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Old 07-10-2016, 07:36 PM   #1
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Check your Suspension - This Could Happen

My suspension collapsed on itself last week. Some 1/2 in U-bolts broke. I've been told they shouldn't break.

This happened as I was pulling out of a parking lot. If this had happened on the freeway while I was doing 60mph I might not be here.

Cost of the new parts was around $120 but the labor was just over $1000 for 10 hrs of work.

Coach-net sent a very good mobile diesel mechanic who worked his ass off in the heat until 10:30pm to fix the rig.

If you need a good mobile mechanic in the San Fernando CA area, give Juan a call at A-1 Mobile Diesel Mechanic at 818 926-3068 Not sure how far they will travel, but you can ask...
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:42 PM   #2
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Looks like the repair was done in a parking lot. Were you able to move the coach off the road yourself?

Dan
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:46 PM   #3
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Wow! Glad no one was hurt. I hope mine is ok??
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:52 PM   #4
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It talks about this in the owners manual. If I remember correctly you can test for this by taking a steel hammer to the mid section of the u-bolt. It should give off a slight ringing noise. If it's more of a clunk than you want to get it checked out.


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Old 07-11-2016, 01:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
Looks like the repair was done in a parking lot. Were you able to move the coach off the road yourself?



Dan

Nope. Blocked 3 lanes of traffic for 4 hrs. Tow truck driver wanted too DRAG the rig off the road, so traffic could get through. Told him he could kiss my ASS 😡😡 Tech was able to install wood blocks so I could back up into parking lot. Then he spent the rest of the day in 105 deg weather replacing both U-bolts 😖😢 Not a fun day for either of us...


1996 Country Coach Intrigue 😜
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:36 AM   #6
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Sorry this happened to you.

What does "the suspension collapsed on itself" mean?

Do you have any pics of the collapsed suspension?

You are most likely right about it happening at road speed.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:36 PM   #7
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This is very interesting. I would like to see a bunch of pictures on this one.

Guess I'd better read the owners manual to see where I should be banging on which U-bolt as I have never heard of this.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:54 PM   #8
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UncleBilly ,


First, so glad you and your loved ones are ok.


I'm thinking you've been riding on a broken u-bolt for awhile and never knew it, then the remaining bolt let lose from fatigue.


U-bolts that brake are defective from the start as this is never suppose to happen unless way over torqued from the factory.


I would replace the remaining U-bolts on the coach if it were mine, Inspecting U-bolts for cracks visually is a wasted effort, you could have never seen this coming.


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Old 07-11-2016, 09:16 PM   #9
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Check your Suspension - This Could Happen

Sorry don't have any more photos of the collapse...

Not sure of which parts collapsed. As was explained too me it was an arm that's shackled to axle, or something, so when bolts broke the arm collapsed...

I did have other side U-bolts checked. They were loose. I assume they are original too the Coach...

Yes one U-bolt was already broke and other one finally quit 😜

Will have them checked yearly from now on...

Check yours 😜👍🏻


1996 Country Coach Intrigue 😜
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:05 PM   #10
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My 02 chassis manual talks about this in the axles, steering, and suspension section. It's under the suspension inspection checklist.

It's says they should be checked at the 1,000 and 3,000 mile mark. Then every 25,000 miles. It does say you can test for proper torque by tapping a steel hammer in the middle of the u-bolt. You want a ringing noise, if you get more of a clunk then your bolts have stretched, and should be replaced.

It also says that this is not a recommendation, but a requirement.


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Old 07-11-2016, 10:52 PM   #11
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Oops, forgot the torque settings. 310-330 ft/lbs.

They are to be installed in a criss-cross pattern with increased increments of 50 ft/lbs.




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Old 07-12-2016, 02:18 AM   #12
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On a lighter note,
How many techs did it take to get you back on the road?
Just Juan?


I know, I'm going straight to hell for that, sorry.


DTW
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:27 AM   #13
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In my experience, Ubolts tend to stretch over time. So the trick is to wd40 the threads and re-torque. They break when they get stretched and the begin to move back and forth, finally breaking. Movement causes heat and causes the metal to temper/harden, thus snap. I've had one snap on me but it was an axle under spring so I didn't have the problem that you had. On several occasions when I was re-installing old ubolts they have snapped when I torqued them down so had to replace them.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:45 AM   #14
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To get a good idea of what happened just look under the front axle of any F-53 chassis. The front axles are mounted onto the leaf springs with the axles below the springs. Picture the axles above the spring and you can see what happened. There are two long 12" or greater U-bolts holding each side onto the springs, either above or below. When both U-Bolts broke the coach went down bringing the axle up to the position we saw it. Not something one wants to happen.

On the brighter side this is the first time I have ever read of this happening. What I'm saying is while this should be of some concern I'm thinking that it is somewhat rare. As we travel around the US and different towns there are thousands of dump trucks and load haulers using this same set up and carrying a lot of weight. How many of them have you seen listing on their sides with a broken U-Bolt???

Great that there was no accident and that you are back in business.

TeJay
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