Front end noise,

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Charlie 5320

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Central IL.
I bought a old 96 Damon Challenger late last summer. Salesman told me it had newer balljoints, brakes, and newer tires and shocks. Well on the way home the brakes started failing, but did make it the 400 miles home. Turned out to be a power steering belt failure, and AC belt failure. Got that all taken care of and took the coach on a couple trips totaling 2000 miles or so. The coach had much more front end wonder than either one of my other Damon coachs. New shocks and steering damper, still didn't drive right. Heard some noise in the front end, and figured I'd take care of it in the spring. The ball joints were all pretty new so kind of ruled them out. Don't trust anybodies  work is all I can say. This is what I found, and hate to think what would have happened had I not looked into what was making the noise. The lord was with me is all I can say.
 

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Gene50

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Aug 25, 2019
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Is that a ball joint stud?

After being loose like that the socket should be inspected for wear

If worn, you may have recurring problems with it loosening again. 

 

Charlie 5320

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Central IL.
Yea, that's the ball joint stud. They cross threaded  the drivers side. Had to cut the nut with a cut off tool then split it with an air chisel. The passenger side was only on by a few threads. Screwed it off with my fingers. Very little grease in the lowers. I checked the taper with the new ball joints, seem like they were fine. Guess I'll find out in a few thousand miles. Going to take it in for a front end alignment when I get it back together. I ended up mashing 2 fingers on the passenger side and will wait till they get healed up before finishing the job.
 
 

Gene50

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Charlie 5320 said:
Yea, that's the ball joint stud. They cross threaded  the drivers side. Had to cut the nut with a cut off tool then split it with an air chisel. The passenger side was only on by a few threads. Screwed it off with my fingers. Very little grease in the lowers. I checked the taper with the new ball joints, seem like they were fine. Guess I'll find out in a few thousand miles. Going to take it in for a front end alignment when I get it back together. I ended up mashing 2 fingers on the passenger side and will wait till they get healed up before finishing the job.


Rotters!!!!!  I bet the ?parts replacer? beat flat rate on that job!
 

wae

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Northern Kentucky
I mean, when he told you that there were new ball joints, he didn't say that they were installed properly so technically not a lie...  :eek:

That story could have ended a lot worse!  The good news is that you found it before tragedy struck and at least it's a relatively easy fix!  Easy as opposed to chasing after handling problems when all the components look and feel like they're good.
 
X

X-Roughneck

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Charlie 5320 said:
I bought a old 96 Damon Challenger late last summer. Salesman told me it had newer balljoints, brakes, and newer tires and shocks. Well on the way home the brakes started failing, but did make it the 400 miles home. Turned out to be a power steering belt failure, and AC belt failure. Got that all taken care of and took the coach on a couple trips totaling 2000 miles or so. The coach had much more front end wonder than either one of my other Damon coachs. New shocks and steering damper, still didn't drive right. Heard some noise in the front end, and figured I'd take care of it in the spring. The ball joints were all pretty new so kind of ruled them out. Don't trust anybodies  work is all I can say. This is what I found, and hate to think what would have happened had I not looked into what was making the noise. The lord was with me is all I can say.

Yikes!! ..Charlie that has my story of my Oil Change "Tech" <<Air Quotes.... putting in the oil drain plug hand tight beat for sure. 

Makes you want to go back for a intense discussion with the dealer.

Sometimes we get lucky.  You got LUCKY my friend.

You got one less Lucky Star in the inventory now for sure.

Hard to guess which way you would have been traveling if that parted out and came unglued at 60 MPH.

JD
 

Hanr3

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Jul 5, 2012
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392
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Central Illinois
Glad you caught it!
Betting they used an impact to drive the nuts on and forgot the cotter, at least on one side. I'd check the tie-rod ends while I'm down there. About the only thing left and you need a front end alignment anyways. Might as well get the whole thing done and not worry about it for a while.
 

darsben

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What irks me about all these threads is the DEALER is never mentioned therefore no one ever knows which dealers are the BIGGEST liars.

I am very vocal about the shiity low quality service I received from Camping World in Syracuse and the sky has not fallen on me.
 

wae

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Northern Kentucky
darsben said:
What irks me about all these threads is the DEALER is never mentioned therefore no one ever knows which dealers are the BIGGEST liars.

I am very vocal about the shiity low quality service I received from Camping World in Syracuse and the sky has not fallen on me.

Depends on who did the work, really.  If the coach came in to the dealer with a bunch of paperwork calling out new ball joints and they simply parroted that claim, I'm not sure you can really blame them.  If the dealer did the work, however, they should be crucified for the shoddy effort which was absolutely likely to cause a pretty serious accident. 

Belts are usually good until they aren't any more and it's not always possible to tell an old belt with plenty of life from an old belt that's got another five miles in it.  That's just bad luck, I think.  I can only assume that the OP didn't have the rig inspected before closing the deal because putting the front end up in the air and giving it a little heave with a pry bar would have shown any movement and a visual inspection would certainly look for cotter pins in all the castle nuts.  The real take-away is to spend a little bit of time once in a while just looking around and making sure everything is as it should be.  I do all my own work so every oil change I give everything a good visual inspection and use the onboard jacks to get the front wheels off the ground so I can check for play in wheel bearings, ball joints, and steering linkage.  (Yeah, I know they're not for servicing, but I don't get under it)  I check for any leaks, any dirt where dirt shouldn't be, and examine the tires for damage or unusual wear patterns.  It's not a major undertaking, just a chance to check out the obvious things.
 

Charlie 5320

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Nope, never had an inspection done. I bought it cheap and expected to spend some money on the coach. The dealer I bought the coach from NEVER did any of this work. The person trading it in did. I was pretty happy seeing the coach had new tires, calipers, ball joints, and newer shocks on it. Most of the time when ya buy an older machine they need every thing this coach had done. I wouldn't have even mentioned it if it would have been at least safe to drive. The tie rods and links appear to be in good shape. I'm putting in all Moog parts. Only reason I replaced the front shocks is, I don't like Monroes. Really just wanting to warn people, if ya hear a noise, don't ignore it, have it looked at.
 
X

X-Roughneck

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wae said:
Depends on who did the work, really.  If the coach came in to the dealer with a bunch of paperwork calling out new ball joints and they simply parroted that claim, I'm not sure you can really blame them.  If the dealer did the work, however, they should be crucified for the shoddy effort which was absolutely likely to cause a pretty serious accident. 

Belts are usually good until they aren't any more and it's not always possible to tell an old belt with plenty of life from an old belt that's got another five miles in it.  That's just bad luck, I think.  I can only assume that the OP didn't have the rig inspected before closing the deal because putting the front end up in the air and giving it a little heave with a pry bar would have shown any movement and a visual inspection would certainly look for cotter pins in all the castle nuts.  The real take-away is to spend a little bit of time once in a while just looking around and making sure everything is as it should be.  I do all my own work so every oil change I give everything a good visual inspection and use the onboard jacks to get the front wheels off the ground so I can check for play in wheel bearings, ball joints, and steering linkage.  (Yeah, I know they're not for servicing, but I don't get under it)  I check for any leaks, any dirt where dirt shouldn't be, and examine the tires for damage or unusual wear patterns.  It's not a major undertaking, just a chance to check out the obvious things.

Wae,

I could not agree with you more.  I will throw in more supporting evidence to back your words of truth, plus I love to ramble so a win win for me.  ;D 

Give it the old eye ball, once over  :))

......Once while working on a Double Derrick, Mellon Drilling Company...back in the day, we would drill 6500 Ft - 7000 Ft wells with this little rig.  String weights probably 180,000 LB-ish range when nearing TD.  We were running only 4" drill pipe and 6"collars, Heavy enough to put the hurt on you, none the less.  We had the Derrick Laid over on the Head Ache Rack. 

The crown sitting 10 ft off the ground on the rack at the edge of the location.  We were waiting on Rig movers to show up, so they could assist us parting, Prep for movement..chaining it down to roll... that big dirty tinker toy to the next location. 

Evening tower driller walking the entire length standing on the ground looking up visually inspecting derrick legs noticed one the one of 4 Derrick Legs (Thick Angle Iron).  The Legs hold the Crown/ with the sheaves top of the Derrick for the traveling blocks.  One of the 4 legs had a crack, I guess GASH would be more appropriate adjective about 15 ft under the crown/top of the Derrick.  Gash covered almost 1/2 the surface area of the angle iron (see thru it maybe 1/8" daylight).  Note: Some might look at the glass is 75% full not the Drillers and the Roughnecks working on the Rig I can assure you, YIKES for me for sure.  Shake you to the core for a few minutes, I will assure you. 

The Tool Pusher called one certain Welder guy to fish plate/ repair the derrick leg gash.  This Man (Welder) was Famous in our part of the oil patch.  The "John Wayne" of Welders.  This is the guy that always came by to weld the well head on the surface pipe.  The same Well head we mounted the 25,000 LB Blow out Preventer to. They kept the rig down a day waiting on this one guy to show.  This man had the touch, beautiful welds. 

Mellon was good they decided to keep it down another day to let us paint the derrick.  While the waited all the roughnecks and drillers were working day shift collectively 12 men on days painting the derrick.  We were all gawking, looking at the GASH exactly like that Truck Commercial you see with the cool tail gates now days, alot of bleeping spouting from lips too. 

That could have very well been a "Struck by Lightnin" event for some entire crew running the rig in the very near future.  Once the Rig is running it is 24/7 from Spud to TD.  All caught by observant eyes.  Guy that caught it was everybody's hero for the next few days for sure.  I know I took rides up on the Derrick climber every day during that next well to look at, to make sure the heavy fish plate material still was looking good.

I got hit by a old school/ heavy Seiko wrist watch once.  Ricocheted off my shoulder from 83 ft level as the band parted the Derrick Man's Wrist, darn sure did not want to get hit by fish plating steel falling from near the crown.  Seiko watch felt like I got hit with a baseball bat for the next few days.  Watch didn't even break. They called me Timex for a couple days after.  Takes a beating and keeps on ticking, something like that was their motto..and mine. ;D

Have fun everybody.

JD 



 

Domo

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Fort Myers, FL
We used to have a horrible racket from the front end when travelling.


Then I found out she like chocolate...

 

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Charlie 5320

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Central IL.
Well the fingers healed up and I got everything back together. I still can't imagine that it was put together like this. New shims in the top  A arms so it had a front end alignment done on it too. Next project will be getting the mufflers replaced. Looks to be a 3" duel system, both pipes running down the left side with exits before the rear axle. Not bad but way too loud for this old man. Going to put some quiet mufflers on it and have the shop thats going to do the alignment, make some new tail pipes. 
 

Charlie 5320

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Replaced the mufflers yesterday with some Walker 21054 SS quiet, made a huge difference. Have to have one tail pipe made. Well the exhaust wasn't much different than the rest of the things the PO did on this coach. Don't have any Idea what kept it from falling off on my trips. They must have been planning on welding the joints because they were only on about 3/4 inch. At least it was easy to get off. Gave the Hooker Competition mufflers to my son in law for his duelly.  I'm too old for all that noise. Almost got this thing ready for the road, when this virus thing gets cleared up.
 
X

X-Roughneck

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Charlie 5320 said:
Replaced the mufflers yesterday with some Walker 21054 SS quiet, made a huge difference. Have to have one tail pipe made. Well the exhaust wasn't much different than the rest of the things the PO did on this coach. Don't have any Idea what kept it from falling off on my trips. They must have been planning on welding the joints because they were only on about 3/4 inch. At least it was easy to get off. Gave the Hooker Competition mufflers to my son in law for his duelly.  I'm too old for all that noise. Almost got this thing ready for the road, when this virus thing gets cleared up.

Charlie,

Did you forget the "S"  ;)

Good thing you gave things the "OLe' Calibrated Eyeball". 

When in doubt, at least look at it.  You never know what you might see.

We are itching to Launch ourselves.

JD
 
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