent that) you should see the arm on the other end of the box move slightly without delay but it doesn't turn anywhere near as fast as the shaft on the top side.
I just did this on mine and 1/8" to 1/4" of turning on that part didn't budge the wheels but then I have a lot of somewhat worn parts adding up slop after the box on mine.

EDIT: On the topic of batteries
http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm

One battery is really not enough for deep cycle, its what the factory often sticks in there because its cheap but usually there is room for two.
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:31 PM   #14
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If you Tell People where you are located you Will Receive Better info on a business who will best serve you. Here in So Cal I have the best supplier in the business, just incase here is the link, They Know there STUFF

https://babsteering.com
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