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Front End Rebuild

This forum will archives technical threads that are unique to Eagle Buses. There will be one thread for general comments, but the technical threads will be locked. The intent is to have a repository for detailed technical information that can be of prime importance to an Eagle Bus Owner. New threads can only be created by the forum administrators.
Front End Rebuild
Tue May 21, 2013 10:05 am


I wanted to book mark, for the search engine, a great front end rebuild documentation by Manny Montesino in his project pages. Here is the link (the rebuild information starts towards the bottom of the page):

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=247&start=130

He got his parts from:

Jefferson Truck Trailer & Bus Repair
1317 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73106
405-272-0213

For the search function: Keywords: bushings, king pins, tie rod ends, lateral shafts, steering arm.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
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Re: Front End Rebuild
Tue May 21, 2013 7:53 pm


Jim,

You inspired me tonight and I am making an attempt to post some pics of my front end rebuild I did about the same time as Manny did his. These are some finished pics of the front end, new steering box/mount, & the toe-in bars I built to check the toe. I would really like to document the whole job because I learned a lot that we need to share with everyone. I got most of my parts from Jefferson and did all of the work myself :o If you ever want to bond with the soul of your bus then this is a great project to do it..lol Every single part that could be rebuilt or replaced in the front end (short of taking the torqs out) was. I made drivers for all the bushings and pivots as well as custom covers for the end of the tapered pins. I can now force grease from the (correct) end of the pins to grease the bushings that wear out. I used fire, big hammers, profanity(lots) and a lot of tenacity to say the least. I started on 5-12-12 and finished 7-31-12!! We left on our big summer trip and on the third day of our trip we stayed at Wayne & Lin's (August 3rd)!! He was the first one I showed it off too!!

Here is my photobucket link that shows the pics I have posted so far. http://s1085.photobucket.com/user/Rooon ... %20REBUILD

I'll try to get the before, during and after pics so the whole project timeline is on there. I am happy to answer any questions for those that want to venture there themselves....but everything I was told from everyone before I started (like getting it apart!) was true!!

Ahhh......love my BUS TYME...... :D :D

Randy Coons
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Re: Front End Rebuild
Tue May 21, 2013 8:20 pm


Wow dude, you set the gold standard on that job! Awesome. Did you use the TAS 65 box? Those water jetted brackets are sweet. I assume you got the template from Jeff and cut your own? Now the big ?
How much better does it drive?? What was it like before, and now after.
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Re: Front End Rebuild
Tue May 21, 2013 8:27 pm


I still love those BABY BLUE DRUMS!!! Dang thing looks like new!! Great job!!
P.S. Wish I had a powder coat shop next door!!
Eric Brown
Spartanburg, SC
1973 05
Series 60 allison 4000MHP
Image
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Re: Front End Rebuild
Wed May 22, 2013 6:28 am


Extremely excellent work my friend! 8-)
Becky & Paul Lawry
Dreamscape
1968 Eagle 01 #7443
Silver 8V92 HT 740

Dreamscape Eagle Travel Blog: https://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/

Dreamscape Build Blog: https://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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Re: Front End Rebuild
Wed May 22, 2013 6:53 am


Randy is a true craftsman. It looks better in person and he has improved some of the parts on the front end to make it better.

Wayne
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Re: Front End Rebuild
Wed May 22, 2013 7:06 am


Thanks Jim for posting this. Sure brings back a lot of memories of that project.
Looking over the pics and seeing what Randy has done makes you want to go "WOW"
You did a great job, Randy!
That's what I'll be doing next (paint job). I just haven't had the time yet.
I'm sure Randy would agree that his Eagle is handling much better now.
I know mine sure is.
It made that 1900 mile trip we took to Arkansas and back a really nice ride.
Manny & Darlene's
1972 Silver Eagle 05
VIN # 8851
8V71 / HT740 4 Speed Automatic
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Re: Front End Rebuild
Wed May 22, 2013 8:35 am


Randy, thanks for adding to the documentation!!! As others have said, your work is amazing!

I started this thread, as we had a new member write to me and ask about parts supplier. When I did a search to give him a link, the info was spread all over the place. Hopefully this thread will pull lots of information together.

Jim
Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 with Series 60 & Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission - not at all fancy, but fully functional
Bus Project pages: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog: http://beltguy.com/blog/
Email: jim@eaglesinternational.net Note: Email sent to the this address requesting technical advice will not receive a response
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Re: Front End Rebuild
Wed May 22, 2013 12:07 pm


I wonder how Dick Kaiser does it he rebuilt my front end on the 05 cheaper than Jerry would sell me parts so he must have a outlet for parts besides Jerry

I know he makes his own shims for the boogies Boomer got any ideas ? I know he does your front end work also
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Re: Front End Rebuild
Wed May 22, 2013 12:27 pm


Thanks everyone for the compliments. All of you understand the disease (haha) and the satisfaction of making our buses new, safe and cool looking!

On Boomers question about the handling.....it is much much better but I'm still not where I want to be.

Many of you enlightened me as I was doing the rebuild so I'll try to enlighten you now that it is rebuilt. The bus wandered and felt disconnected before the rebuild. The bus had about 750K miles on it (as a Trailways bus) and I think the front end had never been rebuilt.

On the advice of Mark Mason at Straightline Steering I decided to rebuild the front suspension first and not do the steering box to see how much this improved the ride. I replaced and rebuilt everything (all bearings, tie rod ends, king-pin bushings, upper torqs, c-arm bushings & pins, front hub brgs & seals, s-cam bushings etc.!)and set the toe-in at 1/8" with the bus on the ground. By the way the bus has severe bump steer I found out (9/16"+ from full droop to full bump!!) when I tried setting the toe with the bus on jack stands!!!

The first test drive proved the steering box was worn because the bus still wandered..just not as bad. I was pressed for time and did a bonzai run to Straightline in San Jose to pick-up a new box and pitman arm. I also had to make a new shaft from the steering column to the box input shaft and Mark gave me a bunch of pieces (correct u-joints) that I cut and welded to fit. The old stock bracket was cut out and yes I waterjetted the new one out (can make more if someone needs one) off of templates we made from cardboard. It was tricky getting the tie-rod end of the pitman arm in the exact location of the old one and have it not hit the frame at full lock. I also added some big gussets since I think the old bracket was flexing some even with the factory gusset upgrade (another post topic!). I'm real happy with how all this came out.

The bus had the original HF65 steering box in it from the factory. That was one of the reasons the Wolfe's(PO) purchased the shell (had power steering). I replaced it with the HFB65 box I got from Mark Mason of Straightline Steering (408)289-9850 in San Jose CA. Several other forum members have used this same box. I must point out that there are many HFB65 box configurations! It is used on many trucks but the guts are speced by the manufacture and the ratios vary as well as other internal valving etc. The box I have is a common configuration and I can post the full part number for everyone. This is important if someone is changing out the box! Mark described the stock Eagle box(HF65) as 60's technology and the HFB65 box as 90's technology. The hf65(stock) box pinion shaft "floats" when rotated and the HFB65 doesn't. He also emphasized the importance of maintaining the same pitman arm length and position as well as making certain the box was "centered" with the wheels pointed straight. If you look at the picture of the output shaft on the new box you can see a yellow line. I used this to assure the box is in the middle of the travel. The HFB65 box has the ability to manually adjust the poppets at full lock unlike others (I think TAS??) so you can adjust the relief at full lock. One of the reasons for using this box.

Unfortunately, I ended up with less steering radius than I had before and that is a bit of a problem. I now have to do a two point turn to get in my driveway that I didn't before. I'm certain some of this is because of the excess slop in everything which gave me a little more travel before the rebuild!! I hope to resolve this but I didn't have time before we left on our trip to figure out why....another bus project..haha

So how did it drive with the new box?? Much better but not what I think is perfect. I believe now there are several reasons: Eagles don't have enough caster in the spindle (Wayne says it's rare to see one with more than 2 deg!). The bus needs to be aligned(rear end & boggies correct to the front end). The torqs need to be adjusted to give correct weights on all wheels. I think some of this is cumulative but I'm sure there are folks on this forum that know way more about this than me.

Think about it like this; our Eagle conversions (weight wise) are like a fully loaded passenger bus going down the road. If there is too much weight on the front end for instance or on one side it greatly affects the handling. Eagles that are widened to 102" also don't seem to handle as well as those left at the 96" width... from what I'm told.

The big wildcard discovery on this whole project for me however was the wheel offset! Our 1983 M10 was widened to 102" and raised 7" by Dave Fisher (Rogue Coachworks) in 1995. The PO had custom steel wheels made with a 3" offset to make the wheels "look" better in the wheel wells with the walls moved out. You can see them in the picture with the toe-in bars mounted up. The problem with the offset is it changes the scrub radius and can amplify any inherent issues in the steering. I need to take the front wheels off my M01 (stock offset) and put them on the M10 but haven't been able to do it yet. I also have not checked my boggies (like Eric Brown did) or weight checked the bus so I don't know where I'm at there either. There are a lot of factors at play here and maybe some of you can give us more input on what worked for you. I've driven a half of dozen Eagles of different models and our M10 is close but not there yet. I still want to drive a low mileage stock Eagle that is supposedly perfect to really know. Eddie Barella (drove Eagles for a living) said he would drive mine and he could tell. His M15 Marathon is low miles but I've never driven it.


That should be enough to chew for now...lol

.....The quest for the perfect driving Eagle continues........

Enjoy,

Randy Coons
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