Fiat ducato tracking

goldenline

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Hi
After buying our hymer swing in England in may of this year and having an uneventful journey back to our home in france i noticed that the tread on one of the front tyres was very low so i have replaced the 2 front tyres. Our travel since buying has been pretty local, but i noticed a few weeks ago when we were travelling on a fairly twisty mountainous road
The back end seemed to move as if there was a heavy unsecured load in the rear of the van, this happened to me twice. Last week my son used the van and went to the same area we had been to and told me he had experienced the same thing but it does not happen all of the time in both cases a couple of times on a 200 km round trip. I am going to Frejus tomorrow to hopefully have the tracking checked i say hopefully as trying to find someone who can do this has been a nightmare. Whe i bought the van it had done less than 100 miles since the mot. The van is a fiat ducato and i forgot to mention my son had to stop because my grandaughter suffers a bit with travel sickness and he thought he could smell rubber and that the tyre was hot but it is over 35 degrees here at the moment. Any suggestions would be really welcome
Alan
 

TheBig1

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many many years! since I was a kid
could be tracking or suspension
 

PP Bear

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Could be a number of things, but defiantly needs checking out.

Not sure about your own mechanical abilities, but I'd be having each corner jacked up to check all the suspension linkages, rubber bushes, wheel bearings and even for any buckled wheels (kerb damage etc). Also I'd check drive shafts once it's up in the air and also the steering components and linkages.

Could also be an abnormal tyre so look for any defect such as bulges etc.

Good luck with getting it sorted or looking for a fault, especially if your son reported the smell of rubber and you've a trip soon.
 

PP Bear

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Just had another thought and one worth checking out and that's what's know as Hotchkiss Drive :)

http://www.timskelton.com/lightning/race_prep/suspension/leafs.htm

A Bessacarr on a Fiat Ducato chassis has just pulled up on the site I'm on. From where I'm parked I can see that the suspension on the rear is springs :)

If yours is the same, then that's a very likely area that needs checking too. In the early days I drove an old tipper truck and it was forever wrecking tyres. On a full inspection, it was found that the centre pin holding all the springs together and acted as the locating stud for the rear axle, had sheared. The result was that at times (intermittent) the vehicle would "crab" down the road, in other words, not run straight, as the back end would sway slightly left and right, depending on road camber, surface condition, pot holes etc and of course, this would result in the tyres not running true, hence the buildup of heat, excessive wear and the smell of hot rubber :)

Just a thought, but worth checking out. Also check the spring hangers and bolts if that's the type of suspension you have fitted - just a thought while I scratch the old grey matter :)

Good luck :)
 

dave newell lvs

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Hotchkiss drive has nothing whatsoever to do with it, that only applies to leaf sprung drive axles and as a Fiat Ducato is front wheel drive it is obviously totally irrelevant, likewise the locating pin shearing is extremely unlikely on a non driven axle. I doubt very much that you wil find any problems with suspension or tracking. What you describe is quite typical of short wheelbase and long rear overhang (relatively speaking) with more than enough weight in that overhang area. On uneven surfaces (such as some motorway/dual carriageways heavily frequented by big trucks causing ruts to form in the road but at a wider spacing than your wheels) this can lead to swaying and it can be very unpleasant and at speed very dangerous.

D.
 
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goldenline

goldenline

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Hotchkiss drive has nothing whatsoever to do with it, that only applies to leaf sprung drive axles and as a Fiat Ducato is front wheel drive it is obviously totally irrelevant, likewise the locating pin shearing is extremely unlikely on a non driven axle. I doubt very much that you wil find any problems with suspension or tracking. What you describe is quite typical of short wheelbase and long rear overhang (relatively speaking) with more than enough weight in that overhang area. On uneven surfaces (such as some motorway/dual carriageways heavily frequented by big trucks causing ruts to form in the road but at a wider spacing than your wheels) this can lead to swaying and it can be very unpleasant and at speed very dangerous.

D.
So would that account for wear on 1 front tyre rather than both ? and the sway was experienced at quite low speeds due to the region we were in. Would that cause heat in the tyre. Not being that tech
just trying to understand the problem. Is this something we just have to live with?
Alan
 

Phill D

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So would that account for wear on 1 front tyre rather than both ? and the sway was experienced at quite low speeds due to the region we were in. Would that cause heat in the tyre. Not being that tech
just trying to understand the problem. Is this something we just have to live with?
Alan
under inflation is often a cause of overheating in tyres. not wishing to be condesending or smart arse,,,,, you have checked all your tyre pressures and they are ok i assume?
 

PP Bear

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Hotchkiss drive has nothing whatsoever to do with it, that only applies to leaf sprung drive axles and as a Fiat Ducato is front wheel drive it is obviously totally irrelevant, likewise the locating pin shearing is extremely unlikely on a non driven axle. I doubt very much that you wil find any problems with suspension or tracking. What you describe is quite typical of short wheelbase and long rear overhang (relatively speaking) with more than enough weight in that overhang area. On uneven surfaces (such as some motorway/dual carriageways heavily frequented by big trucks causing ruts to form in the road but at a wider spacing than your wheels) this can lead to swaying and it can be very unpleasant and at speed very dangerous.

D.
Sorry mate, have to agree to disagree. Hotchkiss drive is relevant on all spring axles, driven or not.

I agree that it's more pertinent on a drive axle (usually rear) and that with a Fiat Ducato it is front wheel drive, however it also comes into effect when the kinetic energy under braking is transmitted through the suspension and spring hanger, by the use of the brakes, be that either through the self wrapping action of drum brakes, or the efficiency of disc brakes.

While you have said it's extremely UNLIKELY that it could shear, I simply don't want to rule it out. There's also a small possibility that if there are springs fitted, then a bush could/may be excessively worn. All need eliminating. Just trying to give our goldenline as much guidance as poss, which is frustrating when we're not sighted as to the level of his tech knowledge. I wanted to post about tyre pressures, but simply assumed either him or his son would have done this already.

Hope he gets it's sorted.
 

dave newell lvs

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"So would that account for wear on 1 front tyre rather than both ? and the sway was experienced at quite low speeds due to the region we were in. Would that cause heat in the tyre. Not being that tech
just trying to understand the problem. Is this something we just have to live with?
Alan"

There are many variables that can affect tyre wear, loading on the tyre and pressure in the tyre are the two most obvious ones. I don't know your specific model of motorhome but it wouldn't be alone if one side was significantly more loaded than the other. The position of kitchens, washrooms, beds, water tanks etc plays a major role in individual wheel loadings.

Tyres get warm in use, hot to the touch is not unusual. I hillclimb an MX5 and the tyres can go from ambient temp of 20 C to 40+ in less than 1 mile, the tyres of a 3 plus tonne motorhome running for a longer time can generate a fair bit of heat, especially if under inflated. Tracking may well affect tyre wear but will usually manifest itself as "feathering" of the tread at the edges of both front tyres. And yes you can ignore "Hotchkiss drive" it is totally irelevant in this case.

First thing I'd suggest is get your motorhome on a weighbridge and weigh front and rear axles seperately then compare these figures with those on the VIN plate. Next contact the tyre manufacturer or at the very least have a look at the chart on the tyresafe website to determine what your tyre pressures should be. If necessary adjust your tyre pressures to those advised and try it out, obviously if either axle is overladen you need to address that first.

D.
 

tonyidle

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Sorry mate, have to agree to disagree. Hotchkiss drive is relevant on all spring axles, driven or not.

I agree that it's more pertinent on a drive axle (usually rear) and that with a Fiat Ducato it is front wheel drive, however it also comes into effect when the kinetic energy under braking is transmitted through the suspension and spring hanger, by the use of the brakes, be that either through the self wrapping action of drum brakes, or the efficiency of disc brakes.

While you have said it's extremely UNLIKELY that it could shear, I simply don't want to rule it out. There's also a small possibility that if there are springs fitted, then a bush could/may be excessively worn. All need eliminating. Just trying to give our goldenline as much guidance as poss, which is frustrating when we're not sighted as to the level of his tech knowledge. I wanted to post about tyre pressures, but simply assumed either him or his son would have done this already.

Hope he gets it's sorted.
"Hotchkiss" refers only to the means of driving a leaf-sprung axle (open prop, two UJs) and not to the axle itself. I can't see why it's relevant to a discussion about leaf spring attachment or brake reaction.
 

jonandshell

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A single worn front tyre suggest to me under inflation or incorrect camber.
I'd be looking at pressures, the lower wishbone or for unknown accident damage to the front chassis members.
 

jonandshell

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As for the rear 'swinging about', that is most likely a result of bad loading and an overweight rear causing lateral flexing of the rear leaf springs.
That is presuming there is no panhard link fitted to your rear suspension. If a panhard link is present, the bushes need examination.
 
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