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Old 11-29-2020, 01:43 PM   #1
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DS Spartan K2 Chassis Front End Issues

Hello Everyone,

Newbie DS Owner here and have a couple questions about the front end suspension and steering, (Only about 1,500 logged behind the wheel of the new DS right now).

I have owned 2 prior Class A Diesel Pushers, but none on a Spartain Chassis along with an older 40' Silver Eagle Bus Conversion and have never experienced anything like this in my many miles....

1. I am having an issue with a very loud "Metal on Metal" banging and squeeking noise in the front end when the suspension "tops out" at highway speeds. This ONLY occurs when going over larger rises in road surface and when coach porpoises. Feels and sounds as if the coach has reached its maximum "rise" limit, at normal highway speeds, over the larger rises in roadway. Is this "Normal" for Spartain chassis as it is not something I have ever experienced before with my prior Class A DP frieghtliner chassis, nor the older commercial Silver Eagle Conversion Bus.

2. When I purchased the coach from dealer, I noticed an offset in the steering wheel of about a 15 degrees in 1 o'clock position. Dealer had shop adjust the tire pressures and this seems to have helped but NOT resolved the proper indexing on the steering wheel to a straight and neutral position, ( Dealer said Newmar says it was caused by improper tire inflation). The Easy Drive system may be playing a part in this, not sure. I seem to be fighting the tracking of coach reguardless of the comfort drive settings. Seems to drift quite a bit and pull to the right reguardless of wind and lane position.

I am currently running 115 psi Front and 85 psi rear tandems and tags cold, (I Have yet to weigh each tire position seperately for precision tire pressures at each position).

Also, I notice about 5 psi pressure increase in rears when warmed and running, but about a 10-15 psi increase in steer tires when running and warm. This is when TPMS actually DOES display the pressures on dash cluster, (aware of the TPMS issue with Spartain and Freightliner and going to have that repaired ASAP, see attachment).

Are any of these conditions "Normal" to this specific coach/chassis combination??

Thanks So Much in advance for any help.

Terry
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Old 11-29-2020, 04:29 PM   #2
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We have a 18 LA and we had the same issue with the suspension bottoming out on bad roads. Have also noticed many DS owners having this problem and for our coach we ended up grading to 60MM front shock from our 46MM shocks and that ended to bottoming out clunk. At the same time we added Motion Control valves to front suspension which I think assisted. This valves control air going in to out of air bags and would suggest added them too.
On the CD steering you have a problem there that needs to be look at by a Spartan shop.
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Old 11-29-2020, 04:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Nay View Post
Hello Everyone,



Newbie DS Owner here and have a couple questions about the front end suspension and steering, (Only about 1,500 logged behind the wheel of the new DS right now).



I have owned 2 prior Class A Diesel Pushers, but none on a Spartain Chassis along with an older 40' Silver Eagle Bus Conversion and have never experienced anything like this in my many miles....



1. I am having an issue with a very loud "Metal on Metal" banging and squeeking noise in the front end when the suspension "tops out" at highway speeds. This ONLY occurs when going over larger rises in road surface and when coach porpoises. Feels and sounds as if the coach has reached its maximum "rise" limit, at normal highway speeds, over the larger rises in roadway. Is this "Normal" for Spartain chassis as it is not something I have ever experienced before with my prior Class A DP frieghtliner chassis, nor the older commercial Silver Eagle Conversion Bus.



2. When I purchased the coach from dealer, I noticed an offset in the steering wheel of about a 15 degrees in 1 o'clock position. Dealer had shop adjust the tire pressures and this seems to have helped but NOT resolved the proper indexing on the steering wheel to a straight and neutral position, ( Dealer said Newmar says it was caused by improper tire inflation). The Easy Drive system may be playing a part in this, not sure. I seem to be fighting the tracking of coach reguardless of the comfort drive settings. Seems to drift quite a bit and pull to the right reguardless of wind and lane position.



I am currently running 115 psi Front and 85 psi rear tandems and tags cold, (I Have yet to weigh each tire position seperately for precision tire pressures at each position).



Also, I notice about 5 psi pressure increase in rears when warmed and running, but about a 10-15 psi increase in steer tires when running and warm. This is when TPMS actually DOES display the pressures on dash cluster, (aware of the TPMS issue with Spartain and Freightliner and going to have that repaired ASAP, see attachment).



Are any of these conditions "Normal" to this specific coach/chassis combination??



Thanks So Much in advance for any help.



Terry


We have a K2 chassis 2018 DS 4018. We had the noise for over a year. The cause of ours was in the Control Arms. They installed shims (fender washers) to take up the loose play and torqued bolts to the proper setting.
This was the fix for ours. We have an additional 25000 miles since the fix and no noise.
Spartan had the repair kit and we had it installed at Josams in Orlando.
Good luck. This may or may not be your fix.
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:46 PM   #4
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I have the same chassis and have never had this issue. Give Spartan a call. They will recommend a shop to have it checked out. You have a 5 year warranty might as well use it.
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Old 11-30-2020, 07:19 AM   #5
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Have you had your alignment checked? Issue #2 sounds like you may need one.
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:31 PM   #6
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Not yet, but planning on having Spartain check it.

Thank you,

Terry
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:35 PM   #7
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Thanks so Much Tom, I will make an appt w Spartain Shop to look at this option.

I knew others must have experienced something similar.

Terry
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Old 11-30-2020, 05:36 PM   #8
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This sounds like what I may have going on. Thanks so much for your input.

Will make an appointment with Spartain.

Terry
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:02 PM   #9
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We had the loud bang noise when ours was new. Spartan re-torqued the front suspension, A Arms I think, and has not happened again in 20K+ miles.

Newmar set my tire pressures at 130 front and 85 rears when built. After loading and having it weighed we run 125 front and 85 rear according to the Michelin tire chart. 85 is the minimum pressure Michelin recommends for that tire. Newmar can provide the weights as delivered since they weigh each coach once built.
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Old 11-30-2020, 07:29 PM   #10
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Terry: When we picked our coach up at the dealer I noticed during the test drive the steering wheel was not centered. I told the tech so he took a look at it. He told me the shaft that connects to the steering gear box was 1 spline off. He rotated it and the steering wheel went to center. I do not know if this will fix your problem but something to look at.

Hope this helps. Harlan
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harland View Post
Terry: When we picked our coach up at the dealer I noticed during the test drive the steering wheel was not centered. I told the tech so he took a look at it. He told me the shaft that connects to the steering gear box was 1 spline off. He rotated it and the steering wheel went to center. I do not know if this will fix your problem but something to look at.

Hope this helps. Harlan
It may have worked for you, but this is from the comfort drive manual...

41. Does the CD require anything special when doing vehicle alignment? The only new thing is that the CD has a center position just like the steering wheel, clockspring, steering gear, linkage, and both roadwheels do. They all have to be on center at the same time. The diagnostic program allows the CD position to be measured but it is not really necessary. The manual diagnostic procedure at: https://www.irv2.com/forums/download...do=file&id=150 describes how to find center and reassemble the system correctly.
If the steering wheel is crooked after alignment, it is because some part discussed in the previous paragraph is no longer on center and that is the one that needs to be fixed. To repair this, DO NOT just pull the steering wheel off and reposition it because that will not cure the original error. The shop must find out where the error is and fix it there.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f103/com...le-369558.html
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:43 PM   #12
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Certainly a complete front end inspection.
Sounds like some Koni FSBs would be nice.
And the steering wheel alignment is a twist of the relay rod shaft. Not sure why that's such a hard fix. Yes, the tire pressure needs to be equal. But since that has been addressed the front end needs an alignment.

https://www.spartanchassis.com/cps/l...5375561250.pdf

I would start with the shocks. If that resolves the top out noise, then do a full alignment (front / back). Done well, that should resolve the steering wheel center issue.

Shouldn't have anything to do with Comfort Drive. The base steering system needs to be adjusted before any Comfort Drive calibration is done.

If the shocks don't address the noise, then it might be control arm, ball joints, et al that post repair would THEN require a total wheel alignment. Hence the reason to start with the shocks.

The shocks are going to help no matter what. So you might start there.

EDIT. This thang is a 2020? Well if the rig didn't come with Koni's others should chime in if they upgraded the base shocks.
You should put your year / make / model in your signature to minimize getting bad info.
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:25 PM   #13
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Why is Spartan still using shocks with insufficient compression and rebound dampening. Maybe because of the smoother test ride? I had to change shocks on both previous Spartan chassis, so I didn't launched through the roof. Current Freightliner is much better with stock Sachs shocks.
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