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Old 02-11-2005, 07:18 PM   #1
Montana Master
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Full Timer
Posts: 918
M.O.C. #331
Suspension system shackles replaced

Re the suspension system shackles from my prior post…shackles were replaced yesterday by Stier’s RV in Bakersfield. Good job, from my view. On time and about what I expected in costs…couple of hours labor and around $90 in parts. IF I had a large workshop, lots and lots of tools, and had a clue what I was doing, I might have tried it myself. Unfortunately, as a “full timer” I don’t have any of those three prerequisites. You get what you pay for…I want good work, and will go back to Stier’s for repair work if I need it in the future.

The shackle bolt holes were greatly elongated and deformed, but only at one end of the shackle, in most cases. The leaf springs and both equalizers were OK…no damage noted. If any one of the bolts had worn completely through a shackle, suspension failure would soon occur. I think at least one of our Forum members has experienced that problem. That is definitely a “biggie”.

The Al-Ko Owner’s Manual says that the suspension should be inspected every 6000 miles. We have about 13,000 miles on the rig. Unfortunately, unless the bolt holes have already elongated by almost double, you can’t detect the problem without some disassembly. That is not my idea of “inspection”. At their request, I am sending the parts to Al-Ko for analysis. They may, or may not, agree to honor their warranty, based on their determination of “normal wear”. I can’t believe that this situation could be considered “normal”, but that is another issue. I am also sending Keystone the pictures and info. The warranty issue is with Al-Ko, not Keystone, but Keystone engineers and Customer Support should have the info for other folks who might run into the same problem. Which is what the Forum is all about, as well.

I am including a couple of pictures here for everyone’s use. If anyone wants more info or more pix, e-mail me or send a PM and I’ll provide either the pix or, if I can get the time and figure out how to do it, I’ll put them on my “home” web page and send a link.

Thanks to HamRad for getting me more interested in looking for this problem. Maybe this posting can help some other Forum member by solving a fairly small problem before it becomes a really big one.

The bolt area where the shackle "rides" is very worn. The shackle bolt hole is very deformed and elongated.

Here is a view of all 8 shackles. Only one end of the shackles was extremely worn; the other end was, in general, somewhat worn, but not nearly as much.

Best to all,

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Old 02-12-2005, 02:14 AM   #2
Seasoned Camper
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Emery
Posts: 93
M.O.C. #150
thanks for the post and pictures. this info, along with that of others will help us stay one jump ahead of the problem. i have a box of spare spring,shackle parts and bolts to do the job on our trailer.
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Old 02-12-2005, 04:39 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: San Antonio
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M.O.C. #1774
Is this problem only with Al-Kor or has anyone experienced this with Dexter? I have Dexter with about 6000 miles and will certainly have a looksee.
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Old 02-12-2005, 04:59 AM   #4
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Location: Spring Hill
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M.O.C. #59
Thanks for the info and pictures. I watch mine closely before each trip. Right now I take a metal ruler and measure the distance between the bolts. But my rig is a lot lighter than yours. So far no signs of wear. Will probably change all of mine for new dexter shackles with the zercs.

Good job, thanks.
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Old 02-12-2005, 10:31 AM   #5
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M.O.C. #2230
Thanks for posting the pictures...they are worth more than a thousand words to me. I will be checking my soon!!!
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:09 PM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Bakersfield
Posts: 5,316
M.O.C. #15
Wow! Sure glad you had them checked. That one was ready to go! I sure hope folks will check these things out. I just talked with a fellow in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument who had one actually break. He was able to limp into a trailer place where they were able to fix him up. He said the thing actually was riding on the frame. Sure wish Keystone would change the cheap things they put on now! I think they're lucky someone has not gotten hurt.

We did the Tombstone thing and enjoyed that. We have really had cold rainy weather. But in spite of all the bad weather we have really enjoyed the trip. Stayed a bit south of Tucson for a few days then over to Organ Pipe. Wow! Is that nice if you like desert country. Still raining on us. Today we drove south to Puerto Penasco, MX. We have a site right on the beach. Sort of crammed together but it's OK. One nice feature is a free wi-fi connection.

When do you guys take off for the Benson/Sierra Vista area? We're staying here 4 nights and then headed for Yuma for a week or so. One of the things we learned is that our cell phones do not work in MX. So this is our only connection for a few more days.

Again.... glad you got your shackle problem fixed.

See you later.... HamRad
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