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Have a Great Thanksgiving!

Changes in the chassis/drivability/livability through the years.
#21
Hopefully, this post is in the correct thread instead of starting a new thread, please move it if needed.  New to this group and reading as much as I can because I am on a quest for a Newell for myself and my labs.  Budget wise I need to buy the more vintage models which I love too. This thread really interests me as I am looking at a 1997 #458, that I understand has been documented in this group over the years. I am just not proficient yet at finding all the data in the search.  More than anything I am trying to learn what are the important improvements from year to year in the late 90's to very early 2000 models? I need safer drivability and wider body, more space for me and the dogs. My husband is mechanically inclined but most times he needs to stay home to look after the dogs I don't take with me on the road to shows. 
Thank you in advance for the insights.

Wendy
#22
The time range you picked was one of relative stability. They were all wide bodies, 102" wide. 1997 was the beginning of slide-outs for Newell. Starting with mostly 1 or 2 slides in the 1997/1998 time period to primarily 2 slides in 1999, a few 3 slides in 2000, and mostly 2 and 3 slides with at least 1 4 slide in 2001. All slides were hydraulic HWH slides during this period. The first 1997's had the Ridewell solid front suspensions. Beginning with #443, a 1997, they had Dana Independent Front Suspensions and with a few exceptions, those before #443 and #450-458, they could be upgraded from the 315/80R22.5 front tires to the 365/70R22.5 front tires for better load carrying. I believe #456 was the first 2 slide Newell. Virtually all, if not all, of the coaches in the time period of 1997 to 2001 had the terrific Detroit Diesel Series 60 and Allison World Transmission. The majority of the early coaches in these years will be 45'0" until about coach #476 (a 1998) when most were 45'8". They will primarily be mid entry. Prior to 1999, most Newells had a mid bath with a walk in closet in the rear. In 1999, the number of coaches with a rear bath and a mid half bath began to increase. By 2001, bath and a half models became the majority. Year 2000, actually #538, the last 1999, was the beginning of the new front cap design with the halogen round headlights rather than the rectangular headlights. This is referred to as the Smiley front cap design due to the area around the headlights bowing up at the outside corners. Also in 2000, a the move from a manually operated exterior entry door to the Bode air operated door began. Most during this period had disc brakes on at least the front axle and tag axle. Some had ABS brakes but the number of axles they served varied from front only (2 channel) to front and tag (4 channel) to all axles (6 channel). There were a very few coaches built during that period with a rear lounge with couches rather than a bed. Some of those have since been converted to a rear bedroom. I am sure that others will note additional changes during this time period.

With Newells, most improvements are small and do not occur at the beginning of a model year change.
Michael Day
1992 Newell 43.5' #281
NewellOwner.com
#23
Michael, you are a serious walking Newell encyclopedia! If this thread hadn't been revived, I would have missed it. I learned alot from this. Thanks for taking the time to edumacate us!
--Simon
1993 8v92TA #312
#24
Thank you Michael for all this information!! I have seen you post this in other places but this was really focused on what I was looking for and I really appreciate your time. 
Have a Happy Thanksgiving! 
Thanks!
Wendy


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