Magnum chassis radius rods

Pretty much everything on the bottom side of the coach: Steering, wheels, tires, brakes, suspension
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iree75
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2022 7:35 am

Magnum chassis radius rods

Post by iree75 »

Greetings, long time lurker first time poster.
I have a 2000 Panther 425 on a magnum chassis for 7 or so years now. In trying to get rid of the coach wandering, I've discovered while installing the tiger track package, that at some point under prior ownership the the front radius rods are missing. Which accounts for it steering under braking. The replacement radius rods that were part of the tiger track won't fit as the mounts for them on the chassis and the front axle are way off. I'm thinking that the front axle was replaced at some point in prior ownership. Would anyone happen to have a picture or diagram of the front axle setup? I'm thinking I'll have to cut and reweld the mounts in the proper location on the axle.

On a side note I've already replaced all the shocks (6x bilsteins), adjusted the shims on the torsion bars and have installed a 6 airbag supplemental system on the coach. There is no slop in any of the tie rods or steering gear box from my testing.

Thank you,
-Frank
2000 Safari Panther 425, 450hp C12, Allison 4000
Frank
2001 Safari Panther 425
Magnum, Tiger Trak, Air Suspension
450hp Cat C12 / Allison 4000
"She's the fastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy" :D
wolfe10
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:12 pm

Re: Magnum chassis radius rods

Post by wolfe10 »

You mention ADDING ride height shims. That LOWERS ride height.

Between shims and your after market air suspension is are your front and rear axles at CORRECT RIDE HEIGHT?
Brett and Dianne Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38'. Ex 1997 Safari Sahara. Ex 1993 Foretravel U240
Moderator, FMCA Forums 2009-2020
Chairman, FMCA Technical Advisory Committee 2011- 2020
Moderator, http://www.dieselrvclub.org/ (FMCA chapter) 2002-
TDJohn
Posts: 411
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:34 pm

Re: Magnum chassis radius rods

Post by TDJohn »

Frank,

As Brett stated/asked, what was your ride height (fully loaded for travel) before shim adjustment and after?
Please give height specs for each wheel (four corners).

Over inflation, especially of the front tires will make the coach wonder. If you have weighed the coach (fully loaded for travel), please provide the axle weights and total weight of the coach. Also please provide the tire size and brand/model so we can check the tire inflation chart and recommend what tire pressure to run front and back.
What tire pressures are you running on the coach right now?

As for the radius rod. Are you missing one rod or both? The reason I ask is most Safari coaches with the VelvetRide torsional suspension only came with one radius rod, on the left side, (don't ask why, as it is a mystery). To install a radius rod on the right side, it required drilling mounting holes in the cross member and the axle, approximately at the same places as the left radius rod.
John
'95 Serengeti, Cummins C8.3-300
Allison 6spd.
iree75
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2022 7:35 am

Re: Magnum chassis radius rods

Post by iree75 »

I stated I "adjusted" the shims.. (removed them) to get the correct height without supplementing that with pressure in the air bags.
I'll get back with the pressures / tire size.. I'll bet that is probably a factor as I believe I'm running all of them ~above 100 psi.
I've never had it weighed. I'll look at the tag in the cabin but I believe it stated 36k fully loaded.
Both bars are missing, and there are mounts on both the axle and frame for both. If they only came with one it would make sense to have it on the left (drivers?) side as that is the steering linkage side.

I followed this for right height adjustment..as I said, have not weighed the coach, I just measured it with it loaded per usual w/ 60 GA of fuel (I normally keep it above half. http://pioneermetalworks.com/wp-content ... ctions.pdf The bags are set to a pressure that doesn't add to the height, but if loaded I can add pressure as needed to bring the right height up if necessary.

Regardless, before I go troubleshooting other things I just want to make sure it has the parts it is supposed to have first and I haven't been able to find a picture or a diagram anywhere.
Frank
2001 Safari Panther 425
Magnum, Tiger Trak, Air Suspension
450hp Cat C12 / Allison 4000
"She's the fastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy" :D
astrnmrtom
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:49 pm

Re: Magnum chassis radius rods

Post by astrnmrtom »

I hope this helps.

Here's three images of the driver's side radius rod on my 1998 Magnum chassis. It's a Pioneer Metal Works replacement for the factory rod. In the photos I've put a streak of blue on the radius rod and a streak of yellow on the steering rod.

As for the question why only a rod on the left, if you look at one of the photos that show both rods you'll see why. Since the steering rod runs front to back, any movement of the front axle in the same direction acts like steering inputs - called bump steer. The radius rod on the left side is supposed to stop the left side of the axle from moving front to back. Any movement on the right side does still change axle geometry, but it doesn't product a direct steering input because the steering rod is on the driver's side. Adding a second radius rod does stabilize the right side of the axle from front to back movement.

If your rod is missing, and the new rod doesn't fit, it could be the axle isn't in the proper position front to rear. If the axle shifted and the steering rod was adjusted to compensate, the axle alignment is off and is no longer square to the frame.

When I installed the new rod, I was unable to fit it in place pre-adjusted to the proper length, I needed to shorten it up, and fit it in the mounting holes, and then re-adjust it. It took a few different attempts driving down the road, stopping and re-adjusting to get me steering wheel centered. Adjusting the rod in situ, pushed the left side of the axle back and forth until it was in the right spot.

Of course your chassis might be different.
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Tom Masterson
1998 Serengeti 3706
300hp Cat 3126, Allison 3060
600 Watts of Solar
17cf, Fisher & Paykel residential Refrigerator
iree75
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2022 7:35 am

Re: Magnum chassis radius rods

Post by iree75 »

Perfect!! .. Just what I was looking for. Thank you. It's interesting that the front of the axle and the frame have mounts for what id call trailing arms which are offset from frame to axle on each side. I would imagine to manage side to side movement as well as front to back. The tiger track kit came with two rods with instructions to replace the factory ones but they aren't there and the offset between the frame and the axle looks too great for the ones I was given.. They do not look like what you have pictured. I'll try to get under the coach tonight for pics to better explain. As for tire size.. 275/70R/22.5, Goodyears. I'm running them at 110 psi currently, I know I need to get it weighed, but will take me a few weeks to get to that.

Again, thanks for the info.
Frank
2001 Safari Panther 425
Magnum, Tiger Trak, Air Suspension
450hp Cat C12 / Allison 4000
"She's the fastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy" :D
TDJohn
Posts: 411
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:34 pm

Re: Magnum chassis radius rods

Post by TDJohn »

Can you also please post some pictures of the radius rods that were sent to you that don't fit?
John
'95 Serengeti, Cummins C8.3-300
Allison 6spd.
astrnmrtom
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:49 pm

Re: Magnum chassis radius rods

Post by astrnmrtom »

There IS an offset between the front and rear mount. The original factory rod used heim joints which easily accommodated the offset. After adjusting the new rod to shorten it so I could get it into place my first through was: "Oh, this isn't right" - because of the offset. I looked the new rod over thinking the ends would be welded on at an angle to account for the offset but they are welded on straight. It was a bit of a struggle to get the second bolt through the hole because once you insert the first bolt, it causes the bolt hole on the other end to angle where you cant' get the second bolt through the hole in the axle. If memory serves me correctly I had to barely start the first bolt, insert the second bolt and use a socket to flex the bolt and sleeve against the urethane bushing until the bolt just started in the hole. Then used a wrench or socket to "tighten" the bolts into the hole (no nut just the bolt threads on the sides of the hole) until it was far enough in I could get the nut on and pull it the rest of the way by tightening the nut - repeat with the first bolt. At first glance I thought there's no way the rod will work. It was a bit of a bear to get the bolts in. I was very close to quitting and taking the rig to a suspension shop to have it installed. After looking it over and thinking about it, I tried a few different ways and finally found one that worked - barely, but it worked.

If the axle position has shifted, especially if it moved forward, it would make it even harder to get the rod in.

Here's the rod used on my chassis - listed as a thrust rod. From the factory, there's no holes for one on the right side because Safari didn't use on on the right. It's the same rod used in the complete Tiger TraK Kit.

https://www.ultrarvproducts.com/Safari-Velvet-Ride
https://www.ultrarvproducts.com/Safari- ... -1996-2001
Tom Masterson
1998 Serengeti 3706
300hp Cat 3126, Allison 3060
600 Watts of Solar
17cf, Fisher & Paykel residential Refrigerator
iree75
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2022 7:35 am

Re: Magnum chassis radius rods

Post by iree75 »

Sorry for the late response and thank you all for the responses. Yes confirmed that is what I have. Single rod on the drivers side which makes sense. I've had a few home projects as of late and time to put some work into the Safari. I'm going to see if the bushings seem worn at all and replace it with the tiger track one if necessary. I think based on what I've read the tires are way over inflated, but I'll have to go and get it weighed. Right now tangling with the chassis batteries and I can get that done. Plus the goodyears are from 2015, so it's time for them to go.
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Frank
2001 Safari Panther 425
Magnum, Tiger Trak, Air Suspension
450hp Cat C12 / Allison 4000
"She's the fastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy" :D
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