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Old 02-09-2012, 05:29 PM   #1
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Information on Shocks

Hi all,

I have a 2008 Alpine 40' Limited low Roof MDTS and when I bought it new in 2009 the two rear shocks where broken. I replaced them with the same shocks which were Bilstien #F4-B46-2092-H1 which Bilstien says were made for Zanzibar and Cheetah motor homes. All four shocks were the same. I am getting ready to replace the Goodyear tires (stamped as made in 02/2006???) as I blew one out on a recent Texas trip. I replaced the one on the road with a Michelin 295-80R-22.5R load Range L part #XZA2-Energy and now that I am home have ordered the other five. Back to the shocks, all four on the coach are the same and I have weighed the coach fully loaded and the front axle weighed 12,000 and the rear 19,000. I get a lot of bounce and roll out of the shocks I have on (enough to throw the hanging clothing off the rod in the rear closet at times). My feeling is that Western RV probably just used what they had and when I called Bilstien, they stated Western RV or Alpine were not an OEM customer and they have never heard of the "Peak" chassis and felt Western RV probably bought whatever was on sale from a distributor as the front and back shocks should not be the same shock. Does anyone have the same coach where I might get the shock brand and number that your coach has. Any input would be helpful as I need to find the proper shocks, get them ordered and shipped so I can get them changed out while I have the wheels off for the new tires to be installed next week. Thanks in advance for any information you might have.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Cruising View Post
Hi all,

I have a 2008 Alpine 40' Limited low Roof MDTS and when I bought it new in 2009 the two rear shocks where broken. I replaced them with the same shocks which were Bilstien #F4-B46-2092-H1 which Bilstien says were made for Zanzibar and Cheetah motor homes. All four shocks were the same. I am getting ready to replace the Goodyear tires (stamped as made in 02/2006???) as I blew one out on a recent Texas trip. I replaced the one on the road with a Michelin 295-80R-22.5R load Range L part #XZA2-Energy and now that I am home have ordered the other five. Back to the shocks, all four on the coach are the same and I have weighed the coach fully loaded and the front axle weighed 12,000 and the rear 19,000. I get a lot of bounce and roll out of the shocks I have on (enough to throw the hanging clothing off the rod in the rear closet at times). My feeling is that Western RV probably just used what they had and when I called Bilstien, they stated Western RV or Alpine were not an OEM customer and they have never heard of the "Peak" chassis and felt Western RV probably bought whatever was on sale from a distributor as the front and back shocks should not be the same shock. Does anyone have the same coach where I might get the shock brand and number that your coach has. Any input would be helpful as I need to find the proper shocks, get them ordered and shipped so I can get them changed out while I have the wheels off for the new tires to be installed next week. Thanks in advance for any information you might have.
The person you spoke to was misinformed. Western RV was an OEM customer and the Alpines came with Bilsteins. Of course, being out of business they are no longer a customer of Bilstein's (and haven't been for 4 yours) so it is understandable that an employee might mispeak. But if you look at the Alpine brochures, the spec sheets show Bilstein shocks. It was not random at all. As to the sizes/parts, not sure about the number, as I replaced my Bilsteins with Koni FSD last year. Most folks who change shocks on their Alpines do not replace with the same OEM part (even if they stay with Bilstein brand). Heck most of the websites that sell shocks will give you the part numbers for an Alpine (peak chasis). Its no big secret. I ordered mine online and they had pull down menus showing the front and rear shocks for the Alpine. But, as far as your other point is, they are NOT the same size on the front and back. (Strangely, the larger size goes on the front).

Anyway, search this forum for "shocks" and you will find recommendations and part numbers for all major brands that will work on your Alpine.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:09 PM   #3
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I also changed to Koni FSD. Here is the a website that shows the Koni FSD numbers for the Peak chassis. They aren't the same front and back, as pointed out in the previous post.

Koni-RV

Many others have gone to Road King. These two seem to be the popular choices for replacement.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:31 PM   #4
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WRV did not get a shock designed (per Bilstein) for the Peak chassis, but bought off the rack shocks. Obviously, special valving meant a new part# and higher cost.
On my front Bilstein is a tag with: F4-B46-2093-H1 and 0206286
Also stamped into the metal is 0206286 and 0601B46 2093H1

Recently an owner of a 36' Alpine dropped in on Bilstein, and was told he could turn in his old shocks and have them re-valved to the spec Bilstein would have used for true OEM shocks for the Alpine. My original fronts lasted about 12,000 miles on both our 06 and the 08. I replaced w/Koni FSD's, but am currently puzzling over how to double shock the front end. Rear shocks have never been changed.

Another option is King Shocks, at about $400 per corner.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:38 AM   #5
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I am doing new tires maybe this year in the summer, going to Michelin's, and at the same time might change the shocks. But I am not as EM is doing make a double assembly for the front. After doing the steering barcket and putting in all the bolts because of the crack, my coach drives better than ever, with new tires and shocks it will only get better.

FWIW - OT - I also had to change to alternator to a Delco-Remey 200A model, and don't ask me why but ever since that change the coach has worked better, then this past fall I changed out all the house batteries to AGM's, and what was working great before, now works as perfect as it could at least from an electrical point of view. Yeah there are still design faults which I need to fix, but all the electrical stuff works great. So I'm thinking give the beasty what she needs for AC/DC power and all the stuff will work better. I still get Code 27 on the Genset, which is normal for alpines, and the work around is to disable the charger once the genset enables it(inverter) while running the main engine. Now I can fix the kitchen drain line material, get the two slides to work correctly from the silverleaf, the new HH exhaust pipe and stop the slide leak, then it will be like new.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:29 PM   #6
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Thanks to all who answered my query on the shocks. Bilstien still says they did not design any shocks for Western RV. I went to the Koni's, but found that the ones for the Alpines have been discontinued. I found a set at Henderson's that they had on the shelf and ordered them so I will install them when we put on the new Michelin's and be done with it. For the future we may be able to cross reference from the Koni #s to another brand possibly as folks with Alpines need them. In any case, thanks for all the information that was supplied.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:54 PM   #7
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JC & All, I was able to order the shocks, or at least start the ording process on the Koni Link above. I will call them tomorrow, and do additional research on the stock numbers from the website above. If they are discontinued, then I wonder if the shocks being used on the Tiffin PowerGlide (peak design) would also work?

I don't need new ones, but, down the road apiece many of us will, seems to me someone must be making shocks for the chassis.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:59 AM   #8
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Just ordered and replaced front shocks on our 03 last month, just checked Koni website this am and both front and back shocks were available [1021s and 1022s]. Dont know what website you used but think Alpine owner can once again sleep tight tonight as Koni still has your shocks.....
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:38 PM   #9
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I found the WRV Bilsteins completely unacceptable at less than 3,000 total miles and made the change to Koni with only marginal improvement. The Koni shocks were producing way too much rebounding after approximately 15,000-20,000 miles, so I made the switch to Road Kings. These are an exceptional product and I'm totally satisfied with the performance. My suggestion is if anyone is considering changing your OEM Bilsteins for Koni to go directly to Road Kings and save money in the long run.

Incidentally, our 36' FDTS has been weighed several times and is well under gross weight on all for corners. Therefore, the lack of shock absorber performance of the Bilsteins and Konis was probably not due to coach weight exceeding the shocks operational specifications.

Engineer Mike, you might want to consider Road Kings instead of the dual front shock modification. For the cost of two additional Konis, and the associated bracket mods, it might be more cost effective to go with the R.K's. There are now quite a few of us out here in "Alpine Land" that have made the switch to R.K.'s and I don't believe I've seen a single performance complaint here on the Forum.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:14 AM   #10
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Dick- Yes, I know, I've done the math. Any way I turn on the shock project is an excuse to play, that will eat up cash.
I have this theory that porpoising is an impact dive followed by a rebound jump, then repeat. Well maybe that's not so much theory as observation.
Then comes the real theory- a properly valved Bilstein (impact resisting) will handle the impact resistance smoothly (my OEM shocks did for 12k), and a rebound resisting second shock (Koni?) will then really steady out any continued rebound reaction to the bump.
Sooooo, who can resist such a theory? Seriously. Doesn't stuff like that keep you up at night? Here it is after 11pm Pacific, & I get to do this? Yipee kaiyay!!

The Koni guy thinks I'm nuts using an FSD as the Bilstein would cancel out the FSD'ing aspect, but I trudge ever onward....
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:15 AM   #11
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All - I think some of the reason people are having shock issues, is the length of the chassis. The 40's have the longest wheelbase and as such don’t suffer as much from the porposing as the shorter coaches do. However, other things affect how the coach handles (porpoising) when going down the road, such as:

1. The kind of road surface, i.e., segmented concrete road sections are the worst, especially old roads because they did not lay a continuous road bed like they do now. Heat/Frost heaves which include Arizona (heat) and Idaho/Montana to name a few for frost heaves.

2. Coach weight & and weight at each end as well as corners. You should have each corner weighted and the load in the beds shifted around so each corner is close to the same, also keeping in mind the max weight on each axle - front and rear.

3. How the toad is set up, and how much weight it has. FI, the later coaches at least from 05 and on, can tow 10K pounds of toad/trailer with toad. However, the hitch weight can only be 10-12% of the total weight, so if you are towing a 8K vehicle, then you should not have over 800-960 lbs on the hitch (this would imply a trailer being towed), as most of us tow 4 wheels down, that tongue weight is alleviated by the tow bar arrangement.

4. If towing 4 down, Blue Ox manual says you cannot be over 4" higher or lower from level. Take measurements and if you are out of those specifications (read your tow bar manual) and get the correct drop or raise type bar so you are within specifications for towing, as this will have an effect on how the coach rides, and how the shocks perform. Additionally, being out of specification on the toad height, can cause abnormal tire wear, and could cause the toad to break lose, or flip in certain conditions.

So if you are towing, check the things listed above, re-read your manual on which tow bar equipment you are using, and make sure the coach is not overweight, or over axle weight, then I think your shock problems will go away.

FWIW – We have the OEM shocks on our coach, it’s got 27K miles and don’t have any steering issues. Yes I’m going to change them to Koni’s when I buy new tires, but for now they seem to work ok. Road King shocks are just way too expensive for the small amount of improvement I “might” gain, and if I don’t get anything, why spend the money.

FWIW#2 - I weight my coach at least once heading out of town yearly, with as full of fuel/water as I can. I then add the missing fuel to those weights to make sure I’m not over. My last weight was 11,900 on the front, and 12,700 on the rear, so I'm under gross weight and that was with full water and almost full fuel. I have full propane all the time since we only have the stove in use for that. I also weight again on our trip home to make sure we have not gotten to fat.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:27 AM   #12
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All - I think some of the reason people are having shock issues, is the length of the chassis. The 40's have the longest wheelbase and as such donít suffer as much from the porposing as the shorter coaches do. .........
As I suspect is the case with a lot of owners full time in a 40' quad, we have run 60,000 miles at or slightly over gross weight. A few years ago while porposing badly down I20 east of Dallas, we decided to bite the bullet and buy Road Kings and have never regreted it. The difference in handling was very noticeable but, of course, our wimpy Bilsteins were worn out in 3-4 years.
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