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Old 05-19-2009, 01:37 AM   #1
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Maiden Voyage discoveries - tire vibration & Smart Bed surprise

Just returned from Rhododendron Days in Florence - our maiden voyage with our new 2009 40 FDQS. Among the many issues that popped up (or out), the most concerning is a whole coach vibration that occurs ONLY between 40 and 50 MPH. It is best described as a VERY rough asphalt feel, or that of going over a metal grate. It is felt in the steering wheel, floor boards, and even with glasses in cupboards vibrating. There is no noticeable vibration below 35MPH or above 55MPH. It doesn't seem to be related to engine RPM or gear - I tried down shifting with no change in vibration. The vibration is worse after driving for awhile - guessing the tire temp has something to do do with this. Fronts are inflated to 120# and rears at 110# - cold. These are Goodyear 670's factory installed in Feb. 2008. The coach only accumulated 1800 miles between delivery to the original owner and me. Is it possible that excessive time parked, has effected the tires??

Anybody had this problem before? Any advice is appreciated.

The "popping out" problem was a driver side Smart Bed suddenly fully opening while driving down the highway! Turns out the large nut came completely off the HWH linear actuator for that bed. Very exciting for oncoming traffic!
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:28 AM   #2
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Maiden voyage vibration

In 2005 we picked up our new 2005, 34' Alpine and drove it home (app. 35 miles) and I noticed what I thought was a differential rear noise, but not overbearing at all. About 6 weeks later we planned to take our maiden voyage some 800 miles from home. When we left the noise I heard was still there but began getting louder and a vibration developed much the same as you describe. The vibration became extremely excessive about 100 miles from home and I turned around to go back home. Vibration was unreal after about 10 miles in the return trip when I heard an extremely loud bang and I was able to get the coach off the road onto the shoulder. Bottom line was that the Meritor rear differential came apart and blew right through the casing spreading ball bearings, gear teeth and a lot of gear oil on quite a bit of the roadway. Fortunately none of the teeth or a ball locked the rear as I would have had a coach with locked up rear wheels. I do hope that is not your problem but one to be thought about. It was a maiden voyage not to be ever forgotten and almost our end with Alpine.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:20 AM   #3
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I have found the Goodyears to be very nice riding even at 120#, this was not so with the Toyos on the last coach. I have never had a problem from the coach sitting for a while. I have had some balance problems. When I was at Daniel's Tires, the guys that found the dancing steering bracket, they found that the tires were not mounted evenly on the rims. It was noticeable when the tire was spun slowly. You could raise the front wheels off of the ground, with the jacks and spin the tires by hand. See if the distance to the ground is the same as it is spun and see if one area always comes to rest on the bottom. Best bet, take it to a tire shop.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:50 AM   #4
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Dale- do you think this sounds like the computer programming issue?
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:28 PM   #5
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Cinequip,

You might have unbalanced tires, u-joint problems or differential problems. See this link for u-joint and differential problems that I had:
Bad driveline Yoke, U-Joint, & metal shavings

As Emike said, it also might be related to a Cummins engine problem. Mike Young of Cummins in Yakima can talk you through diagnosing any engine problem, which he did for me.
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:50 PM   #6
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The only computer issue I know of is, surging/jerking while in cruise control. I have that problem, though not bad, and plan to have it fixed while at Cummins, Yakima first of June.

I chose tire problems, rather than drive train due to Scott's comments, "It is best described as a VERY rough asphalt feel, or that of going over a metal grate. It is felt in the steering wheel, floor boards, and even with glasses in cupboards vibrating."
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:13 PM   #7
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Any particular gease for the U-Joint?

I like the tip on regular greasing of the U-joints. Any special grease recommended?
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:17 PM   #8
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Lucas oil makes a good grease that you can get at most auto parts stores, it's called "Red N Tacky" #2. I use it on my earth moving equipment and M/H. like it. It comes in the tubes .
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:38 PM   #9
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Grease

Stay with a grease that is listed as EP2. This is designed to be loaded on with a weight or pull issue. The tacky part can be accomplished as an outside gear lubricant.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:46 PM   #10
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Lucas Red "N" Tacky #2 is a multi- purpose EP grease, fortified with anti-seize, one of the recommendations is bearings. www.LucasOil.com
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:57 PM   #11
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Lucas Red & Tacky #2 is NLGI EP#2 Grease (Extreme Pressure)
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:23 PM   #12
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Air bag height idea

Mike @ Cummins in Yakima suggested that air bag height is very critical for drive line efficiency. He said that a height variance of as little as 1.5" from correct, can cause drive line induced vibration. So the question is: do any of you know your air bag height? It is measured from air bag shelf to bottom of frame.

Coach is at Les Schwab today for tire balancing. We will see if that makes any improvement.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:52 PM   #13
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Scott,
IIRC there are instructions in the owners manuel for how to properly set the airbag ride height (at least it's there oin the 1999 manuel). Hope this helps.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:01 AM   #14
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S&M- IIRC Dale Gerstel will be at Cummins Yakima w/his 2007 40-footer which should have the same ride height as your rig.

BTW, are you the same Hicks that had the Hot Licks?
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