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Old 06-09-2009, 08:19 PM   #1
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Tie Rods

Has any one had problems with their tie rods? My frame and axle shop states that the tie rods are standard Meritor ones; however, the tubes used by WRV have a different thread than the replacements and they have a metric thread. They stated I will probably need to replace the whole assembly or have the tubes custom made. Anyone with any experience on this?

Joe Brunold
2006 Alpine Apex
40' FDQ
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:25 PM   #2
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Joe- I'm confused. The OEM equip has male threads on one part, female on the other. Is the frame shop saying they ordered replacements that looked like standard (but they didn't measure before ordering) and the pieces to remain on coach don't match cuz they are metric?
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:54 PM   #3
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I am confused also. They have not yet ordered any parts. They are telling me that the tie rod is standard; however, the rod that connects is metric. Does not make much sense to me. With enough inputs I maybe knowledgeable enough to challenge what they are telling me. Thanks for your help.

Joe
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:56 AM   #4
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Joe,

I would need more information to be clear. My guess is that the tie rod and ends are from Meritor, while the drag link, the rod that runs from the steering box to the left front spindle, was made by WRV and has different threads on the ends. I would think that, if they are replacing the ends, that the ones needed for the drag link could ordered somewhere, instead of making a new drag link to match the tie rod ends.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:46 PM   #5
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Dale

Kaiser and Redlands were both unable to locate the identical drag link ends.

We were at Kaiser Brake and Alignment in December and January, to correct steering play and check the front end alignment. They found excessive movement at the drag link pins. Unable to find the replacement pins, they suggested that a drag link tube be fabricated to fit with off the shelf pins. They said the pin size was 30mm and 1.5mm pitch, please verify yours Joe.

Side note, different thread, they also found the brake calipers were dry. They pulled them apart and cleaned and lubed them, more then just a finger wipe with grease. Joe, check yours and have them lubed while in there.

Not having time for Kaiser to do the tube fabrication, we had the work done at Redlands Truck Service in March. They could not find the correct pins. They fabricated a new drag link tube, to the correct length and bend. Our tube ends are now threaded to take a standard off the shelf tie rod end, (Dayton 310-222 and 310-223).


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Old 06-10-2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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Ed- what did that tube job cost (just the tube) if I may ask?
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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Mike

The tube material, pre threaded, was charged out at $205. The tube was sent to an outside shop for fabrication. The length was modified, cut shorter with a coupler welded in and the tube was bent to match the existing. Outside fab cost added $245. Two tie rod ends at $120. Add for labor $188 R&R. Total about $760. Add for misc supplies and tax.

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Old 06-10-2009, 04:23 PM   #8
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I should have asked this before. Joe has an 06 Apex and yours is 07. I see "steering play." How would you characterize the symptoms that led to replacing the drag link?
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:04 PM   #9
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We purchased this coach new but it did have 7000 miles on it from the dealer's RV shows. It's steering when we purchased it had a lot of play and the steering wheel was also off centered (we aren't sure if this problem was from the factory or the dealers transport drivers). The alignment check was good before the drag link was replaced (no adjustments needed) but excessive movement in the drag link was found. We have seen significant steering improvement since the drag link was changed, and the steering wheel is now centered.
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:43 PM   #10
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Mine was discovered when I took my home in for an alignment as the tires were wearing unevenly. The Frame and Axle Shop found excess play in the tie rods which starated all this adventure. My home has only 14510 miles on it.

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Old 06-12-2009, 01:54 AM   #11
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To make this even more interesting, we had our drag links replaced on our 07 Apex at 23,000 (approx). We went to Kaiser early August (08) because of excessive steering movement and right front tire wear. They had done an alignment end of '07. They told us the drag link rods were made by ZF (german manufacturer I believe) and they wanted to make custom rods for us like they did for Country Coaches - Since we did not have time they ordered ZFs for us and shipped them to us for Colton Truck to put on (they advised us against Redlands.).

However, when they came and we went to Colton - Kaiser had sent a right hand and a left hand thread in the drag link and had not noticed when they measured ours that they were 2 right hand threads. No problem - Colton went right out and got it from a local supplier and actually charged us $40 less than Kaiser had (so even with tax it was less) and Kaiser charged us shipping. So we would have been better off to go to Colton in the first place! They maybe took 3 hours altogether and did it at a last minutes notice. We thought they were great! Kaiser charged us $120 each - Colton $85 each and no shipping!

Oh - and by the way - the off center steering wheel to the driver seat was done by WRV - it was on our '03 also and one of the reasons we traded so we were shocked to find that 07 Apex was the same way. Guaranty moved the steering column to the left and the seat to the right (drilling new holes) and lined it up correctly so it didn't throw our backs out of wack!.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:49 AM   #12
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And the plot thickens more. In my research I found out that ZF Lemforder Corp in South Carolina did in fact manufacture the drag links and I think the whole assembly for WRV. They were custom made and they do not carry any stock. My Frame and Axle guy talked with their engineer yesterday and is inquiring about replacements. They will have to mfg them and it probably will be expensive. We are waiting for a quote. My F&A guy has a contact in Los Angeles that can manufacture replacements so we will then be able to use standard off the shelf tie rods. Since I live in the San Diego Area, Colton is far away and local sounds better. As of right now, that is the way I will be going. We are leaving for some vacation time and when we return I will have the repairs made. After all is done, I will send out names, numbers etc for anyone that is interested. Since a couple of us have had the problem, others stand by. Thanks Swans.

Joe Brunold
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:14 AM   #13
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We also have the off centered steering column to the driver seat which we have not changed (approx 1" off). Our steering wheel was centered at 11 o'clock and this is what changed with the new drag link installation.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:24 PM   #14
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Joe - You might ast least call Colton and ask if they can get the tie rods. They sure were alot less expensive then custom ones!
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