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Author Topic: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?  (Read 5154 times)

2002 Pace Arrow

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2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« on: July 10, 2014, 04:25:28 PM »
Hello,
I am new to your forum but am in need of your experience. I am trying help a friend with his motor home. The biggest issue is that it is a lot of work to drive. It wanders and requires constant correction at the steering wheel to keep it on the road. It rolls a lot during cornering, gets pushed around by passing trucks, and pitches when going over rises like railroad crossings.
I have read, here, that a rear and front trac-bar cures the lateral body shifting and that anti roll bars are available to reduce body roll. Koni FSD shocks are reputed to help the ride quality. A steering stabilizer sounds like a good investment also.
My question is, have any of you done any or all of these modifications and if so, how would you rate the results. Please, no sales pitches from vendors, as I have heard a couple of these already. I am looking for unbiased opinions from people that own and operate a motor home similar to the one that I am working on.
I will be checking the front and rear weight to be sure that it is not to back heavy, and checking and adjusting the caster and toe. Recommendations on caster and toe would be greatly appreciated also. Tire pressure for the Michelin tires is going to be checked into based on the weight data.
I would consider this project a huge success if his wife would drive it when it's done, because right now she would NOT!
So, before I foolishly spend my friends hard earned money and my time wrenching, I really need any of your valuable input on this subject......
Thank you for your consideration.

Arch Hoagland

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 12:04:18 AM »
I'd be curious as to what the tire pressures are set at. Over inflated tires can cause some of that.

I'd also be curious if the shocks have ever been replaced. I replaced my originals last year and it helped a lot with handling.

I have the Workhorse W22 chassis with Michelin 22" tires set to the pressure Michelin recommends for my weight. The tire dealer initially set them all to 115lb when I had them replaced last year. It handled awful and rode like a cob.

Corrected the tire pressure and all was fine.

You may want to have the alignment checked also. I was seeing edge tire wear on the fronts and found the alignment was bad.

I've not added any trac bars nor a steering stabilizer. I'm all stock and don't have a problem when trucks pass me.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 80,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
U.S. Gear Braking System

2002 Pace Arrow

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 05:37:23 AM »
Thank you very much for the reply. I will be checking the alignment soon along with the weight verses tire pressure.
Yours is the next generation W22, I think. I heard there are some differences. Steering box might be a new part number.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 08:32:06 AM »
Please review my Motorhome Handling Primer in the RVForum Library - it addresses handling problems and the purpose of those add-ons you mentioned. I think you will find it helpful.

I've added a steering stabilizer (Safe-T-Plus) to an older Ford chassis with little improvement. Basically made the steering a bit stiffer and I don't think they are worth the money. Then tried a Davis (now Roadmaster) Tru-Trak bar (panhard rod) with excellent results. Did the same Trak Bar on our next coach, a 2002 Workhorse W22 chassis just like the one you are working on, also with good results.  People whose opinion I trust have reported equally good results with the Supersteer Rear Track Bar on the W22 and at least one person installed both on a W22 and thought that the two were better than either one alone.

The W22 is known for porpoising sharply on RR tracks and such. Some better shocks should help, plus the OEM shocks on a 2002 are probably goners by now. Whether you choose the expensive Koni's or not is up to you.

The 2020 W22 has a front anti-roll bar but a bigger one was used in later years to help reduce the body roll. An upgrade to the anti-roll bar would probably help.

Some of the problem, however, is probably the driver(s). You and your wife have years & years of ingrained "muscle memory" based on the driver view from car-sized vehicles and the handling characteristics of them. It is very hard to shake those off and retrain for the higher and over-the-wheels seating perspective, added to the fear of keeping the big rig between the lines. This invariably leads to steering over-correction and many people have difficulty adjusting there responses.  It is necessary to remind yourself to focus your attention well ahead (further down the road) and not stare down nearby. Pointing your vision well ahead will straighten your path. Also try to reduce the tendency to continuously watch the sidelines and mirrors for lane position - that usually leads to jerky movements. Note where the lane edge markers are when viewed from the driver seat - it's quite a bit different than in a car or van. Pick some point on the dash or windshield that lines up with the lane markers when you are centered and remember that, so a quick glance will tell if you are OK or not. If necessary, add a piece of masking tape or similar to create a reference point that is convenient for the driver. You may be surprised how much those two things improve the apparent handling.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 08:33:38 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

2002 Pace Arrow

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 09:15:22 PM »
Now that's the kind of data I'm looking for! Real live results from people that own one of these. Thank you so much. So, it appears from your comments that the track bar, shocks and larger anti roll bar in the front are worth the money and time. Do you know if the larger OEM bar is the best move or should I install an after market additional anti roll bar with the smaller OEM bar? Would you rate the ROLL of the W22 chassis excessive or normal?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2014, 08:49:08 AM »
The only time I thought the W22 roll was bad was when turning through a curb cut that goes up or down a bit, and most motorhomes lurch badly in that situation anyway.

I have no way to judge whether you are experiencing normal or excessive corner roll. Corner roll is a fact of life - it's a large vehicle with a lot of weight up high (high COG). Front tire pressure is a factor in cornering too, so make sure you have a bit more than enough psi. The stiffer front anti-sway bar should help too.

If you want the most roll & sway reduction, I would probably upgrade the front anti-sway and add  a rear one.

Probably none of this is going to do much for passing trucks. More weight and more rubber on the road is about the only way to alleviate that. You get hit with a massive bow wave of air as the truck comes along side and then get sucked back as it moves on, creating a huge push-then-pull effect on the broad sides of the coach. A 35,000 or 40,000 lb rig reacts much less than the 22k-25k coach your friend has.

What your friends really wants is a larger coach with a better suspension. Most any diesel pusher will meet his expectations better, but that comes at a hefty price.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

2002 Pace Arrow

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 03:09:05 PM »
I performed an interesting test of the front and rear axle stability yesterday.  I went under the motor home and attached a 2 ton come-a-long to the frame rail and the other end to the axle. Applied enough force to almost break the cables and measured the lateral deflection of the axle housing in the rear and the axle beam in the front. To see the deflection, a steel rod with a pointed end was clamped to the frame rail hanging straight down and a mark was made on the axle exactly under the pointer while no force was applied. A measurement was made after the force was added. Much to my surprise, the rear axle did not move more than 1/16" or 0.0625" total. That includes removing the cable hoist and pulling from the other side. (to get total left and right "loaded" deflection)
The front moved about 1/4" or 0.25" total with the hoist flipped again for total deflection.
My conclusion is that the rear axle is very firmly mounted to the chassis by way of well designed spring perches and hangers. I do not think that any track bar would be of any assistance in the rear. After taking a good look at the rear spring set-up, it is easy to see how it keeps the axle well centered.
The front is a different story, as it does move 4 times more than the rear. I think a track bar in the front might be noticeable as long as the unit is well built and the urethane bushings are very hard. If not, the deflection will still exist.

2002 Pace Arrow

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2014, 10:00:32 PM »
I am going to get the alignment checked this week, but am not sure of the specs to aim for. After searching the forum, it seems as if the caster should be 5 degrees. The toe in is still a question, anybody know?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 09:49:11 AM »
You need a Workhorse Chassis Manual.Should be able to download here:
http://www.workhorse.com/Default.aspx?tabid=515&CategoryID=27&List=0&Level=a&ProductID=349

The 2006 edition says
Toe-in:
0.06 +/-0.02 degrees
0.03 +/- 0.01 inches
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

kevin

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 09:54:57 AM »
I have no experience with this unit,but if you want answers with out the pitch, call Brazil's RV  out west. I have purchased products from them with great results. they know their stuff, and won't sell ya what you don't need. everything I bought did exactly what they said it would do.jm2c
2006 Tour
2011 Buick Enclave

gave up on that winning lotto ticket!

driftless shifter

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2014, 11:40:39 AM »
Before you go replacing anti sway/roll bars check the bushings for deterioration. Dry rot or loss of resiliency makes a big difference. Plus bushings are cheap.

Bill
Bill & Nan
(o\_!_/o)
93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

2002 Pace Arrow

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2014, 03:21:02 PM »
Thank you all for the info, things are coming together! Wednesday is the front end alignment. I will request 5* caster and 0.030" total toe-in.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2014, 08:56:03 PM »
Note that the caster and camber is not adjustable on that axle. It can be bent to alter the caster if needed (it's a solid axle), but I don't think anything can be done for the caster.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

2002 Pace Arrow

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2014, 09:12:47 PM »
The caster is the easiest part, simply a wedge shaped shim between the spring and axle.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2014, 10:30:56 AM »
I bow to your superior knowledge!  :)

Factory caster was fine on mine, but camber was off. Toe was at the max limit and I had it reset to center of the spec, which seemed to bean improvement. I added the Tru Trak bar after and that made me happy except for the huge jump when crossing RR tracks or dips. I bought new shocks for that but traded the rig beofre I got around to installing them. I'm not sure the shocks would have helped much, though. The rig didn't bounce - just one leap into the air and back down. The factory shocks controlled it fine except for that one leap, and the steering wheels stayed in road contact. It was just very unsettling for the passengers! It may have more to do with spring rates than shocks.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

2002 Pace Arrow

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2014, 09:17:24 PM »
You must be talking to someone else....
I only know what I have gathered from your forum. Thank you all, I think I am making progress with this machine.
I was under it today and noticed that the urethane bumpers are always in contact with the springs, seems like the springs could use a little more beef. Air springs might be an option, or maybe it's designed this way....

2002 Pace Arrow

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2014, 04:45:21 PM »
Finished up at the alignment shop today. The caster was at 3 degrees, now it is at 5, with the addition of a shim on each side. The toe was 3/8", now it is at 1/32".
Drove it home and it does not "over-steer" during lane changes like it used to, which caused  the driver to constantly correct at the wheel. It still really "rolls" or tips during turns and lane changes and will need anti-roll bars (sway bars) to correct this. The dampers (shocks) are also going to be changed. Probably going to add Sumo springs to the front, as it is very soft up there. Seems like a good compromise over air bags or heavier springs. Going to do one more test for the track bar before I buy it. So, improvements are happening....

2002 Pace Arrow

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2014, 11:54:24 AM »
I weighed the MH at a scrap yard and found out that it is about 21700 lbs. That is very close to the chassis max. No wonders these machines have problems. The front to rear ratio was pretty good though, about 0.52. (front divided by rear).

driftless shifter

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Re: 2002 Pace Arrow workhorse w22 chassis suspension upgrades?
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2014, 02:31:35 PM »
Yep , they work hard every minute underway. Commercial vehicles aren't at or near max capacity almost 24-7 like an RV is. Step vans and buses get to travel or park unladen quite often.

Bill
Bill & Nan
(o\_!_/o)
93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

 

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