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Old 11-18-2014, 06:54 PM   #1
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Mystery Vibration

Coach is a 1998 Holiday Rambler Endevour 37 CDS. Sets on a Freightliner chassis Cummins 5.9 ISB 275 tires are Toyo M124 245/75R22.5

Had a coolant line break 13 mile from Ardmore OK and had to be tow in. Driver removed the drive shaft for the tow. Next day coolant line fixed and we are on our way. I notice a vibration every time there was a rise or dip in the road when the suspension would move up or down. Not a real bad vib unless you had a large suspension travel. I figured the tow had either damaged an airbag or got the drive line in out of Sync. I took it down to the shop that does my maintenance when I got back from the trip. Just heard from the shop and the drive line in fine. I had them replace the two front tires as they were scalloped on the both the inside and outside and are over seven year old. The shop has narrowed the vib down the the right front but has been unable to identify what it is. To me it sounded like a tire rubbing on something but I checked a number of times and there is nothing rubbing. There was no difference in the vib after the front tires were replaced, balanced and a four wheel alignment done. I'm already 4 man hours into tracing this vib down and told them to spend a couple of more hours to remover the front wheel to check the bearings and spindle.

Has anyone else had a problem like this? Any ideas on what else to check. The vib seem to change freq with speed and the wheel is the only thing up there that is turning. I'm stumped and don't want to spend a fortune on this.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:22 PM   #2
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Have you checked ride height?
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:23 PM   #3
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Did the driver mark the driveshaft? If not put back exactly as it came out you will get vibration.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:26 PM   #4
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I'm not sure if they checked the ride height but the drive shaft has been inspected and isn't causing the problem according to the shop. They are sure it is coming from the right front.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:29 PM   #5
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Do I understand that there was no vibration before the drive shaft was removed and the coach was towed?

It could be something wrong with the drive shaft, or in the towing process something happened to affect the ride height (considering that the vibration appears or changes with suspension travel). Incorrect ride height produces incorrect drive shaft angle which can produce vibration.

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Old 11-18-2014, 08:00 PM   #6
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Removing the drive shaft before towing requires diss assembly of the U-joints. There are lots of loose needle bearings when the u-joint comes apart.

Working under the MH, in the dirt, with poor light and whatever, makes it possible to loose a couple needle bearings which might not be noticed during re assembly.

This could easily make a vibration in the MH.

Good Luck
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:12 PM   #7
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I agree with Mr. D, your drive shaft U-Joints are out of time. Alignment is critical for the U-Joints to work as designed. When you go over a bump the axle goes up/down but the U-Joints is not moving freely.

If you don't have this correct you stand a chance of U-Joint and drive shaft failure which in turn could take out your transmission.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:17 PM   #8
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How old are the shocks?
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:25 PM   #9
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If a drive shaft is removed and not put back in the exact location it can cause a vibration. I always taught my students to mark the flanges (using a pin punch) so they were always put back in exactly the same location.

Here's also something that I always suggest. What was the last thing that was worked on before this problem started??? In your case it was the removal of the drive shaft.

Intermittent vibrations are most always associated with a rotating part. The only job shocks perform is to dampen suspension movement.

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Old 11-18-2014, 08:43 PM   #10
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Here's also something that I always considered when troubleshooting. What was the last thing that was worked on before the problem began????

In your case it was the removal of the drive shaft. If that was the last thing worked on that's where I'd start.

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Old 11-18-2014, 09:02 PM   #11
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+1 on the driveshaft, based on your description. I would have it removed for a full inspection, checking the condition of the universal joints, and any possibility that it was re-installed incorrectly last time. I would also ask the shop to try their best to determine what the original orientation was - based on wear patterns, rust, etc. before any disassembly of shaft parts. Then re-install it that way when they get through.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:06 PM   #12
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Inspect the drive-shaft yokes for pre-existing alignment marks too. Some tow truck drivers may be at the end of their shift, are very tired, and overlook things.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:36 AM   #13
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I had a similar experience as a technician, I was replacing a torque converter and had the drive shaft hanging from the differential and another tech lubed the chassis including the driveshaft. Unknown to me was the fact the slip joint separated and he re-installed it with the u-joints out of "time". After I finished and re-assembled...vibration, I realized the issue and re-timed it...still vibrated! Turns out although they were now timed, I found index marks on the slip splines and turned the slip yoke 180 degrees...ta-da...vibration gone. I would recommend closely inspecting or even just trying that.
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Old 11-19-2014, 12:42 PM   #14
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Thanks to everyone for your replies. I had a call for the shop this morning. Seem that after being stumped the service advisor had a different tech reinspect the drive shaft and it was out of sync. They corrected the problem and vib is gone. I won't be charged for the trouble shooting hours since the drive shaft was the first thing checked. I am very relieved. After reading some of the post about techs spending hour after hour chasing gremlins I was afraid it was the end of my RVing. I will say that RV ownership is not for the faint of heart or light of wallet person.
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