Alko Rear Axle Maintenance and Replacement

captain.chum

Free Member
Oct 2, 2008
3
0
North East UK
Funster No
4,248
MH
Swift
Exp
15
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.
 

colliezack

Free Member
Apr 30, 2008
66
12
South Beds
Funster No
2,416
Exp
27yrs ish
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.
 

scotjimland

Free Member
Jul 25, 2007
32,020
29,504
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15
MH
.
Exp
.
An expensive repair and all for the lack of some grease, I think this is important enough to warrant a 'sticky' .. ?
 
OP
C

captain.chum

Free Member
Oct 2, 2008
3
0
North East UK
Funster No
4,248
MH
Swift
Exp
15
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.
 

grout

Free Member
Apr 27, 2008
11
0
Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Funster No
2,320
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
3
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
 

geofliz

Free Member
Feb 3, 2008
88
1
Worcestershire
Funster No
1,404
MH
L P Coachbuilt
Exp
3 years. 29 as a tugger
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.
 
Jan 27, 2009
565
621
Leyland Lancs
Funster No
5,472
MH
A class
Exp
since 2001
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?
 

ingram

Free Member
Aug 9, 2008
87
1
Funster No
3,624
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.

.
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:roflmto:

Harvey
 
OP
C

captain.chum

Free Member
Oct 2, 2008
3
0
North East UK
Funster No
4,248
MH
Swift
Exp
15
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?
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.
 

dave newell lvs

Trader-Vehicle Services
Oct 31, 2008
3,246
4,294
Telford, Shropshire
Funster No
4,733
MH
Home converted PVC
Exp
26yrs
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.
 
Mar 2, 2008
191
44
Darlington
Funster No
1,664
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2005
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? :whatthe:
I shall be dragging it home next weekend to give it a good greasing!!
 
Jan 27, 2009
565
621
Leyland Lancs
Funster No
5,472
MH
A class
Exp
since 2001
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)
 

45eEver

Free Member
Apr 15, 2009
267
1
Funster No
6,298
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.
 

pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
35,942
23,826
YO11 2BD
Funster No
172
MH
Homeless
Exp
Since 2005
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.
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:
 

Burstnerite

Free Member
Jul 27, 2009
10
0
Lincolnshire
Funster No
7,684
MH
Low Profile
Exp
10 years
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
 

geofliz

Free Member
Feb 3, 2008
88
1
Worcestershire
Funster No
1,404
MH
L P Coachbuilt
Exp
3 years. 29 as a tugger
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
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.
 

teensvan

Free Member
Jul 25, 2009
63
0
Fulltime in Motorhome
Funster No
7,653
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
5
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
 

chewy

Free Member
Apr 11, 2009
36
0
Funster No
6,232
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.
 

gixermark

Free Member
Sep 8, 2009
105
4
Hereford
Funster No
8,372
MH
None
Exp
2 years ! Ex "Tugger" of 7 years + !!
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 ???
 

Gobil

Free Member
Jan 5, 2010
23
0
Funster No
9,819
I think I may need to do this job before I set off on a Euro tour. I have Airide pneumatic suspension, and was wondering if inflating the airbags to max would be sufficient to take the load off the wheels?

After I have the load off, you just get underneath....and then what? never greased anything before, do you take the nipple off?

cheers
 

FreeSpirit

Free Member
Jun 18, 2009
9
1
Qld, Aust
Funster No
7,161
MH
C class
Exp
10 years
ALKO rear axle maintenance

The rear axle has to have the load removed - meaning the chassis has to lifted till the axle is hanging from the chassis & both wheels are off the ground it is then greased via the two grease nipples. As AL-KO does not seem to specify how much grease should be applied? I assume until there are signs the applied grease is coming out the ends where the swing arms are bolted to the ends of the torsion bars (greasing should be stopped on first sign of the grease so as not to damage any seals present) or it becomes hard to pump anymore in.
If you have never greased anything before the grease gun nozzle fits over the nipple & seals itself on the nipple then the grease is pumped in with the gun.
 

FreeSpirit

Free Member
Jun 18, 2009
9
1
Qld, Aust
Funster No
7,161
MH
C class
Exp
10 years
As stated in the previous post the axle has to be unloaded with both wheels off the ground similtaneously when greasing the AL-KO axle.
If anybody requires a PDF copy of the AL-KO chassis & axle manual they can download it from here - The maintenance requirements are on page 18.
in low resolution - 1.8MB http://www.filefactory.com/file/a20g...andbook-lr.pdf
or high res - 14MB http://www.filefactory.com/file/a1f8...4_Handbook.pdf
244 02-06 Ducato owners manual can be found here 4.2MB - http://www.filefactory.com/file/a2e8...book_04-05.pdf
244 Ducato Blaupunkt CD Radio owners manual 7.5MB -
http://www.filefactory.com/file/a2e8...dioCD_User.pdf
02-06 244 Ducato eLearn WSM ISO compressed in a rar file 113MB -
http://www.filefactory.com/file/a2g8222/n/02-06_eLearn_Manuale_Tecnico_D_officina_-_Fiat_Ducato.rar
Just go to the bottom of the page concerned & click on the "DOWNLOAD NOW with file factory basic" button. Then on the next page again at the bottom wait till it counts down from 30 then click on "Download now with file factory basic" again.
Then save to disc.
There are also PDF versions of the X250 owners manual & X250 AL-KO chassis handbook as well if anybody requires them.

:thumb:
 

FreeSpirit

Free Member
Jun 18, 2009
9
1
Qld, Aust
Funster No
7,161
MH
C class
Exp
10 years

Gobil

Free Member
Jan 5, 2010
23
0
Funster No
9,819
probably should have asked first, how do you know if you have an Al-KO chassis and axle or not? My back axle looks a bit different to the one in the photo in the manual, but it still seems to have grease nipples..
 

FreeSpirit

Free Member
Jun 18, 2009
9
1
Qld, Aust
Funster No
7,161
MH
C class
Exp
10 years
probably should have asked first, how do you know if you have an Al-KO chassis and axle or not? My back axle looks a bit different to the one in the photo in the manual, but it still seems to have grease nipples..
The AL-KO Motorhome chassis is galvanised & has "C" section members with large holes punched in them, with numerous crossmembers of the same type. It is bolted to the ends of the original Fiat chassis with 6 bolts each side just behind the cabin. The tubular axle "appears" to go through the side rails of the chassis & has 3 torsion bars each side enclosed within the axle housing itself & swing arms on each end to which the hubs\wheels etc are bolted. If the vehicle is not fitted with the Electronically Controlled Air Suspension option (which does not have any grease nipples) - the grease nipples are located either on the bottom or front of the tubular AL-KO axle just inside the chassis rails.
The standard Fiat chassis is a continuous painted box section type & has a square section axle that is supported underneath the frame by (normally) a 2 leaf spring suspension system & to my knowledge doesn't have any grease nipples.
Hope that helps
 
Reactions: f6c

Gobil

Free Member
Jan 5, 2010
23
0
Funster No
9,819
thats helpful, I see mine has a leaf spring system, so I'm guessing it is not an AlKo chassis. I will take a closer look at what I thought were grease nipples soon, and se what they are.

cheers
G
 

Sidney

Free Member
Jan 27, 2013
1,358
867
Stamford
Funster No
24,452
MH
Benimar Mileo 282
Exp
Seven plus years
All the Al-Ko manuals linked to on here are out of date...


I'm off to see if I can find them :Smile:
 
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