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Author Topic: Bus steering  (Read 4683 times)
loadera10
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1985 Eagle Model 10




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« on: December 06, 2007, 02:42:09 PM »

My bus has a ross steering gear with a bendix hydraulic assist. After the holidays I'm having the steering box rebuilt. Has anyone with this type of steering setup ever converted to a true powersteering setup?
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Mike Chappell
1985 Eagle Model 10
8v71
Allison Auto
Bossier City La
Tony LEE
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2007, 03:29:22 PM »

You'll probably find that a rebuild won't improve things as much as you hope. That box was deliberately designed with inbuilt wander as a safety feature. It kept the driver awake.

There is a kit to install full power steering and the instructions are available on the net for those able to DIY, or there are steering specialists that carry it out as well. Cost is between 2 and 3k$
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loadera10
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1985 Eagle Model 10




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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2007, 03:41:03 PM »

The bus has 7-8 inches of slack. I have been driving this bus off and on for 23 years. It has gotten this slack recently. King pins, tie rods,center link are all slack free.
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Mike Chappell
1985 Eagle Model 10
8v71
Allison Auto
Bossier City La
Dallas
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2007, 03:52:58 PM »

Try replacing the radius arm bushings in the rear, and make certain the front end bushings are all in good shape.

Steering wander usually doesn't show up all at once, but a bushing falling apart from age will cause the problem.

IHTH

Dallas
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NCbob
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"Foolish Pleasure" 35' MC5A




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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2007, 04:20:33 PM »

My old MC5A has a conversion to Ross Steering, and while it has some leaks (it's oooooold version) it gets me from point A to point B.

Egad guys! Some of us armchair engineers would like to redesign some of these old road whores into something other than what they were designed to do...run the road without problems, as they were designed to do. But the reality of it is that we are sorely adept at understanding what the Masters had in mind for what we now think as treasures of history.

On this Board are many who have lived most of their lives behind the steering wheels of these gems and can tell us stories that would probably curl our toes!

There are Ross cores out there that we can buy for $100 bucks and rebuild, or have rebuilt by re builder's and be way ahead of most....and be safer than we might have thought.
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loadera10
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1985 Eagle Model 10




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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2007, 04:42:04 PM »

The bus started to get steering slop around 4 years ago. About 50,000 miles in that time. As I listed above some of the front end parts have been replaced .
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Mike Chappell
1985 Eagle Model 10
8v71
Allison Auto
Bossier City La
gus
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2007, 06:47:33 PM »

load,

I have no idea if your steering is the same as my '54 GMC 4104 which is manual/hyd boosted. If it is it is very easy to adjust. All it takes is a screwdriver and about a 11/16" wrench.

Mine had aboiut 3-4" at the wheel rim when I got it and I adjusted it so there is 1/2 -1" now, quite a change and now a delight to drive.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
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1965 MC-5a




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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2007, 07:21:14 PM »

I had integral power steering installed on my 1967 Superior.  I am not sure what pump it has--maybe Ross, but he used a Saganaw power steering box.  We connected that to a steering column out of an old Cadillac.  Except for the fact that I could never get rid of a humming coming from the box (for which I have tried every get-rid-of the-air idea that was suggested), it works great and can be driven with one finger.  Since my MC-5a already has a pump, I had thought that if I ever wanted to change from power assist to real power steering, I would just have to get an adequate power steering box of any make and hook it up.  Am I wrong?

It will take some time to decide if I like the hydraulic power assist.  I still think that maybe I will get used to it.
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TomCat
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2007, 09:03:30 PM »

The bus has 7-8 inches of slack. I have been driving this bus off and on for 23 years. It has gotten this slack recently. King pins, tie rods,center link are all slack free.

My coach has several U joints on the steering column that each have just a perceptable amount of slack in them. Everything in the drag link is tight, but when I get on really rough road, the u joint slack shows up. I also have a Steer Safe stabilizer installed.

Got u joints in your steering shaft?

Jay
87 SaftLiner
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TomC
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2007, 10:35:58 PM »

On my AMGeneral transit I had manual steering with air assist-which isn't so different than what you have.  I liked it at first because of the simplicity and the fact you could turn off the air supply if something blew and then just go down the road with manual steering.  But- with everything tight in the steering, the sensor for the air cylinder had built in slop that became very busy at highway speed-but was alright around town (remember a transit bus).  Also I got tired of the 8 1/2 turns lock to lock, and my wife was freaked by the sloppy steering.  I had full Sheppard power steering installed (integral-all in the steering box).  Now I have finger tip steering with only 4 1/2 turns lock to lock and love it.  Do yourself a favor and upgrade to full integral steering-it is truly an improvement.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2007, 11:00:29 PM »

About those ujoints.  I had ujoints in my stearing in an old truck....a Land Cruiser is a truck, right?  Well that puppy was not easy to stear when i got her but she became progresively worse.  Tinkered with a lot of it and always came back to those ujoints that "had absolutely no play in them at all" that were "obviously" good.  In sheer desperation i took the stearing line apart and learned that those ujoints were filled with hardened tar like grease.  After cleaning and lubing them on a Sat afternoon they were loose as a goose and I replaced them for the GOAL!!!!  Is there a moral here?  Dunno!

John
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gumpy
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2007, 06:47:46 AM »

That box was deliberately designed with inbuilt wander as a safety feature. It kept the driver awake.


BULL!!!

There's no way you'll ever convince me that MCI deliberately designed play in the steering system of any bus they ever built unless you
can actually produce documentation from MCI stating such.

The first MC8 I purchased had a brand new steering box in it that had been installed before the PO purchased it. It was a new box, not a rebuilt. It was the non-integral system with the hydraulic assist ram. That bus drove better than my current MC9 with rebuilt integral box or any other bus I've driven, for that matter (though I've not driven that many). It was such a pleasure to drive that 8. I still sometimes wish I'd kept it
instead of buying the MC9.

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Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
Barn Owl
Roanoke, VA
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PD4106-1063 "Wheezy Bus"




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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2007, 07:16:36 AM »

I am replacing the tired Sheppard steering setup on my bus with a good used takeoff from NIMCO. They have the pump, reservoir, and steering box for less than $500 (That’s everything you would need). Hard to beat that deal. They have several different setups to choose from depending on your bus.

Nimco link:

http://www.nimcobus.com/

I have talked to several bus mechanics that have dealt with them and they say you will not find a better company to deal with and they stand behind their parts. They have been very good to me and are very generous with their time. My father picked up my parts Wednesday and his first comment was how nice they were. Worth talking to them before you make a decision. They also have engines, air compressors, transmissions, air dryers, etc…….HTH.

Laryn
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
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TomC
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2007, 09:02:17 AM »

Laryn- Your present Sheppard (power?) steering will be alot cheaper to rebuild then to replace with a take out.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2007, 09:20:52 AM »

Tom,

I had to get a new pump and reservoir because it was worn out and too small for the steering box (old 4104 unit, 1000psi; needed the larger pump, and my old reservoir isn't compatable with the larger one). I checked several places to rebuild the box and the least expensive was $450 plus shipping back and forth and I still would have to get a pump and reservoir. After talking to several "Old time GM Mechanics" and one re builder about my situation they talked me into going with NIMCO. I will post results when I get them. NIMCO scraps hundreds of buses and I am told by their rep that they only salvage a fraction of what is heading to the shredder, and keep only the best. If there was a better option out there I must have missed it. Oh well, we will see how this turns out.

Laryn
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 09:22:43 AM by Barn Owl » Logged

L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
It’s the education gained, and the ability to apply, and share, what we learn.
Have fun, be great, that way you have Great Fun!
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