Author Topic: Loose steering - What to check, recommendations  (Read 164 times)

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Offline mrtweaver

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  • Member since: 2021
  • I own a: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1986
  • Model: Coachmen
  • Chassis: Chevy P30
  • Engine: 7.4 V8
Loose steering - What to check, recommendations
« on: May 17, 2021, 08:52 AM »
Good day, my name is Martin, I just joined this site, in 2019 came across a deal i could not pass up, the wife and i bought a 1986 coachman, and since that time i have had it inspected twice. Both times it has passed, but i do question if the guy checks everything as he should. As I told them when i last took it in, if i am driving it 55 and lower it handles pretty good, not a lot of issues, but go above 55 and its a whole new ball game. After doing some research and finding this site one of the things that is mentioned is a steering dampener, which i am not certain if that is being checked or not. But another thing that has become of interest to me is these steering safety things, i know there is one by Safe T Plus and the other is by Steer Safe and there might be others as well. So i am writing to ask the other users in this forum the following questions:

How does one test the steering dampening to make sure it is working properly?

Has anyone here used these steering safety things, what are the pros and cons about them?

Which one(s) have you used?

Thanks for any information you can provide.

Offline Oz

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  • Year: 1974
  • Model: D24 Indian
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Loose steering - What to check, recommendations
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2021, 05:55 PM »
Loose steering can involve a lot more than a worn steering damper.  And, add-ons are only a band aid.  They don't cure the problem.

Loose steering -  ball joints, tie rod ends, steering gear wear.

Offline eXodus

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  • Year: 2003
  • Model: Trail Lite
  • Chassis: Chevy P32
  • Engine: 350 Vortec
Re: Loose steering - What to check, recommendations
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2021, 04:21 AM »
The good news is - it's probably fixable. The bad news it might be a expensive undertaking just throwing parts at it to check.

The p30 steering assembly has a bunch of parts, which you need to check for play and see if they are adequate greased.

https://www.wholesalegmpartsonline.com/showassembly.aspx?ukey_product=2777650&ukey_assembly=427964

With adequate safety precautions (Handbrake engaged, blocks under the wheels to prevent accidental rolling)
You need a helper at the wheel and you have to look at each of the joints.

The helper alternates between half a turn left and right - and you see if any of the connections have play. Everything with a grease nipple needs to be checked.

One of the things which wear out first, are the bell cranks (27 and 38 on the picture) and since all other components hangs from those things - they are crucial important for steering feel. They can not have play, not a single wiggle.
The driver side usually is broken first.

Get the replacement from SuperSteer Bell Crank for Workhorse/Chevy P3032 RV Chassis

Offline Xephyr Xruxible

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  • Year: 1985
  • Model: Chieftain 22
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  • Engine: 7.4L 4 Brl.-Carbd. V8 16V DOHC
Re: Loose steering - What to check, recommendations
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2021, 04:48 PM »
I'm with Oz on this. Here's why:

I had inherited a '77 Dodge Ram W100 PowerWagon 4X4 from my late grandfather that had loose steering the entire time I had it. I loved that truck but I was very low income, so, I decided to work on it myself. It's just steering. How hard can it be right!

The truck's service came to an abrupt halt after the problem finnaly revealed its self in the most expensive and nearly leathal way when the "Backing Plate" finnaly wore through pushing the axle out of the control arm destroying the: Control Arm, Disk Brake Caliper piston assembly, Brake Disk Rotor and various other parts. All because of, wait for it, bad bearings. Yea, like that.

Thankfully I was on city roads merely driving between lights, so, the result was more a miracle that it seemed at the time. There were no injuries and no colisions. However, it had to be scrapped. I got a measley $75 for an heirloom! I'm still fuming about that.

THE RUB: Don't take your life and the lives of others into your hands by trying to save money. It's not worth it. Have a genuinely experienced person inspect it. I'm just looking out for you. Not trying to scare you. It's just that, an RV is not a 3 Ton, snub nosed bane to anything it comes across. It's more like a 5 Ton +, Top-Heavy, Tissue Box. I still pucker when making turns. *shiver*

Be Safe,
Xephyr Xruxible
(Pronounced: Zephyr Crucible)

Offline Oz

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  • Year: 1974
  • Model: D24 Indian
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Re: Loose steering - What to check, recommendations
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2021, 08:04 AM »
Wow, excellent account of the incident.  You were truly lucky that it happened under those conditions.  And, I bet that incident will always be a very sore memory for you.  Very sad to hear, but very glad you, and no one else, were hurt.