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Old 08-20-2019, 10:17 PM   #1
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Front end alignment

Planning for an upcoming trip, decided to have front end alignment. RV is almost four years old. Dealer called and said that alignment was good, but there was a problem with the bearings.

They checked the bearings and they were good, except that Ford apparently used a carter key to secure the crown nut that was too small. They were allowing movement of the bearings and created a wobble.

They replaced with correct pins, and all is well. Just FYI.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:26 PM   #2
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How many miles are on the RV? Is it on an E450 chassis?


I have a 2 year old Chateau with about 33,000 miles on it. I got an alignment when it was nearly new, but a couple of months ago I noticed uneven wear on the left front tire, so I got another alignment and had that tire replaced. Now I'm seeing some scalloping/cupping on the right front tire and wondering what could be causing it. This is usually caused by bad shocks, but I wouldn't expect the shocks to be worn out at 33K miles, so I'm wondering if I could have a similar problem with the crown nut coming loose.


I'm going to replace the shocks with Bilstein HD shocks since it's an upgrade I want to do anyway, but I'm not sure that shocks are the problem.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:30 PM   #3
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Scalloping and cupping is caused by worn shocks. 30,000 miles is usually a good rule of thumb for shock replacement. This can change based on the condition of the roads you drive on. The worse they are, the less mileage a shock will last. Always make sure you have a good alignment done after shock replacement.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:36 PM   #4
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Scalloping and cupping is caused by worn shocks. 30,000 miles is usually a good rule of thumb for shock replacement. This can change based on the condition of the roads you drive on. The worse they are, the less mileage a shock will last. Always make sure you have a good alignment done after shock replacement.

I can see how getting a good alignment after shock replacement is important on a strut-type suspension, but on the E450 I don't think shocks have any effect on alignment. The only think I can think of is if the new shocks are pressurized and raise ride height a bit, which could affect alignment, but I doubt that's significant at all.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:48 PM   #5
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FYI, When you have your RV aligned, it should be loaded as if you are going on a trip. Full water, fuel, propane, food and accessories. I case you did not know.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:54 PM   #6
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In the years that I did truck and auto repair, I have found that replacing shocks will change the alignment. I also think that an alignment is cheaper than replacing tires before their time.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:20 PM   #7
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In the years that I did truck and auto repair, I have found that replacing shocks will change the alignment. I also think that an alignment is cheaper than replacing tires before their time.
Only if driving around the block also changes alignment.

I agree with jabrabu: replacing standard shocks will have no effect on alignment. Shocks do not change ride height and are not involved with steering linkages and/or geometry.

My first career was as an NIASE certified mechanic (many years ago they dropped the "NI" so now it is just ASE) and I started in the tire and front end shop where I have hundreds of alignments under my belt.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:37 PM   #8
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All the 450s I have owned had bad shocks by the 40k mark--the E450 probably suffers same shocks. Get good ones for replacement. Don't replace tires until the alignment is done.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:39 AM   #9
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Jabrabu,
A little over 10k miles. F 53 chassis. But we've taken a couple of trips where the roads were terrible.
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:05 PM   #10
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Noticed that our front tires were wearing on the outside a little (20k miles), stopped at tire shop and mechanic said tires are aligned right, and so with weight they would align. 2000 miles later i take the rv in and now we have 4 new tires, and supposedly new alighment. Costly venture.
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