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Old 10-16-2011, 10:15 PM   #1
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Suspension Upgrade

I have a 1998 Winnebago Adventure with 54,000 miles and I feel like the coach is swaging too much. Iíve double-checked the load to make sure the load is even and itís still swaying. So now Iím thinking itís time to upgrade the suspension. My question is, what type of shocks should I get and or should I have airbags installed?

Thanks Chris
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2007 Chevy HHR
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:53 PM   #2
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ohsirr,
Here's a suggestion. Since you know the rig, and know it's operational characteristics, then you know if it's fading in quality of ride, handling etc. So, if I were you, maybe the first place I'd run the rig over to is a heavy duty frame and axle place near you. They for the most part, usually build leaf spring systems, coil spring systems etc. They most likely can give you the exact ride you used to have and or, can suggest the correct quality pieces for your rig, i.e. Shocks, air bags etc.

Many folks on the RV forums suggest FSD shocks for a quality ride but, in all reality, you must have a correct spring rate for your weight before dealing with shocks. The springs must be correctly designed for your weight. You should take your rig out and weigh it, front, back and together. You then put your results of weight measurements against what you GAWR of each axle is and determine if your present springs are working correctly or not. Some rigs are over weight right from the factory and others are improperly balanced for the axle rated springs they have. Once that is taken care of, then, you need quality shocks for the suppressing of rebound and compression.

And, you surely know that you must take into account, all suspension parts, tie rod ends, drag link components, sway bar links and connectors, all that will have an effect on quality ride and handling. So, make sure you get the basics down before purchasing aftermarket components.
Scott
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:13 PM   #3
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I took my '98 to 3 Ts in Lake Havasu City,AZ and had them add their system. They use Monroe products and added an off set air shock to the rear and a steering stabilizer in the front. Made a big difference. Still wish I had it rather than my money grabbing pusher.

Don WIT 70041
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:22 PM   #4
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Ohsirr,

I have a 2000 Winne 35G, not overweight and tires inflated per 4 corner weights per tire manufacturer charts.

If yours is like mine, it has both the Genset and the Basement A/C mounted in the far back compartments past the rear axle.

As the rear springs age, all this weight over the back axle caused my coach to sway or "tail wagging the dog" as some call it.

After much research on this site and others, I installed a rear trac bar (homemade from info on this site) and Firestone Ride Rite air bags on the rear only. I inflate the bags to 50 psi.

The air bags increased the rear of the coach approx. 1.5 - 2 inches off the ground and now the rig is parallel to the ground instead of the rear sagging. The rear trac bar eliminated the body sway causing by passing 18 wheelers.

Overall the difference in handling was substaintial and well worth the money invested.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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When a rear track bar is mentioned, is that like the old panhard rod or the later updated 'Z' link?
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Open-Road-Pr View Post
When a rear track bar is mentioned, is that like the old panhard rod or the later updated 'Z' link?
here is info on the ultra track bar. i have a similar one from brazels. it works well. oemy has plans for a home made track bar on his website.

Oemy's Web Site - UltraTrac
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:45 AM   #7
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I added a rear panhard bar to our 29 ft. Safari TREK, and the handling improvement during side wind or passing trucks was was significant. Also, if one end of the bar is fastened to the axle, and the other to the chassis, it's a Panhard / Track bar. A "Z" shape, or anything other than a straight bar, may be needed to clear the driveshaft or differential, but has no effect on the function of the bar; which is to provide better side-to-side axle location than the leaf springs. Also, RV's with solid front axles may benefit from a front track bar since these chassis usually have leaf springs at the front. The bar is most effective at the rear, with it's long overhang, and side area susceptible to wind.

(Road race people call these things Panhard Bars and NASCAR people call them track bars, but the function is the same)

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When a rear track bar is mentioned, is that like the old panhard rod or the later updated 'Z' link?
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:55 PM   #8
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George;
Thank you very much for answering my question. When I was into street rodding (many moons ago!) we also referred to these as Panhard rods. I had one let go on my '26 all steel 'T' coupe. What a pucker producing ride that was!!
Ron
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