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Old 08-29-2018, 11:40 PM   #1
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Front End Noise

I have a 2008 Essex with comfort drive and a Spartan K2 chassis. Sometimes when I make a tight left turn and as the wheel starts to return I get a loud clunk/ snapping noise. Like something in the front end is binding up and the snap is when it breaks loose. Everything is working fine but just want to address this before it becomes a problem. Has anyone had this issue?
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:49 PM   #2
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Check the fabled ball joints.

Does it do it when stationary? If yes, take a look / feel (safely) where the noise is coming from.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:28 AM   #3
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I would get it to a truck shop before something breaks. Sounds like a bearing has not been lubricated.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:12 AM   #4
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Check the fabled ball joints.

Does it do it when stationary? If yes, take a look / feel (safely) where the noise is coming from.


No it doesnít. Only when going slowly and turning hard left. Having a mechanic coming out to check it but just trying to get som ideas as to what it might be, thanks.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:52 AM   #5
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You could take a look at the ball joints to see if the boots are ripped / missing. That would be a good clue that you are in for a surprise.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:05 PM   #6
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Only when going slowly and turning hard left.
How about when turning slightly less than a hard left? Try pulling it hard left then move the wheel back toward center about 3 or 4 inches. The noise is likely from a dry ball joint between the end of the arm on the steering gear and the wheel that is bottoming out on its axle stop.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:53 PM   #7
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How about when turning slightly less than a hard left? Try pulling it hard left then move the wheel back toward center about 3 or 4 inches. The noise is likely from a dry ball joint between the end of the arm on the steering gear and the wheel that is bottoming out on its axle stop.


I will try that and let you know. Thanks.
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:39 PM   #8
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How about when turning slightly less than a hard left? Try pulling it hard left then move the wheel back toward center about 3 or 4 inches. The noise is likely from a dry ball joint between the end of the arm on the steering gear and the wheel that is bottoming out on its axle stop.


So the snapping/popping noise happens only after I turn hard left while moving and just as I start to release the steering wheel it pops. Not every time, once it pops then it wonít do it again until you drive a ways. I did notice one of my ball joint rubber boot is torn.
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:43 PM   #9
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I had a similar issue when my Dutch Star was knew. I doubt yours is the same as mine, but it took me crawling around under the front end and inspecting EVRYTHING. Mine was rather obvious and easily fixed.....they FORGOT to tighten the gearbox down, There of five bolts had backed off a 1/2 inch and the rest were loose.

Have someone turn the wheels side to side while watching the front suspension and steering....you may just see something that isn't moving smoothly.
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Old 09-08-2018, 06:57 AM   #10
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On my 16 VTDP, wrong size bolts were used to attach sway bar to axle/frame. On 3rd attempt to locate source of popping, (after FL replaced stripped/loose spring perch-to-axle attachment bolts) they replaced sway bar bolts with right size. Quiet since then.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:37 AM   #11
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Unfortunately, this is somewhat normal and it is likely that nothing is wrong (other than a bad design.)

On my 08 Spartan, it take a hard turn and a little rise or fall in the road to make it happen.

The first time I heard it I was leaving a gas station. The hard turn and the difference between the parking lot and the road was all that was needed to cause it. It scarred the living daylights out of me.

Last year, when I was at the Tampa RV show and then the Newmar International Rally, I asked the Spartan folks, the Newmar folks and other owners about the loud clunking. I was told that all Spartans around my year do it.

You should have your RV checked out but if nothing is found, don't worry about it.

-B
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Old 09-08-2018, 09:05 AM   #12
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Unfortunately, this is somewhat normal and it is likely that nothing is wrong (other than a bad design.)

On my 08 Spartan, it take a hard turn and a little rise or fall in the road to make it happen.

The first time I heard it I was leaving a gas station. The hard turn and the difference between the parking lot and the road was all that was needed to cause it. It scarred the living daylights out of me.

Last year, when I was at the Tampa RV show and then the Newmar International Rally, I asked the Spartan folks, the Newmar folks and other owners about the loud clunking. I was told that all Spartans around my year do it.

You should have your RV checked out but if nothing is found, don't worry about it.

-B


I did have a mechanic check it out yesterday and he didnít find anything other then a ball joint with a torn boot. Good to know it might just be poor design. Makes me feel more comfortable. Going to have a front end guy check it and the one ball joint then not worry about it if nothing else is found. Thanks for your research and info.
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:46 AM   #13
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I did have a mechanic check it out yesterday and he didnít find anything other then a ball joint with a torn boot. Good to know it might just be poor design. Makes me feel more comfortable. Going to have a front end guy check it and the one ball joint then not worry about it if nothing else is found. Thanks for your research and info.

Once you have everything checked out, you will forget about it..... until the next time it bangs....LOL


Be safe!


-B
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:30 AM   #14
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If you have a torn ball joint boot, then that is starting to look like a bad ball joint.
And, if that is the case, the whole assembly has to be removed to fix that.
In that process, more might be found.

But, like a few have mentioned, this is a typical problem with our balljoints. And the fix isn't cheap or easy to DIY (but possible). You can try to clean the old joint and put a lot of fresh grease on it that might help unless the joint is already worn out.
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