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Old 05-17-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
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Front suspension or steering noise

I have a 2008 Alpine Limited SE 40MDTS which has developed a noise in the left front while driving. It's intermittent and consists of 1 or several very mild clunks (best way I can describe it) when turning to the left and ocassionaly when turning to the right. I can also feel it in the steering wheel. As you might imagine this makes me a bit uneasy especially when negotiating winding mountain roads! There is no problem with the steering otherwise. The power steering unit has been rebuilt after losing a seal about a year ago. I've been under the coach and watched while my wife turns the steering. Nothing loose (and I've checked all bolts, etc.) and the well known steering bracket is not broken or bending. About 11,000 miles on the coach. I'd appreciate any ideas on what this might be and also whether other Alpine owners have had this same problem.
Dave Weber
Wenatchee, WA
2008 Alpine SE Limited 40MDTS
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:15 PM   #2
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Have you checked the ball joints on each end of the drag link? On some coaches, the boots get worn and the joint goes dry.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
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Ball joints (there are 4, 2 on drag link off steering pitman arm, and two on tie rod between front wheels), poorly greased steering pivots at wheel, or additional problem w/the steering box are my guesses.

BTW the steering box bracket is bending. To see it easily, run slide out, then stand in gen slide pocket on DS while someone operates steering lock to lock. Watch the middle portion of the lower channel about 4 feet back from front of frame. You will see that 1/4" steel plate flexing in & out (Left-right of coach). That's the steering box attachment point to the frame, and while the frame pushes in/out, the box is twisting up/down on its rear face which is harder to see while on the ground and the coach moves from the tires steering.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
Ball joints (there are 4, 2 on drag link off steering pitman arm, and two on tie rod between front wheels), poorly greased steering pivots at wheel, or additional problem w/the steering box are my guesses.

BTW the steering box bracket is bending. To see it easily, run slide out, then stand in gen slide pocket on DS while someone operates steering lock to lock. Watch the middle portion of the lower channel about 4 feet back from front of frame. You will see that 1/4" steel plate flexing in & out (Left-right of coach). That's the steering box attachment point to the frame, and while the frame pushes in/out, the box is twisting up/down on its rear face which is harder to see while on the ground and the coach moves from the tires steering.
Here is video of the steering box bracket bending that EngineerMike is refering to.

YouTube - 2007 alpine coach

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Old 05-17-2011, 10:10 PM   #5
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My left-hand thunk was the loose panel on the DS. The rivets broke at the leading edge, just behind the edge of the generator cap slideout. Changes in wind direction would pull or push it and go "thunk".
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:49 AM   #6
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Thanks to all who took the time to post a response to my post about steering noise. I will follow up on your possible causes and post again if/when I find and fix the problem.
Dave Weber
08 Alpine Limited SE 40MDTS
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