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Old 10-15-2021, 02:23 PM   #1
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Front alignment

I'm in a shop to get the front end aligned and set as appropriate and need a quick answer hopefully. Specs?? I have seen some comments about setting caster at +5* to help stability. It drives good but some wandering above 55-60 and a feel of oversteer tendency. Looking to make more stable on the highway. A current bit of bump steer sort of like what torque steer in a FWD car. Bumps felt in steering. Maybe nature of the beast.

Followup later.

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Old 10-15-2021, 02:54 PM   #2
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When I had my SV34 alignment checked (using a very reputable heavy truck alignment shop), I was within spec.

Left Camber = 0
Right Canber = -3/16

Left Caster = +5
Right Caster = +5 1/2

Toe = 1/16" In

There was a TSB on the Heavy Duty Steering Damper where Ford increased the warranty because of complaints of a shimmy that would occur above 45MPH when bump steer occured.

I didn't have that issue but I replaced the stock steering damper with a Bielstein model anyway.
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Old 10-15-2021, 03:20 PM   #3
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Just got back from their test drive and the steering is bad in the coach. Steering box itself so the alignment shop is writing up the issue then I'll take it to the Ford dealer I referenced in another thread and get that process started. Looks like next weeks trip is off. No sense aligning since replacing the components will change it. They also said to go with the 5* caster I would need adjustable ball joints. I'll look into that after the steering is fixed.

Here I've been bragging about the great chassis and suspect house. Now a chassis issue and a serious one. I'm researching the recall on the F550 chassis for steering and haven't found it yet and the search on this site only gives me just mentioning it.

Bummer!!! 4500 miles on coach
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Old 10-15-2021, 03:42 PM   #4
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That is a major bummer.... and suprising. Ford generally makes a very good Heavy Duty Chassis.

Not that it helps but I would chalk it up to bad luck.... and I would think Ford would make good in getting the issue properly corrected. They may even handle the alignment as part of the fix.

Keep us posted.... I have 19,500 miles on mine after getting back from our trip and so far I am very pleased with the chassis.
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Old 10-15-2021, 04:31 PM   #5
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That is a major bummer.... and suprising. Ford generally makes a very good Heavy Duty Chassis.

Not that it helps but I would chalk it up to bad luck.... and I would think Ford would make good in getting the issue properly corrected. They may even handle the alignment as part of the fix.

Keep us posted.... I have 19,500 miles on mine after getting back from our trip and so far I am very pleased with the chassis.
Yep bad luck. The independent repair shop gave it a 9 in a 1-10 unsafe to drive guess. Steering has become noticeably difficult to low speed turn and noisy. A rapid progression of those issues. Girl friend coming to pick me up and we'll empty the refer and any adult beverages we might need. I don't feel comfortable driving it home and back. Gonna be next week before they can get into it.

So much for Jacksonville NAS for the first of November. Or taking it to the bayou like I planned next week. We have NW FL bayou/bay property off Choctawhatchie Bay.

Won't know anything till next week but I will keep the forum updated as I get info.

Happy traveling to some.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Judge View Post
When I had my SV34 alignment checked (using a very reputable heavy truck alignment shop), I was within spec.

Left Camber = 0
Right Canber = -3/16

Left Caster = +5
Right Caster = +5 1/2

Toe = 1/16" In

There was a TSB on the Heavy Duty Steering Damper where Ford increased the warranty because of complaints of a shimmy that would occur above 45MPH when bump steer occured.

I didn't have that issue but I replaced the stock steering damper with a Bielstein model anyway.
So as I understand those figures are what you started with and there was no adjustment required. The shop owner and mechanic said that to adjust required adjustable ball joints so if you, and others, had/have the 5* already, I'll see what I have before the expense of new ball joints. During the test drive the mechanic commented that the steering wheel was slightly off center and he felt the wandering could be attributed at least partially to a toe issue. Makes sense that one side fighting the other. That of course is different from the failing steering components. When I was repositioning the coach at the dealership, it was very difficult to turn the steering wheel to the left when I was making the initial turn from very slow speed. Got a few mph and it eased up. That's the new and rapid progression of the issue I referenced plus the increase in feedback experienced. Hate being "homeless".
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Old 10-16-2021, 02:02 PM   #7
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When I had my alignment done, my caster was set at -2! No wonder I couldn't control it. It is so happy at +5 (and so am I!)
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:30 PM   #8
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Front alignment

My steering wheel was off-center as well and I had them fix that when they checked my alignment.
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Old 10-16-2021, 04:35 PM   #9
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castor is adjusted by putting shims under the leaf springs, there are no ball joints
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:17 PM   #10
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castor is adjusted by putting shims under the leaf springs, there are no ball joints
Absolutely wrong. The F550 has coil springs and it does have ball joints.

Update on steering, Ford shop has started on it but haven't narrowed down the exact problems yet. Apparently acting like it's pumping air as one issue. Leak at another but reservoir was full and no peak detected at my place. I park it on a concrete slab under a pole barn. More to come hopefully soon.
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Old 10-23-2021, 01:23 PM   #11
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Class A RV alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by chunker21 View Post
I'm in a shop to get the front end aligned and set as appropriate and need a quick answer hopefully. Specs?? I have seen some comments about setting caster at +5* to help stability. It drives good but some wandering above 55-60 and a feel of oversteer tendency. Looking to make more stable on the highway. A current bit of bump steer sort of like what torque steer in a FWD car. Bumps felt in steering. Maybe nature of the beast.

Followup later.
I started learning to align cars and trucks when I was 14 in high school auto shop. I have been the shop foreman one of the most prestigious alignment shops in the country. Fort Worth Champion spring. I performed almost all of the alignments from motorhomes to fire trucks to Ferraris while I was there. I am now retired with over 57 years experience. You absolutely need at least five degrees caster, preferably 1/2 degree more positive on the right, between 0 and 1/4 camber plus or minus 1/8 . 1/16 inch + toe might be okay on a brand new chassis but I set my new one on 1/8 inch toe in. After I replaced the useless Ford steering stabilizer with a Safety Plus it drove perfectly.
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Old 10-23-2021, 02:01 PM   #12
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The Ford dealership probably can't or won't align your motorhome properly. Besides what I've already said the alignment shop for the radius arms may have to use eccentric cams for the radius arms. The only ones I've seen available are for up to F350s but they should be able to be drilled out to fit yours.
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Old 10-23-2021, 02:04 PM   #13
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I started learning to align cars and trucks when I was 14 in high school auto shop. I have been the shop foreman one of the most prestigious alignment shops in the country. Fort Worth Champion spring. I performed almost all of the alignments from motorhomes to fire trucks to Ferraris while I was there. I am now retired with over 57 years experience. You absolutely need at least five degrees caster, preferably 1/2 degree more positive on the right, between 0 and 1/4 camber plus or minus 1/8 . 1/16 inch + toe might be okay on a brand new chassis but I set my new one on 1/8 inch toe in. After I replaced the useless Ford steering stabilizer with a Safety Plus it drove perfectly.
Now that is the voice of experience! Could you also comment on the adjustable caster bushing required on Ford E350, E450 and maybe F53 chassis?

David
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Old 10-23-2021, 02:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Edki45 View Post
I started learning to align cars and trucks when I was 14 in high school auto shop. I have been the shop foreman one of the most prestigious alignment shops in the country. Fort Worth Champion spring. I performed almost all of the alignments from motorhomes to fire trucks to Ferraris while I was there. I am now retired with over 57 years experience. You absolutely need at least five degrees caster, preferably 1/2 degree more positive on the right, between 0 and 1/4 camber plus or minus 1/8 . 1/16 inch + toe might be okay on a brand new chassis but I set my new one on 1/8 inch toe in. After I replaced the useless Ford steering stabilizer with a Safety Plus it drove perfectly.
I have the Chevy chassis and had the alignment done. From the forums here I asked for a +5 caster adjustment. Man, what a difference! Like night and day. I knew the minute I started driving, there was a difference. I was afraid to go much faster than 60-65, but now it is happy at 75!

I also added a Roadmaster front sway bar and that helped with the roll from semi's.
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Old 10-23-2021, 07:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Edki45 View Post
The Ford dealership probably can't or won't align your motorhome properly. Besides what I've already said the alignment shop for the radius arms may have to use eccentric cams for the radius arms. The only ones I've seen available are for up to F350s but they should be able to be drilled out to fit yours.
Ford dealer isn't doing the alignment, they are doing warranty work on the steering failure. Not sure of all the problems yet, it's been at the dealer a week, but part was a line sucking air into the power steering pump and lines. Replacement hoses were ordered and 1 was wrong hose so reordered. They were hoping the pump wasn't damaged. Early next week I'll check with them for followup info. After it's fixed under warranty, I'll take it back to the alignment shop and they've already said they will set it at +5* caster.
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Old 10-23-2021, 08:31 PM   #16
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Ford dealer isn't doing the alignment, they are doing warranty work on the steering failure. Not sure of all the problems yet, it's been at the dealer a week, but part was a line sucking air into the power steering pump and lines. Replacement hoses were ordered and 1 was wrong hose so reordered. They were hoping the pump wasn't damaged. Early next week I'll check with them for followup info. After it's fixed under warranty, I'll take it back to the alignment shop and they've already said they will set it at +5* caster.
set the right side 5 and 1/2 degrees and you'll be a lot happier. I aligned cars, trucks and motorhomes for over 50 years until I retired just a few years ago. You also need to change the front sway bar and change the steering damper to a safety Plus. There are many other things that would help but those are the main ones.
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Old 10-24-2021, 05:19 PM   #17
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Sorry, I thought this was about class A f53 chassis.

Yes, coil springs and ball joints on the class C type chassis


[QUOTE=chunker21;319504]Absolutely wrong. The F550 has coil springs and it does have ball joints.

Update on steering, Ford shop has started on it but haven't narrowed down the exact problems yet. Apparently acting like it's pumping air as one issue. Leak at another but reservoir was full and no peak detected at my place. I park it on a concrete slab under a pole barn.
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Old 11-16-2021, 08:32 PM   #18
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Finished up

First the Ford dealer got the steering repaired. Apparently a hose leak that also sucked air, not sure how that is, but the pump noise and all is fixed. Took to to a truck tire place and got the alignment today and it drives much better. Attached is the numbers before and after.

Apparently the toe in was the major wandering issue.
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Old 11-16-2021, 08:52 PM   #19
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Glad you got it all fixed and the alignment corrected your steering woes.

I just got a Recall Notice from Ford today for the F550 but it doesn't look to impact us. The Recall says:

On your Vehicle, the installed second unit body may cause stress on the frame rail during use. Second body units with the concern are Aerial Bucket Trucks, Service Bodies with a Hoist, Roll-Off Wreckers and Waste Hauler Roll-Offs. If you have a different second unit body attached to your truck this program does not apply. Under certain use this stress may crack the frame rail behind the cab.

It doesn't mention motorhomes and since MORryde did the chassis extension, we are good to go
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