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Old 09-03-2017, 07:54 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 29.4
State: California
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THOR #7257
Bad bushings (steering rod?) and sloppy steering issues

Hello,

We recently purchased used 2016 ACE 29.4 which only had 3800 miles from previous owner. During the preinspection, the technician pointed out we would need to get a bushing fixed/replaced but it was not urgent. We've taken 3 trips and noticed the RV seems to have sloppy steering. The steering wheel when straight is actually turned slightly to the left side. The bushing that is falling apart appears to be part of steering rod? I thought it was on the sway bar but I was wrong. Is this something we can easily fix or should I take it in to get repaired? Does it look like the rod is broken? I'm pretty much a do-it selfer. Anyone encounter this issue considering how low miles is on the RV? I've attached pics too.

We also suspect we need to get alignment work done which might help fix the issues. We have not yet done the CHF fix yet but plan to do it soon. As for freeplay in the steering wheel, does anyone know how much it should have? When all wheels are on the ground, I can rotate it 90 degrees (1/4th) and steering wheel easily moves back. It seems it should be more snug? (My car barely moves at all with any freeplay so not sure if MH are different? My car barely moves 2 fingers distance.


Thanks much,
Shelley
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:12 PM   #2
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THOR #7993
In my opinion there shouldn't be any play at all.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:26 PM   #3
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It appears someone has over greased that joint & blew the rubber boot apart & in that low mileage shouldn't affect the steering. Yes it should be replaced as with dirt/road grime getting into it will wear faster, but it's not critical to do it immediately. There are numerous threads on this & other forums about upgrades to do to improve the poor ride quality of the FORD chassis.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:33 PM   #4
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Several f53 chassis have had this problem. Mine was also ripped Ford replaced the whole bar under warranty

Jerry
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:37 PM   #5
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THOR #7607
There is an adjustment on the steering box that can remove some of that sloppy steering.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:05 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone, I don't know why I didn't consider contacting Ford to see if this can be covered under warranty as this is less than 2 years old. Thanks for the insight and I'll reply once I have new updates!
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Old 09-09-2017, 01:30 AM   #7
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You have to do more testing to find the source of the wheel play. This may or may not be it. With someone looking at it and another person in the coach moving the steering wheel back and forth you should be able to see it there is movement in the attached link area or not.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:32 PM   #8
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Hi all, just wanted to send quick update on where we're at. I had dropped off the MH at Ford Truck Service center and they were able to replace the steering rod/bushing all under warranty so all that's good.

However, I mentioned about my steering issues and requested to have alignment done. During their troubleshooting, they had determined that I had steering damper issue and that needed to be fixed. I was having difficulty hearing all details since I was on phone on the road (bad mistake) and later learned that the $800 charge that I authorized was to remove this "junk" aftermarket part. When I picked up the unit, the technician went over everything with me and explained that he did experience same issues as I did and spent couple hours unable to get alignment right so they removed the steering damper and now it pulls straight. Such as when you got to higher speeds, it appeared we would lose steering control (I noticed same thing) and I was always fighting and over correcting the coach. They confirmed it wouldn't compromise any safety and have done that with other RVs where they remove steering damper and problems were fixed. Drove it home and it drove so much easier and much less fighting with the steering wheel. However, it seemed more "sensitive" and easier to turn like I could just steer with 2 thumbs. Finally got home and opened the box of this "junk" bar and saw it was a Safety-T Plus bar. the previous owner obviously paid $$ to have this installed. Did I just get screwed? Or did they not know how to adjust these things? I think it drives better but I guess I could see how easy it was to steer and if one panicked, it would be easy to oversteer the coach? I have mixed feelings about this. Any thoughts? I'll post a separate thread soon.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snickwit View Post
Hi all, just wanted to send quick update on where we're at. I had dropped off the MH at Ford Truck Service center and they were able to replace the steering rod/bushing all under warranty so all that's good.

However, I mentioned about my steering issues and requested to have alignment done. During their troubleshooting, they had determined that I had steering damper issue and that needed to be fixed. I was having difficulty hearing all details since I was on phone on the road (bad mistake) and later learned that the $800 charge that I authorized was to remove this "junk" aftermarket part. When I picked up the unit, the technician went over everything with me and explained that he did experience same issues as I did and spent couple hours unable to get alignment right so they removed the steering damper and now it pulls straight. Such as when you got to higher speeds, it appeared we would lose steering control (I noticed same thing) and I was always fighting and over correcting the coach. They confirmed it wouldn't compromise any safety and have done that with other RVs where they remove steering damper and problems were fixed. Drove it home and it drove so much easier and much less fighting with the steering wheel. However, it seemed more "sensitive" and easier to turn like I could just steer with 2 thumbs. Finally got home and opened the box of this "junk" bar and saw it was a Safety-T Plus bar. the previous owner obviously paid $$ to have this installed. Did I just get screwed? Or did they not know how to adjust these things? I think it drives better but I guess I could see how easy it was to steer and if one panicked, it would be easy to oversteer the coach? I have mixed feelings about this. Any thoughts? I'll post a separate thread soon.
I have not read anyone yet on this forum that has regretted installing a Saf-T-Plus stablilizer. I am only guessing that it was not installed properly.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by axis earl View Post
I have not read anyone yet on this forum that has regretted installing a Saf-T-Plus stablilizer. I am only guessing that it was not installed properly.
I'm afraid you're right ...wish I had better communication on what they were doing and charging me so I could have stopped them and figured out better solution. On the plus side, it drives much better.
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Old 09-28-2017, 10:27 AM   #11
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$800 to remove a Safety Plus???
You said they replaced steering arm/ bushing under warranty... In my mind, that job should include an alignment - any replacement of a direct steering linkage should.

Would also expect an adjustment to be needed to a device like Safety Plus if doing an alignment.
I could see them charging for the adjustment since it is after market part. But if that were even an hour's labor...

I guess it's possible it was bad, but would be the first I have heard of.
Some discussion on whether it is worth the cost, but never seen a case where it made it worse.
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