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Author Topic: clipper power steering air assist  (Read 1302 times)
tom120
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« on: January 21, 2012, 06:30:14 AM »

has anybody done an air assisted steering conversion on a clipper? thanks
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TomC
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 12:32:26 PM »

Air assist sounds good on paper, but because of the inherent looseness of the air actuating valve, when you get up to highway speeds, you'll be doing ALOT of steering corrections.  I had air assist on my bus-it worked well at slow city speeds, but was not very direct at highway speeds.  I then scored on a used Sheppard hydraulic steering box (it mounts on the axle) and had that installed.  My steering went from 8 turns to 3.5 turns lock to lock.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 01:59:06 PM »

FWIW, if you do a lot of low speed turning, backing and turning and stuff, you can quickly run out of air.  This was a concern with the old 1963 Crown school bus I drove years ago; turning getting unstuck in snow and ice would run out the air in no time at all.  At highway speed the steering felt just like a manual setup.  Heavy.  Hope this helps.  HB of CJ (old coot)
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wg4t50
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2012, 03:46:55 PM »

Once drove a F Series Mack that had the air power steering setup, NO one liked it, very sloppy at highway speeds, do not recall the air useage issue, but do recall the poor steering.  Mack manual gear box is so much better than the air joke.
For you truckers, I drove a few years in a FS700L Mack COE, 180" WB, manual steering, then into a KW 150" WB with power steering, took long time to get used to that, hard to hit right dock for a while.  Grin
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trucktramp
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 07:35:07 PM »

I can pretty much agree with everyone else.  I haven't had air assist on a bus but I did have one on a Freightliner cabover and I thought it was worthless.  Backing into tight docks that required many corrections always ran me out of air.  On the highway, I may as well had full manual steering.  The truck wandered bad.  This may have been other problems but it was a handful to drive.  Personally, I wouldn't waste any money on air assist.
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Dennis Watson
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1966 MCI MC5A
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luvrbus
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2012, 05:15:10 PM »

Don't know about other buses air assist on a Eagle the book tells you to it turn off when driving on the highways and they were worthless on a Eagle also lol beats nothing I guess
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chev49
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2012, 08:24:16 PM »

I had air assist on my last bus, and i'd say it was fine up to 30mph or so...not so good at 70...
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47FLXclipper
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2012, 02:03:01 PM »

Tom - check out this thread at FLXforums, discusses a power steering setup for Clippers designed by an Aussie FLX group member that isn't rocket science and works well

Bill
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1947 Flxible Clipper on Vancouver Island
tom120
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2012, 05:59:19 PM »

thanks for all the input. ive been in contact with Bill at Babsteering. very knowledgeable guy who is suggesting a hydraulic steering assist. he first wants me to check out the steering box for the correct lube and then walk me thru the adjustment of the box. box has almost no play as bus has less than 100k. but upon inspection i did find very loose mounting bolts on the box. i believe that could explain some lane wandering issues. will be in touch with Bill about this tomorrow and will update periodically. he says all of these buses were designed to travel in the lane very easily with minimal input or correcting--which leads to overcorrecting. adding power steering will not fix that issue. he will be checking all steering components first. thanks again. tom
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