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Author Topic: Steering Wheel "Shimmy" on '07 Freightliner chassis with Ind. Frt .Suspension  (Read 3235 times)

hugh37

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Since taking possession of my '07 Allegro Bus on a Freightliner chassis with IFS I have been unhappy with the "side-to-side" movement (shimmy) of the steering wheel.  I understand that driving on certain roads can cause the wheel to be other than steady; however, it is rare that my wheel is quiet.
Some movement is probably normal, to be expected, and acceptable by Freightliner.  To me it doesn't lend itself to a pleasant driving experience.  I should point out that there is no sign of any undue wear on the front tires, after almost 22,000 miles.  I would think that an alignmnent is not in order.  Would the advertised wheel balancers likely correct the problem?  I would greatly appreciate feedback as to what should be "acceptable" movement, if any, in my steering wheel, and perhaps, whether the wheel balancers may hold the answer?  Many thanks!

Gary RV Roamer

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I haven't noticed any "shimmy" at all on mine and I have a Freightliner with the ZF IFS.  Maybe you need to have a good front end shop look at yours.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

hugh37

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Gary...many thanks for responding...I appreciate your experience and willingness to help out.  I will plan on taking it in for a good front end check.  Do you have the wheel balancers/might they do some good in my case, in your opinion?  Thanks, again, Gary...if you could respond today, as I have a long trip planned.  Sincerely, Hugh37

cva61

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Check two things

First have the front alignment checked particular attention to the caster setting on each wheel.

Second does this unit have a steering dampener?   If it does is it working?  If not can one be fitted?
Lenexa, KS
2006 GMC 3500 SRW D/A
2000 HitcHiker 31.5 BWTG

Gary RV Roamer

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I'm not sure what you mean by "wheel balancers". Something like the Centramatic self-balancing discs?  Wheel balance does not cause shimmy - lack of balance would be a rhythmic vibration, almost a thump-thump sound/feel.

Products like Safe-T-Plus, Steer-Safe and Tru-Center are sold to help with steering problems.  I'm not sure that any of them can be fit on your IFS chassis, but i would not recommend them until you had the alignment checked and all front-end components, including tires, verified as in spec.  There is no valid reason for a loose feel to the steering on your chassis.

In any case, my answer is no, I don't have anything like that installed. And my steering is rock solid. Nor have I heard of steering complaints from other Allegro Bus owners, so I don't think this is a pervasive problem.

According to the Freightliner specs, you have a ZF IFS and ZF steering box, but slightly different models than what I have on mine. Here are your complete chassis specs:
http://freightlinerchassis.com/images/pdf/Tiffin/XC0205-2007.pdf
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Marsha/CA

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We have a 2003 Allegro Bus on a freightliner chassis with IFS and don't have any shimmy at all.  It hugs the road with no problems.  We do get some steering wheel action on a grooved or bad road.  Why not call Freightliner with your vin number and see what they say.   Or as Gary suggested a good front end shop.  It sure sounds like uneven tire wear something that might be loose.

Marsha~
Allegro Bus Diesel Pusher with Hyundai Tucson SUV toad.

cva61

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Most frequently balance issue will result in cupping of the tire and you can usually see or feel it on the tire.  Steering wheel shake is usually an alignment/damaged componet in the steering system.  As I said before take it to a compent front end shop (NOT A CAR SHOP) and have it checked.   Especially the caster.


Roy
Lenexa, KS
2006 GMC 3500 SRW D/A
2000 HitcHiker 31.5 BWTG

Gary RV Roamer

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What part of the country are you in? Perhaps we can recommend at quality front end shop.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

LK23

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I had a similar problem with my 2005 Itasca Horizon with IFS suspension.  I chased this problem for years.  I took my coach to three truck tire dealers and two Freightliner service facilities for balancing, alignment, etc.  Still had the shimmy.  I had Equal installed in the tires.  Still had the shimmy.  I bought new tires and aluminum wheels.  Still had the shimmy.  On several occasions, Freightliner in Gaffney advised me to have the radial runout checked.  Both the tire dealers and the local Freightliner service facility told me the front wheels were in spec.  Now, I highly doubt it.  They either didn't check it or didn't know how to properly check it.

Last April, I took my coach to Tolleson Freightliner, west of Phoenix, AZ.  Prior to arriving, the service manager, Kirk Ault, told me he could fix the problem.  When I arrived, they removed the Equal and balanced the tires on the coach.  They found the Michelin tire/Accuride wheel combination needed no weights.  They were in balance.   Then they checked the radial runout and found my front wheels had .06 radial runout.  The spec. is .04 or less.  They dismounted the tires and rotated them on the wheels until they got around .035 on both wheels.  This completely eliminated the steering wheel shimmy.  Now, it drives very smooth with no vibration.  My problem was corrected after driving 37,000 miles with the shimmy.

My suggestion:  Find a dealer who will assure you they can measure the radial runout properly and will "work with" your front wheels until they are in spec.
2005 Itasca Horizon 40AD

John Canfield

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I had the exact problem Rex (LK23) had, but in my case the problem was quickly mitigated by Lazydays' chassis shop shortly after we took delivery.  Before you do anything else with your suspension or tires, get the radial run-out checked.  The front tires might need to be dismounted, the tire deflated and repositioned on the wheel.  The wheels (at least on my 2005 ZF IFS) will not self-center on the hubs, so they might need to be bumped around a little.

At the risk of being pummeled again  ::) , Freightlliner has tested in-tire balancing products (i.e., Equal) and found them to be basically ineffective and they do not recommend the use of any in-tire balancing product.  If it works for you, great.  In any case, this is Freightliner's official position based on testing.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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hugh37

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Gary...you asked what part of the country I am in, for a front-end shop recommendation.  I reside just out of Knoxville, TN.  I know that Freightliner has a nice facility here, which I have used a few times, but not for my current problem.  Are you (or others reading this post) familiar with the reputation of this shop as regard the work I'm needing.  How about other shops in my area that would do a quality job? I'm not a great distance from Gaffney, SC...could be that's the place I should settle for?  Thanks for all the responses thus far.

John Canfield

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Gaffney would be my first choice - lucky you not being too far away from them!
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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