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Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?

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flei

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Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« on: April 12, 2020, 10:14:03 am »
I inspected the underside workings of our slide out today and noticed that the 4 hex-head bolts that secure the brackets the screw mechanism rides on are coming out (I believe these are called "T-blocks" on my Liftco, Inc. slide-out unit). Yikes! On each side one bolt is almost 2" above the bracket and the other bolt is 1" above.  I tried to get a wrench on them (hoping that the bottom nut is captured- otherwise it is somewhere under the insulation under the rig) but could only get a tiny ratchet with an allen drive on one of them- there is very little room to work in there- and I could not budge it with the little leverage I had. Has anyone had this problem and rectified it? I'm afraid fixing this will at least require removing the electric sofa and the interior flooring under it to try to access these bolts (and may require cutting away the insulation under the rig as well. Please tell me that I'm wrong! Thanks.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 02:27:47 pm by flei »
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.- A. Einstein

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donc13

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2020, 06:38:13 pm »
I would very strongly recommend that you contact the factory for advice on how to proceed first!

Especially if the bolts you are talking about hold the slide frame to the chassis.   There is no "insulation" under the rig, what you see is a waterproof fiberglass sheet that is covered by at least 1 layer of plywood.   Not something you want to cut through.

 This is Phoenix's posting on how to contact them:
...........
Due to recent concerns of the Corona Virus, Phoenix USA RV has suspended production and service appointments.

Key staff will be working from home and available to receive your call or return your calls if you leave a voice mail.

Please call 574-266-2020 regarding product, parts and service questions.

We wish everyone good health during this time!
.........
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 06:44:09 pm by donc13 »
---
Don and Patti

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flei

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2020, 07:32:08 pm »
I would very strongly recommend that you contact the factory for advice on how to proceed first!

Especially if the bolts you are talking about hold the slide frame to the chassis.   There is no "insulation" under the rig, what you see is a waterproof fiberglass sheet that is covered by at least 1 layer of plywood.   Not something you want to cut through.

 This is Phoenix's posting on how to contact them:
...........
Due to recent concerns of the Corona Virus, Phoenix USA RV has suspended production and service appointments.

Key staff will be working from home and available to receive your call or return your calls if you leave a voice mail.

Please call 574-266-2020 regarding product, parts and service questions.
 
We wish everyone good health during this time!
.........
Don't worry, I won't start cutting quite yet!  And I will not open the slide-out again until after I am able to talk with someone at the factory about how best to approach this problem. I hope there is a simple fix, but from what I saw when I thoroughly looked this over, I am doubtful about that.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.- A. Einstein

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Volkemon

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2020, 05:30:05 pm »
Are these the 'loose bolts' that are causing you alarm?



Looking at the wear pattern, I think they allow the threaded part to be secured horizontally, but allowed to drift 'up and down' as it operates. I can see some slight scrubbing maybe for 1/4" on the right bolt in the pic above.

Tough spot to get a pic, but I can look further if thats not it.




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flei

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2020, 07:27:49 pm »
Are these the 'loose bolts' that are causing you alarm?



Looking at the wear pattern, I think they allow the threaded part to be secured horizontally, but allowed to drift 'up and down' as it operates. I can see some slight scrubbing maybe for 1/4" on the right bolt in the pic above.

Tough spot to get a pic, but I can look further if thats not it.

YES that IS it! Thanks for that photo- that's them!  Is that normal?????  I sure hope so.  The bolts on mine look a little different as they are at different heights above the bracket; in other words, on each T-block one bolt is 1" and the other 2" above the bracket. I looked all over the internet for other photos of these installed, installation manuals, etc. without success but if this is what they are supposed to look like, I'll be very happy.  If not, then I and YOU might be very sad. 
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.- A. Einstein

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2020, 09:15:55 pm »
If that is normal, it surely looks strangely normal.

Look at the area while someone else is moving the slide in and out and see what happens.
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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flei

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2020, 09:34:36 pm »
If that is normal, it surely looks strangely normal.

Look at the area while someone else is moving the slide in and out and see what happens.
LOL, "strangely normal" was what I was thinking too. When the slide moves out or in the T-block does move up and down a bit on those bolts. If that is meant to happen, I suppose it would be to allow the slide-out to ride up or down a bit over imperfections in the floor, carpet, etc.. To know if this is normal will either require a lot of people with this Liftco mechanism to check theirs and chime in, or a call to the PC Service Dept. or Liftco, which I will attempt tomorrow. Might take a while to reach someone given the current virus situation though.   
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.- A. Einstein

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Volkemon

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2020, 07:31:35 am »
If that is normal, it surely looks strangely normal.

Look at the area while someone else is moving the slide in and out and see what happens.
LOL, "strangely normal" was what I was thinking too. When the slide moves out or in the T-block does move up and down a bit on those bolts. If that is meant to happen, I suppose it would be to allow the slide-out to ride up or down a bit over imperfections in the floor, carpet, etc.. To know if this is normal will either require a lot of people with this Liftco mechanism to check theirs and chime in, or a call to the PC Service Dept. or Liftco, which I will attempt tomorrow. Might take a while to reach someone given the current virus situation though.

Good way to put a crack in your melon, and unless you have installed a remote like Engineerlt... better be on good term with the switch operator!  . 

Odd that yours are at different heights... and the difference.



These are similar bolts, called 'shoulder bolts'.  as you see, there is a threaded section for attachment, and an area for load bearing. 'broad shoulders' if you will. If yours are loose, the taller one should easily wiggle. It would be unusual for there to be much more thread to even have it be that loose, i am TOTALLY GUESSING with no pics, but I wonder if a shorter bolt was put in during assembly. Or longer.... here is the replacement part listed for it, 4 ea per ass'y - (source - https://www.liftcoproducts.com/slide-out-parts-elkhart-in?page=2)

 
3/8 x 1, SHOULDER BOLT , SOCKET HEAD (set of 4 )

We know that the ones we have are longer... by right around an inch... wonder if they were changed at the factory to accommodate a build difference.

Thinking on it, I wonder if the nuts holding the bolts are under the bottom of the slide, but not underneath the coach. In that little 'tunnel' left when the slide is opened. On mine, you can see the end behind the drivers seat. Need a light and mirror to see.. might get ambitious and see.

""You want to save money on travel, drive a Prius and stay at motel 6""  Forum Member Joseph


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flei

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2020, 08:07:47 am »
If that is normal, it surely looks strangely normal.

Look at the area while someone else is moving the slide in and out and see what happens.
LOL, "strangely normal" was what I was thinking too. When the slide moves out or in the T-block does move up and down a bit on those bolts. If that is meant to happen, I suppose it would be to allow the slide-out to ride up or down a bit over imperfections in the floor, carpet, etc.. To know if this is normal will either require a lot of people with this Liftco mechanism to check theirs and chime in, or a call to the PC Service Dept. or Liftco, which I will attempt tomorrow. Might take a while to reach someone given the current virus situation though.

Good way to put a crack in your melon, and unless you have installed a remote like Engineerlt... better be on good term with the switch operator!  . 

Odd that yours are at different heights... and the difference.



These are similar bolts, called 'shoulder bolts'.  as you see, there is a threaded section for attachment, and an area for load bearing. 'broad shoulders' if you will. If yours are loose, the taller one should easily wiggle. It would be unusual for there to be much more thread to even have it be that loose, i am TOTALLY GUESSING with no pics, but I wonder if a shorter bolt was put in during assembly. Or longer.... here is the replacement part listed for it, 4 ea per ass'y - (source - https://www.liftcoproducts.com/slide-out-parts-elkhart-in?page=2)

 
3/8 x 1, SHOULDER BOLT , SOCKET HEAD (set of 4 )

We know that the ones we have are longer... by right around an inch... wonder if they were changed at the factory to accommodate a build difference.

Thinking on it, I wonder if the nuts holding the bolts are under the bottom of the slide, but not underneath the coach. In that little 'tunnel' left when the slide is opened. On mine, you can see the end behind the drivers seat. Need a light and mirror to see.. might get ambitious and see.
Yes, that is the bolt. It does appear that they are designed to not screw down flush to the base of the T-block, but I'd like that verified by the builder or manufacturer. I looked online for an installation manual for the slide-out without success. I've sent messages to PC and Liftco asking them if having the shoulder bolt heads above the T-block is normal and will post any response I get. Given the current virus shut-down everywhere, I'll be surprised if I get an answer any time soon. 
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.- A. Einstein

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fandj

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2020, 05:08:22 pm »
This photo was taken about 3 years ago. We have stayed in the PC probably 8-10 months since then with probably 50 deployments and storage cycles.  I have not noticed any issues.  I expect the reason for the shoulder bolts is to allow for vertical misalignment.  Please let us know what you find out from the factory.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 07:44:24 pm by fandj »

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jimmer

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2020, 06:43:04 pm »
FLEI,  maybe you could send Volkemon a picture or 2 to post here ?    He's done that before for members.     Volkemon ?
Jim

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flei

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2020, 08:55:07 pm »
FLEI,  maybe you could send Volkemon a picture or 2 to post here ?    He's done that before for members.     Volkemon ?
Jim
A picture of what, Jim?  Of what my unit looks like?  If that, I'm not sure it will accomplish much because mine looks pretty much like the one that FANDJ posted above (except on mine the two bolt heads are at different heights and the bottom of the T-block is flush at its base).  I think what we need is an expert opinion on how this is supposed to look from the PC or Liftco factory, and I am awaiting some response from them.   
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.- A. Einstein

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CalCruiser

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2020, 10:11:07 pm »
I suspect those shoulder screws act as guide pins that allow the pillow block bearings to float up and down,  and also to tilt  along the axis to keep the screw drives  parallel to the bottom of the slide room.  The entire slide room box is suspended from the top by  pivoting arms attached to the sides, and it articulates slightly from level as it moves in and out. When I extend my slide room it tilts up maybe 10 degrees after making initial contact with the sidewall,  just before the clutch slips. Itís a much simpler and more forgiving design than the  newer 4 track Schwintek  mechanism.



« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 11:07:33 pm by CalCruiser »
Goin' where the wind goes...

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Volkemon

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2020, 11:31:21 am »
I suspect those shoulder screws act as guide pins that allow the pillow block bearings to float up and down,  and also to tilt  along the axis to keep the screw drives  parallel to the bottom of the slide room.  The entire slide room box is suspended from the top by  pivoting arms attached to the sides, and it articulates slightly from level as it moves in and out. When I extend my slide room it tilts up maybe 10 degrees after making initial contact with the sidewall,  just before the clutch slips.

I came to a similar conclusion after putting the slide in and out and watching the change. Cant see too much due to space constraints. Thought about putting one of my small cameras in there and filming the process. Might if I get really interested, but otherwise I think the shoulder bolts are installed correctly and doing their job. Not too sure about the mismatched heights that the OP has, thinking that someone at the factory had to use the stock 1" bolt for unknown reasons, and got away with it until now.

Be interesting to see if after 13 years anyone at either company has an idea. The company that built my trike in 2006 is still here, but has *no one* currently there was there at that time. Turned into a waste of time and shipping costs.  >( 
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flei

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Re: Slide out- Help me with a problem with loose bolts?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2020, 11:37:44 am »
I suspect those shoulder screws act as guide pins that allow the pillow block bearings to float up and down,  and also to tilt  along the axis to keep the screw drives  parallel to the bottom of the slide room.  The entire slide room box is suspended from the top by  pivoting arms attached to the sides, and it articulates slightly from level as it moves in and out. When I extend my slide room it tilts up maybe 10 degrees after making initial contact with the sidewall,  just before the clutch slips.

I came to a similar conclusion after putting the slide in and out and watching the change. Cant see too much due to space constraints. Thought about putting one of my small cameras in there and filming the process. Might if I get really interested, but otherwise I think the shoulder bolts are installed correctly and doing their job. Not too sure about the mismatched heights that the OP has, thinking that someone at the factory had to use the stock 1" bolt for unknown reasons, and got away with it until now.

Be interesting to see if after 13 years anyone at either company has an idea. The company that built my trike in 2006 is still here, but has *no one* currently there was there at that time. Turned into a waste of time and shipping costs.  >(
For everyone's information:  I have contacted folks at both PC and Liftco. Both businesses are shut down due to government orders. Doug at PC has been forwarded my message with a photo of the T-block and bolts in question and hopefully will get back to me. I have not had any response from Liftco.  I will definitely post any responses I receive.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.- A. Einstein