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Old 03-15-2017, 11:05 AM   #1
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Replacing shocks

How do you know you need to replace your shocks? Has anyone experience good or bad with doing so? Ours are not leaking but the motorhome is 11 years old with 78,000 miles and fairly heavy loads carried Thanks as always for the great help from this forum.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:35 PM   #2
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Leaking fluid from the shock is one sure sign, the other would be excessive bounce after a road or bridge joint in the highway. I'd call excessive bounce 3 or more up/down motions after a bump.
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:57 PM   #3
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I would replace them just based on the mileage alone. I'd say you got your money's worth on that first set. I replaced mine at under 30k, though since they weren't leaking, some might say it was premature but since my motorhome is on a gas chassis, it couldn't have hurt!. -RT
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:36 PM   #4
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If it oscillates up and down a couple times after a dip in the road at highway speed, they're bad. Swaying back and forth after a turn is another sign.
If you're changing your own, get a good impact wrench, they're torqued pretty tight.
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:43 PM   #5
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I recently replaced the factory Bilstein shocks on my 2002 Safari Trek at just under 75,000 miles, I replaced the single acting gas shocks with dual acting Koni FSD's. I was somewhat surprised to find that all of the original shocks still held pressure, however one was noticeably weaker than the rest, and another on had damaged threads on the mounting stud.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:56 PM   #6
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Mine were 20 years old 66k miles and had no action what so ever. Replaced them with new and made a huge difference on the swaying. Easy fix and low cost. Replace them.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:03 AM   #7
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Shocks start wearing out very slowly the moment you put them on, much like tires. So slowly you don't notice the difference unless one fails. Put a new set on and you will immediately tell the difference. I went with the Konis as they have a soft impact from bad freeway expansion strips, but for the bigger bumps they firm up.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardy View Post
How do you know you need to replace your shocks? Has anyone experience good or bad with doing so? Ours are not leaking but the motorhome is 11 years old with 78,000 miles and fairly heavy loads carried Thanks as always for the great help from this forum.
It's not a bad idea with that much mileage. i did a search on this topic a while back, specifically for best brand for the typical DP in my case. A chart compared the ride expected from different brands. Bilstein seemed to be the best choice for me. I have not done them yet. I was just looking. This is what i put on my first coach and I was pleased. Needed to cut the bolts off with a supper duty cutting blade on my sawzall though.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:32 PM   #9
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Just replaced mine yesterday. Koni's all around.
Old shocks were weaker on one side (driver's)
Changed the ride! No more front bouncing 4-5 times after a dip in the road.

Prior to this, it felt like the coach was wallowing down the road.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:10 AM   #10
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If you decide to do the work yourself here's information on the torque. I don't know if your RV is gas or a DP. The gas shocks require a torque of 250 ft/lbs. I have several CD's from the Ford shop and they all report the same torque.

Some folks have questioned me about that much torque but I assure you that's what Ford wants. The bolts are big maybe 3/4" and that large of a bolt requires that much torque to stretch so it will hold.

I do have a torque wrench that will reach that torque but there's no room under the RV to get the necessary leverage. Most will do this. I hit mine with a 1/2" impact with full air compressor pressure. Did I reach 250 ft'/lbs? I don't know but I also used some blue lock tight as added insurance. That's been about 18,000 miles ago and nothing is loose.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:23 AM   #11
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Ford F53

I replaced the shocks on my 2001 Mirada last year - WOW - WHAT A DIFFERENCE....

I couldn't come up with a good way to test them other than to remove one side and see how they compressed / decompressed. I decided that at 15 years old and 70,000 miles, odds are, they are worn out. and they were.

I installed Monroe's (Rock Auto, about $50 each).

I'm getting ready to replace the shocks on my "New-to-Me" 1999 Southwind. Its the same deal. I'm betting the shocks are original, so I ordered 4 KYBs (about $45 each)

I wrote a short article on my blog, :

Install new shocks on 2001 F53 chassis | 2001 Coachmen Mirada 300QB

One heads up - I inserted a spacer washer on the top shocks to keep the shock cover from hitting the mount bracket. You can see this in the article.

NOTE - I noticed that the sharp "THUNK" that I occasionally heard when doing a very slow sharp turn mysteriously went away. I suspect it was the shock that was causing the noise.
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:29 PM   #12
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Shocking update...

I just had a full set of Bilstein shocks installed. We are still in travel mode at the Walmart in Chadron, NB after a days drive from CO Springs, CO. We had a good deal of wind and many bad roads & constriction areas. The coach handled fantastic! The original truck shocks that Freightliner uses are not coach/passenger ride qualified. Most of the side to side swaying is now gone as is the teeth rattling jars of rough roads and expansion joints. This latest upgrade is the finishing touch needed. The sum-up is as follows: New tires, Henderson SupperSteer motion controllers, Blue Ox TruCenter steering assist and the shocks. Proof is in the drive. It was not bad at all and this final touch is the frosting on this cake!!

Bad shocks are any shock that does not smooth out the ride and stabilize the side sway. Age is not a factor here. Build purpose is what counts. Freight truck shocks just don't cut the mustard.
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