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Old 04-16-2020, 01:48 PM   #1
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Shackle bolt failure

I had a shackle bolt fail backing in my driveway coming home from the dealer after unrelated warranty work. Dealer was very helpful in coming to my home to make road worthy to bring back to the shop for inspection of all parts. The axel did shift forward and they are hoping to get all under warranty to replace all bolts and possibly the shackles. The bolts were not knurled as they should be. See pic. Just wondering if anyone had the same problem.
RV is 2019 28.5 rsts 5th wheel
Unfortunately for me, dealer is shut down due to the pandemic and I have no idea when I’ll see my RV again.
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Old 04-16-2020, 01:58 PM   #2
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Glad the dealer helped get it back to their shop.

Had a equalizer fail once. Dropped that side of the tt, and we ripped out the sewer pipes, as we pulled into a BLM CG. Emergency sewer repair at camp. Found a very busy trailer repair shop that fixed it up, as we left the area.
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:50 PM   #3
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I had a shackle bolt fail backing in my driveway coming home from the dealer after unrelated warranty work. Dealer was very helpful in coming to my home to make road worthy to bring back to the shop for inspection of all parts. The axel did shift forward and they are hoping to get all under warranty to replace all bolts and possibly the shackles. The bolts were not knurled as they should be. See pic. Just wondering if anyone had the same problem.
RV is 2019 28.5 rsts 5th wheel
Unfortunately for me, dealer is shut down due to the pandemic and I have no idea when I’ll see my RV again.
The picture you posted looks as though the bolt itself didn't fail, but the threads sure are a mess, which may well have been damaged as the bolt worked it's way out of the shackle. It would appear the nut was not properly torqued, or could have been stripped by over-tightening and fell off. The bolts not having the splines would not necessarily cause the failure the way yours did. If the nut is on correctly it should not have come out.

By they way, what state are you located in?
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Old 04-16-2020, 05:17 PM   #4
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I’m in Ct.
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Old 04-16-2020, 06:29 PM   #5
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Yeah looks like the nut fell off and then the bolt slowly backed out over time damaging the threads.
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Old 04-16-2020, 06:44 PM   #6
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Any idea what brand of wetbolt was installed? My MorRyde kit had a knurled shaft.
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Old 04-16-2020, 06:50 PM   #7
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That I do not know. All the bolts were checked and tightened before the mechanic left and they found another bolt that would just spin, indicating it was not knurled either.
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Old 04-16-2020, 06:55 PM   #8
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Yes I would agree with that. However time was very short. Less than 2000 miles.
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Old 04-17-2020, 08:01 AM   #9
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That I do not know. All the bolts were checked and tightened before the mechanic left and they found another bolt that would just spin, indicating it was not knurled either.
If the mechanic was checking the torque on the nuts, he should have been using a wrench on the opposite side to hold the bolt and prevent it from spinning. The splines on those bolts are really designed to keep them from spinning during normal operation so the grease hole can be kept at 90 degrees - horizontal - to help the grease flow when being serviced. Those splines were not designed to hold the bolt against spinning when the nut is being torqued. Looking very closely at your photo, I see very slight lines that could indicate that bolt did have splines, but when the nut was being torqued, the bolt was not held by a wrench and it spun, destroying the splines. It is important to know those are shoulder bolts, meaning the nut is torqued against the bolt's shoulder so it does not compress the shackle hangers or the frame mounted bracket on the ends opposite the equalizer, thus allowing the springs to have movement in the hangers. This prevents wear and excessive squeaking. It becomes obvious two wrenches are needed to tighten them correctly.
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Old 04-17-2020, 11:24 AM   #10
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I replaced my suspension last summer with a Dexter Heavy Duty kit from e-trailer. The shackle bolts came with the shackle links preinstalled, which saved time during the installation. When I installed the bolts on the ends of the springs I place a socket over the zerk fitting so that that the face of the socket was on the bolt head and then used a C clamp to push the knurled end of the bolt into the spring hanger. The shackle links in the kit are much thicker than the stock links.

The second time I lubed the zerk fittings I had two that wouldn't take any grease until I jacked up the frame a bit to take weight off the springs. The bolts were installed with the grease holes at 3 o'clock, so that wasn't the problem.

My trailer was only 2 years old with about 5000 miles and the plastic bushings were pretty well shot. They were due for replacement.

Here's a link to the kit I used;

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer_Lea...=.why-etrailer
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Old 04-18-2020, 06:43 AM   #11
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I’d say a big contributor here is the RV hasn’t seen a drop of lubrication since new.. bolt has no evidence of grease...

I lube my suspension before each tow and a visual on all attach hardware.
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Old 04-18-2020, 06:54 AM   #12
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Iíd say a big contributor here is the RV hasnít seen a drop of lubrication since new.. bolt has no evidence of grease...

I lube my suspension before each tow and a visual on all attach hardware.
I would be interested in how often most lube them. It seems like a pump once or twice a year would be sufficient and less messy. I installed one years ago on another rig and that was what I did. Never put any grease in them if I saw grease coming out the spring hanger bolt.

I do remember having to take a little weight off a couple to take grease even though they were installed correctly.
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:31 AM   #13
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I would be interested in how often most lube them. It seems like a pump once or twice a year would be sufficient and less messy. I installed one years ago on another rig and that was what I did. Never put any grease in them if I saw grease coming out the spring hanger bolt.

I do remember having to take a little weight off a couple to take grease even though they were installed correctly.
I grease mine at least twice during the camping season and again when storing it for the winter. Like most things needing grease, especially when water is present, it is advisable to pump a good amount of grease to force the old out, along with any water that may have worked it's way in. Yes, it might be messy, but that's not hard to clean with a rag. The fresher the grease, the longer the bushings will last, and the easier it will be to add grease next time.
It does make sense that you sometimes need to take some weight off the suspension to relax the pressure on the bushings.
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Old 04-23-2020, 06:57 AM   #14
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Use Amsoil marine wheel bearing grease, water resistant, great lubricating quality
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Old 04-23-2020, 07:40 AM   #15
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I did my wet bolt install last year. Bolt heads on the inside and the nuts on the outside. This pic is from a month ago when I was doing my drum to disc brake conversion.
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When I was done doing the wet bolt install last year I put down some bright yellow security paint. This makes things so much easier when doing a quick inspect if anything is coming loose. You can see a year later and it's still there and nothing has moved. I grease mine once a year using Amsoil grease. All my wet bolts took 1 pump of grease and the old stuff was squirting out. I've been using Amsoil for years, good stuff.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:16 AM   #16
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Somewhat related - had a spring leaf break on I-90 in Minnesota in the middle of vast farm land punctuated with occasional distant grain elevators. Called AAA and had the trailer towed to Trimont by Borntrager Auto Body and Towing. Fantastic service! Expert careful towing on a flatbed, procured and replaced springs, shackles, and bolts. In five hours and way less cost than we imagined we were on our way with our new heavier duty suspension. We Will always remember the honest, expeditious, providential help we received at Borntrager's.

When we got home I took the trailer to a spring shop who inspected it and replaced flimsy factory mounts. The trailer is now rated for 2400# per wheel instead of 1760. Big relief. Thanks Borntrager and AB Spring!

Bottom line: RV manufactures use what they can get by with. They don't build their rigs like an invested RV owner would. It's a job, but keep an eye out for every component and rebuild and improve everything you can to have a strong, reliable, worthy rig.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:21 PM   #17
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Thanks to all who replied, good info that I’ll use whenever I get it back. I did not even get to prepare it for this years camping season and I’m dealing with issues. Sad that prices on these are what they are and the quality is not what it should be. Less than a year old and I can’t use it due to the manufacturer, and dealer shut down. Thanks COVID-19.
Stay safe and healthy
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:18 AM   #18
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I think I'm due for a shackle upgrade. The bolts have a lot of play in them. I made a video and would appreciate your thoughts.

I've put about 20,000km on my trailer.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/iDcQEp4c1WHnhqkq8
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:36 AM   #19
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HOLY SCHNIKIES!!!! That is BAD! LOL Let's hope all that play is in the bolt being worn and not the spring end being all blow out. Definitely need a Moryde wet bolt kit.
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:52 AM   #20
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HOLY SCHNIKIES!!!! That is BAD! LOL Let's hope all that play is in the bolt being worn and not the spring end being all blow out. Definitely need a Moryde wet bolt kit.
I will get the wet bolt kit on order.
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