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Old 03-02-2016, 06:42 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 2001
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Chassis: 3800
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"Notchy" Steering

Hey All,
Not sure if this is really the right place, but its a mechanical issue.

I have a 2001 International 3800, T444e and hydraulic brakes. The issue I'm having is with the steering. I don't notice it sitting in the lot, but when you're going down the road, the steering feels notchy. What I mean by that is that you can turn the wheel 15 degrees or so easily, before it suddenly becomes more difficult to turn for 1-2 degrees, before becoming easy again.

Has anyone experienced this before? The power steering fluid is clean and full, and the hydroboost brakes seem fine, so I'm not inclined to think its the pump.
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:05 PM   #2
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My guess would be that your steering gears are not meshing correctly in the gear box. Most steering gear boxes have an adjustment screw and lock nut on the top that you could possibly use to adjust the gears to get a smoother meshing action if someone hasn't already used the adjustment to it's limit. You might want to research the information for your particular vehicle to adjust that properly.
If I'm correct the resistance you are feeling from the gears will eventually result in stripping a tooth off one of the gears possibly causing you to have partial or no steering.
It's just a guess based on your description. That's something I'd get checked at a front end shop.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:56 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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like Robin explained, its all in your steering box. someone likely over adjusted the box to remove slack, and you just need to loosen it up.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:32 AM   #4
Skoolie
 
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Jack it up and grease your kingpins. They won't take grease properly if they have the weight of you bus on them.
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:20 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks for the advice, I have a feeling you guys are probably right about the box being over adjusted, there is zero play at all in the steering, and there are a couple of recently replaced lines, so it would make sense that the box may have been misadjusted. If not, I'll jack it up to greese the kingpins, since the bus did sit for about 6 months at one point.
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:56 PM   #6
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Jack it up and check it with no load on the rig. It sounds like king pins binding up more then a steering gear box. Also check that your tie rod ends are tight/lubed up and do the same to your drag link ends.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:23 PM   #7
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I would echo checking out the king pins, tie rod ends, and drag link.

I have driven and worked on a LOT of IHC chassis buses over the years. I can't remember a single one ever having a steering box issue. That is not to say that someone might have screwed yours up big time.

The one question I would have is are you sure it is a mechanical issue and not a hydraulic issue? If it has new lines it is very possible you have an air bubble in the lines which can give you the sensation of a bump along the way.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:59 PM   #8
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I am in the King pin camp or other dry front end parts, besides the steering box. Notchy describes a weight bearing, dry steering part.
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Old 03-04-2016, 04:51 PM   #9
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I'm not saying the box couldn't be over adjusted, because I don't know the history on the bus. I'm just saying that dry king pins would be a more likely culprit.

If you get the sector shaft adjustment too tight it will have a hard spot in the middle and ease up as you move either way away from it. But what you describe doesn't sound like that.
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:53 AM   #10
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While all of the other suggestions are possible, It sounds more to me like a loose/ slipping P S belt or the filter in the p s resovour is plugged. You might also check the U joint at the steering column, they can cause a binding effect if they are stuck.
BTW , If this bus has hydroboost, the steering and brakes are operated off the same pump. It the effect is less when the brakes are not applied you may have a weak pump.
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