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Cracked Alko Hitch barrel

Question

Posted

My van had thorough service yesterday and was found to have a crack in the Alloy barrel that the piston moves in.

Anyone else had such a problem?? Its a new one on me.

geoff

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108 answers to this question

Posted

Try fixing it with a brand name of cheese, I understand Cracker Barrel is very good for this.

Just waiting for the tumbleweed to blow past

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Posted

Not one of your best Al. ......but I still chuckled!

Do they still make it??

geoff

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Posted

Do they still make it??

geoff

Oh yes, tumbleweed production has increased since Britains got talent hit the screens

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Posted

Surprised nobody else said anything, must be rare as tumbleweeds.

geoff

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Posted

Which bit do you mean? If it's the main part of the hitch it is a casting which could possibly have had some porosity in it leading to it cracking. Any chance of posting a photo of it?

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Posted

My van had thorough service yesterday and was found to have a crack in the Alloy barrel that the piston moves in.

Anyone else had such a problem?? Its a new one on me.

geoff

If you mean the hitch draw shaft then it slides in two plain bearings mounted in a pressed steel housing. What has cracked?

Alko_Delta_Coupling.gifcpls202.jpg

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Posted

Good picture its half way down the nearside. thought it was alloy myself.

Cant send photo as I

in Ireland.

geoff

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Posted

Well the A frame cover has been taken off again and the whole 'tube' has cracked around, reason unknown. This means that the caravan remains unusable until a replacement can be found, after a week no luck on this model,via trade sources, and have not been able to ascertain from Alko if the unit is available...........urgh........thats another 10 days of rallying cancelled...

geoff

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Posted

Well the A frame cover has been taken off again and the whole 'tube' has cracked around, reason unknown. This means that the caravan remains unusable until a replacement can be found, after a week no luck on this model,via trade sources, and have not been able to ascertain from Alko if the unit is available...........urgh........thats another 10 days of rallying cancelled...

geoff

Geoff

If you get it replaced save the cracked part

If Alko wont pay maybe we can force it. Im a Metallurgist and an Expert Witness. If its a manufacturing fault that should have been found we can get compensation

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Posted

Thanks Alan will be in touch. so far main difficulty is getting Alko to answer the phone!!

geoff

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Posted

What would happen if something such as a car whacked the ball of the hitch really hard from the side? Would something give way...... such as the hitch housing?

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Posted

Fair comment. It wouldn't need to leave a rrace on rhe actual hitch business end that is visable. But there is no evidence that the damper has made contact with the sides.......strange.

geoff

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Posted

How did you first become aware of the crack Geoff, was it rattling or something like that ?

I only ask as Phil1041 has a very annoying rattle from his push rod/shaft area and I have now found one or two other vans with similar rattles which patently shouldn't be there.

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Posted

It was found by my Mobile engineer on service as it was taking too much grease He stripped it back and showed me a crack. BUT as he says it could have been there anytime since it had last service in March 2012.....doesn't bear thinking about! It did have grease in and I didn't think it too moisy myself.

geoff

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Posted

I took my van into Discover for service and when it came back I found that the hitch was making a dreadful noise. I looked at the it and found it was dented and was no longer straight. I found this the week Dusover went bust so wasn't able to claim off them. I reckon they had turned the van round and hit something. Had to buy a new hitch off Al-ko which not cheap.

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Posted

Have just heard that Alko UK do not keep replacement in stock and a part being couriered from Germany......so will likely be another week before fitted.

The only impact I know of on caravan was over two years ago and we had it checked out privately,hitch and chassis then, and later was also given dealer full service twice,so we don't think that was the cause,but the cracking is irregular which indicates stress of some sort!

geoff

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Posted

post-1142-0-48774000-1372163699_thumb.jp

Thats what its all about Hoy!

New one fitted...letter and photos off to Al-Ko UK.

geoff

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Posted

Well I've never seen that in 40+ years in the caravan trade, i must admit i thought you were talking about the drawtube, would be very interested in what

alko have to say.

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Posted

I doubt if your problems are unique Geoff, OK they might be very rare but I bet they are not unique.

I know you are on other forums (well at least one), have you flagged up your problem on them as well ?

From my own contact with AL-KO (UK) in former years with regards to the brake drums they use on their chassis and the fact that they do not engineer them properly, I know they can be somewhat suspect with regards to engineering excellence.

It might not be in your character to do so, but can you start rattling some cages in as many directions as you can think of if they try to or insist on fobbing you off, after all it will give you something to do when you can't get out onto the golf course because of the infernal weather ?

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Posted

George,above,reckons its the first he has seen...our Engineer who has over 20 years in trade, if not more, as a dealer Service Manager, has only seen one other and that was lateral cracking Phil......anyway I posted it on Swift Talk and almost nothing in way of reaction from anyone in over a month.........

Letter awaiting posting with photographs

geoff

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Posted

From my own contact with AL-KO (UK) in former years with regards to the brake drums they use on their chassis and the fact that they do not engineer them properly, I know they can be somewhat suspect with regards to engineering excellence.

As Alko do not agree with your views on the brake drum matter we must continue to trundle around on their product.sad2.gif

However, having spent several days at the German factory to have work done by them it would seem that, in fact, their engineering, all to DIN standards, is excellent. 2thumbsup.gif

secret.gif Considering that for many years they have, in various countries, probably produced most of the world's components for small trailers, they must be getting some things right .

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Posted

Just thought of a possible outside possibility...... maybe.... Is there any chance that water could have got in there and frozen up during one of our cold spells?

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Posted

Just thought of a possible outside possibility...... maybe.... Is there any chance that water could have got in there and frozen up during one of our cold spells?

Like your lateral thinking...but is always under a hitch cover when not being towed and the metal is about 1/4" thick so unlikely to happen..

geoff

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Posted

Missed this, sorry. The picture is not distinct enough to be sure, but for that damage I'd expect the broken body is cast alloy and this may explain why I cannot work how it is attached to what I'd expect to be a steel mounting plate.

Assuming then it is alloy, first impression is the rear drawbar bearing has broken up, this allowing the drawbar to move up and down. If so, it would certainly produce the type of damage in the picture, as it very quickly bashed it's way through what is fairly brittle cast alloy, never envisaged to take impact loads under normal conditions

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Posted

Thanks Gary will try and find better picture.

geoff

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