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Old 08-07-2012, 05:57 PM   #1
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I gotta suprise, now what should I do....

The family and I are to leave for one last summer trip Friday morning. So I was doing my usual pre-trip inspections which includes looking under the chasis of my TT. I saw that one leaf spring in the front, driverside's axle wasn't in line with the others on that axle. I was able to tap it back with a dead blow hammer though. BUT, in the process, I noticed the "U" bolts that hold that axle in place were very loose. in fact, I could easily move them with light finger pressure. OH BOY.

some facts, its the original axle as far as I know. I bought it used. I did have the axles "flipped" when I bought it. I think I have put at least 10K miles on it since owning it. I go over the camper with a fine tooth comb before every trip, and have never seen the out of alignment spring before. The rear axle was replaced about 2 years ago.

Ok, here's what I did so far...
1 inspected for broken hardware, bolts, other loose "U" bolts. none
2 measured from the jack shaft in the front as I couldn't get to the ball head. The axle is within 1/16 of an inch as measured to each side at the axle tube. seems OK.
3 the axles are parallel. seems OK.
4 tightened the loose bolts, then tightened some more. and checked the other side of that axle.

Anything else I should check?
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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Insurance policy.


Just kidding.

I hate to find stuff like this at the last minute!

I'm sure some of these professors can come up with something else to check.

Hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip!
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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There's usually a band which goes around the circumference of the spring pack at one end or the other that keeps the segments aligned. Is it still there?

Dave
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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To whoever flipped the axle, the U bolts and nuts are one time use only!!!!!. If they are ever removed, they are trash, or to be scrapped. Now, since time is short, go get a tube of "loc-tite", medium thread locker. Take the nuts off, apply a little loct-tite to the bolt ends, reinstall the nuts, and tighten to around 80~90 foot pounds, or as much or more as you would a lug nut. In an emergency, if you don't have loc-tite, wrap the threads with plumbers Teflon tape, yes, plumbers Teflon tape, and then put the nuts on. this will act as a thread locker for quite a while, keeping the nuts tight. Good luck, and hope you have a safe trip. Keep the wrench handy, and check at every stop.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPAspey View Post
The family and I are to leave for one last summer trip Friday morning. So I was doing my usual pre-trip inspections which includes looking under the chasis of my TT. I saw that one leaf spring in the front, driverside's axle wasn't in line with the others on that axle. I was able to tap it back with a dead blow hammer though. BUT, in the process, I noticed the "U" bolts that hold that axle in place were very loose. in fact, I could easily move them with light finger pressure. OH BOY.

some facts, its the original axle as far as I know. I bought it used. I did have the axles "flipped" when I bought it. I think I have put at least 10K miles on it since owning it. I go over the camper with a fine tooth comb before every trip, and have never seen the out of alignment spring before. The rear axle was replaced about 2 years ago.

Ok, here's what I did so far...
1 inspected for broken hardware, bolts, other loose "U" bolts. none
2 measured from the jack shaft in the front as I couldn't get to the ball head. The axle is within 1/16 of an inch as measured to each side at the axle tube. seems OK.
3 the axles are parallel. seems OK.
4 tightened the loose bolts, then tightened some more. and checked the other side of that axle.

Anything else I should check?
I would get some hose clamps and use them to hold the spring pack in alignment. Using a pc of inner tube under the hose clamps helps also.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:46 PM   #6
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I was in the process of putting a hose clamp on the springs when I noticed the u bolts were loose. both original clamps are there. now there's the hose clamp too.

I think I'll double nut the clamps right now, then put on nylon locking nuts at camp.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:08 PM   #7
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The hardware should be replaced, and make sure the plate has not been damaged by the nuts. Also check them again when you arrive at your destination.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:13 PM   #8
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You might want to check the stem to make sure it is not the problem when you connect your compress. Sometimes if it is set to low you wouldn't be able to depress it to add air. As far as Nitro, it has nothing to do with it. My tires have nitro and I was able to add a couple of pounds of good old air without any problem.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:42 AM   #9
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weird thing is that it didn't "just loosen" sitting in the driveway. So, why is there no indication of movement on the shackles or axle plates? And the alignment is spot on? the plates are not cracked or deformed. the bolts don't look bad, although one can't "see" a stretched bolt, I think you could see some sign of stress like cracks.

Just another thing to add to the pre-trip inspection check list.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:11 AM   #10
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ok, last night I replace the nuts with nylon lockers. I saw that there is a pin that goes thru the center of the leaf springs, and into the bracket welded on the axle. That explains why the axle didn't shift. I'm convinced the nuts were reused, and just came loose.

thanks everyone.
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