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Old 04-12-2017, 09:03 AM   #1
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2016.5 Alignment Issues?

We took factory delivery of our 2016 Dutch Star 4369 on June 20th 2016. On our return trip to Washington State, with only about 860 miles on the coach we discovered that the front right tire was nearly worn down to the wear bar. We promptly went to a Freightliner shop who confirmed the obvious and diverted us to an independent alignment shop. The toe-in alignment was significantly off as well as the rear thrust alignment. Our coach is a late model year chassis that was delivered to Newmar with the upgraded frontend (hence the reference to 2016.5). Freightliner put two new tires on the front too.

A few weeks ago I was running my hand over the front tires and discovered feathers on both tires (about 4000 miles after the June 2016 alignment). I called Freightliner and they agreed to pay for an alignment. The guy that did the alignment said that he couldn't see anything that would be causing the frontend to drift out of alignment.

So here's my questions:
  1. Are any 2016.5 owners experiencing frontend alignment issues?
  2. What could be causing this problem? We haven't hit any huge potholes or jumped curbs.
  3. We're scheduled for service on April 24th; I'd appreciate suggestions on how I should push Newmar to address this potentially persistent problem?
  4. Under typical service conditions, how often do folks get a frontend alignment?

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWLanding View Post
We took factory delivery of our 2016 Dutch Star 4369 on June 20th 2016. On our return trip to Washington State, with only about 860 miles on the coach we discovered that the front right tire was nearly worn down to the wear bar. We promptly went to a Freightliner shop who confirmed the obvious and diverted us to an independent alignment shop. The toe-in alignment was significantly off as well as the rear thrust alignment. Our coach is a late model year chassis that was delivered to Newmar with the upgraded frontend (hence the reference to 2016.5). Freightliner put two new tires on the front too.

A few weeks ago I was running my hand over the front tires and discovered feathers on both tires (about 4000 miles after the June 2016 alignment). I called Freightliner and they agreed to pay for an alignment. The guy that did the alignment said that he couldn't see anything that would be causing the frontend to drift out of alignment.

So here's my questions:
  1. Are any 2016.5 owners experiencing frontend alignment issues?
  2. What could be causing this problem? We haven't hit any huge potholes or jumped curbs.
  3. We're scheduled for service on April 24th; I'd appreciate suggestions on how I should push Newmar to address this potentially persistent problem?
  4. Under typical service conditions, how often do folks get a frontend alignment?

Thanks!
Do you have Goodyear tires on the front? If so, many folks have had rivering problems in the past; me included.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:23 AM   #3
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Do you have Goodyear tires on the front?
No they're Michelins. Thanks
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:36 AM   #4
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FL has been having issues with tag axle alignment. Toe in and out is easy to correct.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:40 AM   #5
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2016 or 2016.5 as you call it are aligned the same way so it's irrelevant which suspension it installed. These are aligned at the plant in Gaffney and then again at Newmar after the body is on. Both FCCC and Newmar are very particular alignments. Newmar will usually throw a red flag if the alignment is way out. They've had the same guy doing them for years. I'm not sure how yours slipped through the cracks honestly. I do know alignment procedures at both places have improved since you took delivery of your unit though.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:57 AM   #6
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Chassis,

Wow alignment procedures have improved in the last year? What are they doing now that they did not do before?

Would most people need to do another alignment after they have most of there stuff, water and fuel in the coach?
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:01 AM   #7
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Yes they have improved. It's just normal updates in processes and communication. Continous Improvements are important.

I believe the end customer is actually supposed to have their alignment rechecked once loaded.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:25 AM   #8
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Thanks
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:53 AM   #9
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"NWLanding".....I had a highly unusual situation happen on my 2014 when new. I had an occasional clunk, especially when traversing driveways. Since it occurred infrequently and Comfort Steer was new to me, I wrote it off as normal. While doing my first lube at 6000 miles I was checking the front end and found that three of the five steering box bolts were loose by a 1/2", one was a couple of threads loose and one was just snug. This was a Freightliner misstep. It definitely through my tires out of alignment.

Again, this was very odd, but something to check.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:53 PM   #10
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2016.5 Alignment Issues?

While attending a Camp Freightliner school in November, a classmate showed me the tag axle on his DS43xx. It was visible to the naked eye that it was "inches" off center, so I inspected mine. Same thing.

Freightliner performed a complete alignment at no charge, but since the alignment, it is "squirrelly" and the torque on the Comfort Drive seems to be significantly lighter. In fact, where I used to dial in 3 or 4 on CD, I'm now using 6 all the time.

Newmar wants me to visit a Freightliner Service Center, and Ken Sherwin suggests they run the diagnostics program to ensure it's working properly.

My coach was rock solid before the alignment, and tire wear appears normal before and since.
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Old 04-12-2017, 04:26 PM   #11
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Weird how it affected your comfort drive. It should bear no weight on that system.

I've used Ken's program and it doesn't tell you much. It fairly basic actually. You can pretty much check what needs to be checked through the lightbar diagnostics.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWLanding;[LIST=1
[*]Are any 2016.5 owners experiencing frontend alignment issues?[*]What could be causing this problem? We haven't hit any huge potholes or jumped curbs.!
[/LIST] NWlanding, you are not the only one who "slipped thru the cracks" apparently, this alignment crack is more like the grand canyon.

I have a 2017 LADP. It came from frieghtliner with the front axle out of toe. the drive axle was not true to the chassis. the tag axle was out of center. the tag wheels were out of alignment. and the plungers responsible for the tag steer were out and not maintaining the integrity of the tag wheels at speed.

From day one, it was obvious the coach had problems tracking straight. After three failed ateempts all the above were identified by a freightliner dealer. Overall, with 5 alignment attempts, 8 tires replaced in only 7500 miles. the coach continues wondering. frankly, you wonder what do freightliner people do in their production. if this is an example of a hi line coach, I hate to think what to expect from an ordinary coach.

sadly, it seems the standard of hi line quality has been dropped.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:50 PM   #13
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You do know that Newmar does the final alignment, don't you? The toe should've been absolutely caught!

The alignments are getting better and better from FCCC and Newmar. It really is a priority!

Hi line chassis??? Newmar classifies it with being a high line. Your LA chassis runs down the same production line that all RV chassis' go down
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:04 PM   #14
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[/LIST] NWlanding, you are not the only one who "slipped thru the cracks" apparently, this alignment crack is more like the grand canyon.

I have a 2017 LADP. It came from frieghtliner with the front axle out of toe. the drive axle was not true to the chassis. the tag axle was out of center. the tag wheels were out of alignment. and the plungers responsible for the tag steer were out and not maintaining the integrity of the tag wheels at speed.

From day one, it was obvious the coach had problems tracking straight. After three failed ateempts all the above were identified by a freightliner dealer. Overall, with 5 alignment attempts, 8 tires replaced in only 7500 miles. the coach continues wondering. frankly, you wonder what do freightliner people do in their production. if this is an example of a hi line coach, I hate to think what to expect from an ordinary coach.

sadly, it seems the standard of hi line quality has been dropped.
Thanks Rd1 for sharing your experiences. That sounds awful. Here I am thinking that I was a one off experience. I'm scheduled for warranty service work on the 24th so I'm going to pursue this then. At least I now know that I'm not the only data point.

It certainly does create another blemish on the Newmar/Freightliner record. Although I'm hopeful that they will rise to the occasion.

As a noobie, I'm astonished that there is such a gulf between the specifications set in service and owner manuals and what Freightliner service centers understand. My only point of reference for such things is dealing with automotive service centers, but now I understand it's not the same model.

Thanks again...
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