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Author Topic: How much steering input is normal?  (Read 6956 times)
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« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2009, 06:13:04 AM »

Have you tslked to ABC in Faribault or Jefferson Lines here in the cities about your issues? Seems that the leasing and touring company mechanics would have alot of experience dealing with steering issues.

I haven't been to ABC or Jefferson, but I have been to C&J Bus Repair, Precision Frame and Alignment in Elk River, MN, and BK's shop in Tennessee.

The amount of steering play may be perfectly normal for a large vehicle.  I just don't know.  I used to have a 2005 F-350 and a VW Golf.  Even the F-350 steering felt sloppy after driving te Golf for a month.

We'll have to get together after it warms up and the weight limits are off the roads.

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN

« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2009, 06:28:36 AM »

All this talk about the bus wandering. Maybe I'm missing something but I drive an E250 van almost every day and it tracks really well loaded or not and when I jump in the bus, sometimes I forget that I'm actually driving the bus because it feels the same. Solid, straight, no wander at all! Could it just be my style of driving or could it be the bus, or maybe the type tires on the bus? Radials versus bias maybe? Radials on mine all the way around!
If you were closer and my bus was out of the shop (shouldn't be too much longer) you could drive it and sample the feel!

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« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2009, 07:53:10 AM »

About adjusting that steering gear.  I'll assume that it is the same basic design as a car.  You can't tell if it is too tight from the wheel.  You can only tell if it is too loose or WAY to tight.  If you look at the innards you should see that there is enormous forces in there.  If it is much too tight I honestly think it could split the box open.  Grim!

Here is how I did it after getting mine to tight.  If you adjust for zero lash at the center where it wears the fastest, when you turn to lock you will have the gear in bind.  No way to predict this.  Instead, turn the wheel to lock and adjust for zero lash.  Then turn back to center and see how much play you have.  If it too much you must rebuild.  My manuals all say that this adjustment MUST be done with the box on the bench.  I always jack my front up at the wheel frame so I can manually push the wheel from lock to lock.

Does that bus have king pins?  I had a tight king pin and it didn't let the wheel come back to center.  Was an absolute nightmare to drive.  Constant attention.  Anything in the suspension that binds will give the same result.

A friend has a shop here in Eugene.  He was sent a Beaver coach by Beaver to evaluate.  The owner, unhappy fellow, said the thing wandered on the road and was unpleasant to drive.  Ron asked me to lay under the front and look for anything unusual whuile he turned the wheel with the engine running.  What I saw absolutely AMAZED me.  The steering gear was mounted in this very sturdy looking welded plate steel three sided box like structure.  Vert stout looking.  As Ron rocked the wheel back and forth that entire box was twisting like it was made of rubber.  An inch or more each way.  Ron said that on the road and hitting a chuck hole it must have moved a lot more.  He constructed a series of heavy duty braces for the box after he reinforced.  No more movement.  The owner said if he wasn't right back he was probably back on the road and things had improved.  He called an hour later and said the thing drove like it was on rails.  Ron called Beaver to advise them of the resolution and original problem to which the service engineer said "no sh#t HuhHuh"  Made a believer out of me and I advise everyone with a problem to do that analysis.  It is cheap and you get a look at all the ball joints and pivot points/idler arms as well.



"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
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'75 MC8 8V71 HT740

« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2009, 08:27:59 AM »

re: tag axle air regulator

the regulator is mounted on the vertical bulkhead just under where the washroom door threshold was/is.

With the right contortions, you reach them down through the floor access panel, and drop the pair of 7/16 wrenches you are using with one hand repeatedly... get an assistant to crawl underneath and play catch and return.

There is one for the regular running air pressure, supposed to be set to 35 lbs for MC7/8/9, and a second one set to 15 lbs that comes into play when the tag unload switch is activated from the driver's position.

I would caution that from a practical standpoint, you want enough downforce on the tag tires that they will not lock and slide under braking, but not much more than that.

The rating on that axle is only 6000 lbs to begin with, and tag axle structure failure may be brought about earlier, the heavier you load them up. The steel framing that the air bag is attached to cracks or crumples, rust being your unfriendly assistant.

(Side note: some periodic inspection by an experienced bus body guy of the framing around the tags would be a money well spent. Yes, he is going to whack on your frame with a sharp hammer, trying to make holes... better than having the thing crumple while under way, that'll ruin your day!)

I had the chance to mess with a pair of MC8's (while someone else was paying for the flat spots on the tires!) one would slide the tag readily, with downforce in the 3500 lb neighbourhood, the other didn't with around 4200 lbs downforce. Everyone blamed the brakes, loosen off the adjustment blah blah..well, then there's no braking help at that wheel, never mind enforcement activity.... and in those early days, I was fooled too, then I did some reading....The regulator on the first was found to be putting less air, bench set back to 35 lbs and it stopped ruining tires.

So, when it comes to trouble at the ground, best to never mind being fooled by what little we know, or be mislead by those who know just as little, but get paid for it, just ensure everything that touches the ground is up to spec, all the way back to the frame mounting.

A little jack work, a little measuring, a little watching and a little pry bar in the right places to expose unwanted movement in parts.

happy coaching!


Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area
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« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2009, 08:55:14 AM »

Thanks BW, that was the perfect post for me, just what I was looking for.

Have Fun!!
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