Woodalls Open Roads Forum: front end alignment for class C ?
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 > front end alignment for class C ?

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Raymon

Phoenixville, PA

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Posted: 05/16/10 07:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On the E450, many times the camber bushings must be replaced in order to bring the alignment to within specifications. These are the "additional parts" to which many of the technicians are referring. The original camber bushings do not have enough adjustment range to allow for a proper/precise alignment. Alignments are not cheap, but compared to the cost of the MH, it is a small price to pay to make sure the chassis is properly aligned. Proper alignment will provide longer tire wear, better handling, and maybe even better mileage. You can Google "Ford camber bushings" and find websites than can explain their use much better than I can. Hope this helps.

ron.dittmer

Northern Illinois

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Posted: 05/16/10 07:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I too support the idea of getting a front wheel alignment, done with it loaded for trips. I too required special parts. Some original suspension bushings from Ford have the holes in the center. The special parts are bushings with the holes off center. There are different off-sets pending how much your "loaded" RV needs.

You might think the RV is fine until poor driving conditions reveal otherwise. Then you will be saying "I should have".


2007 Phoenix Cruiser model 2350, with 2006 Jeep Liberty in-tow


j-d

Sunny Florida USA

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Posted: 05/16/10 05:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator



Offset Bushings...



God Bless, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100

whemme

Spencer, IA

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Posted: 05/16/10 10:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with everything said about getting a good front end alignment after initial delivery of a new class C built on either the Ford E350 or E450 chassis. I would also from my experience have the alignment rechecked every 10,000 miles if you want to prevent cupping on the insides of your front tires. The twin I-beam front suspension on the E350 & E450 is very prone to causing tire cupping if the front suspension is not kept in fairly precise alignment.


2002 Born Free 26' RSB Motorcoach
2005 Chevrolet Malibu LS Toad

ron.dittmer

Northern Illinois

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Posted: 05/16/10 10:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

j-d, Your pictures say it all.

PapillonRV

Santa Rosa CA

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Posted: 05/17/10 04:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey, "Bright Stars"... lots of good advice here, I too had to learn this all on my own... I have a big class C that was 10 years old when I bought it... seller says it had been in for an alignment. I found some driving traits I did not like... like the thing wanting to make a left lane change all by its self... in about 5 seconds if releasing "fighting" pressure on the wheel. My local Ford dealer found the exact same thing that many are talking about here in the previous replies... the "camber" setting is just a generic setting from the factory since they have no idea what the raw chassis will become. My dealer did some major adjustments and the thing drives fantastic now. Also invested in some really good shock absorbers... not sure of the spelling but something like "Bilstiens" about $200 each installed... afterward family says much more stable and they don't get carsick anymore! Happy Traveling.
Dale

PapillonRV

Santa Rosa CA

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Posted: 05/17/10 04:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On the reply I just posted, I have no clue as to how the "Shock Absorbers" link got in there... I didn't do it, and have no clue as why it goes where it goes - sorry, was not me!

j-d

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Posted: 05/17/10 05:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Close, it's BILSTEIN for shocks. The "link" is a new promotional gizmo that forces us to ads if we click it. I hear it can be disabled and the annoyance goes away.

Offset bushings are visible with the front wheel off, maybe with an inspection mirror looking down from the top. I thought I could get a pic of one of ours with the wheel on but couldn't get to it. They're marked on the top with the amount of offset.

Bright Stars

Arp, Texas

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Posted: 05/17/10 07:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Man, do I appreciate all the info you guys have been sharing.!!!
On the advice, (surprise)of an insurance adjuster some months ago, (auto repair shops know who to send tire work etc out to so they don't get unhappy customers and have to keep getting the job done over again) I called a well thought of repair shop, the separate location shop that does the big trucks and motorhomes and asked them where is the best place to take the Coachmen for a front end alignment. We do them here, laser and all - so have an appointment for tomorrow.

Safe to assume I need to have all the water in it for a regular trip - yes ??
That would be my definition of "loaded". DH thinks it does not matter, but he is absorbing all this info I just showed him. It handles fine now, but I'm not a bettor and would not bet that the rt front tire is still exactly like the lf front tire. I say no, he says yes. I drive it mostly. With this big trip in front of us, I want it right so I don't have to replace the tires when we return maybe. After alignment, then tire balance.

Other suggestions have been to weigh the axles to find out the proper tire pressure I can use. Not sure how to figure that one.

The other thing another website talks alot about is putting those Bilstein shocks on the unit. Front for sure I guess, but it has air assist in the back and I'm not sure if I need them there or not.
As someone put it - it was built as a delivery truck, but now has fancy house on it so the ride is rougher than needs to be. Is logical to me and if a different set of shocks will take some of the hard ride off the frame then the "fancy house" has got to benefit from that in the long run.
Anyone want to jump in on that ??
Thanks

Godsey97

Dayton,Ohio

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Posted: 05/17/10 08:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While not a MH, I have had similar. A number of years ago I was in a different assignment at my job. We had purchased three E350 cargo vans (empty shells). We then sent them out to a customizer and had shelved and cabinets, refrigerator, generator right on the tail etc. Took them to the local scrap yard and weighed them. They were close, (VERY) close, to their total GVWR. We had to send them all three to a shop and have the alignment fixed...specifically, the camber fixed. The owner of the shop told us that they set the front end geometry to be "average", not necessarily to handle great empty, or near maximum load, but to have their best characteristics when the thing is at about 1/2 totally loaded, they figure that is how they are used the most. If you typically run light or heavy, you need adjustments. Once we did that, they were soooooo much beter to deal with. I can only imagine that it will be the same with a MH.

While we currently own a TT (our 5th), we linger around here as we are figuring on being in the market for a "C" in the next year or two....Kinda doing research and learning every day.

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