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Old 09-12-2015, 10:25 PM   #1
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Loose steering - how much is normal?

Two different sources I checked say that the allowable amount of play in the steering is up to 30 degrees or 2 inches. Well, mine's definitely close to that. This bus floats all over the place. I'm curious if other International buses are around this "normal" as well.

I'm not spending $300+ on the Safe-T plus thing somebody recommended. Maybe eventually but for now I can just get used to it. After a 3 hour each way trip on the bus I got used to being wiggly and had to get used to driving my Element again without wiggling the wheel.

Is there any other way for me to tighten it up a bit? Turning the screw in the steering box doesn't seem to help at all; it's already all the way turned in. Maybe there's an adjustment on the thrust bearing?
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:55 PM   #2
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If you watch the steering pitman arm as someone turns the steering
wheel is the arm moving with the wheel or is the play in the gear if
it's internal to the gear and it won't adjust then start looking for
another gear box. They usually go for 250 to 300 used.
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:59 AM   #3
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Yup, use two people and find where the slop is in the entire steering system is coming from. It could be more than one part badly worn down there.

Driving it like that will take its toll on your steering tires. Also your and others safety. A wondering bus in oncoming traffic is a wondering missile.

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Old 09-13-2015, 07:34 AM   #4
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As already stated, could be more than one worn component. Steering systems have so many joints and each one may only have a little slop but it all adds up to an unsafe and uncomfortable ride. If you can turn the wheel a little when rolling and the bus doesn't change direction, that's all the slack in those joints, gears and etc. There's also alignment to consider but you can't really worry about that until the system is tight anyways.
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:00 AM   #5
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Ditto all the above --- Too many people with "loose" steering just crank down the adjustment screw on the steering box and think that's it. All that will do is accelerate the wear on the gears and everything else unless the rest of the system is tight. Occasionally, those gears will wear faster than the other components, but typically it is a signal that every part is due for maintenance. Good news is that most of the required parts are not expensive.
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:25 AM   #6
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Check the air pressure in all of your tires also. Sometims it's a combination of a bunch of little things that make a big problem.
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:42 AM   #7
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Get in front of the bus and eye the toe. I read an awful lot or reviews about the Safe-T plus type things....and passed.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:33 PM   #8
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I also read good things about the safe-t-plus, I think I will be putting one on my bus, my steering is tight, put every little bit helps for those long drives.
if your not sure what to look for when checking your front end for wear, I suggest take it a truck shop and have it inspected, well worth the cost.
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:00 PM   #9
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Steering is for wusses and way overrated. Next you'll say that you want brakes that actually stop.
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:32 PM   #10
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Hey, my brakes stop better than I need them to! I'd gladly trade off a bit of braking power for better steering. Move the brake pedal a teeny bit.... FULL STOP.
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