1993 P30 chassis aftermarket upgrades?

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Apr 3, 2013
Grand Forks
I need to do shocks and brakes on my 1993 Airstream with a P30 Chassis. I come from travel trailer land and as motorcoaches go I have a limited knowledge as for upgrades....if any... any other good ideas or upgrades since I'll be crawling around down there? How about common problems with the chassis, any? It's under a 30ft Airstream Legacy and the GVW is 12,376lbs.. ,454 tbi, 4 spd od tranny... FYI

thanks! -Danny
Ours is a 99 but we have used the manual here to identify some parts. It isn't identical to ours, it is in the same only different category. http://www.bdub.net/manuals/P30/

A popular chassis upgrade is the Supersteer bell crank, which replaces the sloppy-fitting OEM component and tightens up the steering considerably.

The P30 has air bags as part of the front suspension and on a coach that old odds are they are due to be replaced (if not done already). At the very least they probably need air added to bring them up to pressure. Somewhere in the range of 40-50 psi is probably the right number for your chassis, but the specifics depends on the axle rating. I would start with 50 psi and adjust down/up for your preferred combination of ride and handling. If you like, there is a replacement coil spring that eliminates the air bag altogether.

The auto-park brake is problematic in these, so make sure it is working and the mechanism lubed and free of rust. Basically it is just an electrically operated  brake shoe on the drive shaft that is engaged whenever the transmission is in Park or the parking brake is  set, but it is well known to get frozen in place, making it either impossible to move or no way to "park".
Other improvements are optional depending on how it  handles

Sway Bar.. Sway is side to side rocking like fans at a rock concert swaying right and left. or the inverted pendulum of a metronome.  Now I do not know about the P-30 but my W series does not need improvement here

Trac Bar,  Leaf spring suspention allows the bogy to move sideways slightly over the axles, this causes the motor home to "Wag" like the tail of a dog.  My W series did benefit from one of these.

Steering stablizers (Mine is a Blue Ox Tru-Center) help to keep the steering centered.

While down there also check all suspension components, steering and such, I'd hate for a tie rod end to break on you while you are driving, Major pain in the operating system.
I have '93 Bounder on a '92 P30 chassis,16,000 gvwr. I'm handy with wrenches. If you have done brakes and shocks, etc. on other cars and light trucks, you can do this yourself. The biggest difference is safely getting it up on jack stands. Lift one axle at a time, don't try four wheels up and go yanking on wrenches while under it. Left front wheel and a metal panel behind it have to be removed to access the master cylinder. Replace all 5 flexible brake hoses while under there. Chassis has to be close to level fore and aft for proper brake bleeding, the proportioning valve works by sensing the nose dive of heavy braking and reduces flow to rear brakes. If you have a hard time getting a good pedal after new brakes installed and you've pushed a lot of clear fluid through, the new brakes probably need to be burnished/bedded/broken in.
Napa got me all the correct parts on the first try, including new master cylinder, new rear calipers and pads all around, new rear wheel bearings and seals and 5 new brake hoses. You need to know if you have disc/drum or all disc brakes, as well as dual rear tires, and whether or not you have hydroboost and autopark parking brake. If you have 4 wheel disc, dual rear tires and hydroboost you probably have JF9 brakes from Bendix. Inform parts guy it's a motorhome, cab forward P30 chassis.
I just did this on mine, replaceing the M/C took most of a day on my back, in the cold and I was pretty sore the next day. Rotor and hub assy's are heavy, even the calipers are awkward. If you can remove/replace a tire and wheel you can do it. The most frustrating was bleeding and bleeding, trying to get a good pedal, Nan and I pushed more than a gallon of brake fluid through it looking for that last burp of bubbles. That is when an 80 something old man asked me, "all new on your rear axle? You need to bed them in. Drive it and hit the brakes hard several times." I googled it and got a better idea of what he meant. It can take up to a couple dozen or more hard brake applications, without stopping completely to bed them. Let them cool while driving for a few miles before next application. Some info said 30 times from 30 mph, some said do some at 30 then do some at 45. I have done about a dozen of these and the pedal is improving. The Chilton manual is kinda vague on wheel bearing tightening procedure for the rear axle because of the different applications. I have a Dana 80 and the Chilton's procedure for GM full floating axle is correct for Dana 80 full floating axle. I'm pushing 60 and sort of fit, YMMV.
  I want better shocks too, not high on my list right now.  Too cold and ground is too wet to be crawling around under it. It's easier in the cold when the ground is frozen. I'm prepping the outside for the Zep Wet Look FF treatment, before the pollen starts really flying. Then the roof. Then back under it for a punchlist to clean up a kind of shoddy longblock installation. everything works as it should, except poorly spliced tranny cooling lines and missing heat shields causing a CHARRED with ash on it, hydroboost line to parking brake as well as melted, some charred, spark plug wires.

My 92 chassis has the mechanical auto park, no rotten green switch, yay. It's actuated by a cam and valve in the shift linkage. I don't know the change over year, maybe 95, 96 when ABS brakes came out?

@driftless shifter

  Did you replace the rear rotors  ???  I have question about doing that

Thanks,  Dave
What Gary said.    http://www.supersteerparts.com/products/motorhome--rv/class-a/gmchevy-p3032-chassis.html

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