Alko axles vs standard axles , greasing vs not greasing.

Jan 11, 2018
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Hello All.
speaking as a man new to motorhomes but as an ex automotive design and development engineer , can I ask a question.
Looking around the forum I see that Alko axles need greasing , using a single nipple near each axle end and standard axles do not.

Most unpowered wheel assemblies will use grease retained by seals within the hub to lubricate the bearings with no need for regular greasing.

What's different about an Alko?

Is the greasing to lubricate the torsion bars in some way , or do they have bushes in somewhere with an Alko or what.

I don't have an Alko axle, I'm just curious.

Thank you...........................
 
Sep 26, 2011
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The normal Fiat axel is a solid axel with leaf springs so needs no maintenance the Alko as you say has torsion bars that are prone to seize if not greased every year.
The wheel bearings are normal sealed type as on the Fiat.

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scotjimland

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What's different about an Alko?

  • Wider wheel base than the Fiat or Merc chassis which gives better handling and stability in cross winds and cornering
  • Lower load height which can be used for a double floor without increasing the overall height of the van.. The space between floors on my Hymer holds the fresh water and grey waste tank, all pumping and drain pipes.. it's also heated so no freezing pipes in arctic conditions. Spare wheel is also stored there, which keeps it clean and rust free, plus a through locker at the front which can hold long items like wind breaks, poles etc.
  • Galvanised so no rusting.
  • Torsion bar suspension gives a smother ride than leaf springs
 
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Jake Royd
Jan 11, 2018
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Thanks all. That clears that up.
Not too bad considering it only has to be done annually or every 20000kms etc.

Still , having greasing points these days is pretty old tech.

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scotjimland

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Still , having greasing points these days is pretty old tech.


yes, but me being old school would say .. old tech was good tech..

in my experience, when they say a bearing or ball joint is "greased for life" .. means it will generally fail just after the warranty has run out ..

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Jake Royd
Jan 11, 2018
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Degree obtained from a cornflakes box by any chance ?

Alko axles use internal torsion bars which need grease to prevent the rods binding, corrosion and eventually seizing.
Nothing to do with hub bearings.
Not from a cornflake box, no, you have misunderstood my later post.
By old tech I will expand a little by using a suspension ball joint as an example.
Years ago a ball joint had to be greased, otherwise it could fail catastrophically.
Todays metal and polymer composite ball joinys require no external lubrication and generally last many tens of thousands of miles before perhaps developing some wear.
A lot of this down to sealing and interference in the assembly.

Now considering bushes for torsion bars. Given that the relative movements are small and the loads large I would have thought a bush could be designed and developed which offered long life without external lubrication.
Bit then to repeat myself doing it once year is no real hardship.
 
Jan 19, 2014
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Alko axles use internal torsion bars which need grease to prevent the rods binding, corrosion and eventually seizing.
Nothing to do with hub bearings.

The link i posted would suggest that its the trailing arm bushes which need the grease not the torsion bars..
Its the wear on the bushes and trailing arm shaft which cause the fracture of the torsion bars..
Andy

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scotjimland

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Jan 19, 2014
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Someone posted this link a while back on an alko axle thread..
I found it interesting..
http://www.fraserbrowneng.co.uk/index.php?c=al-ko-axle-repair
Andy

as I posted .. two days ago


as I said in my opening post on this thread as quoted above that id read it somewhere and was merely repeating what I had read as it was relevant and interesting to this thread ... (y) ... not that it matters much but I wasn't trying to claim any credit, I don't have an alko Axel and know nothing about them..
even though you had posted about the greasing of the axels I don't think the perceived weakness in their greasing point had been mentioned... hence the link I posted and im still not sure where I first read it..:D
does it matter..??
Andy

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