Creaking & Groaning!

Mar 14, 2005
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There is an aweful creaking sound when towing at low speeds or negotiating roundabouts using a Bulldog stabiliser. Is this normal? Or are earplugs the only solution!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hiya Carole, it's normal, the pads might need replacing, but try giving the stabiliser a few "taps" on a hard surface and see how much dust comes out. The first time it happened to us, as new caravanners, we thought the van was about to disintegrate.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Carole

I expect you will get the usual, "clean the friction pads" reply, but my experience is that a drop of WD40 on the nylon bracket which the blade sits in can work wonders. If you drive a 4X4 it might be the "normal" car drivers reaction to your presence however!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Strip down the Stabiliser and thoroughly clean the contact surfaces of the blade & friction pads using a fine (240 grit) wet & dry paper and a can of brake cleaner aerosol. This gets rid of any Glaze on the friction plates and blade cause by moisture, during storage always keep the stabiliser locked in the tensioned driving position to combat damp/dirt ingress.

The blade receiver on the A frame is nylon & shouldnt need lubricating. On no account lubricate the friction plates! Reassemble the sabiliser setting the correct torque to the pivot bolts.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Jon is absolutely right - you shouldn't need to lubricate the nylon bush. Note the use of the word "shouldn't" though. In my experience, this is the source of many creaks and groans, and therefore is a useful first step for an inexperienced caravanner - before the slightly more compex issue of stripping the stabiliser is attempted. I tried this in desparation after I could not lose the noise despite a full service of the unit.
 
Jan 19, 2002
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The other possibility is that the groaning is from the towball and hitch head whne the pressure from the leaf spring is applied.

Also check the tensioning in the locking mechanism - don''t know about newer versions but older versions were set into the car bracket and then pushed with bathroom scales to see the 'weight' that was needed to move it (rather than actual torque settings from a wrench).
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Considering changing to a Nissan X Trail 2.2 TD T-Spec to tow a Swift Challenger MTPLM 1436 Kgs. any comments on suitability; fuel consumption when towing; stability etc.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Carole, have a look at the following link, http://members.tripob.com/stabiliser_clinic/home.html

There is some good info on Stabilisers but watch for the initial pop-ups, they are a pain.

Brian
 

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