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Steering Adjustment

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Steering Adjustment
Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:59 pm


Moderator Note: I moved this subject to the tech forum, since it contains good technical information. I also took the liberty of adding the word adjustment to the title.

Jim

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I have just gotten my bus to the point where I can drive it on the highway. I have not been on a four lane, but two is about to much to handle. It seems to constantly drift left to right. I have stood outside and turned the wheel with the engine runnung. The slightest movement of the steering is seen in the wheels. There dosen't seem to be anything loose. The old 05 I had had no power steering and was a one hand driver on the road. This one has power and seems to be everywhere!! Any suggestions?
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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Re: Steering
Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:06 pm


Eric, My 05 didnot have power stering when I bought it. I put power stering on it and it was hell to drive. The first thing I found wrong is the stering box was not centered. This means that when you are not turning the box is not calling for power boost from the system. In the center position fluild is not helping you steer. Mine was off just enough that there was power to the system and any movement of the stering wheel was exagerated. If you check for the box bieng centered you have the disconnect the rod that goes form the stering box back to the stering axle ( I don't know the name of this rod) making sure your tire are straight foward. Then by moving the stering box from all way left to all the way right and then move it back to half way between you should be centered. Then adjust any difference in length of the rod by turning the end in or out.

The next thing I found is not as easy to fix because it is the way the bus was made that being caster. The 05 was made to but at most 1 and 1/2 2 percent of caster it the front end. The more caster the harder it is the steer so there is not much caster in the bus because they didnot have power sterring. Newer trucks have as much as 4 and 5 percent of caster in them. By putting caster in a wheel when you turn you actually lift the bus to turn thus the tires will always try to run straight when you are not turning. Butting caster in the front end is not very easy. This is done by moving the thoralastic toward the front of the bus or by adding shims to the front of the upper control arm. But when you do this you also mess with the camber so you might have to remove shims from the back of the control arm. This is not and easy thing to do. Also to change any caster setting you must loosen the large nut that holds the assemble on and lossen it from the tapered pin so it will move. Some will tell you that you have to have the same amount of shims in the front as in the rear of the upper control arm. I am not convinced this is right I see no other way to add caster to the front end. You might want to take to an alignment shop and have it checked. there are very few shops that know how to align an Eagle. One of the best is Kaiser in Eugene Oregon. But you will never get more than 2 percent if you are lucky any more will start to but things in a bind.

The third thing is to make sure the drive axle is pushing you straigth and the tag axles are also straight. A three axle alignment is strongly advised. sorry for the long answer but I don't think the answer is an easy one

Good Luck wayne
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Re: Steering
Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:33 pm


Does anyone know of a shop around upstate South Carolina that can work an Eagle front end alignment?
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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Re: Steering Adjustment
Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:40 pm


As I noted in the first post of this thread, I have moved it to the tech forum.

In addition to Wayne's excellent post, I would add that you want to check your wheel bearing adjustment (see thread in tech forum).

I am not sure that you get a good reading on parts wear by looking at tire movement. Crawl under the bus (block first) and have someone work the steering wheel back an forth. Look at each tie rod end and each bushing on the A-arm for any movement. Carefully put your fingers on the parts to see if you feel any "clunking". My guess is that you will find some worn out tie rods and maybe some A-arm busing/king pin wear. You can check the A-arm bushings by removing the cap on the back side of the upper and lower pivot points of the spindle.

If you take it to a good shop, make sure they really check it for wear in all the various locations.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net (Please email me rather than use the PM process)
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Re: Steering Adjustment
Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:25 am


Eric, not from S.C I don't know of a shop but most truck shops do the 3 axle alignments.You will need to buy the shims for the front and the tapered spacers for the boogies from Jefferson they will not have those.The rear is adjusted by the long rods with 2 nuts on each side if somebody has welded the nuts on the rod as I have seen that done you need to replace those and that can be done by replacing the bolts in the rod.On the front where the Allen bolts are on the upper A frame soak those with Parts Blaster for about a week and hope you can remove those they can be a bitch.The boogies don't give you much of a problem it is that they use a tapered shim that no one has in stock expect Jefferson or Kasier .When you have the right shocks and every thing is in alignment you have a great driving bus.Jack your side up that is pulling to if there is slack in the bottom of the A frame where the spinle is connected you will have to replace those.Kasier does my alignments also he makes a Eagle easy to drive good luck
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Re: Steering Adjustment
Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:56 am


It doesen't seem to be pulling. It just wanders constantly. I am correcting constantly. Sometimes I think the thing gets plumb sideways, or thats how it felt yesterday when I got it up to speed. I did remove the big steerinf wheel an put a slightly smaller one with a tilt telescope. It seems that the smaller wheel should not make a big differance. I raised the drivers area and had a special u joint made. The front mount on the steerin box was all rusted so I replaced all of that. Don't think anything there is moving.
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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Re: Steering Adjustment
Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:22 am


Eric, I don't have time today to post it but if you do not have a trouble shooting guide I can post you one tonght about wandering from the TRW manual. Or if you would like I can mail you the manual and you can return it to me later
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Re: Steering Adjustment
Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:22 pm


This is a subject that I have great interest in because I have the same problem. Constant corrections and what seems to be excessive steering wheel free travel. I installed all new wheel bearings and converted to oil hub seals. I inspected all rod ends and found no worn ones. Then I had a good Eagle mechanic check them again, on a lift. Then I took the bus to Kaiser and had the front end aligned and a 3 axle alignment. They checked all the rod ends a third time as well as everything else. The caster/camber and track is all perfect. I had them tighten the box adjustment slightly. This is all after I had installed all new brakes, brake chambers and turned all drums and installed new wheels and tires all around. I am careful to keep all my air pressures perfect. I suspected perhaps the new tilt/tele column or u-joint so I inspected that; there is zero free play in either. I wanted to install a Howard Power Center steering unit, and called them about 2 years ago. Their salesman told me they never made a OEM unit for Eagle, and they have since gone out of business anyway I think. Kaiser said they have installed them and if I could locate some parts maybe they could build a unit for me. I am wondering what to do next. I also wonder if, after repowering to my ISM, the P/S pump pressure is not compatible with the Ross steering box or the spool valve is not set right, or some other steering box issue. Keeping in mind that the bus only has 150,000 total coach miles on it. Kaiser did say that it might come down to having to put a new box on it. Basically, this is a head scratcher because everything has been checked out except maybe the box. I have covered all the points in the trouble shooting section of the manual. What do you guys think?
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Re: Steering Adjustment
Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:10 pm


To continue my rant I to have trouble with my 05 wandering all the time.Sence Kaiser has aligned it it is better. I still have the same front tires and I think this is part of the problem as I am to cheap to change them untill I get a few more miles on them. The stering box does have to be matched to the pump. There are different pressures and flow rates of stering boxes and pumps. I had this problem and Bab stering out of California help me straighten it out with the proper stering box. Boomer how mush caster do you have in your front end ? I know I harp on the caster thing but it seems to me if the caster is the same on both sides and close to 2 percent the coach will not wander. Caster will make the stering go back to straight all by it's self if set right. look at the caster on a dragster it is as high as 15 percent that is so if someting happens to the driver it will go straight with out a driver.

Enuogh rantting for one day Wayne
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Re: Steering Adjustment
Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:35 pm


Come to think of it I did notice a poping when I turned it deep yesterday while backing up. Like everything else on this project sounds like there will be no simple fix. The troubleshooting guide would be great if you could post it. I hate to ask you to mail it. I have the Eagle manual but it's not a lot of help. Would a steering stabilizer help? It would probably have to look like a log splitter cylinder!!
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
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