Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Alpine Coach Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-08-2009, 01:54 PM   #155
Senior Member
 
Wayne R's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Winter Haven Brownsville, TX
Posts: 1,138
Exclamation Stress Crack

All,
I went out and checked my bracket and found a hairline crack developing for about 1.5 inches in the radius of the rear flange from the top down to approximately the center of the top Huck bolt. It showed up as a fine black line that went through the white paint. It has not been there long enough to rust. I scraped the paint away and still could see a crack in the metal. It is not clear through the flange but it probably won’t take much longer. I had checked mine last February at 41,300 miles, I seen no evidence of cracking at that time. I just traveled I-40 through Oklahoma City to Albuquerque in a stiff side wind. I believe the rough road and stiff side winds caused my bracket to finally show a stress crack. I now have 43,000 miles and just passed the 5 year mark the end of August.

I thought I was home free when I checked the bracket last February. I always had planned on reinforcing it in some manner. When Emike let me know he was having a repair kit made I ordered one just to be safe. Obviously it is now a necessity.

Please everyone check this bracket regularly mine developed a visible crack in just 1700 miles. I am now convinced it has been fatiguing since day one and the crack just finally appeared.

I have never noticed any steering issues with my rig so I doubt you will notice anything until it is too late.

.
__________________

__________________
Wayne & Kathy
05 Alpine 40FDQS #75330 Towing 24' car hauler, 2012 Spyder, 2003 Harley FatBoy
Wayne R is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-09-2009, 12:49 PM   #156
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
Wayne's experience tends to confirm my research on timing of the fatigue problem.

If bending is sufficient to cause fatigue, the working of the metal within its micro-crystalline structure begins with the first out-of-limit bend. You don't see it however, till damage advances to macroscopic size, and you still don't see it till there is surface rupture (visible crack) sufficient to observe visually. Fatigue engineers have found methods within the last 20 years to get the imagery to confirm this, but previously associated the fatigue degradation with the surface crack (i.e. believed metal still "intact" till you see a crack). We now know the intactness of the the metal starts to degrade with the early beyond-limit bending, its just that results don't show right away.

The Western Planning kit calls for installation of the tapped thread bolts (see Basil's question, post #151, and my answer #152 above in this thread) for coaches with more than 35,000 miles regardless of visibility of crack. Wayne's crack surfaced and advanced to 1.5" in less than 2,000 miles, and surfaced at about 42k. That confirms the fatigue engineer's recent understanding of the crack formation. Just because the crack isn't evident doesn't mean the metal is just as good as new. I debated about the 35K threshold (started w/25k as a conservative guess). I'm feeling pretty good about 35k with this recent data. Others are seeing the crack start in the early 50k range; I still feel 35k is a good demarcation point for the extra stabilization of the rear bracket face that the tapped thread bolts will apply.

The other marker of whether or not to install those two upper bolts in the rear bracket face is corrosion (rust). Corrosion imparts surface damage, pitting, on a microscopic scale to start. Pits are the perfect place for fatigue to enter metal where intact surface metal would not initiate a micro-crack according to the literature. For those in a salt air or a salted road environment, it is likely your fatigue exposure is enhanced due to early corrosion of OEM bracket metal. In these cases I recommend installing the upper rear-face bracket bolts regardless of mileage.
__________________

__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 04:03 PM   #157
Senior Member
 
Mike & Nancy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Beaumont, CA
Posts: 222
Just took our Coach to Redlands Truck for service and to check Steering Box mount. Our coach is an 04, built in 03 with 27,000 miles on it. Keith and his staff showed me the NEW bracket they have (designed by EngrMike) and then had me crawl under my coach while they turned the wheel. Lots of flex in steering box mount, but NO visible cracks. After reviewing this post and seeing the flex in my steering box mount, I am having them install the EngrMike bracket brace. Additionally, I asked Keith if I could bring a bracket and price sheet to the SoCal Alpine rally in November at Newport Dunes and he agreed. So those that are attending the November Rally can view the NEW bracket installed on my coach and visually inspect an additional one that I will have. Cannot say enough good things about Redlands Truck (Keith Shoemaker) and his staff.
__________________
Mike and Nancy
2015 Newmar Dutch Star 4018
2009 Hummer H3 Alpha
Mike & Nancy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 01:58 AM   #158
Senior Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,226
Mike:

Curious, should some kind of rust prevention method be painted on the metal prior to installing the bracket? Even if rust is not present, do you think we should spray a good zinc base coat of primer over the old part of the bracket, prior to install of the reinforced part to at mitigate some of the rust potential.

I am aware that "when drilling galvanized steel" prior to installation of a Potential Transformer, we always zinc coated the bare metal and then over sprayed that with galv coat spray paint. Additionally we put bitchmastic (SP) on the bottom of the galvanized tower to protect it against absorbing water through the concrete pad.

http://www.alvinproducts.com/Products/Products.asp?id=4

Yes, steel will absorb water, and if you want to see it, take a propane or butane torch, and heat up any thick metal you have sitting around outside, you will see the water come out of it very quickly.

Some questions to consider, as we don't want to have to go into this space later and do additional corrosion protection if we can do it now I’m thinking.
__________________
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
Old Rv'er is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 10:26 AM   #159
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
Better protection against corrosion is better, for a variety of reasons beyond just the steering bracket's issues. If the paint was peeling from my OEM bracket, I'd be doing some touch up before installing the stiffener upgrade. If the OEM paint is good, you probably won't add much by overcoating. WRV used good paint, and generally did good application. I have seen OEM brackets w/paint peeling however, and if mine was one of those it'd get some TLC.

The real functional area where corrosion protection would have been most beneficial was never painted, i.e. at the space between the OEM bracket and the frame. The parts were assembled then painted, so that area is unpainted. And that area includes the outside radius of the rear-face/rear-flange bend where the fatigue tear happens. Likely the tear is apparent there before it shows on the outside (if you could send in the folks from Fantastic Voyage to film it for you). But then to paint that, you'd have to hire the folks from Fantastic Voyage anyway. So if that area is bugging you, you'll need to contact Stephen Boyd and Raquel Welch, and when the wife asks, just tell her EngineerMike said it was important (she'll understand).
__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2009, 04:17 PM   #160
Senior Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,226
EM- you are a crack up. Fantastic Voyage, I'm impressed. Well, it was something I was wondering about. Hope to see you down the road.
__________________
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
Old Rv'er is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2009, 10:12 PM   #161
Senior Member
 
Audrey & John's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: wandering North America
Posts: 484
Our coach has this crack in the paint at the top trailing bend in the steering gear bracket.
We want to get the Steering Bracket Upgrade Kit installed by a shop which has some experience with the installation such as Redlands Truck & RV. Has anyone had the work done in Texas (or closer to Texas than California)?



This view shows that the crack does not appear to extend to the top of the bracket (yet).


John
__________________
36ft 2006 Alpine Coach FDDS
Audrey & John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 12:09 AM   #162
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
John- how many miles on your rig now?
__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 09:27 AM   #163
Senior Member
 
Audrey & John's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: wandering North America
Posts: 484
Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
John- how many miles on your rig now?
42,261 miles
__________________
36ft 2006 Alpine Coach FDDS
Audrey & John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 10:23 AM   #164
Senior Member
 
Wayne R's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Winter Haven Brownsville, TX
Posts: 1,138
John and Emike, Other than the rust the crack is very similar to mine at about the same mileage. I need to crawl under mine and check to see if the crack grew any in the last 800 miles. I want to wait until I get to Texas to install my repair stiffner but only if the crack does not grow much more.
__________________
Wayne & Kathy
05 Alpine 40FDQS #75330 Towing 24' car hauler, 2012 Spyder, 2003 Harley FatBoy
Wayne R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 12:17 PM   #165
Senior Member
 
Dale777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: TX
Posts: 495
Audrey & John,

I had the Carrier & Sons steering gear bracket kit installed on my coach by Buddy Gregg Motorhomes in Lewisville, TX. They did a very good job. Brian Griffit is the VP in charge at this location (972-420-8586).

Buddy Gregg Motor Homes TX
1206 North Stemmons Freeway
Lewisville, TX 75067
800-858-7139 Toll-Free

This is a link to their Service web site, which I always use to describe my service requirement in detail in advance so there is no confusion. They always call me back within 24 hours during the workweek:
http://www.buddygregg.com/service.php
__________________
Dale & Karin
2006 Alpine Coach Limited 36FDTS
Watercolor Artist: http://www.cindydaunis.com/
Dale777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2009, 03:04 PM   #166
Senior Member
 
Audrey & John's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: wandering North America
Posts: 484
Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
Cutting off the Huck bolts using a Milwakee 4.5" angle grinder & cutting wheel was a lot easier than I anticipated, tho it produces a lot of racket & sparks
Can't you remove the huck bolts using a large impact wrench?

John
__________________
36ft 2006 Alpine Coach FDDS
Audrey & John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2009, 04:04 PM   #167
Senior Member
 
Wayne R's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Winter Haven Brownsville, TX
Posts: 1,138
John,
I was going to try a 3/4 drive ratchet and socket. The Ratchet is about 2 feet long so I should have plenty of leverage. If not I will grind them off.
__________________
Wayne & Kathy
05 Alpine 40FDQS #75330 Towing 24' car hauler, 2012 Spyder, 2003 Harley FatBoy
Wayne R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2009, 09:05 PM   #168
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
The Huck process galls the threads as they are installed so they don't dethread. I tried w/a long cheater. You can get them to rotate with a lot of horsepower, but it will spin the attached fastener part.
They need to be cut off with a torch or a cutting wheel. The cutting wheel is simple with tools readily available. With a torch, you are working in a fairly small, enclosed space (not so good for the lungs if you don't ventilate quite well).
__________________

__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Excess play in steering box-Freightliner chassis???? Ragman Freightliner Motorhome Chassis Forum 8 05-31-2014 04:50 PM
Howard Power Center Steering installation finished today! John_Canfield Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 18 08-13-2010 09:31 PM
Alpine Coach Steering Problem cajunjohn Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 14 05-19-2008 09:35 PM
Tests for Comfort Drive Owners or Test Drivers rebelsbeach Newmar Owner's Forum 28 09-06-2007 02:11 PM
Newport, OR-ACA National Summer Rally...All Alpine Coach Owners Welcome Alpine Rallies Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 1 05-15-2007 06:56 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.