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Old 10-10-2014, 12:38 AM   #1
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Well, it finally happened

We have an '02 Dutch Star, it came with a 12,000# front axle that was replaced by Spartan in '04 with a 14,600# unit due to overloading. Was out replacing the KONI adjustable shocks with Bilstein Comfitrack ones. Got done and still had time before I needed to clean up and go to work so I got out the grease gun and started in. All the joint boots are good except for one that's rotted away. Now I need to clean it out, lube and wrap it. It's not a tie rod end but one on the crossarm so it does move a lot.
Thought that the rotted boots was only a problem on the 12,000# axles but I guess not!
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:18 AM   #2
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Mine are rotted as well and I need to do something with them. What will you wrap it with?
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:50 AM   #3
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Yep, the scourge of the early Spartan chassis. I did the wrap routine and keeping them well greased. I finally bit the bullet and had them replaced to the tune of $2000. Even went so far as to call Spartan to complain. They said they were aware of the problem on the earlier Spartan chassis. I asked why they didn't notify the owners of the defect? Was told they had no way of knowing which ones would go bad. Translation.....they hoped they would last long enough to be out of warranty before a fix was needed. Don't get me wrong I love my Dutch Star, it's Spartan I'm not happy with.
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Old 10-10-2014, 06:20 AM   #4
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We also had to have ours replaced this past spring @ around $2800. Doesn't surprise me that both companies adopted the "don't ask, don't tell" attitude as this seems to be quite common in the industry. Newmar and Spartan should have/could have put more pressure on the supplier but apparently didn't. As a start, I cancelled my membership in the Spartan/Newmar owners club(s) which is a small start but a start none the less. I have a long memory when it comes to future purchase considerations because of this.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:49 AM   #5
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I have the 14,600 lb axle as well and the boots are all rotten. Had it in for service 2 weeks ago and asked them to do a thorough check on the condition of the joints themselves. The report came back that all was solid and showed no wear. They left me with the instructions to keep them well greased I would be good for many miles.The service centre that did the servicing is a authorized safety centre here in Manitoba and that the deteriated boots did not present a saftey hazard and I was good to go.

For those of you who have replaced them, did you replace because of wear in the joints? If so, how many miles did you have before you noticed any wear?
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:57 PM   #6
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The boots on my ball joints have been rotted out for many thousand miles. They were shot when I bought the coach used five years ago but I had negotiated the purchase price to allow for repairs.
So, now with 70,000 Miles on it, I took it into the Spartan Authorized Dealer for a front end inspection. Going over breaks in the pavement I could feel a "clunk" in the steering which I was sure was loose ball joints.
Sure enough, the lowers are worn to the point of being seriously loose. So I will be taking it in this winter to have both uppers and lowers replaced.
A call to Spartan basically fell on deaf ears. I was hoping they would at least provide the parts at no charge or at very least a reduced cost. But, Nothing. Not even an acknowledgment of a problem. Don't ask, Don't get is my motto.
Good thing I had an allowance in my purchase price.
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Old 10-12-2014, 01:33 PM   #7
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You guys do realize I hope that these are normal wear parts? Sorry that they are not cheap but the fact is you all drive vehicles that do not even have grease points on them anymore. Dennis you bought a used coach 5 years ago knowing the parts needed replacement and now your mad about it your a very special kind of person. Had you actually done the repair you had removed from the purchase price what would your complaint be? The light truck and auto industry decided these parts were disposable over a decade ago and stopped putting grease fittings on them. Call Ford or GM or any other manufacture and tell them you expect them to replace suspension parts on your second hand 10 year old car and see how far that gets you LOL.
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:18 PM   #8
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Dennis, you mention "upper and lower" ball joints.
I am wondering whether your axle is different then the what I have. Attached is a copy from the Reyco Granning Suspensions - IFS1460 Owner’s Manual, (mine is the IFS1460S) and has no ball joints in the suspension components, only in the steering linkages. I suppose that this could explain the difference you see in prices that are posted for getting the "ball joints" replaced, different suspension configurations ?
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1mainiac View Post
You guys do realize I hope that these are normal wear parts? Sorry that they are not cheap but the fact is you all drive vehicles that do not even have grease points on them anymore. Dennis you bought a used coach 5 years ago knowing the parts needed replacement and now your mad about it your a very special kind of person. Had you actually done the repair you had removed from the purchase price what would your complaint be? The light truck and auto industry decided these parts were disposable over a decade ago and stopped putting grease fittings on them. Call Ford or GM or any other manufacture and tell them you expect them to replace suspension parts on your second hand 10 year old car and see how far that gets you LOL.

Well, first, I'm not Mad. My point is these are designed to be a so called Non Serviceable, Lifetime Part.
On a Ford or GM, that might be considered 70K but on an HD Chassis such as a Spartan, 70K miles is slightly broken in.
I am far from Mad, a little disappointed maybe but it is what it is.


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Old 10-12-2014, 04:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarwiebe View Post
Dennis, you mention "upper and lower" ball joints.
I am wondering whether your axle is different then the what I have. Attached is a copy from the Reyco Granning Suspensions - IFS1460 Owner’s Manual, (mine is the IFS1460S) and has no ball joints in the suspension components, only in the steering linkages. I suppose that this could explain the difference you see in prices that are posted for getting the "ball joints" replaced, different suspension configurations ?
Yes, mine is a different version that uses ball joints.


http://www.spartanchassis.com/cps/lo...3404218750.PDF
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:27 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=1mainiac;2266532]You guys do realize I hope that these are normal wear parts?


It's not that these are normal wear parts. It's the fact that Spartan knew that the boots were rotting and falling apart and doing nothing to warn owners. After knowing about the problem they upgraded the boot material. Not sure what year that was, but it would have been nice to be notified. The deterioration of the boots is what causes the ball joints to go bad by allowing foreign matter to get to them. I.E. salt, sand and other abrasives. The disappointing aspect is that Spartan sat idly by while knowing this was going on.
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1mainiac View Post
You guys do realize I hope that these are normal wear parts? Sorry that they are not cheap but the fact is you all drive vehicles that do not even have grease points on them anymore. Call Ford or GM or any other manufacture and tell them you expect them to replace suspension parts on your second hand 10 year old car and see how far that gets you LOL.
As has been stated several times the disappointment stems from Spartan not acknowledging they have a problem with the boots. If they would have released a service bulletion advising owners to grease the joints more often they could have extended the life of the ball joints to something representative of the original design replacement life of the part. Yes, this is a normal wear and tear part, but I ask you in this day and age how many vehicles are you aware of that needed replacement of ball joints in under 100k miles? Do you agree that the faulty boots contributed to the accelerated wear problems? The greaseless joints on my 1998 pickup have over 250k miles on them and the boots are in good condition and the joints are still tight. This being a vendor part does not eliminate Spartan's responsibility to notify owners of the potential problem. I'm sure glad Workhorse didn't take this approach on their brake problems a few years back!
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:12 AM   #13
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Gentlemen,

I like to interject a little information, from my experience maintaining light/heavy vehicles with independent suspension, It's a common occurrence for these ball joint boots to wear out early under the right circumstances.

Remember your pickup truck or car is much lighter and will never impose the same amount of stress your MH is subjecting to that part.

The ball joints on your pickup and on your motor homes are made exactly the same, using the exact same materials, the heavier the vehicle, the larger the ball joint, that's the only difference, the metal and heat treatment process is exactly the same. That same material has to control much heavier load forces on heavier vehicles, contributing to that part not lasting as long as you would expect.

The rubber dust boot is larger on the motor home, but is the same thickness in most cases as the boots on you car. (saves money)

The motor home ball joint has more movement imposed during operation, creating more heat, more stretching of the boots resulting in advanced failure of the boots.

More frequent lubrication is not the answer, and in fact could contribute to premature boot failure, however if you already have broken/rotted boots, more lube will help flush out contaminates, (not a long term fix) and is not a safety issue unless the joints are already beyond safe operation.

Lastly, boot failure will in fact contribute to premature ball joint wear.

Just my two cents
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:32 PM   #14
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I used rubber boots for gear shifters. wrap 1.5 times around. super glue and baleing wire at top and bottom. super redneck job, but keeps grease in and dirt out. put grease fitting in boot. I will try to post pic.
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