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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 13:38 Thread Starter
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Alko Torsion axle

Hi guys,
I have a 1996 german import Hymer E610, a lovely old bus in great condition apart from a problem with the Alko torsion axle!I have read on this site of people with the same axle who have had similar problems. Mine is backed up with an air suspension, but I am still concerned that all is not as it should be. Looking at the van it appears to sag on one side ( a sign that one of the torsion bars is broken?), even if I have even pressure in both air bags.. The van drives perfectly unladen, but with a full load, I have noticed a slight wobble from the sagging rear side. At first, I thought it was a wheel bearing, but not so. I have tried inflating that particular bag more, but this only helps slightly. I have read that there are bushings and other parts in this particular axle (ALKO BT 1800) and I was wondering if firstly, I can purchase any parts I need for a repair, and secondly, where would I get this work done? (I'm in Ireland, so I assume a trip across the pond is on the cards...might make a holiday of it!). Maybe my first course of action would be to have an Expert opinion on this axle, but who and where do I find such a person?
I would greatly appreciate any help from anyone on this site as I would feel safer if I knew everything was in order.
Many thanks,
Tony
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 14:16
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Hi Tony, Well this site: http://www.caravan-parts.org/www.car....php?p=1&pno=0, is getting some free advertisement from me today, but you could try them out as they do repairs of what your looking for, if you srcoll down the homepage you'll find the info there. Best of luck Nigel.

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 14:49 Thread Starter
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Hi Nigel,
Thanks for the prompt reply. I'll browse the site later on when I've finished work and see what they may have on offer.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 14:59
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Hi.

There are two versions of the torsion Axel and like me I think you will fall withing the expensive one.

The newest being there are three torsion bars within the axle and these can be replaced.. They have an hexagon bolt on the end which can be seen when the brake drums have been removed to gain access, and then unbolted to change the torsion bars all of which is a reasonable cost and can be done yourself.

The other axle is the one I suspect will be like mine 1997 and earlier, where the three torsion bars are welded in place and this makes the whole think a professional fix as the whole axle has to be replaced by removing the old one and replacing with a new one, whether this can be of the new type with removable torsion bars, I blobbed out at when I found out the cost just for the axle, the cost was going on for a couple of thousand, plus vat, plus shipping from Germany ..

So I had air suspension fitted for just over a grand and everything is now OK, I will have the shockers changed in the next few months to some that are uprated and that will be the end of it.. The van has just gone through its MOT yesterday and the garage new about the rear suspension as it would have been them that would have done the work changing it, and it was them that chased up the prices for ALKO and advised the air suspension route..

I have just tried to get the drawing for the different axles without success, but if you have time they are out there with a bit of rummaging on google.

Hope that helps.

ray.

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 16:52 Thread Starter
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Great info here Ray, thanks for that. I think you are right..its probably the older one which cant be repaired. I'd leave well enough alone except I dread to think what might happen if while driving something else "snapped" within the axle. It's a dilemma, no doubt caused by lack of maintenance on the previous owners part. I've even greased the nipples up with Cardex (the recommended axle grease) just to help matters but I guess I'm closing the gate after the horse has bolted! Hmmmm....I wonder why the individual air suspension won't even things up even when the sagging side has 5 bar and the good side has only 2....more to ponder over the weekend. Thanks for your time gentlemen..much appreciated.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 17:01
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Tony

I don't know if this will help you, it is a link to fiat ePER if you put in your 17 digit Vin number should start with zfa and click on the magnifying glass next to it, you vehicle details engine no base model etc will show, click next and you are into fiat database for your model, every single nut and bolt.If you click on the part number you are looking
at it will open another box with more details. you can then use that part number in seek 24.

Please note that the suspension has an upgrade for camping cars, which I am not sure are listed.
I think it is an extra leaf but not too sure.
Fiat should be able to quote you the part number on the telephone then use seek24.

http://eper.fiatforum.com/eper/navi?...&MAKE=F&SBMK=T

I have used a company called seek 24 for parts in the past
http://seekpart24.com/

A bonus for you in euro's

Good wishes

Ian
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 17:13
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Hi Tony,
I'm not sure if I can be of any help here, but on the Hymer Fiat Alko chassis the rear torsion bar axle has to be greased with the rear wheels under no load, this entails lifting the van on jacks and allowing the wheels to drop/hang on their suspension. This is the only way that you can get enough grease in the axle to pack it thoroughly.

I found this out when I bought my van at 5 years old and the ride was a bit harsh, I took it to a garage who raised the van as above and only one side dropped.
Once it had been greased up (2 grease guns full) the stuck side dropped gradually and now the ride is much better.
The garage said that this is a common fault with these vans as a lot of garages don't jack the van up in this way to grease them.
(My van came with a full service history).
I'm not sure if the Merc axle is the same but it might be worth a try.

Hope all the above makes sense, if not let me know.

Mel.

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 18:28
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I dont think an Alco axle will appear on any Fiat parts list as its nothing to do with Fiat the origional chassis from the cab back is cut off and scrapped,(yes even though its brand new). From experience the jacking up may do the trick but its possible the torsion bar has snapped. It wont have any leaf springs either thats what the torsion bars are for.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 19:28
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Hi.

There are three torsion bars within the tube on each side to make the suspension independent on each wheel, and if these had snapped on either side the wheel would slide out of position as the bars would not being anchored in the middle section, so they would slip through the tube enabling the wheel to come off or collapse ..

I run my air suspension at 6 bar both sides, that works on my van when loaded.

My air suspension states it is an aid to existing suspension, and not the main suspension.

ray.

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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 20:15
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Sorry for not being clearer i meant if one of them had snapped it would be weak on one side.
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