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Old 12-15-2013, 08:51 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
During any of your travels while it was making the greatest amount of noise did you take it out of gear and allow the engine to wind down? By taking it out of gear you are reducing the torque on the drive line, bearings etc. If it is a bearing or ring/opinion gear the noise will change because of the lower pressure.

We had a 1999 DS (Gas on a F-53 chassis) and the rear end started howling while on a trip to Maine. It was under warranty but nobody would do anything about it. They just said drive it back to AR and we'll look at it. They assured us that even if it is bad it will still get us home. We drove it home and they replaced the rear end.

Another way of finding some noises is to raise the drive wheels and put it in gear. I've done that many time on cars/trucks. The problem with that method is without the weight of the vehicle on the bearings the noise is much harder to find.

You also might have some wind causing the vibration. A piece of sheet metal flapping in the breeze can make some weird noises and vibrations. There are heat shields around the exhaust and cats and to keep heat from entering the floor of the coach.

Just some ideas!!

TeJay
Thanks TeJay. The wind noise thing was one something I thoroughly investigated on the 700 mile trip home with the rig from Florida. No such luck.

Your suggestion about putting it neutral while at speed when it's making the noise seems like a good idea. You are also VERY correct about not having weight/load on the bearings makes the sound nearly impossible to find. The closest thing I did to putting it in neutral at speed was what tipped me off that it was coming from the back of the coach. Modulating the throttle between loading the drivetrain (accelerating), and letting completely off the throttle (both with and without the exhaust brake on), as well as coasting, all produced different levels of noise and vibration. The vibration is not that great, but the noise is intolerable (to me).

From what I've been able to read in researching this issue, as well as the feedback provided by a lot of helpful members here on iRV2, I'm feeling much more confident that correcting the ride height will solve the problem. We'll find out this week
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:58 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by KIX View Post
Scot, We have a Spartan MM chassis. When it was new I had similar symptoms. I didn't know squat about air suspension. The fix for ours was easy. The rod connecting the ride height valve with the rear axle had "popped" out of the rubber grommet that secures the rod to the axle bracket. A really easy fix by a Kenworth shop in Amarillo. They showed me the problem and I carry an extra rubber grommet. The problem has recurred a couple of times and it's an easy fix if there's enough room to slide under the coach while the bags are deflated.
I believe this could well be the problem. If so, easy fix for almost no cost. I'm still glad to have the lube analysis and internal inspection done. At least that's something we know we don't have to worry about (at least for now ). I'll have to check into getting an extra grommet. Sounds like we might need it.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:01 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by slemnah View Post
Jim, he is on a Spartan Mountain Master chassis and if memory serves me right it is an eaton rear axle. Don't quote me on that though.
Steve
I'm quoting you on that lol.

Thanks for commenting Steve. As always, it's nice to have someone who has owned this exact same year, make, and model of coach before trying to help. Much appreciated!
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:21 PM   #32
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....deleted....double post from earlier......innerwebs
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:17 AM   #33
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Our coach has exactly the same symptoms. I realize that our coach has a different chassis, and I really don't know what differential we have. But the symptoms are identical.

I have had the drive shaft checked. It's fine. The previous owner had the drive shaft completely rebuilt, and I've had it checked, and it's fine. I have greased it and greased it until it is nothing but grease.

I had the differential oil tested, and it was fine.

I put new oil in the differential, and the noise continued.

I had the ride height checked, and adjusted, and the noise continued.

I added Lucas oil additive and the noise was substantially reduced.

I don't know. I have kind of decided that it will run a long time.

We'll see.



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Old 12-16-2013, 10:35 AM   #34
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Our coach has exactly the same symptoms. I realize that our coach has a different chassis, and I really don't know what differential we have. But the symptoms are identical.

I have had the drive shaft checked. It's fine. The previous owner had the drive shaft completely rebuilt, and I've had it checked, and it's fine. I have greased it and greased it until it is nothing but grease.

I had the differential oil tested, and it was fine.

I put new oil in the differential, and the noise continued.

I had the ride height checked, and adjusted, and the noise continued.

I added Lucas oil additive and the noise was substantially reduced.

I don't know. I have kind of decided that it will run a long time.

We'll see.

Jim
I was a little surprised to see the recommended rear end lube weight was only 75w-90. I would guess that's to minimize heat, but I honestly don't know the reason. You do make a good point though. If getting the rig back to proper ride height doesn't solve the noise issue, I think it would be a good test to drain the 75w-90 and put Lucas 85w-140 in it and take a road test. If the noise is gone, then obviously it was coming from the ring & pinion/bearings. At that point, we can decide what to do from there. I suppose we could always add an external oil pump and cooler if we wanted to run heavier lube, but hopefully the ride height adjustment will cure it and there will be no need to experiment any further. We should know very soon if the ride height adjustment cures it or not.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:26 AM   #35
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narampa
Not trying cause an argument, but ScottRussell is doing the correct thing by finding out what is causing the noise and more importantly the vibration that is felt over the rear end (see OP). As myself, other forum posters and the KW mechanic believe it is being cause by a height/alignment problem. If you notice in his last post everything except the height checks out NOW. It will not be that way if he lets the problem persist.

You state you have had the same noise since your MH was new to you, in MHO you have been luckly. If your noise is indeed an alignment/height issue at some point you will have a problem and if you are lucky it will only be the drive shaft needing to be rebuilt, not to expensive. If you are not lucky and it is the rear end you are looking at several thousand dollars and up for a rebuild.

I don't know how long you have had your MH and for your sake I hope the noise is related to something else, but if it makes the noise ScottRussell has in his you are living on borrowed time in MHO. While your problem may be different, there are other thing such as bearing that are inexpensive to replace before they fail and cost BIG $$$ if the failure happens while you are rolling down the road.

As I said, not trying to start an argument, just trying to give you some food for thought. Good Luck and Merry Christmas.

Tom and Barb
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Thanks for your input but. I have rebuilt hundreds of differentials and have checked and rechecked my diff oil and I am now convinced after 25000 miles that the issue is in the tires. The tires are 4 years old and have approx 35 percent wear. I have no desire to change them as long as they are running good. The problem I see is this. You might laugh at this example but here goes.
My DW had a Buick and one day she came home and said that her car was making a GRUNGING NOISE. Wow how do I trouble shoot that. I drove the car several times and could not hear what she described. I heard other things like a slight scrapping noise when going over a dip where the springs were getting a pretty good work out. I found two spacers that were worn and replace them. She said that the grunging noise was gone. In forty years working as a mechanic I have never heard the term grunging. Have you? With all respect to the OP is it possible we have a scenario similar. What he is describing we are all trying to diagnose long distance.We are all trying to help the fellow but how do you do it long distance. I have always said if you buy something drive it if noises start investigate, If a noise does not get worse live with it or trade it. How many times have you heard the word Oscillating to describe a noise? Or for that matter Grunging?
The wife will hate me for this.
Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:01 PM   #36
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Thanks for your input but. I have rebuilt hundreds of differentials and have checked and rechecked my diff oil and I am now convinced after 25000 miles that the issue is in the tires. The tires are 4 years old and have approx 35 percent wear. I have no desire to change them as long as they are running good. The problem I see is this. You might laugh at this example but here goes.
My DW had a Buick and one day she came home and said that her car was making a GRUNGING NOISE. Wow how do I trouble shoot that. I drove the car several times and could not hear what she described. I heard other things like a slight scrapping noise when going over a dip where the springs were getting a pretty good work out. I found two spacers that were worn and replace them. She said that the grunging noise was gone. In forty years working as a mechanic I have never heard the term grunging. Have you? With all respect to the OP is it possible we have a scenario similar. What he is describing we are all trying to diagnose long distance.We are all trying to help the fellow but how do you do it long distance. I have always said if you buy something drive it if noises start investigate, If a noise does not get worse live with it or trade it. How many times have you heard the word Oscillating to describe a noise? Or for that matter Grunging?
The wife will hate me for this.
Merry Christmas.
Grunging? lol That was pretty good. I bet you were expecting some Seattle rock group guys to pop up at any moment.

I get where you are coming from, but just to clarify, what I meant by oscillating was sound was not constant in it's tone. I wish I knew a better way to say it, but it escapes me at the moment.

I would like to believe it isn't the tires, since they are a very nice looking set of Michelins with probably 80% tread left (or 20% wear if you prefer) and no sign of any dry rotting. I'm definitely not ruling out the possibility of it being tires, I'm just hoping that's not it.

I'm not very good at "living with it" when it comes to noises I know shouldn't be there. Probably makes my life harder, but I am who I am.

Grunging ... I like it
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:19 PM   #37
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We're picking it up from Kenworth tonight

Well the plan is to pick it up from Kenworth tonight. We need to go get some LP in the tank to test the stove, furnace, etc., but after that it's to my house to begin building some ramps and get this thing up in the air to try and set ride height. I have the specs now - LINK -bad ride height valves - 8" in front, and 9.5" in the rear.

Once set correctly, I plan to do a visual inspection of the trans yoke to pinion yoke (driveshaft angle) relationship. If there still appears to be excessive angle, I will be looking for colapsed/distorted engine and/or transmission mounts, or anything that would appear to effect the driveshaft geometry.

I will also be looking at the level valve and linkage and mounts for both.

If proper driveshaft angle (or rather, the LACK of it) can be achieved, I'll take it down the highway for a noise check. If it passes, so much the better, job done. If not, I'm thinking I may drain the 75w-90 (now new from Kenworth), and refill with 85w-140 Lucas and go for a test drive. If that turns out to quiet the problem, I'll know for sure it's in the ring & pinion set up/bearings, and I can go from there. If not ... trade it?? lol I doubt it, but I won't be done trying to find out what it is until I find it! I'm pretty stubborn that way
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:54 PM   #38
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Scott,
Well here goes another attempt at long distance diagnosis. Here's one thing you can do to perhaps eliminate the tires. Swap them from the left side to the right etc. By doing that you will change the current rotation. I've done this several times. Once when I did it the tire noise level increased a bunch. Tires develop a set because of minor alignment differences from side to side. Sometimes the tread wear will cause noises and vibration. I don't remember you saying anything about swapping the tires but if you changed them it would eliminate them as a potential noise.

I am partial to synthetic lubes. I had a 1995 Isuzu pick-up and with about 50,000 miles on it I put Mercon 5 full synthetic tranny fluid in the differential and the gear box (stick shift). I drove it for another 120,000 with no problems. I have used Mobil 1 in all my vehicles for 30 years with no problems. The stuff is great. I've got a few more stories but enough is enough.
Replace the differential fluid with a good synthetic fluid and see what happens. Synthetics will reduce friction considerably and if the differential is the source of the noise it should change. If it's not the differential you'll at least have the best friction reducer available. I also use Amsoil products. They should have something listed on their web sight that is approved.

These are just some other bridges to cross.

TeJay
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:29 PM   #39
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ScottRussell

Not trying to change the topic of this thread--it is fascinating, but you mention tires in your post #36 and how "nice" they looked. Please don't be fooled by "nice" looking tires, check the DOT manufacture date stamp on the side wall.

On this forum there are many threads about tires so you will be able to get up to speed very quickly as to MH tire life. I only mention it because you are new to RV's and I don't think you have the same problem with your Drag cars.

Again I hope you find the noise.

Tom and Barb
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:18 PM   #40
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ScottRussell

Not trying to change the topic of this thread--it is fascinating, but you mention tires in your post #36 and how "nice" they looked. Please don't be fooled by "nice" looking tires, check the DOT manufacture date stamp on the side wall.

On this forum there are many threads about tires so you will be able to get up to speed very quickly as to MH tire life. I only mention it because you are new to RV's and I don't think you have the same problem with your Drag cars.

Again I hope you find the noise.

Tom and Barb
2000 Bounder 39Z
Thanks for the heads up Tom. I took some pictures of the tires when I got it back home tonight:



And to answer your question, Drag Radials (or slicks for that matter), are affected by age even more than a DOT tire. The compounds are softer, and they seem to age more quickly than road tires.

And I'm pretty sure I know where the noise is now. The rear is sitting WAY too low. The amount of angle on the driveshaft is WAY too extreme. After the ride height adjustment, I'm pretty sure it will be quiet.



The synthetic gear lube really didn't affect the noise much.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:22 PM   #41
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Scot, We have a Spartan MM chassis. When it was new I had similar symptoms. I didn't know squat about air suspension. The fix for ours was easy. The rod connecting the ride height valve with the rear axle had "popped" out of the rubber grommet that secures the rod to the axle bracket. A really easy fix by a Kenworth shop in Amarillo. They showed me the problem and I carry an extra rubber grommet. The problem has recurred a couple of times and it's an easy fix if there's enough room to slide under the coach while the bags are deflated.
I'm assuming this is the grommet you are referring to?

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Old 12-16-2013, 11:44 PM   #42
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After getting the rear raised some with the leveling jacks, I shot a few pics from under the back end. I found the adjuster:



No ramps built yet, so I"m not going to make any changes till I can raise the rear some. However, it's very clear after getting under there that the rear of the coach is sitting WAY too low. The drive shaft is at far too steep an angle (down from the rear end to the trans yoke). So much so, that it's too close to the frame cross member above it (as you can see in the picture I posted earlier). Raising the chassis (right height) will correct the drive shaft angle, while increasing the clearance between the cross member and the drive shaft.
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