Alko Rear Axle Maintenance and Replacement

Discussion in 'Fiat' started by captain.chum, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. captain.chum

    captain.chum Read Only Funster

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    I have just had the misfortune of having to replace the rear axle on my Swift Royale 630. I waited five weeks for delivery - the parts were around 1500 GBP - with labour on top to fit. The axle had to be made in Germany, shipped to Alko in Warwick who then overnighted it to my garage. There are three torsions on each side, six in total, two snapped when I went over a bump due to lack of grease.

    For those wanting to avoid this problem - grease the torsion bars using the grease nipples twice a year (as recommended by Alko) while the vehicle is jacked up to take the weight off the suspension otherwise the grease doesnt get far enough in.

    As a result of the above work, I have the old axle which includes some functional torsion bars if anyone is interested, but it is unlikely I will keep them for long due to lack of space.
     
  2. colliezack

    colliezack Funster

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    Och, that sounds like serious money. Howevever the ALKO hand book does say the nipples need a squirt with the load taken off.-- at least every year, or 20,000k.
    When mine has a service by Peugeot agent I print out a copy of the ALKO book and speak to the bloke doing the job so it gets done. Sounds as though it pays to be switched on.
    Peugeot/Fiat don't know otherwise.
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    An expensive repair and all for the lack of some grease, I think this is important enough to warrant a 'sticky' .. ?
     
  4. captain.chum

    captain.chum Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the responses - my first forum post!

    My mechanic was greasing them twice a year, but we did not have a handbook so we weren't aware the load had to be taken off, without jacking the van up the grease doesn't get pushed through to all the places it needs to.
     
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  5. grout

    grout Read Only Funster

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    Sorry to read your post (the cost bit...ouch!) but thanks for the tip captain chum.

    What year is your 630? Ours is 1996, had it 2 years.. great MH and really pleased with it but I'm sure never been greased with wheels in air whilst we've had it .... now I'm worried! :Eeek:

    Now where's that grease gun......?!

    Best wishes for New Year

    :thumb:

    john
     
  6. geofliz

    geofliz Read Only Funster

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    From my experience with regard to the greasing of the Alko rear axle, it seems that the Motorhome dealers do not do it because they say it is mechanical and that the Garages do not do it because it is not part of the manufacturers service schedule. The problem with that is people take thier pride and joy to the respective dealers for service thinking that all is o.k, only to find out later that they have got problems. I spoke to the garage that serviced my motorhome and they said that they did not have grease anymore because modern vehicles do not have grease nipples. My local garage asked how old the vehicle was and were surprised when I said two years. They did not seem to have a clue about the Alko side at all. I went to our local Alko recommended dealer at Alcester to see if they would do it as they advertise Motorhome servicing and they said it was mechanical and would not do it even if they fully serviced the motorhome. When I spoke to Alko they said that it was a common problem and people were getting caught out by it. I ended up having to do my own because that was the only way that I could be sure that it was done. Surely someone should take responsibility for this task. O.K. I did it this time but with Rhumatoid Arthritis I do not know how many more times I will be able to get under a Jacked up motorhome on my drive.

    Happy New Year to you all and enjoy your travels.
     
  7. SIFTA SAM

    SIFTA SAM Read Only Funster

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    Just to clarify the instructions for the lubrication of the rear torsion units :- Do BOTH wheels have to be lifted at the same time whilst servicing EITHER of the grease nipples, or can just one wheel be lifted and just the one relevant nipple serviced? Then
    the other wheel lifted and other nipple greased?
     
  8. ingram

    ingram Read Only Funster

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    What a ridiculous state of affairs!

    I suggest that those having problems getting the Alko suspension greased, see if there is a local mobile mechanic who would do it........ cheaper than buying a new axle every few years ...... if you buy your own grease gun and grease then that could be used in case they don't have one.............. or ask your postman or milkman; I think they usually finish about lunchtime:Laughing:

    Harvey
     
  9. captain.chum

    captain.chum Read Only Funster

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    As far as I know, you have to take the weight completely off both wheels before greasing.
    Sorry for the delayed reply, still learning my way around the site myself.
     
  10. SIFTA SAM

    SIFTA SAM Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Captain. That's my Sunday job sorted.
     
  11. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    I have a 1988 Ducato based Glendale in at the moment for MOT repairs which include a siezed Alko axle:cry:(on behalf of the owners). There are two grease nipples per side on this one, one near the swinging arm and one further in, none of them appear to have seen any grease for a loooooooonnnnnnnggggggg time! I'm hoping against hope that I can free it off but I've told the customer to expect the worst.

    While talking about Alko axles, Auto Trail have a clever trick, they box the axle in with water tanks and a false floor underneath the chassis so its impossible to grease the axle without a lot of stripping down work:Angry:.

    D.
     
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  12. Castaway

    Castaway Funster

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    Thanks for the timely reminder!
    I've just dug out the Al-Ko manual and there it is in black and white!
    You just assume that it will be covered when it goes in for service, don't you? :Eek!:
    I shall be dragging it home next weekend to give it a good greasing!!
     
  13. SIFTA SAM

    SIFTA SAM Read Only Funster

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    Although my Hymer Manual specifies the recommended lubricants for the AL-KO rear axle as either, Cardex 3746 SP (CONDA) or Costrac GL 1501 (Kluber), I was informed that the latter has been relaced by Kluberlube BE 41-1501. ( I may have posted this info previously)
     
  14. 45eEver

    45eEver Read Only Funster

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    Geofliz, I'm pretty certain that the chaps who MOT my motorhome would squirt some grease whever I wanted.
    It's a family business, where a couple of cousins test and about 5 spannermen work.

    Howzabout asking your MOT man to squirt some grease in when you get MOT'd.

    I suspect they can't do it during the actual test though.
     
  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i also thought of that....:thumb:

    hell of a job jacking up both sides together with only one jack and a couple of axle stands..:Sad:
     
  16. Burstnerite

    Burstnerite Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    I realise this has become an old thread, but I'm a very new member. This issue was highlighted in 'MMM' some months ago and worried me too. I E-Mailed ALKO and received the following response :-

    The Castrol LM grease can be used with a hand operated grease gun (this is what we recommend not a pressurised gun) . You will need to raise the wheels clear of the ground; this then allows the grease to circulate around the swing arm journal. By raising the wheels one at a time will allow the grease to reach the correct areas.

    Regards
    Alan Sanders (Service Manager)

    Hope this helps,
    Jim
     
  17. geofliz

    geofliz Read Only Funster

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    I recieved much the same information over the telephone from Alko, except I was told any good quality grease would be o.k. I will get Castrol next time though, which will be soon.
    Thanks for the update.
     
  18. teensvan

    teensvan Read Only Funster

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    Hi.

    Most motorhomers are not aware of the alco suspension system. I would not have been, but was lucky to find an alco manual with our tag burstner. Once a year I take a few hours to jack up the rear of the M/H remove all the road wheels grease the axles, and put some grease on the handbrake linkages, I put about 40 pumps of grease into each nipple. So far so good.

    steve & ann. ------ teensvan
     
  19. chewy

    chewy Read Only Funster

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    Torsion bar greasing

    I.ve just done mine having read all above...you just can't trust anyone but yourself it seems particularly with service items. Its not a difficult job provided you have decent jack & axle stands. Some of the comments on this post and others regarding base vehichle people saying it's convertors job and vice versa are so true and typical of modern living.
     
  20. gixermark

    gixermark Read Only Funster

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    Ooooerrrrrrrr ........... Had a look at my tag-axle's and the nipples seem in very bad condition / non existent !!!

    Can someone please let me know how much grease to add ... do you wait till the gun becomes hard .... or til the grease runs out ????

    We are away over New Year so guess this is a must do job before we go ???
     
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