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Old 05-06-2011, 08:54 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAISY BOYKIN View Post
For you fellows that do not own a torque wrench, they are available at "HARBOR FRIEGHT" for a 1/2" drive @ $24.99. It is good for the lug nuts on the fancy wheels that you have to check constantly because being mfg of aluminum.
The torque wrench is made in Taiwan, guaranteed to 4% to specs! Comes in it own carry case, torques from 20ft/lb to 150 ft/lb. It is the "CLICKER TYPE".

The correct torque for a 3/8" grade #8 bolt is 47 ft/lbs.

All the torque specs are in your AL-KO axle owners manual.
I have a torque wrench.....back in Portugal we could only bring 23kgs each in luggage and we are here for 6 months so tools were not on the list of essentials, I have bought quite a lot since here tho, the RV needs them! Thanks for the tip, I have not seen Harbor freight yet, I will google them
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:05 PM   #62
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Thanks for the info, I wonder what FR would say about all the above, and would it effect our warrenty, and if this is a problem has any one contacted them and had any luck with a answer. Eagleman
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:45 AM   #63
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I contacted John Stringer, a rockwood rep. He said he hadn't heard of any problems with the axles. I made him aware of this site and thread and he said he would check it out. He told me a guy would get with me who was more on the technical side to explain the design, I have not heard from him. John was a really nice guy to talk to and advised me I could contact him with any issue. I still haven't drilled and installed bolts yet. I retorqued the factory bolts and plan on keeping an eye on them
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:55 AM   #64
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I don't think it would help if someone from the company "explained" the design, as it is simply a very bad design.
I had it explained to me that the slots were to allow for slippage in case the wheels hit a very bad bump in the road. But the explanation did not include what happens after they slip, and the weight distribution between the axles is changed, and one axle can become over-loaded. That can easily result in an over-loaded tire which is a ticking time-bomb.
I would much rather err on the side of caution, and bolt the axles up tight, as they are on just about every other trailer I have ever seen.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:23 PM   #65
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Inquring minds need to know...

I have been thinking about this issue for some time now, as I look under my 8281SS and see the same gap between the axle mounting flange and frame. But in my case I dont see any movement i.e. washer imprint in the paint like some of the pictures posted. I was debating whether or not i should be adjusting the axles so they fit flush with the frame. I was sort of hesistant to do so as this seems like this could affect alignment. A few days ago someone posted about the bow in the axle being up or down, I believe the posters suspension was leaf and not torsion bar...but it made me wonder if the axle tube on torsions is also bowed for + - camber. If so...changing this gap would possibly affect the toe in / out of tires no?
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:59 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsquarepants View Post
I have been thinking about this issue for some time now, as I look under my 8281SS and see the same gap between the axle mounting flange and frame. But in my case I dont see any movement i.e. washer imprint in the paint like some of the pictures posted. I was debating whether or not i should be adjusting the axles so they fit flush with the frame. I was sort of hesistant to do so as this seems like this could affect alignment. A few days ago someone posted about the bow in the axle being up or down, I believe the posters suspension was leaf and not torsion bar...but it made me wonder if the axle tube on torsions is also bowed for + - camber. If so...changing this gap would possibly affect the toe in / out of tires no?
I bet if you put a wrench on those bolts they will loosen easily, they might have been torqued to spec at the factory but the very thin washers they use make torquing to spec useless, they bend into the larger slotted hole and therfore they become loose, this is only part of the problem. The other part is that there are no bolts between frame and the upper part of the axle flange.


I slackened off the bolts, jacked the flanges up to the frame, re-torqued the bolts, drilled and fitted 5/8 bolts to stop any further movement. I fitted 4 new tires at the time (due to tire failures, another story) and after 7500 miles I can say the wear on the tires is perfectly even. The rectification of the problem does not affect camber or allignment.

IMO the sloted holes are there to allow for spacers, if required, to be fitted between flange and frame, but there should also be bolts fitted vertically between frame and the existing flange holes to prevent unwanted movement in the slotted holes. FR or Lippert fail to see the need for these, if they had then we would not have this particular problem.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:57 AM   #67
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I have a 2010 8286WS with the same problem. (This is my first attempt at uploading pictures)

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I loosened the bolts up and retorqued, and 2 of the axels moved as soon as I took the jack off. So, I cross drilled new holes and installed 1 more bolt per side on the leading edge of the axle. I figured the shear strength of the bolt by cross bolting would be stronger than pulling on a bolt attached to that thin box frame above the axle.

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While I was under there, the under belly was hanging low and I could hear metal banging when I pushed up on it. I let down the front and found the supports for the waste tanks were supposed to be just hooked on to the frame and had come off. I reattached and added a wedge between the tank and the support to keep it in place.

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We love the layout and looks of the fifth wheel, but I am starting to seriously question the quality of Forest River products!
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:17 PM   #68
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pschnetts good job, just the front should be okay all the ones that I have read about on this forum came loose at the front. I did back and front since I was under there filty wet and had all the tools in place, keep an eye on it.

The tank brackets are a bit worrying, I will do a "belly thump" test today.

Overall I am impressed with the FR product there are just a few niggles, such as these two and them fitting C rated tires when D rated should have been fitted, they need to read the forums more and listen to buyers of their products I Should start a new thread to get all the niggles in one place and Invite FR to read it.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:52 PM   #69
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Not for just 8285 axles, but for all Alko axles on all FR products this should be checked. If left unchecked or not fixed, it could have disasterous results as the axles have actually been known to come out from under trailers in making slow speed turns where there are high side loads on the suspension.

For those that haven't checked their axles lately or installed more bolts, I might suggest a quick inspection. As part of the deal when we bought our new 5er in Feb, the dealer drilled 8 holes in the tube the axles sit on and installed 1/2" gr 8 bolts, washers & nuts. Took the tech 4 hrs to do it as it is a pretty hard job. I did it myself on our 08 Flagstaff. Here are the pictures of the installation of the additional hardware.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:29 PM   #70
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Uggg, this thread is a year old, FR was notified at that time, they have paid for the warranty work to fix some of these, yet it still exists on 2012's?
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