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Old 01-22-2012, 05:39 PM   #1
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Ford F53 Rear Axle/Suspension Questions

I recently purchased a 1999 Damon Intruder Class A based on the Ford F53 chassis. I noticed the axle is slightly off. The passenger side wheel is 1 inch further back than the driver side. It drives fine and I don't "feel" it dog tracking. When I crawled underneath to look around I noticed the passenger side has a one and one half inch spacer block between the leaf springs and the "normal" axle block. The driver side does NOT have this. It just has the normal axle block. The coach seems to sit level. It looks like this block was done at the coach factory. I am guessing this was done to compensate for the fridge, stove, sink, bath, water heater, LP tank, and spare being on the passenger side? Although the driver side has the generator and slide. I'm not sure if this would have put the axle slightly off perpendicualr or not??? What do you guys think? Is it fine to keep using it the way it is? It loks like it been this way since new, 12 years ago. What can be doe to correct it?


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Old 01-22-2012, 06:34 PM   #2
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I would think if it was off that much you would be going through rubber like there was no tomorrow. How could you tell no dogleg? Did you have someone drive behind you?

I would think any good truck shop should be able to do a complete alignment, including the rear axle. Spacers should have affected the axle angle. I have several inches of them on the front, not in equal proportions, to level out the coach. It was that or air bags.

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Old 01-22-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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Years ago, springs were made up of several 'leaves'...the main 'leaf' is
solid to frame on one end and allowed to expand on the other through
shackes. I don't think you'll find solid end broke, but check it first. Leaves
are held together by a 'tie bolt', the head drops into a hole on axle. If this
bolt breaks, (not very heavy, maybe 3/8"), This will allow axle to shift. In
order to install new tie bolt, remove 2 'U' bolts holding spring to Axle, Jack
up body, remove old tie bolt and install new one...keep hands from being
placed between Axle and spring....With frame on board jacks, air wrench and
some blocks, shouldn't be too bad a job. gene
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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The block should have a pin on the bottom that goes thru the axle pad and a hole on the top that the spring thru bolt goes into. If either one is missing, the axle could shift. You can get various size blocks at a local discount auto parts store.

If the bolt thru the axle has broken the head off, it can also shift. To check if the bolt has broken, you need to use two "C" clamps to hold the springs together before you take off the U-bolts that hold the springs to the axle. You may have to use a drift to align the holes in the springs and may also have to grind the bolt head round to fit into the block hole. If so, you can use Visegrips to hold the bolt while you tighten it. Good luck and get the alignment at least checked.
2004 32' National Sea Breeze 1311 Class A on a F-53 Chassis, CHF, TST TPMS, 5Star Tune.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:26 AM   #5
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My Damon had a 2" lean to the passanger side but I fixed it by adding a leaf to the spring. The right side spring was obviously loaded heavier on that side so the shocks and spring could not work properly. By adding the leaf, the coach was leveled, and the shocks and springs worked better providing a smoother and quieter ride. Just my two cents.
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f53, ford

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