Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-12-2015, 09:25 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
onenationundergoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Statesville, North Carolina
Posts: 465
Year: 1993
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: International Navistar DT360
Rated Cap: 60
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?
__________________
My build thread:https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/build-thread-for-haulin-oats-and-goats-11237.html#post113500
A gal, a guy, three cats, two dogs, one rabbit, and one goat, traveling the country together.
onenationundergoat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2015, 10:55 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Snowflake, Arizona
Posts: 329
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American Rear Engine
Engine: C-8.3-300 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 Prisoners
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.
Dragonpop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 12:59 AM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
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.

Nat
__________________
"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
nat_ster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 06:34 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 252
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.
jake_blue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 09:00 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
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.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 09:25 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Iowa
Posts: 120
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Honey Badger RV Co
Chassis: tc2000
Engine: 5.9 cummins
Rated Cap: 74
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.
wauto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 10:42 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
opus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,618
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All-American R/E
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
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.
opus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 11:33 AM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
gbstewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,204
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800 International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
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.
gbstewart
__________________
my bus build viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931
gbstewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 07:00 PM   #9
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NUNYA
Posts: 4,234
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT408, AT545
Rated Cap: 23 500 gvw
Steering is for wusses and way overrated. Next you'll say that you want brakes that actually stop.
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 08:32 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
onenationundergoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Statesville, North Carolina
Posts: 465
Year: 1993
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: International Navistar DT360
Rated Cap: 60
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.
__________________
My build thread:https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/build-thread-for-haulin-oats-and-goats-11237.html#post113500
A gal, a guy, three cats, two dogs, one rabbit, and one goat, traveling the country together.
onenationundergoat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2015, 04:47 AM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Scooternj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EHT New Jersey
Posts: 1,134
Year: 2003
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International 3000RE
Engine: T444E/AT545
Rated Cap: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by onenationundergoat View Post
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.
Don't forget your four-points then
__________________
Hey! That's not an RV, that's a school bus.
Well thank you for noticing, Captain Obvious

Captain Obvious on deviantArt
Scooternj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2015, 12:48 PM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 1,624
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by onenationundergoat View Post
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.
A steering damper wont change the looseness, something is worn out causing what you describe. U joints, gear box, drag link end, tie rod ends, king pins, wheel bearings, and spring bushings can all cause that. Have someone rock the wheel while you crawl over it and check those things for looseness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onenationundergoat View Post
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?
I wouldn't have messed with that. That's an old trick that people would do to extend the life but most of the times it would be short lived. The problem with it is there's no real way to see if it's preloaded right with it on the bus, and you can't really base it off of how tight the adjusting screw gets.
Booyah45828 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2015, 01:36 PM   #13
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NUNYA
Posts: 4,234
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT408, AT545
Rated Cap: 23 500 gvw
Like I said before, steering is way overrated. Why invest a few hundred dollars for piece of mind when the lives of you, your girlfriend and that precious goat hang in the balance. I found a cheap fix for you that should work just fine. I think it would be strong enough for your bus. It would replace the steering gear box completely so you won't have the potential of leaks.




__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2015, 05:25 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
onenationundergoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Statesville, North Carolina
Posts: 465
Year: 1993
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: International Navistar DT360
Rated Cap: 60
Hardy har har. I spoke to an International dealership today. Mechanic said there's a next to nothing chance that it being worn out would cause a safety issue as long as we were still able to drive it with compensation for the play. He said the whole thing would have to shear off in order to cause anything that would prevent us from being able to control the steering. Dan followed me to town in my car today, and said that the bus wasn't wandering around at all. After I drive it a little bit I don't even really notice the play because I adjust to it without thinking about it. Nothing is loose outside of the gear box, so if we want it fixed then we'd be replacing the gear box. International mechanic recommended just keeping an eye out for a deal on one but not being overly concerned about fixing it ASAP.

(Oh, and also, Crazycal, I'm the gal. Dan doesn't have a forum account. And I don't really do relationships. He's just along for the ride. )
__________________
My build thread:https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/build-thread-for-haulin-oats-and-goats-11237.html#post113500
A gal, a guy, three cats, two dogs, one rabbit, and one goat, traveling the country together.
onenationundergoat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2015, 05:27 PM   #15
Bus Nut
 
onenationundergoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Statesville, North Carolina
Posts: 465
Year: 1993
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: International Navistar DT360
Rated Cap: 60
International guy also said that newer school buses have LESS play, but all still have some amount and there aren't generally any that are actually tight.
__________________
My build thread:https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/build-thread-for-haulin-oats-and-goats-11237.html#post113500
A gal, a guy, three cats, two dogs, one rabbit, and one goat, traveling the country together.
onenationundergoat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2015, 06:26 PM   #16
Bus Crazy
 
M1031A1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Quinter, Kansas - Soon South Dakota!
Posts: 1,434
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Well, that International mechanic I don't want him anywhere NEAR my buses then! All my buses are tight on steering, even the ones at work! I'd definitely seek another opinion QUICKLY!!!! In addition I'd find a new steering box as well.
__________________
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American peopleís liberty teeth and keystone under independence. ó George Washington
M1031A1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2015, 06:49 PM   #17
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NUNYA
Posts: 4,234
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT408, AT545
Rated Cap: 23 500 gvw
Quote:
(Oh, and also, Crazycal, I'm the gal. Dan doesn't have a forum account. And I don't really do relationships. He's just along for the ride. )
I will take note and try to remember.
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2015, 07:57 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Fire that international mechanic.

All buses must have min .5% play in the steering to pass commercial safety inspections here in Alberta. (CVIP)

Stop trying to tell yourself it's ok. Get under there, find out what is wrong, and fix it like you did the engine.

I have faith in you and your friend. You did great with the engine.

Nat
__________________
"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
nat_ster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2015, 08:12 PM   #19
Bus Nut
 
onenationundergoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Statesville, North Carolina
Posts: 465
Year: 1993
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: International Navistar DT360
Rated Cap: 60
It'll definitely be on the to-do list, but we have to be outta here by the weekend and still have a lot to do. Must be in ND by next Friday for work. After the month of work we'll have enough money to replace it.

Why is the allowable limit for running school buses up to 2 inches or 30 degrees?
__________________
My build thread:https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/build-thread-for-haulin-oats-and-goats-11237.html#post113500
A gal, a guy, three cats, two dogs, one rabbit, and one goat, traveling the country together.
onenationundergoat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2015, 12:49 AM   #20
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by onenationundergoat View Post

Why is the allowable limit for running school buses up to 2 inches or 30 degrees?
I suspect this might vary from place to place a bit, but as I posted, Here in Alberta it's .5 of a inch, not a whopping 2 inches.

That is bases on a steering wheel tuning 100 inches from lock to lock.

Nat
__________________
"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
nat_ster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×