"Accu-slide" cable drive slideout chatter

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Back2PA

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Jul 26, 2015
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I'm getting chatter on two slides as they move. They seem to be completely even top and bottom, front and back, both retracted and extended, however clearly something is binding causing the chatter. Having come from an older rack and pinion system don't know a thing about cable drive systems.
 
If it is like mine, a worm gear with the cable wrapped around it, it either slips or it works. Any Chatter would be in the rollers or trim catching on the floor. On mine you can adjust the tension on the cables and tighten them up but I have not needed to do that in the 18 years I have owned the trailer.  It has been a maintenance free system although I have had chatter due to water swelling up the trim when I had a leak around the gasket on top of the slide.
 
NMDriver said:
If it is like mine, a worm gear with the cable wrapped around it, it either slips or it works. Any Chatter would be in the rollers or trim catching on the floor.


If indeed it is the rollers or trim, does that mean something is too loose or too tight?
 
The Accu-Slide by BAL is a cable driven system that operates on the "give and take" method.  What that means is that when the slide is being pulled in or retracted, the cables that you can see on the outside of the trailer on all four corners....top left and right....bottom left and right will be doing the work.  The other 4 cable that you will see when the slide is coming in should have a bit of SLACK in them.  And of course it's just the opposite when putting the slide room out.  Proper adjustment of these cables is CRITICAL to a smooth operating slide and the problem is that many times the adjustment bolt that are attached to the chain, do not have a solid locking method and they get out of adjustment.  Here is a link to the 16 page Maint. and adjustment manual for that system...

http://norcoind.com/bal/products/oem/accuslide/index.shtml

Click the above link and when the page loads, scroll down the page until you see the "Downloads", then select the Service Manual.  Read through it very carefully and understand it completely before you try to do any adjustments.  It looks pretty complex at first because there are 8 separate cable attached to 4 different colored "blocks", but take your time and hopefully you can understand it and make the adjustment.

Check and see if your cables are in or out of adjustment by doing what I said earlier.....run the slide part of the way in or out, then check the opposing cables and see if they have some slack.....generally you should be able to take one finger and press down on the cable and it should move 1/2 to3/4"  Hope this helps.
 
Back2PA said:
That helps a lot, thanks

You're quite welcome.....I have been there before and it was a bit overwhelming at first.  One other thing I forgot to tell you is this.  Even if the cabling system is adjusted pretty well, I would take the time to put some additional nuts on each one of the adjusting bolt ends.  They are 1/4"-20 thread size and it's really pretty easy to do....if you can get to the motor/gearbox adjuster area.  Basically you run a 1/4 nut on the end of each one of the adjusters (there will be 8 of them...one for each cable) and when you get the nut up against the existing adjusting nut, take a couple of wrenches and tighten them down against each other.  Do that on all 8 adjustment rods and the adjustment cannot change except for maybe a very little cable or chain stretch....but that will be pretty minimal.  If you find little pieces of white foam up there on the end of the adjusting rods, curse Accu-Slide a little bit for being so cheap that they didn't provide a good locking method for the adjusters.....and then throw the little pieces of foam in the trash....or mail them to Accu-Slide and tell them where to put them!  8)
 
xrated said:
No problem.....hope you get it resolved soon
I'm going to attempt adjusting in the next couple of days. Question, the issue I'm having (on two slides) is the "chattering" I mentioned, which isn't addressed in the service manual. It's almost as-if the bottom is binding slightly, but this is just a guess as there's nothing obvious. Both slides appear to be perfectly aligning but clearly something is out of adjustment. I'm trying to guess what the issue is, and my current guess is that the top of the slide is slightly leading the bottom, allowing excess pressure on the rollers. Do you have any thoughts?
 
Back2PA said:
I'm going to attempt adjusting in the next couple of days. Question, the issue I'm having (on two slides) is the "chattering" I mentioned, which isn't addressed in the service manual. It's almost as-if the bottom is binding slightly, but this is just a guess as there's nothing obvious. Both slides appear to be perfectly aligning but clearly something is out of adjustment. I'm trying to guess what the issue is, and my current guess is that the top of the slide is slightly leading the bottom, allowing excess pressure on the rollers. Do you have any thoughts?

There are a couple of possibilities with the chatter issue.  1.  The cables are not adjusted correctly.  Remember me talking about the "give and take" part, if the cables are out of adjustment, the cables are fighting each other.  In other words, when you are, let's say running the slid back in, the 4 cables that pull it out may not have enough slack in them.  The gear(s) that drive the system have both cables attached to it, so in effect, the 4 that are trying to pull the slide in, are fighting the 4 that pull it out....because there isn't enough slack in the cables that pull it out....Make sense?  It's basically a tug of war going on in there.

2.  The other possibility that I can think of is that some of the trailers do NOT have rollers under the slide....yep, no rollers.  They are built to actually live up their their name "slides".  There is a long piece of material (hard plastic of some kind and I forget the name of the material), that the bottom of the slide actually "slides" on....no rollers, just sliding action.  My Impact 303 was built like that....no rollers!  I had planned to buy some rollers from Lippert and install them this spring before camping season started....probably at least 4 on each slide.  This involves taking a couple of jacks and placing a long 2x8 or 2x10 board under the slide when it's out, and carefully jacking it up from the bottom....just enough to be able to get a reciprocating/sawzall blade into the "under slide" area and actually cut out portions of that hard plastic slide material.  You have to cut just enough out to be able to fit the width of the roller in the cutout area.  Depending on how many rollers are placed there, you of course want to mount them so that they are evenly spaced across the bottom of the slide.  I never did do this "upgrade" because a week ago I traded in my Impact 303 and bought a new Grand Design Momentum 394.  The issue I just described above was never an issue on my trailer, but that old saying about an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is what kept coming to mind with my trailer.  If you are interested in doing that, there are two links I will post up.  One is for the Youtube video that shows a guy doing that mod. and the other is the Lipperet website that shows you the rollers.  If I remember correctly, they are close to $20 each....

Here is the Youtube video.........https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgGEWmeojN0&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

Here is the Lippert page...... https://store.lci1.com/j-36-service-roller

So obviously, the cheapest option is to try and make sure you don't have an adjustment issue.  Failing that, then you may have to go the roller route.  That would be something you then need to decide if you are able to tackle it or if you want a professional shop to do.  Just make 100% sure that your adjustment is correct first....slide is square in the opening when going in and out, not binding side to side. etc.
 
Thanks again. The slides are out at the moment and probably won't get to it until tomorrow, but I have noticed the cables seem very tight, perhaps that's the issue. I do have rollers, and will grab some more nuts at the store today.
 
Back2PA said:
Thanks again. The slides are out at the moment and probably won't get to it until tomorrow, but I have noticed the cables seem very tight, perhaps that's the issue. I do have rollers, and will grab some more nuts at the store today.

Having the rollers under it is a DEFINITE plus for you....glad you don't have to deal with that unless one or more of the rollers are froze up and not rolling.  The cables being too tight will definitely cause the issues you are talking about, I know that personally.  When mine was new, everything was fine and smooth as a baby's butt going in and out.  Within less than a dozen operations of in/out, I started getting the chatter/grinding noise from both of them.....one was worse than the other, but both making noises.  I downloaded that manual that I linked you to in an earlier post, studied it, and proceeded to adjust the slides.  I got them adjusted to my liking and the chatter/grinding went away.  It was during that adjustment procedure is when I noticed that there simply wasn't any good method in place to "lock down" my adjustment to keep it from working its way out of adjustment again at some point in the future after more usage.  So, that's when I put the extra 1/4-20 nuts on the adjusting rods and locked/jammed down the actual adjuster nuts.  Never had anymore issues with it, and it was still operating just fine when I traded it in last week.  Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
 
I'm finally getting to this and while I consider myself reasonably good at figuring things out, this cable system has me baffled. I'm finding the mixed terminology extremely confusing, the manual is referring to "front" and "rear" on the adjustment sticker, while the stickers are labeled "IN" and "OUT".

On page 6 of the manual, the adjustment sticker states, for the RIGHT REAR, that it "controls tension for the right side seal when it is out". Yet two pages later on page 8 it states, "When the room is seated full out, the OUTSIDE cables should be slack enough to move the cable approximately 1/2" up or down (1" total movement) by hand. The holding power is actually on the INSIDE cables pulling the standoff brackets tight against the frame." This last sentence makes no sense to me, how can the INSIDE cable be pulling tight when that's the one that is supposed to be slack as per the instructions two pages prior??

The one thing I think I can take from the directions so far is when the room is fully out both OUTSIDE cables/chain should be slack, and the INSIDE should be tight. The exact opposite is the case.

For heaven's sake  ???
 
Update: 3 hours later I know less about the system than when I started. Any adjustments seem to have the opposite effect stated on cable tension. The manual constantly refers to "front" and "rear" but nothing is labeled accordingly. Slide still chatters badly but moves in and out, seems to run square in the opening no matter what I do (which I guess is good). The only YouTube video I can find is a sloppy slide install video where the installer moves so quickly (because he just puts slides together and does it all by feel) that it's effectively useless.
 
Frank B said:
May be time to pay the nice RV tech man ... Then post the results back here so WE don't have to. ?

I have what I believe to be a perfectly good slideout that just needs to be adjusted - not ready yet to pay someone a couple hundred to simply twist 8 nuts in the right direction. Just need the secret formula
 
Back2PA said:
I have what I believe to be a perfectly good slideout that just needs to be adjusted - not ready yet to pay someone a couple hundred to simply twist 8 nuts in the right direction.


Hey, I understand fully. I ran my own detail shop for many years. We learned a few 'tricks of the trade' through the school of hard knocks. Was sad to see someone break something for lack of knowledge. Just sayin'


hopefully, someone who does know will step in here and give you what you need.


Edit:


Sorry. Didn't mean to be discouraging or sound condescending. It is just that from the thread above, it seems that you have worked long and hard on this, and you say the cables are more taught than before. I have just found that there are times when it is worth paying for experience rather than break something, and end up with a bigger job. Was only trying to share that caution. My apologies if it came across wrong.
 
Have you used the search button above? (the one beside the help button). I didn't pay too much attention to it, but it seems to me someone did a pretty good write-up about adjusting cable slides a while back.
 
kdbgoat said:
Have you used the search button above? (the one beside the help button). I didn't pay too much attention to it, but it seems to me someone did a pretty good write-up about adjusting cable slides a while back.


I did but maybe missed something so I'll look again. xrated says he's adjusted his so waiting for him to weigh-in again
 
OK, let's start out in this example with the slide room all the in (retracted).  Let's put the slide out, like you are getting ready to setup at your campsite.  If you are in the trailer and and looking at the slide room and if you can see both sides of the slide, there are four cables that are visible from inside of the trailer.  Before you operate the switch to put the slide out (extend it to camping position), if you can access those four cables, they should have some slack in them...1/2" up and 1/2" down for a total of 1" from top to bottom.  When you operate the switch to start running the slide out or extending it, those cables will tighten up and are the four cables that are pulling the slide out to the extend position.  If you would happen to stop in the middle of putting the slide out, those four cables will, or should still be tight.  In fact, do just that....start out with the slide in, run it about half way out and stop.  Check the inside cables....they will be tight.  Now, go outside the trailer and push on the cables that you can reach that are outside.......those should have that 1/2" of slack that they refer to frequently.  Now come back in and run the slide the rest of the way out until the slide is fully extended and it stops.  The outside cables (all four of them...top and bottom, left and right) should all have slack.  If you could reach the inside cables (you can't, so don't bother trying), they would be tight.  Now run the slide back in (retract) and stop it about half way in.  Now the cables that are outside the trailer are tight, and the ones inside are now loose.....the 1/2" slack thing.  Continue in with the slide until it is all the way in and fully seated on the slide room seals.  The inside cables have the 1/2" slack and if you could push on the outside cables (you can't, they aren't accessible anymore) they would be tight.  Just try to remember the give and take thing....if four of the cables are pulling the slide in one direction, the other four cables have to have enough slack that they aren't fighting each other.

Now, if you have done the procedure that I gave the example of above, and find any variance with the cables not being like I described, it's time for adjustment.  I believe I remember reading in the manual that the easiest way to do an adjustment is with the slide about 10-12" retracted from the fully out position....in other words, run the slide all the way out, then run it back in about 10-12".  That position is similar to the halfway test I talked about in the above paragraph.  So now you've got the slide about 10-12" in from full out.  Check your cable again and see what you've got.  The four outside cables, and I'm talking about the cables that are physically outside the trailer....top and bottom, on both sides of the slide, should be tight....because they were pulling the slide back in when you stopped the slide where it now sits.  Check your inside the trailer cables....they should be loose (the 1/2" thing)  If that is not the case, and the inside cables are tight, refer to the color chart.  The RED and the PURPLE adjuster blocks are the ones that pull the slide room out.....but you aren't trying to pull the room out, you were pulling it in, so the RED and PURPLE adjusters (chains and the associated cables should be slack.  If they AREN'T slack, you need to loosen all four of them one at a time, making a note of how much you loosen them, so you can do all four an equal amount.  Check the inside cable again....are they looser than when you check them a few minute ago and before your adjustment?  If they are, proceed to run the room all the way in to the full retract position.  Now run the slide out about 10-12" and check the cables again.  This time, the the inside the trailer cables should be tight, and the cables that are outside the trailer should be loose.  Run the slide out some more, until it's maybe 2/3 of the way out.  Stop and check them again..outside cable should still be loose and the inside should be tight.  Pretty much that's it in a nutshell (I know, this is a long explanation and not so much a "nutshell" write up), but getting the slide adjusted correctly is sometimes a process that takes several adjustments to get it correct.  Just remember, if you make adjustments for any four sets of cables (the four that pull it in OR the four that pull it out), you are affecting the opposite cables because of the give and take operation of this system.  Hang in there, because I know from experience that it isn't the easiest thing to do, and it certainly takes time and patience, but once you get it adjusted correctly, you will be satisfied at how smoothly the slide goes in and out.  Hope all this long winded write up helps.
 

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