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Thread: How to turn a two hour job into an all day affair.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    7,411

    How to turn a two hour job into an all day affair.

    Two years ago, my wife was on a trip out west in our Diesel Pusher Motorhome. The power steering head went out in Utah.

    It was a turmoil from there, but she finally got it replaced by a local truck repair shop.

    When she got home, she said it drove fine but the steering wheel was now over 45 degrees off center going straight down the road.

    Since it was more annoying than anything else, I let it go.

    Well, this morning I decided to fix it. I got on the Internet and everyone said that the shop should have adjusted the drag link after installing the new power steering box. Simple to do, just remove drag link ball joint assembly from the pitman arm, loosed the securing clamp, and screw the ball joint assembly in or out as needed..

    So, I went over to the shop this morning and did just that,........only

    The darned ball joint thread would not turn. (it's a 1 1/4 12 tpi). So I disassembled the other end of the drag link from the steering arm and removed the entire drag link, which weighs about 25 pounds. I put the link in one of my big shop vices, applied some liquid wrench and heat, and the ball joint thread would not budge.

    I had about a 2 foot long cheater on a big pipe wrench, and it would move about 1/8 turn each way and lock up.

    I didn't want to risk damaging anything, and I didn't want to admit defeat and just put it back together, so I decided to fix it so I could adjust it with the drag link in place. I called Marilyn and told her to come and help me. Surprisingly, she did just that.

    I found a piece of 4140, cut it to about 7 1/2 inches long, and made a turnbuckle, 2 1/2 inches of 1 1/4 12tpi right hand on one end, 2 1/2 inches of 1 1/4 12tpi left hand on the other. I also had to make two jam nuts.

    I then took the drag link, cut about 4 inches out of an appropriate spot, and drilled and tapped the end of each piece, 1 1/4 right hand in one, 1 1/4 left hand in the other.

    I put it all together, did a couple of trial runs, adjusted the drag link to get the steering wheel dead center, and it came out great.

    An entire day crawling under that motor home, machine the parts, just so that dang thing won't be cockeyed going down the road. I'm really too darned old for this.

    But Marilyn's happy, so I guess it was worth it.

    Here is a picture of my fix after it was all installed.

    http://benchrest.com/attachment.php?...1&d=1566182141
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    Last edited by jackie schmidt; 08-18-2019 at 10:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,466

    You da' man, Jackie

    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    Two years ago, my wife was on a trip out west in our Diesel Pusher Motorhome. The power steering head went out in Utah.

    It was a turmoil from there, but she finally got it replaced by a local truck repair shop.

    When she got home, she said it drove fine but the steering wheel was now over 45 degrees off center going straight down the road.

    Since it was more annoying than anything else, I let it go.

    Well, this morning I decided to fix it. I got on the Internet and everyone said that the shop should have adjusted the drag link after installing the new power steering box. Simple to do, just remove drag link ball joint assembly from the pitman arm, loosed the securing clamp, and screw the ball joint assembly in or out as needed..

    So, I went over to the shop this morning and did just that,........only

    The darned ball joint thread would not turn. (it's a 1 1/4 12 tpi). So I disassembled the other end of the drag link from the steering arm and removed the entire drag link, which weighs about 25 pounds. I put the link in one of my big shop vices, applied some liquid wrench and heat, and the ball joint thread would not budge.

    I had about a 2 foot long cheater on a big pipe wrench, and it would move about 1/8 turn each way and lock up.

    I didn't want to risk damaging anything, and I didn't want to admit defeat and just put it back together, so I decided to fix it so I could adjust it with the drag link in place. I called Marilyn and told her to come and help me. Surprisingly, she did just that.

    I found a piece of 4140, cut it to about 7 1/2 inches long, and made a turnbuckle, 2 1/2 inches of 1 1/4 12tpi right hand on one end, 2 1/2 inches of 1 1/4 12tpi left hand on the other. I also had to make two jam nuts.

    I then took the drag link, cut about 4 inches out of an appropriate spot, and drilled and tapped the end of each piece, 1 1/4 right hand in one, 1 1/4 left hand in the other.

    I put it all together, did a couple of trial runs, adjusted the drag link to get the steering wheel dead center, and it came out great.

    An entire day crawling under that motor home, machine the parts, just so that dang thing won't be cockeyed going down the road. I'm really too darned old for this.

    But Marilyn's happy, so I guess it was worth it.

    Here is a picture of my fix after it was all installed.

    http://benchrest.com/attachment.php?...1&d=1566182141


    Jackie, compared to some of the things you work on with those ships, this was a piece of cake. Takes a braver, tougher man than I am to tackle such.
    I sure enjoy reading your posts and appreciate you taking the time to share them with the rest of us.

    Gene Beggs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,446
    Get her an OTR driving job. I remember the time she drove youralls big coach from Houston to Canastota New York and you took the airline. Remember?

    .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Nampa Idaho
    Posts
    582
    Nice work.

    Mort

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    San Angelo, Texas (West Texas)
    Posts
    1,581

    Jackie, You beat the system again.

    Just think of all the money you saved!

    And the stories that you can tell.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Augusta, Maine & Palm Coast, Fl
    Posts
    6,041

    Couldn't you buy one?

    I know it isn't the point buttttttt. It's almost always easier and wayyyyy quicker.

    Pete

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    San Angelo, Texas (West Texas)
    Posts
    1,581
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Wass View Post
    I know it isn't the point buttttttt. It's almost always easier and wayyyyy quicker.

    Pete
    But look at all the fun he would have missed. This part will last through the next Ice Age.

    Concho Bill

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    7,411
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Wass View Post
    I know it isn't the point buttttttt. It's almost always easier and wayyyyy quicker.

    Pete
    Pete, many aftermarket Drag Links for the Road Master Chassis do have a screw in ball joint on each end, some just on one end, But both are right hand threads. That means they are not adjustable in place.

    https://shop.findmyrvparts.com/monac...shoppingengine

    That, and a replacement link cost about $1500.
    Last edited by jackie schmidt; 08-28-2019 at 08:16 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    Two years ago, my wife was on a trip out west in our Diesel Pusher Motorhome. The power steering head went out in Utah.

    It was a turmoil from there, but she finally got it replaced by a local truck repair shop.

    When she got home, she said it drove fine but the steering wheel was now over 45 degrees off center going straight down the road.

    Since it was more annoying than anything else, I let it go.

    Well, this morning I decided to fix it. I got on the Internet and everyone said that the shop should have adjusted the drag link after installing the new power steering box. Simple to do, just remove drag link ball joint assembly from the pitman arm, loosed the securing clamp, and screw the ball joint assembly in or out as needed..

    So, I went over to the shop this morning and did just that,........only

    The darned ball joint thread would not turn. (it's a 1 1/4 12 tpi). So I disassembled the other end of the drag link from the steering arm and removed the entire drag link, which weighs about 25 pounds. I put the link in one of my big shop vices, applied some liquid wrench and heat, and the ball joint thread would not budge.

    I had about a 2 foot long cheater on a big pipe wrench, and it would move about 1/8 turn each way and lock up.

    I didn't want to risk damaging anything, and I didn't want to admit defeat and just put it back together, so I decided to fix it so I could adjust it with the drag link in place. I called Marilyn and told her to come and help me. Surprisingly, she did just that.

    I found a piece of 4140, cut it to about 7 1/2 inches long, and made a turnbuckle, 2 1/2 inches of 1 1/4 12tpi right hand on one end, 2 1/2 inches of 1 1/4 12tpi left hand on the other. I also had to make two jam nuts.

    I then took the drag link, cut about 4 inches out of an appropriate spot, and drilled and tapped the end of each piece, 1 1/4 right hand in one, 1 1/4 left hand in the other.

    I put it all together, did a couple of trial runs, adjusted the drag link to get the steering wheel dead center, and it came out great.

    An entire day crawling under that motor home, machine the parts, just so that dang thing won't be cockeyed going down the road. I'm really too darned old for this.

    But Marilyn's happy, so I guess it was worth it.

    Here is a picture of my fix after it was all installed.

    http://benchrest.com/attachment.php?...1&d=1566182141
    If you are referring to the steering box. Depending on the design, They probably got the pitman arm on the sector shaft on the wrong spline ( it's common ). Removing the pitman arm & moving it 1 or 2 splines normally gets it lined up.

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