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Vehicle and Equipment Recalls This Sub-Forum is for informational purposes only, recalls of Blue Birds are automatically posted to this forum when posted on Auto-Recalls.com ALL SUBMISSIONS ARE MODERATED - NO DISCUSSION IS ALLOWED HERE

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  #11  
Old 11-20-2008
davidmbrady
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Ross,

Thanks for sharing your experience. It's invaluable information for those of us considering an upgrade to a 450LXi. Clearly the recall work, while ostensibly satisfying the NHTSA, resulted in less than optimal coach properties, all of which could have been avoided if Cerberus had continued their plan for an 18,000 lb front axle replacement. For those of us considering the purchase of a 450LXi, have you contemplated an owner upgrade to an 18000 lb front axle? Does such an axle exist? Any idea of the cost of an 18000 lb axle transplant?

Thanks,
David Brady
'02 LXi, NC
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2008
BCRoamer BCRoamer is offline
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First, allow me to applaude Coach Works for what appears to be taking complete charge of the issue and doing the "right thing".

If you read through the underlying discussion here the real issue is just overweight. High-end customers have demanded granite everything, complex mechaniziums for hiding a storing furniture, more and bigger slides-outs etc, All this with a mimimum regard to weight and weight distribution. The other issue is height, ask an H3 owner.

There is a real opportunity for a coach builder to take the time, do it right, from and engineering standpoint, and at the same time attract the high-end buyers that real drive the tip of this business.

Again, thanks to Coach Works for keeping us informed.
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Lance & Jan Crowley
1993 WB #104663 (SOLD)
Boulder City, NV
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2008
dentmac dentmac is offline
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18,000? 19,000 is required. Some of these coaches were 18,500.
Swap new axle? Not that simple. Need to have room for wider wheels for 365 tires.
Obviously WELL above the cost of moving genset etc. or BB would have done it. It's all about $$$
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2008
davidmbrady
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Lance,

The real issue here is wheelbase. My LXi weighs the same as a 450LXi, which weighs the same as your Wide Body, approximately 47500 lb. Simply stretching the wheelbase shifted 15% more weight to the steer axle. My coach and yours have a 259 inch wheelbase. The 450LXi has a 296 inch wheelbase. My coach, fully loaded (people, clothes, toys, food, fuel, and water) comes in at 1500 lb below steer axle GAWR. Blue Bird Corporation, for whatever reason, simply dropped the ball on this crucial and simple calculation.

David Brady
'02 LXi (living room slide), NC
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2008
dentmac dentmac is offline
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David,
The 450 LXi weighs in at over 51,000 with full tanks and no passengers
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2008
davidmbrady
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My apologies, I was getting my information from here:

http://www.fmca.com/fmc2005/decmag/coachfeature.asp

Ross, what are your fully loaded axle weights?

Thanks,
David Brady
'02 LXi, NC
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  #17  
Old 11-20-2008
BCRoamer BCRoamer is offline
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Chassis length is an issue, that said the bottom line is that you have to drop some total weight on 6 points and arrange it so that it mets all standards. A very difficult job, when you include the demands by customers for more slides and high-end ammenities.

Prevost put out a 20k front-end a couple of years ago (365 tires). My friend went out and bougth a new Marathon just to have the "cool" front end. He has no slideouts.

As pointed out earlier, at some point this going to have to stop and technical inovations cut weight. As we all know some of this being doing with light weight granite.

The challenge to any high-end coach builder is get the engineering right and still built in the mystic that makes high-end buyers purchase their coach.

My coach was built by a guy named Charlie Hamilton (very nice gentlemen). He purchase 7 new BB, ours is the 7th. Since '99 my friend has purchased 4 Prevost Marathons. If you spend a winter at ODR in Indio you can chat with Newell owners who switch coaches every 2 or 3 years, there's 15 to 20 of them there.

Got off the subject here, the point is builting a successful high-end HUGE job, requiring great engineering, marketing vision, a great prodcut, service service service and the deep pockets to get/keep the whole project going. I wish Coach Works the best. I would be fun putting a little fire under Newell and Marathon.
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Lance & Jan Crowley
1993 WB #104663 (SOLD)
Boulder City, NV
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  #18  
Old 11-20-2008
davidmbrady
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Mea culpa. Sorry folks, today must be the day for me to put my foot in my mouth. Let me correct what I said earlier. Stretching the wheelbase does not automatically result in more weight on the steer axle. There's more to it than that.

If the wheel base is stretched, but the center of gravity (CG) is kept at the same distance from the drive axle: then weight increases on the drive and decreases on the steer.

If the CG moves so that it's proportionally in the same position that it was in before the wheelbase stretch: then the weights on the drive and steer have not changed.

If the CG moves forward relative to it's proportional location before the wheelbase stretch, then the steer axle weight increases.

So it all comes down to placement of the CG.

I apologize for the second time today, I'll now go back to my corner!

David Brady
'02 LXi, NC
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  #19  
Old 11-20-2008
Charlie Vaughn Charlie Vaughn is offline
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I have not reviewed an axle distance weight chart recently but as the wheelbase increases the 34,000 tandem max. weight is increased also.
Charlie
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Charlie Vaughn
1999LXi
Mount Airy,North Carolina
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  #20  
Old 11-20-2008
dentmac dentmac is offline
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Charlie,
You are referring to the Federal "bridge formula" see:http://www.randmcnally.com/pdf/tdm/Federal_Bridge.pdf

It is designed to protect the bridge structures and is a formula with a wheelbase component.
There is single axle and tandem axle "cap" to protect the roads
Here is a BB example of the bridge formula where they show that 37,000 lbs is acceptable. Note that the wheelbase should be from the front axle to the mid-tandem point also.
Regardless: The tandem maximum is 34,000 lbs and a single axle is 20,000 (depending on State)

also see: Axle weight limits

http://vsw.fhwa.dot.gov/qa/qasearch....le&btnG=Go#top




Ross
2006 450 LXi

Last edited by dentmac; 11-20-2008 at 07:53 PM. Reason: link clarification
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