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Creaking Al-ko


fastmower

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Hi all,

 

I'm after any advice concerning an Al-ko stabiliser. Here's the story:

 

Our usual caravanning vehicle is a Transit double cab pick up (as I carry racing lawnmowers in the back!), and we discovered that the Al-ko hitch on our newly acquired caravan would not fit onto the towball - as the fore and aft measurement of the towball was too short - leading to the hitch hitting the back of the towball casting before it would drop down onto the ball. So - we applied ourselves and measured the towball on my wife's Focus estate and found it to be a bit longer front to back - about a centimetre - but long enough. Towballs were exchanged and off we went - no problems.

 

However - the next weekend and off we went again - but this time on the return journey, there was a loud and distinct creaking noise from the hitch every time we cornered. I had a look at the towball once we got back and found that areas of the coating (powder coat or stove enamelling by the looks of it - a Bosal towball) had been removed by the friction pads. The pads are in good condition - not worn down.

 

Do I need to fit a proper Al-ko towball to my truck - or just remove the rest of the coating from the current ball - and will this stop the creaking?

 

Any thoughts welcome!

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Andy

www. fastmower. co. uk

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For an Alko hitch, you need an Alko towball - simply because the neck of the towball is made longer to accommodate the size of the Alko stabilizer. Unless the towball you used was free from grease or paint or varnish, the substance would transfer itself to the pads. Alko recomend that the ball is cleaned before every use.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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Before using the alko again clean the inside (pads) with brake cleaner, and give a quick rub with a bit of emery cloth, to shift the paint etc, and has been said get an alko towball :) and clean off all the paint before use!!!!!!!!

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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Hi All,

 

The ALKO towball has a slightly longer stem up to the ball to allow clearance for the pitching up and down of the hitch as the outfit goes over bumps. If you fit an ALKO stabiliser head onto a standard towball you can get an awful shock to the system when the towing head on the caravan grounds on the body of the towball on the car.

 

Cheers

 

Steve

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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Once all the paint is off the ball, the creaking should stop. I had the same noise problem when I collected my new van with a new towball. Only takes a few minutes to clean the ball with emery cloth.

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I agree with the others the special al ko ball should be clean but after tonight putting a greasy ball back on my car to borrow my mum’s caravan at the weekend I would defiantly say that I prefer the clean al ko even if it was creaking.

JON

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  • 4 weeks later...
Once all the paint is off the ball, the creaking should stop. I had the same noise problem when I collected my new van with a new towball. Only takes a few minutes to clean the ball with emery cloth.

40448[/snapback]

 

If only it was that simple for me. ...

 

April this year, brand new van with ALKO hitch and new towbar with ALKO ball. I cleaned the ball before picking the van up, it was spotless and blemish free before ever being hitched up. The hitch makes an awful noise all the time (10 outings, about 2000 miles). I've used emery cloth on almost every journey, sometimes stopping en-route to clean the ball (and inside the hitch). But I'm b*****ed if I can get rid of the noise. I can see there are marks on the ball, which suggest its picking up 'grazes' when hitching up, but I spend ages aligning the hitch over the ball to ensure that all it has to do is drop straight on, 'without touching the sides' so to speak. Its almost as though the ball isn't as hard as it should be, I know that sounds crazy, but it is picking up these 'grazes' far too easily. I'm almost at the point of buying another ball and starting all over, but surely shouldn't have to do this with nearly new equipment.

 

 

Anyone else suffered with persistantly noisey ball ???

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Just a thought - have you tried replacing the friction pads? Might just be a faulty one.

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Just a thought  - have you tried replacing the friction pads?  Might just be a faulty one.

42627[/snapback]

 

I have removed the pads and given them a good dose of looking at. They 'appear' OK, smooth, no cracks, nothing embedded in the surface. But this might be another option I have to consider. It's going to get expensive though, £25 ish for the ball and £30 ish for the pads are the quotes I've had so far!

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I have removed the pads and given them a good dose of looking at. They 'appear' OK, smooth, no cracks, nothing embedded in the surface. But this might be another option I have to consider. It's going to get expensive though, £25 ish for the ball and £30 ish for the pads are the quotes I've had so far!

42635[/snapback]

Did you buy your van new?

 

My van came with a spare set of friction pads for the alko hitch. I dont know if anyone else got some with theirs. Found them in one of the drawers with some other spare bits (nothing too exciting though!).

 

Regards,

 

Gaz

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Did you buy your van new? 

 

My van came with a spare set of friction pads for the alko hitch.   I dont know if anyone else got some with theirs.   Found them in one of the drawers with some other spare bits (nothing too exciting though!).

 

Regards,

 

Gaz

42642[/snapback]

 

Yep likewise :rolleyes:

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I have removed the pads and given them a good dose of looking at. They 'appear' OK, smooth, no cracks, nothing embedded in the surface. But this might be another option I have to consider. It's going to get expensive though, £25 ish for the ball and £30 ish for the pads are the quotes I've had so far!

42635[/snapback]

 

 

£25 for a ball? I got an alko flange ball with my van but as i have a factory fit ball on car it's just collecting dust. if i can find it's free to good home - still bnib

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I have removed the pads and given them a good dose of looking at. They 'appear' OK, smooth, no cracks, nothing embedded in the surface. But this might be another option I have to consider. It's going to get expensive though, £25 ish for the ball and £30 ish for the pads are the quotes I've had so far!

42635[/snapback]

 

Pad kits on e-Bay for about £9. 95. Towballs too now and again.

 

Mike

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Unless you have a tow bar with a swan neck, you MUST use an AlKo tow ball otherwise you will nullify the AlKo warranty. See their web site.

 

Roger

40591[/snapback]

 

Hi Roger,

 

A sweeping statement that is not quite true.

 

The Alko website gives minimum clearances and angles which some manufacturer towbars meet.

 

e. g. My Shogun has a Brink towbar (Mitsubishi OEM) that has an extended stem to give the min 60mm height from the base of the neck to the centre of ball, the back of the towball is shaped to give longitudinal clearance for pitching and allows for the 25 deg articulation requird by Alko.

 

I am not trying being pedantic however we need to try and keep the info on the forum as accurate as possible.

 

Cheers

 

Steve ;)

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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I replaced the pads on my ALKO 2004 stabiliser about a month ago after one of the side pads broke off its spindle.

 

I bought the pads on e-bay (a complete set ) for £12. 50.

 

Since I replaced them the tow ball creaks a lot more than it did previously, looking at the old pads they did look a little contaminated.

 

If it creaks its obviously doing its job so as littlenewt says if your concerned about it turn the radio up!

 

Desperado

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joiner_8,Nov 10 2005, 05:50 PM]

 

 

I have had an alko 2003 on my tow hitch for 6 years and I only get the creeking every now and again.

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Did you buy your van new? 

 

My van came with a spare set of friction pads for the alko hitch.   I dont know if anyone else got some with theirs.   Found them in one of the drawers with some other spare bits (nothing too exciting though!).

 

Regards,

 

Gaz

42642[/snapback]

 

We also got a spare set with our new van, we've covered almost 1700 miles todate with no problems.

 

Dave

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What intrigues me is how do you know it is creaking? I find that the engine noise, the road noise, the wind noise (outside the car :P ) and the Rolling Stones on the CD just about drown out all other noises :wub:

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This is the method is use to stop creaking (which drives me mad) from an Alko stabilser.

 

Cleaned the ball with glass paper removing all the new plating from manufacture. Took the pads out of the stabiliser and put those in a battery drill chuck and cleaned them with glass paper. Then cleaned both with isopropyl alcohol. Problem solved. :)

 

I had tried emery cloth previously but it didn't fix the problem as I belive it can contain some oily substance which is left on the surface of the pads and ball.

 

Re the distance problem. I used a 1/2" spacer behind a standard ball with longer bolts.

 

Bob R

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iam looking at a new caravan(to me anyway) and it has a new alko tow ball!

 

but my current vehicle just has a standard towball!

where can i buy an alko tow ball, are there differant sizes and what would i expect to pay for one???

 

 

thanks in advance for any information recieved!

 

rgds

kenny

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iam looking at a new caravan(to me anyway) and it has a new alko tow ball!

 

but my current vehicle just has a standard towball!

where can i buy an alko tow ball, are there differant sizes and what would i expect to pay for one???

thanks in advance for any information recieved!

 

rgds

kenny

44113[/snapback]

 

Any good dealer, or Towsure and AL-KO on line, they cost around the £20. 00 for the straight swap over bolt on type.

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