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Old 08-13-2015, 07:41 PM   #1
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Question Tires Out of Balance or Something Else?

I have something that seems a tad odd but is consistent. As I accelerate up to 60+ MPH I start to get something that feels like it is from the rear of the coach. It is just enough that I feel it and some things start to rattle a bit in the back area. It seems pretty similar to what I would think could be from tire balance but is pretty specific in that it starts at about 48 MPH and as I continue accelerating continues until about 55 MPH and then stops.

It doesn't seem to matter if I am doing a slow or moderate acceleration either.

One other thing I recently noticed since my last service. As I am airing up the bags I seem to notice a slightly more noticeable lurch forward as the rear air bags get nearly inflated. It also seems that the rear wheel wells are a tad higher above the tires than I recall. Back in June I had work done on the rear air bags that required them to be removed. If the ride height has gone out of whack, could that induce anything like this?

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:49 PM   #2
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Ride height will affect the driveshaft angles and cause what you are experiencing.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Ride height will affect the driveshaft angles and cause what you are experiencing.
I was thinking that too but I was thinking that the vibration would continue to increase as speed also increased.

HMMM...maybe I should test that out by limiting the tranny to 5 speeds. I haven't taken note of the engine RPM but depending on how hard I accelerate I think I drop into 6th gear somewhere near 50-55 MPH.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:00 PM   #4
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I would get factory specs and do some measuring on ride height. It doesn't take much on that short shaft it cause a problem.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:08 PM   #5
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Transmission gears have no bearing on drive shaft speed. While accelerating there will be more torque on the shaft then when cruising at speed. Once up to speed the load is lighter on the driveline. Do you feel the vibration while slowing down?


I would find the ride height specs and check them. If high, get it back to specs and road test it.
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Old 08-14-2015, 02:56 AM   #6
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"Skyboss".....It sounds like your ride height is incorrect, but I don't think that's your issue. My guess would be u-joints. If they were marginal, the ride height increase could throw them over the edge. The drive shafts are so short on these DP's, the angle of the driveshaft is really critical


The drive shafts see so much torque, that they actually recommend lubing them every 5K. I hope I'm wrong, but I would get the u-joints checked. You certainly don't want them handgrenading.
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:15 AM   #7
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Vibration between 45 - 55 MPH sounds like a driveshaft issue. If the yokes on each end of the driveshaft are not lined up correctly, it will cause an out of phase vibration. Also if the output of the transmission and the rear end are not parallel, or close to parallel, it would also cause vibration and wear. Here is a great video of the affects of driveshaft out of phase issues.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Transmission gears have no bearing on drive shaft speed. While accelerating there will be more torque on the shaft then when cruising at speed. Once up to speed the load is lighter on the driveline. Do you feel the vibration while slowing down?


I would find the ride height specs and check them. If high, get it back to specs and road test it.
I don't recall the vibrations during deceleration but will pay closer attention next time. I was thinking the same on the tranny gears not affecting shaft rotation speed per se but more so the torque as you mentioned.

I have a trip planned to Newmar so we plan to make it a round trip through the Spartan factory to have them look at it before we go to Newmar. I'm figuring that it should only take a day to evaluate and if needed replace u-joints. I'd actually be happy if the 10 year old u-joints need to be replaced since I have an ESW that would make my costs be $200. If I can find any other warranty work to toss in for that deductible.... LOL
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:18 AM   #9
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I would be checking out the drive shaft as well. More specifically, the U-joints and the splined area of the shaft. If any of those are dry.......
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:52 AM   #10
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Could be as simple as an out-of-balance rear tire, or one that has ply separation (incipient failure). Alignment is a possibility too, though rear alignment rarely changes once properly set. Ride height can get out of whack (bent control arm or faulty air valve) and cause suspension and drive-angle problems, and the universals the others have mentioned. I would start with the simple stuff before worrying about bad universals on this relatively young coach. Tires balance is an easy "fix" and ride height valves are pretty easy to check.
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Old 08-16-2015, 10:14 AM   #11
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I had to "shaking" problem like that at the front of my coach, new tires fixed it.
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Old 08-16-2015, 04:08 PM   #12
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I think the recommendation to check U-joint or drive shaft are correct. I would check it to see if a U-joint is failing.

Have you had the coach towed or any maintenance done on the coach lately??? I just had to have mine towed. When the shop put the driveshaft back in place they did not align the 2 yokes, it was out of phase, meaning it was out of balance. I really didn't feel a vibrations but given time it might have caused a problem.
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Old 08-16-2015, 04:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I would be checking out the drive shaft as well. More specifically, the U-joints and the splined area of the shaft. If any of those are dry.......

This was my first thought.


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Old 08-16-2015, 07:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
...

Have you had the coach towed or any maintenance done on the coach lately??? ...
Last year I had both rear air bags replaced but one blew apart around Thanksgiving. long story short Spartan said the new air bags were from a new vendor and SHOULD have had a round metal plate installed under them to support the plastic yoke.

This June they corrected that problem and I suspect they should have/did a ride height check after the correction. We drove it back from the factory which was about a 4 hour drive and I hadn't noticed it. The coach sat for about 6 weeks before we took a one month trip from IL, WV, NC, SC, TN, KY and back. It was during that trip I started to notice this.

We are looking to hear from Spartan about an appointment next week.
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