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Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Steering and Suspensions Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Steering and Suspensions and related components.

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  #1  
Old 01-18-2016
NickelDance NickelDance is offline
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Default Where to go for service?

We have recently added to our family a 1980 FC35 SB ("Red's Rec", from Pine Bluff, Arkansas). With only an occasional start-up, she sat forlornly in a driveway for over ten years. You guys can imagine I was pretty nervous driving her home, but she made the 150 miles back to Memphis without a whimper.

First task is solving an electrical gremlin with the 3208. (The starter turns over but sounds like it only partially engages, resulting in a loud "chattering" noise and shaking the engine. Batteries are almost new and fully charged, and occasionally she fires right up, so I'm suspecting a bad connection somewhere.) She's scheduled to visit the local Cat service center tomorrow morning.

Once that's fixed, she'll need new tires, brake service, at least one new air bag (left front, slowly leaking down), and possibly new shocks. And therein lies my question: Where to go?

Memphis is just across the bridge from West Memphis, Arkansas, a major trucking center. Just to the south of us is a recommended Bluebird service center (from the WOG, Clarke Power Services). Further south in Olive Branch, Mississippi is Camping World of Memphis, a big RV center.
I've spent my entire life working on boats of all types, so I'm good with electrical systems, generators, and clogged toilets. But, big tires, notched brake drums, air bags...ain't got a clue! I need someone with knowledge that I can trust.

What do you think? RV service center or commercial truck service center? Anybody have any good recommendations for the Memphis area? Thanks for your guidance!
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2016
Mike Hohnstein's Avatar
Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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Never go to Camping World for any service. It will make you sad at a minimum. You've got some issues with that starter deal. Last thing you want is to mess up the ring gear teeth on the flywheel. The starter is heavy, typically it is mounted with three 7/16" dia. bolts with 5/8 12 point heads, and if you don't bench press two hundred pounds easily, probably should get it to a heavy duty truck shop. The bell housing/flywheel is SAE # 2, that should help when talking to potential service suppliers.
Rear air bag on the road side is usually the culprit due to exhaust clearance over heating it.
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2016
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isp2952 isp2952 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickelDance View Post
We have recently added to our family a 1980 FC35 SB ("Red's Rec", from Pine Bluff, Arkansas). With only an occasional start-up, she sat forlornly in a driveway for over ten years. You guys can imagine I was pretty nervous driving her home, but she made the 150 miles back to Memphis without a whimper.

First task is solving an electrical gremlin with the 3208. (The starter turns over but sounds like it only partially engages, resulting in a loud "chattering" noise and shaking the engine. Batteries are almost new and fully charged, and occasionally she fires right up, so I'm suspecting a bad connection somewhere.) She's scheduled to visit the local Cat service center tomorrow morning.

Once that's fixed, she'll need new tires, brake service, at least one new air bag (left front, slowly leaking down), and possibly new shocks. And therein lies my question: Where to go?

Memphis is just across the bridge from West Memphis, Arkansas, a major trucking center. Just to the south of us is a recommended Bluebird service center (from the WOG, Clarke Power Services). Further south in Olive Branch, Mississippi is Camping World of Memphis, a big RV center.
I've spent my entire life working on boats of all types, so I'm good with electrical systems, generators, and clogged toilets. But, big tires, notched brake drums, air bags...ain't got a clue! I need someone with knowledge that I can trust.

What do you think? RV service center or commercial truck service center? Anybody have any good recommendations for the Memphis area? Thanks for your guidance!
I have used Clarke Power Service up here in Ft. Wayne. So has Ron Rueckwald. I was happy and I think Ron was too. Not heard anything bad about them. They specialize in Detroit and Allison not sure about Cat. They do all kinds of bus and coach services, which includes chassis service.
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2016
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Rick Rick is offline
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I agree with Mike (who wouldn't), stay away from Camping World except for stuff you can install yourself. You will wind up paying for them to learn about your Wanderlodge. Find a Truck Shop or a Bus Shop that wants to work on your coach. Your not doing them a favor by letting them do the work. There are many small Class 8 repair shops in your area. Oh and by the way, were glad your here.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2016
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Bumpersbird Bumpersbird is offline
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"Never go to Camping World for any service." Sage advise.
Clark should be able to handle your other issues.
If you need air bags get them before you go to the shop.
Have the shop install them, lots of shops get rattled when you say Bluebird, if you know the problem and can acquire the parts this saves lots of time and money
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2016
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
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Welcome,

Ask a college, or school district where they get chassis work completed.
For the type of safety and chassis work you are asking maybe an independent class 8 garage. Best done by professionals
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2016
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Lance & Terry Lance & Terry is offline
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Congrats on your purchase. Post some pics of the Bird.
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1994 WB
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2016
Homer L. Butler Homer L. Butler is offline
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The air bag is not a bad fix jack up that side there is one air fitting on the top with two bolts and one bolt on the bottom. If the bolts don't come off easy you can cut them off, new ones come with the air bag. With the unit jacked up they come right out. I change them out in about an hour. The cost of the air bag is about 100 to 150.
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2016
NickelDance NickelDance is offline
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Thank you all for your quick replies. From that, the plan is:
-To the Caterpillar service center tomorrow for 3208 starter issues and routine maintenance
-Clarke Power for brakes and air bags
-Avoid Camping World. Got it!

Now, another question: The manual specifies 11x22.5, 16 ply tires, but I've seen a lot of chatter here about the advantages of different sizes and even using different specs on steering and drive tires. Have we ever determined the "best" size for the FC35 SB, or is this going to be like arguing about religion and politics? The tires on her now are Michelin XZA 10.00Rx20. The local truck tire dealers around here tell me that size is hard to find. Thoughts?
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2016
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Rick Rick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickelDance View Post
Thank you all for your quick replies. From that, the plan is:
-To the Caterpillar service center tomorrow for 3208 starter issues and routine maintenance
-Clarke Power for brakes and air bags
-Avoid Campin??g World. Got it!

Now, another question: The manual specifies 11x22.5, 16 ply tires, but I've seen a lot of chatter here about the advantages of different sizes and even using different specs on steering and drive tires. Have we ever determined the "best" size for the FC35 SB, or is this going to be like arguing about religion and politics? The tires on her now are Michelin XZA 10.00Rx20. The local truck tire dealers around here tell me that size is hard to find. Thoughts?

You have a bit of an issue there. the 11x22.5 tire will not fit your rims. 2.5 inches too large. You sure you have 20 inch wheels on your coach
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