Truck Parts and Service

February 2012

Truck Parts and Service | Heavy Duty Trucking, Aftermarket, Service Info

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Service Bay GLIDE GUIDE W hen it comes to suspen- sion systems, David McCleave knows that eff ective maintenance programs have a lot in common. Grease guns are applied to zerk fi ttings; bushings are inspected regularly for cracks or tears; and, fasteners are tightened to the appropriate levels of torque. "Th e intervals can be very diff er- ent from on-highway to vocational system applications, " says the director of aſt ermarket and technical services at " 26 TRUCK PARTS & SERVICE | February 2012 The key components of a suspension main- tenance program are the same regardless of the vehicle's application. Fittings are greased, bushings are inspected and fas- teners are tightened. Tips, techniques and features to enhance and maintain heavy-duty suspensions Hendrickson, "but the key components to inspect are the same. Worn or failing suspension compo- nents can manifest themselves a number of ways, whether the challenges come in the form of extra vibrations or uneven tire wear. "Incorrect ride height, worn longi- tudinal torque rod bushings or improp- er alignment can cause U-joint wear and vibration," he says as an example. "Also, improper rear suspension alignment can cause front-tire wear. Th is happens when a driver turns the steering wheel to compensate for the out-of-alignment suspension," Mc- Cleave adds. Ongoing inspections can keep is- sues like these from spiraling out of control. While daily pre-trip inspections are an important tool in the search for damage, wear or loose components, an- nual inspections of a trailer suspension can off er the opportunity to dig a little deeper, says Michael Lynch, Meritor's director of NAFTA customer service and product support.

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