Cheap bolts shearing off - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 12-06-2017, 12:28 PM   #1
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Cheap bolts shearing off

2016 Voltage 4150
Bought new in June 2017

So after our most recent road trip I noticed 2 bolt heads laying on the floor in the bedroom. I knew that there was either a problem or just random "stuff" surfacing from poor quality control.
I removed the panel under the bed to see the motor, gearbox, etc - and to my horror I found the bolts that were missing their heads. The pulley assembly had 2 of the 4 lag screws sheared off and was bent upward!😲
I'm still under warranty but have already dealt with that once (they punish you by moving slower than a turtle in january), so I decided to see if I could remove the sheared bolts and replace them with "real" bolts. After some very awkward maneuvers and discomfort I successfully got them out, went to lowes spent a whopping .44 cents and successfully replaced them. 😁
I documented and photographed this process and will be emailing keystone so that it gets recorded.
My question to this group is - have any of you experienced these crap bolts breaking/shearing off?
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TFisher View Post
2016 Voltage 4150
Bought new in June 2017

So after our most recent road trip I noticed 2 bolt heads laying on the floor in the bedroom. I knew that there was either a problem or just random "stuff" surfacing from poor quality control.
I removed the panel under the bed to see the motor, gearbox, etc - and to my horror I found the bolts that were missing their heads. The pulley assembly had 2 of the 4 lag screws sheared off and was bent upward!😲
I'm still under warranty but have already dealt with that once (they punish you by moving slower than a turtle in january), so I decided to see if I could remove the sheared bolts and replace them with "real" bolts. After some very awkward maneuvers and discomfort I successfully got them out, went to lowes spent a whopping .44 cents and successfully replaced them. 😁
I documented and photographed this process and will be emailing keystone so that it gets recorded.
My question to this group is - have any of you experienced these crap bolts breaking/shearing off?

Mine didn't shear off but they did come loose (on the motor). Thanks for this update, I will check mine this weekend since I have TWO of these *(&^ slides.
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:02 PM   #3
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Real bolts from Lowe's? Your real bolts from Lowe's are probably the same Oriental junk that you replaced.
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:35 PM   #4
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The problem is probably not the bolts. The problem is more than likely that the cables are too tight. If you run the box in and reach behind the trim and you can play a tune on the 4 cables inside, they are too tight. Then run the box all the way out and if you can do the same, the cables are too tight. You should be able to move the cables up and down about 1/2 an inch. Just remember that when you are running the box in the outside cables should get tight and when running the box out the cables on the inside of the unit will get tight.

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Old 12-06-2017, 04:50 PM   #5
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Here's the hardness chart. The indicators are lines on the top of the bolts. It looks to me that they were tightened too tight and the heads sheared off (from being overtightened). Those cables support the weight of the room. Some rooms have rollers to help support some of the weight, others do not. The cables that are supporting the weight of the room are going to be tight while the ones NOT supporting the room are going to be a LITTLE loose and have a slight amount of play in the cable (very slight). I usually try to replace screws and bolts with quality stainless steel bolts and screws that are at least a grade five (or more if they have them). The delta on the cost of a better bolt or screw is minimal although Stainless steel stuff can be a bit brittle at times and quite easy to shear off the heads. In my opinion and my years of being a mechanic If the cables were too tight, they would have probably pulled out of the wood rather than sheared off. the lads at the factory use power and air tools, probably without not-too-tight capabilities and just cranked the bolts down. I'm surprised your slide went in and out without issue. Before you replace those bolts, i would use part of a wooden golf tee and a bit of elmer's glue (or gorilla wood glue) in the hole before putting the golf tee in to reinforce the hole before you put the screws back in. Make sure you take some of the shellac off the tee (or paint) before you put it in the hole.

EZ Bolt Grade Markings | GTSparkplugs
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by franktafl View Post
Here's the hardness chart. The indicators are lines on the top of the bolts. It looks to me that they were tightened too tight and the heads sheared off (from being overtightened). Those cables support the weight of the room. Some rooms have rollers to help support some of the weight, others do not. The cables that are supporting the weight of the room are going to be tight while the ones NOT supporting the room are going to be a LITTLE loose and have a slight amount of play in the cable (very slight). I usually try to replace screws and bolts with quality stainless steel bolts and screws that are at least a grade five (or more if they have them). The delta on the cost of a better bolt or screw is minimal although Stainless steel stuff can be a bit brittle at times and quite easy to shear off the heads. In my opinion and my years of being a mechanic If the cables were too tight, they would have probably pulled out of the wood rather than sheared off. the lads at the factory use power and air tools, probably without not-too-tight capabilities and just cranked the bolts down. I'm surprised your slide went in and out without issue. Before you replace those bolts, i would use part of a wooden golf tee and a bit of elmer's glue (or gorilla wood glue) in the hole before putting the golf tee in to reinforce the hole before you put the screws back in. Make sure you take some of the shellac off the tee (or paint) before you put it in the hole.

EZ Bolt Grade Markings | GTSparkplugs
Couldn't those pulley assemblies be plated on the back side and hex bolts used through the wall rather into the wall?
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:52 PM   #7
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Couldn't those pulley assemblies be plated on the back side and hex bolts used through the wall rather into the wall?
probably not. Those bolts didn't look to be that type. Besides, that would require a better quality and more work than what the mfr can provide since they would need to provide more than just that cheap a... paneling. Most likely there is a 1 by behind the wall and as part of the slide frame (like what you have over a lentil in a house).
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:52 PM   #8
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Couldn't those pulley assemblies be plated on the back side and hex bolts used through the wall rather into the wall?
No, the slide system is purchased in and installed one the wall built by Dutchmen.

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Old 12-06-2017, 06:05 PM   #9
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No, the slide system is purchased in and installed one the wall built by Dutchmen.

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Yep, I realize it's a Dutchman product. My mechanical mind thinks it could have been installed better but as franktafl states, cheap paneling and over torqued fasteners.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TFisher View Post
2016 Voltage 4150
Bought new in June 2017

So after our most recent road trip I noticed 2 bolt heads laying on the floor in the bedroom. I knew that there was either a problem or just random "stuff" surfacing from poor quality control.
I removed the panel under the bed to see the motor, gearbox, etc - and to my horror I found the bolts that were missing their heads. The pulley assembly had 2 of the 4 lag screws sheared off and was bent upward!😲
I have the same model purchased the same month. I am wondering if this is the pulley towards the nose of the rig or to the tail on the front bedroom slide?

Mine has a decorative board that is covered in carpet that wasn't installed properly so it just flopped over and got run over by the slide. I have since picked it up and not replaced it yet so I can monitor the pulley and cables with use.

Thanks in advance for any info you can share.
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