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Messages - Taildragger

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General Discussion / Re: Rear Storage Compartment door
« on: September 25, 2021, 09:29:22 am »
Okay!  Thanks for the follow up. 

I can imagine the two-sided tape being a more practical solution than custom fitting a wood insert.  The link you forwarded offers a much more affordable source.

Once the tape arrives, I am going to use it on both struts.  The side needing repair demonstrates how feeble the factory installation is.  And, my first repair attempt which was to use larger diameter screws proved to be equally short lived. 

Reinforcing the side that remains intact seems like a sensible precaution.  Otherwise, I predict the probability of it ripping out of the  thin plastic as "inevitable".

The front coil spring was loose once I dropped the suspension arm and removed the top clip.  As you described the procedure, with the frame supported by a jack stand  and the lower suspension arm completely relaxed, the spring is completely free at the top. Plenty of room to move the top around.

Trouble was, the coil spring simply wouldn't lift off the bottom bracket.  The bottom bracket receptacle includes a retaining ring that fits inside the spring's bottom coil.    Because of the ring, the spring wouldn't tip out.   Nor, would it allow being lifted free.  I had to use considerable force in order to pry the bottom coil up and over the ring's collar.   

Not an easy job.  Until I recruited help, the spring flopped around with the effort.  I needed the end of the bottom coil to be at the fulcrum of my pry bar.

General Discussion / Re: Rear Storage Compartment door
« on: September 24, 2021, 06:36:17 pm »
Sounds good!  That is, until I checked the price.  Online, the price is over a hundred bucks for a roll.  Shelf life is twenty four months.

General Discussion / Re: Rear Storage Compartment door
« on: September 24, 2021, 01:28:23 pm »
Rear Storage Compartment Door

The gas strut assemblies that keep the door from closing are charged with  pressure and they work like a prop when extended.  There are two mounting brackets.  One at each corner, generally with ball ends firmly mounted in the door frame structure.

On my Phoenix Cruiser, the upper brackets  for the gas support struts pulled out from the mounting points.   The screws pulled out from the very thin plastic supporting the upper bracket.  The screws were anchored (?) in the thin sheet plastic that is the core of the door.

 I don't use that hatch much. One side continues to hold and supports the door.   I have tried to fix  the affected area by simple procedures.  Such as using larger diameter screws.  When that fix didn't last, I tried using plugs as hollow wall anchors.  That definitely didn't work.

As a permanent repair, I am planning to open an aperture into the thin inner skin and gluing a custom fitted wood block in the area where the struts mount. This will give a firm anchor for the screws,  Unlike the thin plastic. 

There is no depth to the space between the inner liner and outer door panel.  Short screws will have to be used.  Even considering that, a half inch of wood will hold considerably tighter and longer than a sixteenth of plastic.

Actually, I am surprised the manufacturer considered the original installation as reliable

I went through the parts replacement procedure.  And, I have driven the vehicle with the "new" front suspension to verify the benefits are as claimed.

Having read how easy the process is, I want to add that, for me, the installation process encountered an unexpected obstacle that required considerable effort and the acquisition of an additional tool.   I found, that in the case of my vehicle, there is an unmentioned step during the removal of the existing coil spring that requires brute force being applied in an articulated direction.  (Random hammering doesn't help) The existing spring doesn't simply lift out after removing the top clip and opening the suspension arms to full deployment.  On my vehicle, the bottom coil is entrapped by a mating flange that is circular and imposes a lock on the bottom coil circumference from the inside  . 

The loosened spring simply will not budge from the mounting retainer.  In order to keep it from flopping around and slipping from my prying force, I summoned help from a friend.  And, his assistance being combined with the necessary leverage of a newly acquired six foot long, heavy steel prybar the seemingly impossible was forced to transpire,  The brute force process required spinning the spring to a sweet spot and then aggressively applying persistent and substantial leverage.  Under the  continued effort - eventually it pops loose.

Since replacing the front suspension, it seems prudent to have the front end realigned.  That in spite of having driven the new installation to note the absence of lane wondering or other steering difficulties.  Having tried tire shops, truck repair centers, and specialty alignment shops within a hundred mile radius, I am learning how difficult finding a shop willing to accept an RV is.  Impossible, at this point

General Discussion / Re: Backup Camera Monitor Not Working
« on: August 11, 2021, 03:36:07 pm »
I have followed the links suggested in this thread.  Looking to find a direct replacement for the factory mounted system, it appears nothing is offered.  I want a camera that can be inserted into the  existing camera receptacle.  The one that is factory molded into the top frame of the PC and faces rearward from above the clearance lights.. 

Same for the monitor.  I want to re use the existing swivel bracket that suspends the screen from the headliner - above the driver.

Although I haven't stumbled onto the combination, it is difficult to believe there isn't something that exactly matches.   

Anti - Sway Bars!   The topic is an old issue that remains controversial and seemingly unresolved in the court of public opinion.  An internet search reveals the issue generated much discussion a decade ago.  The topic appears less frequently on the RV Forums, now.  Perhaps, because those claiming benefit better articulate their case with anecdotal examples based on personal experience telling improvements to factory installed front suspension components greatly improve handling issues in a variety of ways.   Those easily outweigh and outnumber the occasional antagonist who characterizes anyone willing to believe they help as a prime candidate for the purchase of a bridge.
For me, the path to upgrades is usually guided by my wallet.  And, upgrading a FORD 2007 chassis to include a rear anti sway bar, where there was none, proved upgrades can be beneficial.  I characterize the benefits of that installation as making a change that was noticeable from both the driver and passenger’s perspective.    Best described as dampening a sense of top heaviness, the vehicle’s inclination towards excessive lean on banked corners at highway speeds and moderate crosswind conditions, control is noticeably improved.
Making that one upgrade, I am confident the improvements claimed for replacement of OEM front suspension parts will also benefit handling issues, and worth the expense.  Replacing the front anti-sway bar with a heavier after - market option is purported as being the solution to the sensation of being “pushed” when overtaken by large vehicles at highway speeds.  Softer front springs promise front tires will remain more firmly affixed to the road surface for more positive steering.
From reading reports from others who undertake DIY replacements of the front suspension, I get the impression that on the 2007 FORD E350, shocks, anti-sway bars, and coil springs are inter related to the degree everything gets disconnected.  Replacing any one requires the others be detached.
I intend to do the project in early September.  Any thoughts and input would be greatly appreciated.

General Discussion / Re: Woohoo! Canadian border to open Aug. 9th
« on: July 23, 2021, 09:57:01 am »
Despite Canada easing, US extends land border restrictions.

The United States Government is extending the closure of the land borders with Canada until at least Aug 21.

The move announced Wednesday, July 21 by the Department of Homeland Security came two days after the Canadian government announced it would begin letting fully vaccinated U.S. citizens into Canada on Aug. 9 and those from the rest of the world on Sept. 7.

Adventure Anywhere / Re: Dreaming of Alaska Road Trip
« on: July 23, 2021, 02:00:10 am »
Despite Canadian easing, US extends land border restrictions.

The United States Government is extending the closure of the land borders with Canada until at least Aug 21.

The move announced Wednesday, July 21 by the Department of Homeland Security came two days after the Canadian government announced it would begin letting fully vaccinated U.S. citizens into Canada on Aug. 9 and those from the rest of the world on Sept. 7.

Adventure Anywhere / Re: Dreaming of Alaska Road Trip
« on: July 21, 2021, 03:17:33 pm »
Good Question

I read, that in a span of one week, the number of deaths due to COVID-19 vaccines reported to the government’s database outnumbered the official count of deaths due to the virus.

The government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, contains voluntary reports of adverse events following immunization with U.S.-licensed vaccines.

The news article noted VAERS reported 2,043 vaccine deaths in the week prior to July 7 compared to 1,505 COVID-19 deaths.

Adventure Anywhere / Re: Dreaming of Alaska Road Trip
« on: July 20, 2021, 11:01:08 am »
The Canadian government announced  it will open its border Aug. 9 to vaccinated Americans.
Travelers will have to upload proof they’ve been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus for at least two weeks. They will also have to get tested within 72 hours of arrival and submit a negative test result.
The Canada-U.S. border has been closed to non-essential travel since March of last year. Opening it is a boon for Alaska snowbirds who drive south in the fall, and for certain businesses that depend on road and ferry traffic.
At first, Canada is only opening the border to American citizens and permanent residents. It intends to begin allowing visitors from other countries to enter on Sept. 7.

General Discussion / Re: Backup Camera Monitor Not Working
« on: July 10, 2021, 12:47:07 pm »
I am interested in replacing the BackUp Monitor portion of the  rearview system in my 2007 PC.  I think the camera is functioning properly.  But, the existing monitor is junk.  The display resolution is very poor. Virtually unusable! Mottled to the point of not providing detail.  And, the on screen controls are unreliable. It needs to be upgraded to newer technology.    I'm not even going to mess with repair suggestions.

I would like to find a compatible system to allow replacing the monitor without rewiring everything.  Dealing with the cabling running the length of the coach is the primary obstacle causing me hesitation.

I checked out a plug compatible replacement monitor from the original equipment supplier .And, learned it was priced higher than a premier 60" HD Home Theater Screen.  So, meanwhile, I installed a license plate bracket mounted camera that is viewable on my GPS.  No complaints.  Excellent quality and full featured with customizable parameters.  My only option: it only operates when the transmission is in reverse. 

Driving the PC in city traffic, I notice the tendency for motorists to position themselves in known blind spots.  I have good mirrors and am instantly aware of drivers pulling into blindside slots.  I need a full-time rear view camera to detect tailgaters.  I'm going to follow this topic and look for suggestions others have about upgrading fifteen year old  installations

According to the guys who sells springs, coil springs should be replaced "when they show signs of deterioration". What does that mean?  As they lose the ability to bounce back?  As they age?  Because they are rusty and don't meet aesthetic desires?

Following this forum, I am focused on the coil spring topic.   Contributors who have already explored the alternatives are generating some interesting replies.  And, their thought process reveals there is a solution available from a list of alternatives. 

Based on the rig I have, I have decided to replace the front springs with the lightest available.  The plan includes changing out the front anti-sway bar with the heavier version and including shock absorbers rated for highest stability.  The steering stabilizer will remain unchanged.

I acknowledge the importance of considering actual weight before deciding on which replacement springs to order.  However, I am also conscious of the concept of mechanical advantage and imagine the weight on the front axle varies widely.  All depending on loads in the various tanks.  The ballast weight range from empty to full could vary by several hundred pounds.  And, on a comparatively short forward arm such as the 2100 offers, the long cantilever force of the rear ballast position would be exaggerated.  Especially, when the arc is further propelled by the momentum of highway speeds. 

I could weigh the rig empty.  I could then weigh the rig full.  That would, I presume, reveal the front becomes lighter.  But, what about the pervasive dynamics of highway speeds? 

I wonder if aftermarket spring suppliers specializing in the RV market provide that information. 

Everything I read, from other sources, has me inclined to believe a change to softer suspension will offer more mechanical grip.  Narratives explain the change will do a better job of keeping the tires on the ground when it comes to depressions, bumps, and surface irregularities in the road.   Along with the observations made by those on this forum who have made the change and then reporting a more pleasant ride, the combination of also having more control has me convinced to make the conversion. 

The outline of the change procedures presented in this topic is a first class summary of the required steps.  Valuable information and thoroughly presented.  Encouraging to know the exchange can be done without the specialized tools or torch and duck heroics associated with the older GM products I am familiar with.  Jack the frame up and pull the retainer clip off the top of the spring.

Including information on the replacement parts - with examples of those used really narrows the options down. 

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