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Old 12-02-2010, 06:00 PM   #1
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Excessive Tire Wear

This is one of those mods/repairs that started out small and kept growing the more I got into it. This work was actually done at the end of September and beginning of October.


Earlier this fall I noticed excessive tire wear on the back right tire on the 5'ver. As a result I decided it was time to start thinking about changing the spring bushings figuring they were shot and were contributing to the tire wear. Of course I had no idea where this would lead and the more I start checking and taking things apart the more things I found I either needed to do or should do at the same time.


Thanks to posts here by JohnB about his alignment problem, I was able to determine what was wrong and figured our what needed to be done, In the end I did not have a place where I could do this work myself so I ended up taking it to a local Truck/Trailer RV repair center who was recommended to to me and has done this work before.


Sorry for the quality of the photos but I was taking them with my blackberry


Here is what my bushing looked like. This was the one in the best condition.





Of course with the tires off the rig I may as well change the shocks as they were shot and needed replacing:





Of course when you have the rig down this far you may as well check the brakes. Yup worn out and also need replacing:





Then I got thinking that maybe I should check the axles as I should have had similar tire wear on the opposite tire on the same axle if worn bushings were causing the problem. In other words if the axle is out of alignment due to worn bushings I should see one tire with excessive wear on say the outside edge while the opposite tire should show similar wear on the inside edge. Since I did not see this I started looking for a reason why I didn't. After lots of research and checking, yup you guessed it. The axles are bent. Front axle was toe in 3/8 of an inch and rear axle was toe in 5/8 of an inch. This would explain the excess tire wear. Of course since everything is this far apart I figured I may as well as check the springs. You guessed it, Yup after 8 years they are also sagging.






Finally starting to get everything back together. I installed the Dexter EZ Flex and the wet bushings.





As a result of having to replace the axles and brakes and springs, I decided to go with components that were rated at 7,000lbs instead of the original 6,000lb rated components. The cost was the same for both so it only made sense to go with the higher rated units to give me the extra margin of safety. The original components were manufactured by Al Ko. The new components are all manufactured by Dexter. I decided to go with Dexter as they were easier to get plus I felt they were a better quality product.


Here is the pictures of the new brakes before they were installed.





Here is the picture of the new axles.





Now I have towed the rig several times with the new components and have found that I have had considerable less chucking. Previous to the new components we always found the sofa would shift several inches away from the wall plus the cushions and pillows would be shifted or fallen on the floor. With the new components the sofa stays in place as well as the cushions and pillows on it.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:53 PM   #2
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Bill

Yup, those plastic bushings don't last very long....

I suspect a lot of your sofa bouncing around could be from the shocks that where shot.

You mentioned the springs had some flattening, question: How did they determine this? Did they have some book they looked up the spring shape and measured the crown?

I have seen automotive truck springs go for years longer then yours. But then again comparing automotive to an RV is not a good thing to do as the RV is built cheap in the suspension.

You should be all set now for a long time.

Thanks for sharing

John
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
I suspect a lot of your sofa bouncing around could be from the shocks that where shot.
I agree. One of the shocks was definitely leaking and the other three were definitely shot. The replacement of the shocks have definitely made a big difference.

Quote:
You mentioned the springs had some flattening, question: How did they determine this? Did they have some book they looked up the spring shape and measured the crown?
Yes, this was determined by measurements. Initially I suspected they were sagging based on the length measurement I did with the springs still installed but with no load on them. The shop verified the sag both with a length measurement and and arch measurement when they removed the springs. Here is a link to the site with the specs:

Trailer Double Eye Springs

Now in fairness, these measurements are for the Dexter springs and I had the Al Ko springs, so the Al Ko specs could be different but I was unable to find the specs for the Al Ko Springs. Now the shop did say that although the springs had flattened out slightly, it was not necessary to replace them. I decided that since the cost of new springs was only $120 and since we already had everything apart, we should just go ahead and replace them and then everything is new. This way as you said, "I should be good now for a long time."
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:08 PM   #4
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Thanks for this post and for the "Heads-up"!

I doubt that our fiver has been towed as much as yours, since it sat on a dealer's lot for four years. I'm ashamed to admit it, but we've only put 1,200-1,300 miles on our fiver this year. I did do a visual inspection of the suspension, as well as doing the bearings this year. Next year will hopefully see a detailed suspension inspection. I am also already planning on replacing the shocks.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the spring info. Sunline used different then average spring lengths on my T310. Mine are made by Rockwell American Manufacturing - Company They may have different non common spring lengths on some of the other TT's too, that I do not know.

I will have to call them someday and see if I can find specs on them and where to even buy them. The hanger spacing fits that length spring which is different then any Alko or Dexter spring I have ever found. I know I tried to find on the web any chart that ever gave the eye to eye and arch that fits the one I have. No luck to date. The good news is I at least have a brand tag on the springs and the manufacture is still in business I hope.... Having springs that are not common makes it hard I "think" to ever find a replacement if I crack one especially out on the road. My spare parts kit may end up increasing in size....

Thanks

John
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by EMD_Driver View Post
I'm ashamed to admit it, but we've only put 1,200-1,300 miles on our fiver this year.
Geez Gary, I put on 1543.3 this year! You better plan to go somewhere this month!
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