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BMC (Bluebird Motor Coach Unique Issues) If you have a unique issue with your BMC coach and it can't be answered in one of the other forums here, then this is where you can list it.....List your BMC Parts here too.

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  #1  
Old 09-28-2018
azrescue azrescue is offline
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Default Steering sector gear replacement

Anyone have any experience replacing the steering sector gear on a BMC?

I'm replacing mine due to slop in the gears and it's a bit of a puzzle to take apart. With it bolted in place, and the steering centered, there isn't enough room to remove either the pitman rod from the arm, or the arm from the gear.

Seems like the options are:

A) to move the steering (which could be trouble because in multiple places it says not to move the new one until installed to properly set the poppets).

B) loosen the entire bracket that holds the gear (I'm lazy so I don't like this option one freaking bit)

C) something I'm missing.

Hoping for C!
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Patrick and Stephanie Barrett
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FMCA F469045
EAA 404878
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Old 09-28-2018
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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your changing the whole box out,right?
If i could,i would hire that done somewhere.
That thing is heavy and awkward,if you drop it on yourself its going to be a bad day...
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Old 09-28-2018
chiplamb chiplamb is offline
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Even George didn't want to mess with mine!
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Old 09-28-2018
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I paid someone
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Old 09-28-2018
azrescue azrescue is offline
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Well shoot.

You guys are all unanimous. Maybe I should rethink changing it myself. I guess maybe that was the option C, what I was missing.
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1995 37' BMC

FMCA F469045
EAA 404878
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2018
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What could one expect to pay for the new steering box and replacement labor?
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Old 11-03-2018
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Did you ever get steering sector gear changed out?
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Old 11-07-2018
azrescue azrescue is offline
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Yes. Long story but still sort of on going as I've had trouble with the reman unit.
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1995 37' BMC

FMCA F469045
EAA 404878
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2019
azrescue azrescue is offline
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I meant to write a follow up on this but kept forgetting. Sorry. Better late than never I suppose.

So, I took everyone's advice and paid to have the steering gearbox changed out rather than do it myself. I'm glad I did, but it wasn't without issue.

It was time-consuming for the shop that replaced it. Time-consuming of course equals expensive when you're paying by the hour. You have to disconnect the entire bracket that the gearbox is attached to from the frame, drop the assembly down, then disassemble it. It really is tough to do on these.

Spartan gave me a copy of a service bulletin that did help somewhat. The service bulletin covers replacement of the bracket due to cracks. I uploaded and it can be found here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw1...ew?usp=sharing

After the new steering gearbox was put in, I had multiple issues with it, mostly due to the installers.

1) After getting home I found it had a small hyd leak. This ended up being from the fitting that screws into the unit at the top for the return line. I later took it all apart again and fixed the leak myself.

2) It initially had a small catch when turning to the right. The long and short is that it just needed to be bled more. To be fair, it is hard to get all the air out of a new one. Time helps.

3) There was slop in the reman unit. I was able to tighten it up using the sector shaft adjustment so it's good and tight now, but I shouldn't have had to do that (that part is on the reman company).

So, it was a considerable expenditure of time and money, but the end game is that it is definitely improved over when I started.

A couple other random thoughts from all of it-

-The sector shaft adjustment faces the storage bay. I made an access hole in my bay, and then made a cover plate. Now I can access it and adjust it easily. My old one had clearly never been adjusted, and it was not able to be adjusted. the adjustment screw seemed jammed in the old one even with the lock nut loosened.

Another way to skin the cat would be making a special tool. Marty Gregg told me that he made one. I bet he'd share a pic of what he made if someone wanted to go that route.

-There is a grease fitting on the steering gearbox that is hard to reach. It looks like it lubricates the main bearing the pitman shaft rotates on. I'm quite sure that fitting never gets any love on almost every bus.

-I'm definitely a big proponent of taking out slack that is anywhere in the steering system. My bus drove pretty well before, but with a tight steering system, and a good alignment it really steers well these days.

Anyway, that's all I can think of.
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EAA 404878
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2019
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Mine was expensive too
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