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Old 08-20-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
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new 2013 E350 road noise/vibration

Time to solicit some advise it appears. Picked up a new 2013 E350 heavy duty (Thor Chateau 24c) 2 weeks ago and have put almost 2000 miles on it so far. First trip home there appeared to be an unusual amount of road noise/vibration telegraphing up into the steering column and wheel. No shaking, just a lot of road noise and subsiquent vibration. Comes in around 42 mph and is quite present until you reach 55-60. Smooth roads seem to amplify it only because it does not get mixed in with the rough road noise.

Took it to the Ford dealer this morning. The tech pulled the wheels and indicated that he felt the front wheel bearings were not tight enough so he checked them, added some wheel bearing grease per spec, and reassembled to spec. Then he checked all the air in the six tires and adjusted that to the spec on the door jamb (75f & 65r). Sent me on my way and it is no better or worse for that matter.

Anyone have any experience with this chassis with the Triton V10 that may shed some light on this subject? We are heading out for a 8000 mile trip and I am a bit nervous about this noise issue. By the way the RV is equipped with Michelin LTX 10 ply tires.
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:24 PM   #2
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You said they filled the tires to spec. The spec may be the maximum air pressure they are rated for. Since the front of a motorhome is typically lighter than the rated axle weight, the tires may be overinflated if they were filled "to spec".

I'd visit a truck stop and find your axle weights and inflate your tires based on that weight and see if your road noise condition improves. You may also be experiencing an alignment issue which may be causing the vibration you mentioned.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:59 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Rick. I can get the axle weight up at the local aggregate company as they have a scale for weighing out their trucks. Once we get this info how does one figure out correctly the weight vs air pressure?

Had a hard time getting the RV into the local Ford dealer building. It barely fit on to the lift and into the building and that was the newly constructed building! Going to be hard to find a place around here that can get this on to their rack and into their building.I will pursue this today.
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:54 AM   #4
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update

Yesterday I pulled the front tires off and switched them from side to side in an effort to determine if I had a radial tire pull. Rv still pulls to the ditch so I have scheduled an appt with the Ford dealer that can get the rig into their shop and onto their alignment rack. Need to find the pull issue before we go any further. Also noticed and forgot to mention that the steering wheel is off center when going straight down the roadHope this fix helps withthe vibration problem. Will update as we get further results.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:03 AM   #5
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To determine the necesary air pressure in the tires after weighing, you can take the axle weight, divide it by 2 and then go to the tire manufacturer's website and you will find a chart that will list the proper air pressure to weight. Again, this will get you close to the recommended air pressure. The absolutely proper way to determine the exact weight would be to weigh each corner of your RV...as you may have one end of the axle that weighs more than the other. The axle weighing you will do at the local aggregate company will get you in the ballpark.

Now with the crooked steering wheel...an out-of-alignment issue may be your easy way out. With the vehicle pulling as you indicated, this may be the cause of all of your problems with the ride and driving behavior. Once they get it on the alignment rack you may find a bent axle or other suspension parts that are damaged. They will be able to make this determination if they are unable to perform the alignment.

I would also discuss this situation with the dealer you purchased the RV from, as this is not usual.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #6
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update

went back to the Ford dealer on Tuesday and they put it on the rack. Caster and camber was off quite a bit. Tech put it back to where the psec calls for it and the pulling has gone away as well as the crooked steering wheel.
Now the bad news. Dealer tells me that Ford will not stand behind the alignment charge as the RV is a cutaway chassis and it is the builders resposibility to check it. They billed me $230 for the alignment. I have sent this info off to Thor and they have responded that they only touch the toe when it does not check out. They never adjust for camber or caster!

So now we are in the middle which is always a nasty place to be. Added to this that the vibration is still present becomes a aggravating situation. Had a tech that I trust ride with me and he agrees that it is a drive line vibration. I am scheduled to go back to the Ford dealer for this vibration next Tuesday! In the meantime I have had all the tires road forced at a local dealer and they check out fine. Highest one was 20, lowest was 8. All in balance. I suspect the drive shaft but we will see. Of course I wonder now if Ford will consider that a warranty call.

Can't believe we are having this much trouble with a brand new Rv!
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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The dealer is correct about the alignment. The chassis is shipped to the coach builder and has an alignment done based on the empty chassis. Since the E series has front independent suspension, you add 10K LBs on the frame, the front angles will change due to different ride heights. The coach builder must check and adjust based on the factory weight of the coach. I would think it is better to adjust on projected weight but that may be hard to do.

If the driveshaft has not been altered, it will be a warrantable concern if it is bad. However, if the frame and or driveshaft has been altered, it will also be up to the coach builder to correct that issue as it should have been done at the coach builder.

Seen a post a month back where a motorhome owner broke down due to a fuel leak. Found the coach builder stretched the frame and just used rubber hose and clamps on the fuel line. If obviously failed. If yours is stretched, I would defiantly check that out. That was an obvious non Ford warrantable concern.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:04 AM   #8
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Is your RV dealer weighing in on this? Does your state have a lemon law?
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:29 AM   #9
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I think this post may help you.

THOR Motorcoach Adds Single Source to “Shield of Protection"
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:24 AM   #10
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update

Thanks for the replies. All input is helpful.

Vt has a lemon law but I hope we are not there yet!

Crawled under the rig and took some inclination measurements with my digital level. Clearly the frame has been extended by around 10 inches so I am sure that Ford is going to treat this as a non warranty.

Looked on line for some input on drive line configurations but can't locate one that spells out the exact parameters. Wonder if anyone on here can interpret the degrees of inclination.

Here's what we have. All elements are sloping down:
Trans.2.9
first section of driveline is 2.4 thru the center bearing to a universal
next section of drive line to the yoke is 2.4
rear end is at 2.8

My understanding is that the end points should be with in a degree of each other. If this is true then I am suspicious of these readings.

Can anyone interpret these for me or offer a source that can qualify these measurements?

Lastly, I see that the center bearing plate has elongated slots for adjusting left to right. Could this bearing be off a touch that is causing the vibration?
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:38 AM   #11
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Something that crossed my mind is it appears that the original wheel was likely 158" and yours now is 168". Since the weight is further back than it was originally, there may be to much sag in the rear causing driveline angle issues. I kind of suck at angles so I will show a buddy of mine that is better than I am on them and see what he thinks. To me, it looks incorrect. However, how did you measure the transmission and the rear diff angles?
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:40 AM   #12
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BTW, defiantly check all the fuel lines. Make sure they did not splice into the factory line with rubber but used the factory hard plastic with the correct fittings. If you question any of it, post a pic so I can take a look.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:41 AM   #13
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and yet another update

Thor called me moments ago and informed me that the company that stretched the frame will now be involved. They will warranty this issue with whatever company is working on the coach, parts and labor. So now I will see if the local Ford dealer will accomadate this. If not I am off to find a company that will. Back at you later...............
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by wogden View Post
Thor called me moments ago and informed me that the company that stretched the frame will now be involved. They will warranty this issue with whatever company is working on the coach, parts and labor. So now I will see if the local Ford dealer will accomadate this. If not I am off to find a company that will. Back at you later...............
Sounds good. Hopefully you can get it resolved quickly.
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