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Old 08-22-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
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Drag Link Ball Joints

All - Believe this only applies to 05 and later, EM can verify.

My Drag Link ball joints (Big Metal Rod from Steering Gear box to driver side Wheel/Turning assembly Kingpin) needed to be replaced. So here is the story. And I'm pleased with what the service center has told me, stayed in touch, and explained all the particulars. Just not happy with the time involved.

Dropped off the coach on August 7th, and they sent me the estimate of costs to repair on the 8th, ouch, $785.33. Then it started to get fun. The ends Micrometer out to be 16 TPI, different sized threads for sure. They called Meritor, (big plate on the front axle showed manufacturer, (NOTE TO EM - No Meritor Manual on Technical Library-who made the axle assembly I think), sure we got em, but they won't just ship to the end user shop, so they had to go through Freightliner, who ordered them (east coast), received them, and then shipped to here (west coast). That took from the 8th to Tuesday (20th of Aug), and they shipped one of them wrong. According to the tech, both ends are right hand thread, and somebody, shipped a left, the correct one came in today. Now, I'm told the reason the drag link hangs down is a "woodruff Key" in the kingpin thing assembly most likely is broken, and lets the drag link rub on the king pin and the tire. They are taking that apart to see if the key is broken, if so they are going to replace it, and that should stop that problem. I am also going to do the bungee strap fix as well, lots of weight on that woodruff key. I am to head up tomorrow morning to show or to do the strap install, then they will align the front end and I will be done I hope. We need more information on all the parts and pieces which make up these front ends (rear ends too). Regardless, the part numbers listed in previous posts concerning the front end did not work, or could not be found other than Meritor Parts house. If all goes well, I should have it back tomorrow. EM- I have downloaded a Meritor Parts Manual, which I am going to e-mail to you for the tech library, it's 235 pages so most of it is not applicable, but I don't know which are not and which are.

FWIW-II - Between the 2nd of July and now, the coach has sat in some shop for the better part of 6 weeks to get the loss of engine power (Cummins repaired a CAC boot-which should have been checked and tightened in Phoenix last year) and this repair which I assumed would go 2-3 days tops, and has taken almost anther 3 weeks. Next week it's back to Cummins for the free (customer appreciation) level A service and a brake fluid flush, and new tires. After that, I need to take is someplace to see how well it's working (Dare I trust it now). I am looking forward to the new Michelin Tires since everyone says they are the cats meow!!
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:26 AM   #2
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Got the coach today, less 1052.14 costs. The woodruff key was not broken, applied the bungee strap fix, coach sounds better, no clunk, but pulls to right and steering wheel not centered, going back there on the 11th of September for another shot at getting those correct. Still like this place for doing business, they keep me informed, let me go into the pit to see what is going on, kept the coach plugged in the whole time they had it, and it's just a 1st class place.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:05 AM   #3
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If your tire is rubbing on drag link, I suspect the wheel (turn) stop is either out of adjustment or may have fallen out. The stop is easy to adjust, several folks have done their own, it is just a travel stop to establish the turn limit.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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Don't know, I was not down in the pit with the fellow doing the alignment. It does not rub now I don't think, since doing the bungee fix.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:03 PM   #5
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Monty,
Were you able to get a part number for the draglink ball joint?
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:17 PM   #6
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If it is pulling to the right. I would suspect that your new tires are wearing. Don't wait to long to get that alignment done.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:06 PM   #7
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The Meritor part number is: 1698846, and both of mine were r/h thread pattern at 16 TPI.

I don't have new tires, and they shop did just align it, according to the print out, it's within specifications now. It could be crowned roads, or the wind might have been blowing, I will know more once I take it south to get the new tires, since that road is more flat.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:33 AM   #8
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Does anyone have the part# for the tie rods on the later Alpines? The # for the drag link for the later coach's seems to be Dayton 310-444 x 2 (both rh thread) but haven't been able to find the part# for the tie rod. They will have a rt & lt hand thread.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:37 PM   #9
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I have a 2006 Alpine Limited 40FDQS and just had the drag link ends replaced. In contacting Meritor I was given a new # E-10163 replacing the old part #1698846. Both ends on mine are right threads that are metric I believe 30 mm.
I was able to have Six Robblees' Yakima WA order them from Meritor. They have been installed without a problem
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:22 PM   #10
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Thanks to Wally Linge, 2002 owner, for his email reporting the following for tie-rod ends:
310-433 & 310-434
available from TruckComponentsOnline.com for about $45 + applicable tx & shipping.
These are Lt & Rt hand thread w/1.125" threaded section.
In searching, I found cross references as follows:
310-433, ES2090L, R230072 for the Lt hand threaded joint
310-434, ES2091R, R230073 for the Rt hand.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:59 PM   #11
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All - Forgot to update this thread. Had Les Schwab install the tires, and it now does not pull to the right, so it was the wear pattern on the old tires. New ones are great, love the way it rides now not harsh like with the old tires. The shop centered the steering wheel, and everything is a go.

My part numbers are above, so I am going to assume it's for anything newer than 05, with the larger diameter drag link arm.
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