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Author Topic: Drive line vibration diagnosis  (Read 2299 times)
Sparky
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« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2013, 08:06:31 pm »

Very good post,, and ouch on getting it fixed.  I sort of understand (not really) why the warranty does not extend to an owner taking over a vehicle,, I think PC should step up here, or the company that did the extension,,  not sure about  the contract you had with previous owner and realize when you buy unit from someone it is normal to be AS IS,,, but they had to know about this,,, Kudo's to you for being up front regarding this matter
sparky
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2013, 07:38:50 am »

Kudo's to you for being up front regarding this matter
I agree with sparky.  Having posts like this are immensely helpful to anyone else having the same troubles, now or in the future.
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skipper
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« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2013, 10:54:52 am »

Update:  From annoying to downright bad.  I took the PC in on Monday and told the mechanic I needed it back for a weekend trip by Thursday.  No problem.  Well, nothing is e z.  On Wed. afternoon I called and he said he was done but it needed some tweaking.  I asked if he could get the tweaking done by Thursday noon and he said that would be plenty of time.  I called Thursday at noon and he said he wasn't finished but come and get it.  Not finished, why?  Well, it seems this is an unruly beast that doesn't conform to normal driveline criteria.  The Ford driveline was designed to angle down from the transmission and up from the axle.  This driveline angles down, then up, and then down.  He told me to take it on my trip and he would resume work next week.  He had calls into his folks to find a fix and he would have the answers next week. 

We took the PC on a 280 mile RT and it was quite a bit worse than when I took it in.  Markedly worse.  The vibration now starts at 35mph and gets terrible at 45 and then 'drones' out at 55 and then from there is about the same as it was before. 

Here is what he did:  The mechanic balanced each shaft and as Kermit thought, the back Ford shaft was the worst, but I noticed new weights welded on all three shafts when I crawled under there.  Then he balanced the first two shafts together and the rear two shafts together.  They were balanced at 2250 rpm which is my 'sweet spot' of 62 mph where I get decent (a relative term) gas mileage and still eventually get to where I'm going.  He replaced the u joints with 'lifetime' lubrication (without asking me.  Hmmm.) claiming otherwise the bearings would never get lubricated due to oversight.  He counterpoised the high spots with the low spots on the front and rear to smooth out the driveline.  He measured the angles at each coupler and next used shims to tweak the smoothest (or in my case the least roughest) rotation.

The offset angle the Ford guy warned me about is normal according to this guy because Ford offsets the driveline in the event of a rear end crash that reached the axle, the driveline will push out at this point preventing transmission and engine damage.  However, this really isn't an issue in an RV due to the overhang.

Next step:  The mechanic is ordering an extension for his balancing machine so he can put the entire shaft (I think he said 118") on it and spin the whole thing.  He will consult with driveline suppliers and give them the lengths/angles and get their input.  I called Kermit (he is in Atlanta?) to get his input.  The mechanic is leaning towards an e z but expensive fix of replacing the rear 2 shafts with a single piece 5" aluminum shaft (The stock is 3" steel [or did he say 3 1/2"?] which he thinks is marginal for the load).  With two pieces, the angles will be 'normal' and you remove a variable (coupler) from the mix.  Mark


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Mark
Sparky
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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2013, 09:58:28 am »

Ouch and double ouch,, what a pain in the tushie,,  at least the Ford guy seems to be helping (?) and Kermit also,,  amazing how one little thing can cause such a problem
keep us posted
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2013, 11:30:32 am »

skipper,

I am sorry to read that your saga continues.  At least a resolution is at hand.

Reading through your post has me thinking about the joints on my E350.  Do I have grease fittings there?  I need to inspect them.  If I have only caps, I'll install fittings, and then grease as I have done up front with my ball joints and steering linkage.  Our rig now has near 22,000 miles.
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Ron Dittmer (wife Irene) 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
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bobander
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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2013, 01:07:13 pm »

skipper,

I am sorry to read that your saga continues.  At least a resolution is at hand.

Reading through your post has me thinking about the joints on my E350.  Do I have grease fittings there?  I need to inspect them.  If I have only caps, I'll install fittings, and then grease as I have done up front with my ball joints and steering linkage.  Our rig now has near 22,000 miles.

Ron,

On my 2010 2551, I have only one greaseable u-joint.  It is the front u-joint on the short aftermarket driveshaft added by the shop that lengthened the frame.  The other three are sealed u-joints from Ford.  The zirk fitting is hard to see, it is in the center of the body and the grease is forced out to all four caps, some greaseable u-joints have a zirk fitting on one of the end caps and the grease finds it's way through the body to the other three caps.

You said that your rig has not been lengthened, so you likely have the Ford sealed u-joints and I don't believe you can add zirks to the sealed ones.

Bob


Skipper,

If your 2013 2552 has the same three Ford sealed u-joints and one greaseable aftermarket u-joint, did the mechanic only replace the one u-joint so that all four are now sealed?  I suppose it is possible that Ford has changed to geaseable u-joints and he changed them all?

I know that geaseable vs sealed u-joints is not important to you at this time as you struggle through the vibration issue, I was just scratching my head about it.  I hope they get the vibration fixed, it must be very frustrating to not be able to sit back and just enjoy the ride, I know it would bug the heck out of me and be the focus of my attention.

Bob
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skipper
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« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2013, 08:56:49 am »

Captain's Log, Stardate 11/15.  I took the PC back to the driveline shop Monday after the owner bought some new parts to extend his balancing analyzer so it would hold the entire driveline.  He called me yesterday and said it was much improved, come and get it.  I did.  The damage was about $225.  On the way home, I drove it from speeds of 1 mph to 72 mph and all the vibration and noise is gone.  "Much improved" was an understatement.  It's fixed.  Hurray.  It took 7 trips to various shops, but it's now fixed and I can find something else to complain about!  For those on Facebook, do a search for Panhandle Driveline and you can see a video of the PC shaft on his machine spinning quite fast.  Oh, the fix was a rebalance job after the first rebalance job (and after Ford's original balance job).  He found a high spot at the second joint he couldn't see by balancing 2 shafts at a time.  He had to put all three on the machine.  Then he tweaked the angles by putting 2, 1 degree shims after the transmission and 3 shims before the axle.  I'm pleased and think for all the time the mechanic spent on it, I got out with good work a very fair price.  Mark
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Mark
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« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2013, 09:07:47 am »

Mark, PLEASE send us the name and location of your mechanic. We are dawdling our way through Georgia but would happily reroute to wherever this guy is if he can fix our vibration noise. Thank you so much for posting all this information.  Holly and John
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« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2013, 09:18:07 am »

I just figured out Panhandle Driveline IS the name of the shop and I found the address on the internet. Is there someone in particular you dealt with? We'll be visiting them before too long. I don't know if our vibration noise is the same as yours but it sounds similar enough and our rigs came out about the same time so the chance of a like problem seems good. It would be AWESOME if they can fix this.
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bobander
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« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2013, 10:49:55 am »

Mark,

Great news, now you can enjoy the ride and think about something else.  Good that you gave kudos to the shop for getting it fixed, they went the extra mile to do it by acquiring more equipment for the long drive shaft.  Sounds like 2 Frazzled is heading there, waiting to hear his experience.

Bob
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2013, 12:18:57 pm »

skipper,

I gave you a helpful as I feel that others with vibration issues would greatly benefit from your experience and resolution.
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skipper
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« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2013, 02:25:06 pm »

Holly & John, Panhandle Driveline owned/operated by William.  He answers the phone unless he's working on a job.   His shop is fairly new and I don't think he is very busy right now.  Since you are coming from out of town, you should talk to him for scheduling to get in and out asap. The shop located in Milton, FL about 3 miles north of I10 inside a mini storage unit.  He is set up for cars/pickups and doesn't have a way to lift RV's so he will either have to work under your PC or send it 'up the road' to an automotive shop to have the driveline dropped.  He chose to crawl under mine and do it himself.   I would guess that he will want to tweak the angles so he will likely want to remove/install the driveline himself.

There is not much going on in Milton, but if you are here, you should consider a day or two at either Ft. Pickens national seashore campground or further east towards Grayton Beach in Santa Rosa.  I have never stayed at either so I can't comment on the campgrounds themselves, but we used to boat to Ft. Pickens frequently.  Pickens has been a fort since colonial times up through WWII as well as a federal prison (housed Geronimo for a time).  The Santa Rosa area includes Seaside where the Truman Show was filmed.  Both have beautiful beaches, but the beautiful (and more wealthy) people spend their time on the Santa Rosa beaches.  Seaside is a quaint little town that has a Mayberry feel where everything is perfect (hence where the Truman Show was filmed), but it comes with a hefty price tag.  Maybe you should visit both.

Ron, thanks for the 'like'.  I can't begin to tell you how much I have benefited from your tips, suggestions, and you sharing information.  I'm happy to make a small contribution.  My next project is sound dampening. Mark
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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2014, 04:04:49 pm »

Update - We FINALLY made it to Milton, Florida and took the PC to Panhandle Driveline. William took it for a test drive and said - "not the driveline". He had a gizmo to measure the frequency of the vibration and said the driveline has an rrr-rrr-rrr when it vibrates while ours is a steady rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. He thinks it might be wind. He worked for Ford for 16 years and did a lot of noise diagnosis before and after he became the service manager. Then he had his own transmission company and now he has the driveline company. What all that means is he knows Ford noises. He showed us a few places to start trying to restrict movement of things in the engine compartment and on the Phoenix to see if we can silence the sound. After all that the charge was zero. We tried to compensate him but he wouldn't take payment. He gave us a smile, a handshake and wished us luck in our travels. WOW - we are so not used to that.
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« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2014, 11:14:23 pm »

Pretty amazing that the same model and virtually the same rig can have such different 'personalities'. Your vibration problem sounds a bit less extreme in terms of mechanical issues compared to Skipper, but probably just as frustrating.  Hard to find a solution to a wind problem when you're tooling down the road at 65.  I mean, what could it possibly be?  Ford radio antenna, Winegard antenna, mud flaps....or the way the wind flows around a rigid object like the side view mirrors or generator exhaust pipe??  If you want to rent our dog, Cooper, he barks and points to any new strange sound....just let us know. In any case, I hope you keep us updated!

  - Mike
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yankeeflyer
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« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2014, 06:45:31 am »

It went "Zip" when it moved
And "Bop" when it stopped
And "Whirrr" when it stood still
I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will
 Wink
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