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Old 04-28-2021, 04:08 PM   #1
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King Pins Shot???

I just bought a new-to-me 2012 Vista 35F with 25,200 miles on it.
(2011 F53 228" 22,000lb chassis.)

Today I took the MH in for a new set of tires and an alignment at a local commercial truck shop.
(Only did the tires for piece of mind. (existing were original, even though they were in great shape showing very little wear.)
When I went to pick it up the tires were on but, they told me the king pins were shot and they couldn't do the alignment.

My question is, does this seem possible with only 25,200 miles & no major wear on the old tires?
I'm wondering if the shop might not be familiar with this particular chassis? Wondering if maybe I should try to find a Ford Heavy truck shop and get another opinion?

Any comments/suggestions greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Scott Mc.
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Old 04-28-2021, 04:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAUTIQUE View Post
I just bought a new-to-me 2012 Vista 35F with 25,200 miles on it.
(2011 F53 228" 22,000lb chassis.)

Today I took the MH in for a new set of tires and an alignment at a local commercial truck shop.
(Only did the tires for piece of mind. (existing were original, even though they were in great shape showing very little wear.)
When I went to pick it up the tires were on but, they told me the king pins were shot and they couldn't do the alignment.

My question is, does this seem possible with only 25,200 miles & no major wear on the old tires?
I'm wondering if the shop might not be familiar with this particular chassis? Wondering if maybe I should try to find a Ford Heavy truck shop and get another opinion?

Any comments/suggestions greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Scott Mc.
Hard to believe but possible. If you are handy, you can check them at home for play. Can they grease them up?
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:45 PM   #3
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If it was never greased properly, sure, they can wear out pretty quick.

They should be able to show you.
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:52 PM   #4
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Yes I had the same issue at approx 30k mikes. Always had problems with alignment, went thru 2 sets of steer tires and now that they were replaced it runs straight and true.

Good luck!!
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:58 PM   #5
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King pins aren't too bad to do if you have the right tools. A mobile mechanic should be able to do it.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:23 PM   #6
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side or vertical

Quote:
Originally Posted by NAUTIQUE View Post
I just bought a new-to-me 2012 Vista 35F with 25,200 miles on it.
(2011 F53 228" 22,000lb chassis.)

Today I took the MH in for a new set of tires and an alignment at a local commercial truck shop.
(Only did the tires for piece of mind. (existing were original, even though they were in great shape showing very little wear.)
When I went to pick it up the tires were on but, they told me the king pins were shot and they couldn't do the alignment.

My question is, does this seem possible with only 25,200 miles & no major wear on the old tires?
I'm wondering if the shop might not be familiar with this particular chassis? Wondering if maybe I should try to find a Ford Heavy truck shop and get another opinion?

Any comments/suggestions greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Scott Mc.
Scott Mc: did the shop say the kingpins had side play or vertical play? The Ford shop manuual says up to .040" vertical movement is in spec.
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:14 AM   #7
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My thoughts are... Could they really be that bad if If the original tires, that I just removed, still looked that good after 25,000 miles??

I believe that they were talking up/down movement. I ws just kind of stunned when he told me. Said "not a safety issue though, just couldn't do the alignment & I might get a clunk sound if I hit bad bump".

I was amazed to find out last night that a local large Ford dealership near me (who had a commercial truck center) just opened a RV Service Center with chassis repair, alignments, etc.
I'm thinking that they may be my next stop for a second opinion!
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:49 PM   #8
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Greasing a F53 chassis the right way. Loaded and unloaded

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My question is, does this seem possible with only 25,200 miles & no major wear on the old tires?
Of course it's possible.

Tires that look like they have no wear means nothing. It's the DOT date that matters.

Can the king pins wear out this fast?
Of course they can, if they aren't greased properly. Your Vista is a 22K coach. It has to be greased often and properly. Properly means loaded and unloaded. Very few shops these days even know how to do that or do that.

Their SOP is get it up on the rack grease it up and off you go. NEXT!

I would bet that your front wheel bearings are also in need of repacking.

I'm a big YT guy, and I found a real good video several months ago that shows how to grease loaded and unloaded. This fella has a great YT channel and has the same coach as you do. I have a lot of experience with stuff like this and this guy is right on the money.

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Old 04-29-2021, 08:43 PM   #9
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These alinement shops see an old guy show up in a motorhome and well.......
Yeah a second opinion is needed. Your tires at 10 years old might have looked good but they were well past their service life.
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Old 04-30-2021, 03:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAUTIQUE View Post
My thoughts are... Could they really be that bad if If the original tires, that I just removed, still looked that good after 25,000 miles??

I believe that they were talking up/down movement. I ws just kind of stunned when he told me. Said "not a safety issue though, just couldn't do the alignment & I might get a clunk sound if I hit bad bump".

I was amazed to find out last night that a local large Ford dealership near me (who had a commercial truck center) just opened a RV Service Center with chassis repair, alignments, etc.
I'm thinking that they may be my next stop for a second opinion!
If it drives without pulling and the tires have normal wear then don't worry about alignment. Often all these alignment shops do is adjust the toe and call that an alignment.

Bob
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Old 04-30-2021, 05:18 AM   #11
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I had a tire shop tell me my kingpins were shot when the RV was only 1 year old. We now have 100,000 miles and 7 years on the RV with the same supposedly bad kingpins.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:06 AM   #12
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All,
I understand that the original tires were due (overdue) to be replaced.
That's why I was replacing them!
What I was trying to say is...
If the King Pins were bad, wouldn't the original tires have had some bad wear on them? They actually were in great condition.

My intent was start off with a new fresh set of tires & a fresh alignment with Toe-in set to max & Caster set to between 5 & 6 deg. for best handling.

Thought I was going to have this rig ready to roll, but now this "King-Pin" thing is driving me crazy! I'm guessing 2nd opinion will be my best route.

And, I will admit...
I just sold my 2000 30' Landau on a 1999 F53 that I had for many many years, that I serviced myself regularly, & never heard about taking the weight off the wheel to grease it!
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:54 AM   #13
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King pins wear 2 ways.

First is the bushings. They wear like an old door hinge cause the door to droopand have a lose fit.

Second wear point is the thrust bearing. That sits between the axle and spindle, supporting the weight of the vehicle. When that wears, you get up and down movement. The movement can get bad enough to pound the bearing into coming apart. Once the thrust bearing fails, it can cause damage to the axle or spindle surfaces.
#1 is the top bushing. There is a bottom one too.
#5 is the thrust bearing.Click image for larger version

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Old 05-01-2021, 04:35 AM   #14
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And, I will admit...
I just sold my 2000 30' Landau on a 1999 F53 that I had for many many years, that I serviced myself regularly, & never heard about taking the weight off the wheel to grease it!
Just to be clear. You don't want to remove all the weight off the wheel (just some of the weight) to grease the king pins unloaded. Then you grease them again loaded. Like the video explained.
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