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Old 02-26-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
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DIY Replace Nylon Slide Glides on older coach?

I've seen several threads on the slide nylon glides coming apart. There was one thread with a 2007 Vectra owner that posted how he was able to remove the upper nylon glides which then allowed him to jack up the slide and replace the lower. The thread is a couple years old and folks with older coaches chimed in that they were unable to release the upper nylon glides so this self repair was unavailable. The implication was it was very expensive to get done by a shop-if you could even find a shop qualified to do the work.

I've seen the nylon glides of a couple of used coaches looking like they hard started crumbling. However the slide worked quietly and without any noticeable problem. Has there been any progress on finding a way to replace them on a 2000-2002 Journey or Adventurer other than paying out big bucks to a dealer? I'm trying to judge whether this damage should be a deal breaker on a used coach.

Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
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It would be a deal breaker for me, knowing I would have to take the coach to either HWH or Winnebago when they eventually disintegrated. I had a 2005 Itasca Horizon with cracked nylon bushings. I recently traded it in on a 2012 Tiffin, advising the dealer about the cracked bushings. It was a factor in our decision to upgrade our coach. We knew we would eventually have to replace the bushings and didn't want to make the trip and deal with the hassle of the major repair. Note: I heard estimates of 8 hours minimum labor. I also knew there was the potential of the slide out being stuck in the out position when they failed. Then it would require jacking up the slideout to get it to retract. Just my opinion, others will think it is not a big deal.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:58 PM   #3
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I would also like to know if the nylon slide guides can be replaced "at home." If anyone with knowledge and/or experience can furnish an answer, I would sure like to hear about it. My MH (below) has HTH hydraulics.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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do not know the answer, just posting so I can follow the post.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:05 PM   #5
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Gents,
While I haven't done the exact replacement yet of those blocks you're talking about, I have looked at them periodically just make sure they're still there and intact. I've worked with quite a bit of "Plastic" in career and it's a very easy product to handle. I've worked with "U.H.M.W" and "H.D.P.E". THE UHMW is: Ultra High Molecular Weight and the HDPE is, High Density Polyethylene.

Both will outlast regular Nylon plastic blocks. So, if and when you decide to take on the task, I'd look for either one. Both are easily machinable with the use of a table saw or radial arm saw, routers, drills and other various wood working tools. It's actually quite fun to work with. UHMW is considerably more expensive but, is constructed to much higher specs than its lower brother, HDPE. I will take a look tomorrow on our '04 Itasca Horizon, 36 GD diesel pusher and see what it might take to get those blocks out and replaced. I do most of my work anyway so, this will be a good plan. I'll let you all know what I think.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:13 AM   #6
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Since the DIY route still appears blocked, if anyone has had this work done in the last few years please share your experience good/bad, where you had the work done and about how much labor charge was involved. In shopping I'm finding this damage, and it seems inevitable over time anyhow-it would be helpful to know how difficult and at what expense this repair will run.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:44 AM   #7
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Call HWH and get a quote. As I recall their labor rate was less than Winnebago factory. I was told it would take 8 hours.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:02 PM   #8
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Ok, sorry but a stupid question...

How can you tell if your slide glides need replacing, or better, if they are getting close to it and need it done before they fail. Is there some way to examine them or do you wait for a horrible screeching noise and gouges in the floor?

Not sure I know what to look at/for..

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Old 03-01-2012, 12:21 PM   #9
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If we are speaking of the 4 rectangular, white plastic pads that keep the inner rectangular tube separated from, and sliding within the outer rectangular steel tube, HWH has an assembly drawing that explains the installation including shims, and the end condition tolerance to be achieved for clearance. About a month ago, a set of those pads was ~$20, and per the HWH tech (this is on an Alpine, but I believe Winnie uses the same system adapted to your chassis) only the outer set ever goes bad if the original install was correct (there is an inner set also). For the Alpiner, the drawing was his for the asking, and I would assume likewise for you folks. Probably take coupla days between 800# & email to get the drawing. Only issue on our drawing is the fastener setups are all in HWH part#'s, not in English, but you should be able to figure out what tools to apply from the exposed heads; shims are all basic sheet metal on ours to achieve the tolerance.

If your setup is different, likely there is a drawing for that also that w/a bit of instruction could be made understandable to the DIY'er.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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We had to return to Winnebago in Forrest City last fall to get ours replaced. HWH recommended going back to the factory as the best guess was that the slide would have to be removed. That was not the case as the tech fixed it in 8.5 hours by some very innovative thinking. Our outer glides were OK, but the triangular glides that allow the slide to drop into position for the flat floor were shattered. They are not as obvious as the rectangular glides visible when the slide is out. We were very happy to get the job done because the original guess was 24 hours labor if the slide had to be taken completly out.

Keep and eye on the paint lines when the slide is retracted. Ours had dropped 3/4" or so on the front end. That's the clue that something is failing. Another thing is to make sure your coach is level before putting the slides out. Our driveway is sloped toward the front and I quickly put the slide out and back in one day in a hurry. I don't know if that led to the failure but the front glide was what failed.

Good luck,
Dave
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:42 AM   #11
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2 years ago we went to HWH to have both of the bottom bushings replaced on our 2004 Vectra large slide. As I recall, parts were <$20 and labor was in the $80-$100 range. All told, we were in the facility about 4 - 5 hours. Much less than I was expecting - both in $$ & time. HWH folks were really great and patiently answered any questions I had. They do have a limited number of power hookups available if you come in the night b/4. We've had some work done at Forest City, and for my $$ I'd not hesitate to go back to HWH. In fact, I've scheduled a "check up" inspection with them on the way to GNR this year. I want them to go thru the hydraulics (slides & jacks). We've not had any problems recently, but we're spending more time on the road & want to avoid any "drama" if we can. I believe their labor rates are significantly less than FC.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #12
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I have a 2004 36G Meridian and one of the plastic glides on the rear of the front slide-out has been cracked and turned kind of sideways for 3-4 years. I'm keeping a very close watch on it as it does seem to be breaking off small pieces.
From what I've read and looked at some of the later coaches had a bolt that could be easily reached that would let the top flat square like glide be removed in order to raise up the ram to replace the lower ones that are prone to breakage. On mine, I can't reach or even see what holds that top glide. I called Forest City several years ago and asked what it took to get to the lower glide bushing and got a couple different answers neither of which seemed workable.
Seems like we ought to be able to get more definite answers from the people who built these coaches about the cost and time required to replace them.
I know HWH should be the place to get this done since they designed and built the system but after getting there for an appointment don't know what would happen if it was determined the slide had to be removed in order to make these repairs. I know Forest City could do that but not sure if HWH can remove the slide.
Hope someone reports getting the repair done, where it was done, the cost, and the procedure (assuming the techs will defulge this information) it takes to do it.

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Old 03-07-2012, 09:45 AM   #13
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I'm in the same boat, wm2. I have found three pieces of plastic lying on the compartment under the rear slide of the front slideout over the last couple of years. I hope someone can offer us more encouragement for repair of this potential problem.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:05 AM   #14
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Take a look here to broaden your knowledge of the slide block replacement procedures.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/slid...s-44777-2.html
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:41 PM   #15
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I have a 2003 Ultimate which I believe has the older type plastic/nylon slides that DO NOT have the bolt on the top allowing easy removal and replacement. The factory would need to remove my slide to replace the shims, I explain this below. I made my own shims and replacement took about 30 minutes and did not involve removing the slide. I made replacement lower nylon shims from a 1/2 thick sheet of HDPE, or High Density Polyethylene. I found a piece of the HDPE that was about 6 inches square and 1/2 inch thick in the scrap box at a local plastic supply company a paid $4 for it. HDPE is strong, very slippery, and very easy to work with. It cuts and machines like butter. In the lengthy narration below I explain below how I made the shims. I had access to a friends "mill", which made the job very easy, but this could be done with simple hand tools.. a drill, dremmel, and sander.

EXPLANATION of OLDER STYLE BUSHINGS and SHIMS

The top bushing is about 2 1/2 inches square and is molded, or machined, with two 1/2 inch dowel pins that are fitted snuggly upwards into two corresponding holes drilled in the approximate 3" by 6" slide channel. These dowel pins hold the top bushing in place and keep the bushing from moving while the slide moves in and out. This older version upper nylon bushing does NOT, I repeat, DOES NOT, have the 5/16inch bolt holding them in place which would allow for easy removal and replacement. There is a stack of very thin aluminum shims placed above the nylon shims and these shims provide for proper alignment of the slide, which ensures the slide will be vertically aligned with the coach wall as it travels in and out.

The lower nylon bushings are two pieces about 3/4inch by 2 1/2 inches each and each has two 1/2 diameter dowel pins that protrude downwards into the slide channel. Likewise these dowel pins fit snuggly into the lower portion of the slide tube and hold the nylon bushings in place while the slide moves in and out. There is a stack of very thin aluminum shims placed under the lower nylon shims and like the top bushing, these shims provide for vertical alignment.

The 1/2inch dowel pins in the upper and lower nylon bushings fit snuggly into matching holes in the slide tube and thus the nylon shims can NOT be removed or replaced without removing the inner slide tube from the outer slide tube. This means disconnecting the hydraulic rams, removing slides, ect.... Very difficult and very costly.

In summary, there are three bushings. One upper, almost square with two 1/2inch dowel pins. There are two lower 3/4", by 2 1/2" shims with two dowel pins each. Each of these nylon bushings is about (0.325) 325 thousands inch" thick, or about 5/16 inch thick. Each bushing has a set of shims to exactly position the slide and maintain the slide vertical while it moves.

HOW I PROCEEDED....
My lower bushings were shattered with only a small amount of nylon remaining around one or two of the lower dowel pins. I was able to jack the slide up, allowing a small amount of clearance and "dig" out the lower nylon bushings. With the lower bushings gone the slide could be dropped down which would allow removal of the upper bushings, if required.

After looking at how the lower nylon bushings fit into the slide, and how they failed I elected to try to make a single “one piece” bushing that could be installed without removing the slide. First I cut blocks from the HDPE I had purchased. These blocks were 2 and ¾ inch square, which just fit into the slide tube and provided a good length. I then used a mill to reduce the 1/2inch thick material down to 0.350 thousands thick, or just under 3/8inch. My goal was to make the shim as thick as possible to provide maximum material for the drilled and tapped holes I describe below, and not use the aluminum shims.

Once the material was at the proper thickness I then used the mill to drill and tap 4 holes for ¼ inch national course thread bolts. These holes were centered at the location of the 4 dowel pins, which on my slide these four holes are 1.75 inch On Center from each other and I positioned them ¾ inch from the edge of the blocks I had cut. Look at the picture.

On my slide there is a bolt attached to the moving part of the slide that holds the frame around the storage compartment. You can see this bolt in the picture of the installed shim. This bolt travels in and out with the slide and it the reason the original lower bushings are made in two pieces, which makes them WEAK and subject to failure. When the slide is fully extended this bolt is about 1 and ¼ inch from the end of the fixed portion of the slide, so I drilled a ½ inch hole in my bushing and then from the hole cut a slot to the rear of the HDPE bushing. Thus the moving bolt would slide in/out of the bushing. I used a dremmel to cut the slot. Look at the picture.

I then went to the hardware store and for each HDPE bushing (left and right) I bought 4 round nylon bushings that were ½ inch long, 1/2inch OD, and ¼ inch ID. I also bought 4 – ¼ inch bolts 1 inch long, and a supply of washers for shims. The bolts, washer shims, and round bushings were then screwed into my home made HDPE bushing and washer shims were added to ensure the bolts did not protrude thru the bushing I had made. My home made bushings were then disassembled.

Then, with the slide jacked up, I put the home made bushings into place centered over the holes and inserted the round nylon bushings and screws. So as to not strip the threads in the HDPE the bolts were just snuggly tightened. Moving the slide in and out a few times revealed the shims were most likely a few thousands to thick… but I was happy. Thick is better than thin, so long as it wasn’t excessive..

Then, I took my friend that allowed me to use his mill to lunch. The shims have been in place for about 6 months and are working perfectly. I full time and my slides go in and out a lot, but my bushings reveal no wear. Because the bushings I made are the full width of the slide channel and are made from HDPE I believe they will outlast the rig.

As I stated earlier, I used a mill to cut the material to proper thickness and to drill & tap the holes, but a mill is not required. A dremmel will cut this material like butter and a small sander will finish the material nicely. A standard tap can be used but be careful when tapping so you don’t tear the threads out of the HDPE. I know this long and may not be exactly clear, but for the DO IT YOUR self---eeer, you should be able to improve upon what I have done.

Attached is a picture of my HDPE bushing, and an installed bushing showing the dowels that hold it in place.

Bottom line… I’m surprised the brilliant engineers at HWH haven’t offered a retro-repair kit that would enable easy replacement of these bushings. Perchance they could improve on my design. I guess an easy repair would eliminate the $$$ from huge repair bills resulting from slide removal and replacement.


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Old 03-07-2012, 01:43 PM   #16
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Thanks Red. I had missed that thread. Good info!
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:06 PM   #17
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Roadking - What a terrific explanation. I followed it word for word since it sounds precisely like what would work exactly on my 2004 Meridian. You should patent your idea and go into business making them. I bet they'd sell like hotcakes on these forums.

I especially like your idea about using bolts to hold the nylon bushing on the bottom of the ram that runs in/out with the room. I ordered a set of the glides from HWH several years ago when I first noticed one of mine had partially broken and turned sideways but still supporting the ram. I think I could cut the dowels off the factory rectangular glides, drill and tap threads where the dowels were located, raise the ram very little, dig the broken glide out, slip the nylon glide that I cut the dowels off and tapped threads in it into that space, use only two bolts in each glide, then let the jack down.

The way these slide-outs were engineered you'd think someone thought they would last for 40 years, instead of the 3-6 years most of them seem to be lasting. Course that means the service departments couldn't be sticking us RVers with thousands of dollars worth of repairs each year. Isn't that kind of like the auto industry and their planned obsolesence?

Again, terrific write-up and precise explanation.

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