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Old 10-26-2011, 12:59 PM   #1
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2003 Freightliner xc chassis front end noise????

Thank you in advance for any assistance or information anyone can offer!

My concern is a cracking or popping noise originating from the front end. The noise has progressively worsen. It can be replicated by turning right and when the suspension unloads and loads back up the pop/crack occurs. Just last night I was able to make it occur by swerving quickly left to right, loading and unloading suspension, in the middle of a crowned road. I thought the problem was the RH front shock, so I completely removed it last night and noted no change is frequency or tone of the noise. It is a consistent crack upon loading and another crack upon unloading.

Another concern which may be related and also may not be related is upon firm braking a crack noise originates from the brakes. I have read this concern is most likely the s-cams, which needs to be lubricated and serviced.

1) Can the s-cam noise occur when the suspension is loaded and unloaded without any input from the brakes? Or am I reaching?
2) Can the noise be from the Kwik step shifting around? Has anyone had this problem traced to the steps?
3) Should I remove the LH shock? I say this because when I checked the RH side shock prior to removing it I noticed it was not tight at the upper mount point!
4) Can the generator move around and cause this cracking/clanking noise? Has anyone traced this kind of concern to the Generator?
5) Though the sway bar appears secure, should I remove it and then road test it? Has anyone had this noise concern traced to the sway bar?
6) Can the leaf springs cause this type of noise? My leaf springs has a strange looking type of add on thin/shim type additional leaf on both the top and bottom of the leaf spring. Can this be a concern? I have somewhere a band clamp around the spring helps? Do I need to clamp it?

Thanks again guys for any assistance,

Jack Martz
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:08 PM   #2
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If you had one loose shock, I sure would check the other!

While it is conceivable the generator cold be loose, i would have to say very unlikely. Ditto for the steps. But then, I would have said that about the shocks too.

A call to Freightliner Customer Service sounds like your best bet. They should have some ideas about what could be making noise. I'm not familiar with the leaf spring suspension myself - mine has air and the ZF IFS.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:15 PM   #3
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Yes, a leaf spring can cause this noise. They make small lubricated pads that can be inserted between the ends of the springs and the next leaf. Might have to have it done as it take some force to separate the leafs.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:39 PM   #4
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I don't think the "s" cam rollers would make any noise without the brakes being activated. Usually it's a clunk sound when brakes are first applied, at least that's what ours sounded like before they were lubricated.
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:44 AM   #5
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Some good thoughts posted. I agree re the S cams....only activated when braking.

Re the popping noise, I would also recommend you look at the various lube points under there to see if the lube is resonably fresh or appears like something left behind by a low-slung dinosaur. This is an area that seems to be too frequently overlooked by RV owners...especially previous ones! Also suggest you look at ball joint/king pin condition and operation where possible. I would also look very carefully at the multiple bushings used under there. Swelling, cuts, breaks, etc. can easily cause noises and pops as suspension parts move. Believe it or not, bushing problems can develop from lack of vehicle usage in addition to the normal wear and tear they suffer from miles and time.

If you can't identify the source, a visit to a GOOD Freightliner dealership that services RV's probably should be your next move. Chances are good that they will have seen this before.

PLEASE let us know what you find out....THANKS!
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:43 AM   #6
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Help?????

Thank you again, for all your responses thus far!!! You guys all rock!!! Please keep the suggestions coming!!!


1) Should I remove the LH shock? I say this because when I checked the RH side shock prior to removing it I noticed it was not tight at the upper mount point!

***** update - replaced front shocks with monroes, no difference


2) Though the sway bar appears secure, should I remove it and then road test it?

***** update - detached sway bar, notice no difference

3) Can the leaf springs cause this type of noise? My leaf springs has a strange looking type of add on thin/shim type additional leaf on both the top and bottom of the leaf spring. Can this be a concern? I have somewhere a band clamp around the spring helps? Do I need to clamp it?

***** update - read somewhere to soak it with chain lube, did not help!

***** update - read somewhere to add a clamp band around the spring and this odd add a leaf, only did this to the LEFT side because it appeared to have lots of play, will now add one to the RH side and test again

4) I had the entire coach looked at about a year ago by C&S RV and that stated everything looks good and normal


So as of now, I am still stumped!!! I hope someone has had this concern before, please chime in with more suggestions!!!

Thanks again,

Jack Martz
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:59 PM   #7
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Have you checked the trac bar. It can cause alot of noises when it starts to go bad without affecting the tracking.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:12 AM   #8
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Thank you very much for chiming in, i grately appreciate it!

How does one test a track bar for being "bad"?
Any one have a pic of what i am checking for?

Thanks

Jack
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:57 PM   #9
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there was a recall on the steering box on some models ,it is safety issue,freightliner recall, phone them with your vin#
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:24 PM   #10
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Broken welds on the body support have been known to make noises such as you describe.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:54 AM   #11
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Thnks fred for chiming in. Did you have the very same problem? If so where do you look to find the body mounts? I heard this as well but visually cannot find any broken welds or mounts. I can look again just need some more insight!
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:09 PM   #12
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Hi It is a bar with an eyelet on each end one connects to frame the other to the axle. But I changed mine and it still makes the noise. I guess i will try shocks next.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revolution View Post
Thnks fred for chiming in. Did you have the very same problem? If so where do you look to find the body mounts? I heard this as well but visually cannot find any broken welds or mounts. I can look again just need some more insight!
No, I've not experienced broken welds, but I've read of a few folks having that problem. These type of problems can be hard to solve. Good luck.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:02 PM   #14
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Fred,

I am very interested in finding these posts! Did you read them in this forum?

Thanks

Jack
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