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Old 04-21-2015, 10:57 PM   #1
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8 new Koni shocks

I recently purchased new Koni shocks for my 2006 Monaco Diplomat. The old shocks were Monroe's. I have 42k on the motorhome and have noticed a harsh ride for sometime, especially going over expansion joints on the highway. I purchased the Koni's for $159.20 each and installed them myself. The installation was no big deal. I removed the bolts on the bottom of each shock using a breaker bar and 3/4" socket. Incidentially, the air bags were complete inflated. Using a creeper one can move around underneath with no problems. Plenty of room to work the breaker bar which was approxomately 18" to 20" long. I purchased a oil filter strap wrench that nicely snugged around the upper part of the old shock. With a closed end 3/4" wrench holding the nut at the top I turned the filter strap wrench with a 1/2" ratchet and two ratchet extensions giving me plenty of room to work the ratchet. Installation of the new Koni's went well using the same sequence (ratchet, strap and closed end wrench). In the case of the new Koni's they are much more of a heavier shock. For example the nut securing the top of the shock to the coach is a 15/16" as opposed to the Monroe's 3/4". The piston is much larger in diameter too. Monroe has a piston that mic's .700 and Koni is much greater. I could not see the actual diameter of the Koni piston because of the top of the shock covering it. The reason I know what the Monroe dia. is is because I took my angle cutter with a cutting wheel and cut a piece off the top portion of the Monroe. While using the strap wrench to remove the Monroe shocks the top portion of the shock caved in do to force of the strap turning the shock when removing it. The Koni shock has a much thicker metal top portion to its shock. I'm very pleased and I saved some pretty good money doing it my self. Just a few suggestions. With the motorhome fully aired up you can sit up and do the work on the front shocks. I sat on the creeper and raised myself up having plenty of room. To remove the front shocks ahead of the wheels it best to turn the wheel to the left and right as far as they will turn. This gives you more room to work. I had an old pillow and placed it against the front axle and brake components to not injure my back, this worked out great. The job took me two days. First day I removed and installed shocks behind the front wheels and the second day I did the other 2 up front and all of the rears. Incidentially, on the rears all work has to be performed laying on the creeper, no room to sit up. However, it went well. So if your thinking about doing a shock replacement yourself go for it, I did.
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:11 PM   #2
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Just ordered two shocks off eBay for the rear of the Magna due to either Cummins or the tow company bending one (which has since broken) and the other leaking fluid. Country Coach wanted $295 for each shock and I got a new, out of box pair for less than $120 incl shipping. I've changed shocks on our Dutch Star but the Magna is a different animal and the access looks to be harder but I'll give it a try.
So, if your looking for new shocks Google is your friend as I saved some $480 on just two shocks.
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:47 PM   #3
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Good info on replacing shocks on Monaco rigs. I replaced all of mine a couple months ago. I just used a breaker bar and sockets and box wrenches but was fairly easy using a creeper. So anyone thinking they can't do it themselves, go for it. I went bilstein #24-187-329 for half the money of Koni but to each ....A note about bilstein stock replacement oem #24-187-329s have a wider top bail (hoop) so the nut does not go on as far as they did on the stock factory bilstein (same #s but diferent top hoop). I just used locktite and 1500 mi none have loosened up.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean B View Post
I recently purchased new Koni shocks for my 2006 Monaco Diplomat. The old shocks were Monroe's. I have 42k on the motorhome and have noticed a harsh ride for sometime, especially going over expansion joints on the highway. I purchased the Koni's for $159.20 each and installed them myself. The installation was no big deal. I removed the bolts on the bottom of each shock using a breaker bar and 3/4" socket. Incidentially, the air bags were complete inflated. Using a creeper one can move around underneath with no problems. Plenty of room to work the breaker bar which was approxomately 18" to 20" long. I purchased a oil filter strap wrench that nicely snugged around the upper part of the old shock. With a closed end 3/4" wrench holding the nut at the top I turned the filter strap wrench with a 1/2" ratchet and two ratchet extensions giving me plenty of room to work the ratchet. Installation of the new Koni's went well using the same sequence (ratchet, strap and closed end wrench). In the case of the new Koni's they are much more of a heavier shock. For example the nut securing the top of the shock to the coach is a 15/16" as opposed to the Monroe's 3/4". The piston is much larger in diameter too. Monroe has a piston that mic's .700 and Koni is much greater. I could not see the actual diameter of the Koni piston because of the top of the shock covering it. The reason I know what the Monroe dia. is is because I took my angle cutter with a cutting wheel and cut a piece off the top portion of the Monroe. While using the strap wrench to remove the Monroe shocks the top portion of the shock caved in do to force of the strap turning the shock when removing it. The Koni shock has a much thicker metal top portion to its shock. I'm very pleased and I saved some pretty good money doing it my self. Just a few suggestions. With the motorhome fully aired up you can sit up and do the work on the front shocks. I sat on the creeper and raised myself up having plenty of room. To remove the front shocks ahead of the wheels it best to turn the wheel to the left and right as far as they will turn. This gives you more room to work. I had an old pillow and placed it against the front axle and brake components to not injure my back, this worked out great. The job took me two days. First day I removed and installed shocks behind the front wheels and the second day I did the other 2 up front and all of the rears. Incidentially, on the rears all work has to be performed laying on the creeper, no room to sit up. However, it went well. So if your thinking about doing a shock replacement yourself go for it, I did.
Dean,

You are only 30,000 miles late on dumping the Monroes. Many of us have found they only last 12,000 miles if that much. The rears are much easier to get to if you swing up the wheel covers. Look under the coach and you will find some metal straps that are attached to the finders with screws. Remove the screws (Robertson type) and the fender panel will swing up. Prop it up with a push broom or what ever is convenient. The first major thing we did to our coach when we purchased it in 2007 was to put on 8 Konis. It made a world of difference in both ride and handling.

Bob
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:45 PM   #5
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Bob, what chassis do you have? What model number Koni shocks did you use?
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:12 AM   #6
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Bob, what chassis do you have? What model number Koni shocks did you use?
We have a 2006 Diplomat on the RR8R Roadmaster chassis.

Front 4 each Koni 88051016
Rear 4 each Koni 88051017

Bob
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:47 AM   #7
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Silly question, how do you know your shocks are bad. Is there a way to check???

I have ~102K mile on my rig, I've put +50K of this mileage on. I know at least a couple of the shocks (if not all) had been changed prior to purchasing as there were a couple old one in one of the compartments.

My rig seems to ride fine, no excessive bouncing etc. Yes I feel the bumps going across the a bridge etc but the rig doesn't continually bounce. The handling is good, no excess sway, drives straight, I don't fight the wheel.

Not sure what shock I currently have on.
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:23 AM   #8
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Jim, what color are your shocks. Back in 2002 they didn't put Monroes on them. If they are yellow bottom and blue rubber top then they are Bilsteins and probably still good.
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodine View Post
Dean,

You are only 30,000 miles late on dumping the Monroes. Many of us have found they only last 12,000 miles if that much. The rears are much easier to get to if you swing up the wheel covers. Look under the coach and you will find some metal straps that are attached to the finders with screws. Remove the screws (Robertson type) and the fender panel will swing up. Prop it up with a push broom or what ever is convenient. The first major thing we did to our coach when we purchased it in 2007 was to put on 8 Konis. It made a world of difference in both ride and handling.

Bob
Thank you Bob
I am going to order 4 new Konis on your advice for at least the front of my coach now. Does anyone see anything wrong with leaving the 4 new Monroe's on the rear for now? While having 4 new Konis on the front I mean. I'm not interested in changing the 4 new shocks on the rear right now but I am going to change the two new Monroe's on the back side of the front four. The service facility must not have seen the front two in front of the front tires or they would have changed those as well at $187.42 ea plus labor and shipping. I am happy that they didn't. I would really hate removing 4 new shocks.
I purchased a creeper yesterday so I could more easily look around under my coach. I rolled around under the coach yesterday to check things out more thoroughly. Two days prior I crawled or slivered around under there on my back at our storage facility. My wife wasn't very happy when she said my shirt back was black! You all know how those wives get when we mess up a good shirt.
I noticed that Dean said he purchased a oil filter strap for his shock installation in his post above. Why would you need that? Do you have to hold the cylinder to tighten the top shaft nut? Or is there a cast in nut on the top of the cylinder for holding while the top shaft nut is tightened? I did notice the service shop had scratched up my new shocks quite a bit. They almost looked like a vice grip chain clamp had been clamped around the upper part of the shocks that dug into the metal or a pipe wrench in multiple places scratching around it as if some real torque was twisting it in the clamp or pipe wrench. I just looked at one of the pictures I took of one new front Monroe and there is a nut at the top of the shock which is on the underside of the frame bracket where the shocks bolt up plus the nut on top of the bracket. That nut may not be threaded the right direction to counter act tightening the top nut. Maybe someone can enlighten on that subject. How difficult is it to get the koni shocks put in place if the top is bolted in? Do they push up easy enough to get the horizontal bolt through? Do you have to jack them up? Can you use a bottle jack to push them up?
Thank you
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:03 AM   #10
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I pulled 1 sticker off the front drivers side shock and although dirty I think it says Monroe. I was able to wash off enough of the identification info on the front back 2, they also said Monroe. All of them that I can easily see seem to be Yellow in color.

Again, I've put ~50K miles on the coach since Jan 2009. The ride seems good. We don't seem to bounce too much when we go over deep holes or over bridge connections etc.

If I take the lower end of the shock loose, is there a way to determine if they are good based on the resistance to push/pull them???
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:24 PM   #11
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I pulled 1 sticker off the front drivers side shock and although dirty I think it says Monroe. I was able to wash off enough of the identification info on the front back 2, they also said Monroe. All of them that I can easily see seem to be Yellow in color.

Again, I've put ~50K miles on the coach since Jan 2009. The ride seems good. We don't seem to bounce too much when we go over deep holes or over bridge connections etc.

If I take the lower end of the shock loose, is there a way to determine if they are good based on the resistance to push/pull them???
Jim, there are probably countless technically correct treatises published about shock absorbers. Many of them begin by explaining that shock absorbers are badly mis-named. They absolutely do not “absorb” shocks. They TRANSMIT shocks to the frame of the vehicle in varying degrees based on the way they are valved. But they ALL transmit movements of the unsprung weight to the vehicle’s cabin…until they are completely worn out. When completely worn out, they transmit NO shock.

Shocks are correctly described as “motion dampers”. Imagine your coach as a weight suspended on the end of a bungee cord. If you pull that weight down and let it go, it will oscillate up and down for quite a while. A motion damper attached to that weight would slow its oscillations, and depending on the strength of the damper, could do so very quickly…or more slowly. But either way, the amplitude and the number of oscillations would be reduced.

Imagine driving from the back of a drive-in movie toward the front, running over each “hump”. Shock absorbers would help prevent your vehicle from “leaping” as it crested each berm and from “bottoming out” as it reached each valley. That is what they are designed to do—resist motion. The faster you try to move them, the more they resist.

And just as there are countless scientific treatises about shocks, there are even more reports from owners describing marvelous improvements in “ride quality” as a result of replacing shocks. As an applications engineer, I learned never to discount what the operator of a machine tells you about how it performs. After all, they HAVE operated the machine and you HAVE NOT. So, when someone is gushing about the “smooth, gliding-on-air” feeling their coach now has after replacing shocks, I have to think they MUST be feeling something new. But I cannot for the life of me figure out an explanation that does not fly in the face of physics and Newtonian mechanics. And I have asked that question of more than one engineer who felt new shocks improved his coach’s ride. But if I have learned one thing in my career, it is that the laws of PHYSICS are indeed infallible, but that ENGINEERING is the science of learning how to model real-world situations so that they conform to physics…and that can be a daunting task. Sometimes things SEEM to contradict physics, but as you delve deeper into the problem, you find it’s YOUR MODELING that is in error. The physics is never wrong…but your application of it to some real-world problem may be flawed.

So, for all you folks who have found miraculous improvements in ride quality by replacing shocks—I AM NOT SAYING YOU ARE WRONG. I’m only saying I’ve never found a technically reasonable explanation for the phenomenon…and wish I could. If you have a theory for why shocks improve “ride quality”, I’m very interested. Seriously. I’m not being facetious or condescending. I’d really like to hear a reasonable explanation for something I don’t understand.

My only experience with replacing shocks was on my first Monaco—a 1993 Dynasty 36. It was absolutely road-wild, and wandered enough to scare me SOMETIMES, and ALWAYS to wear me out in three hours of driving. I was new to diesel pushers and to Monaco. On the advice of NUMEROUS experts on this and other forums, and against all my experience, education and logic, I shelled out $900 for a new set of “Comfort” Bilsteins. Not only did those shocks have absolutely ZERO effect on the wandering, but I had hoped they would at least improve my “ride quality”. They did not.

So, my present lowly 2000 Dynasty 36 has the same shocks it had when it was new, and until I can personally FEEL some facet of coach handling that my experience and education says could be reasonably improved by changing shocks, I’m spending my $900 on something else.

BTW, that “road wild” SHORT 93 Dynasty was transformed into a “like it’s on rails” machine, for far less than the $900 I spent on the shocks.
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:42 PM   #12
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VanWill
Thanks for the lengthy but useful reply. I was hoping to have a response that wouldn't lead me to believe I might be crazy for not thinking I'd have to change my shocks.

The ride on my coach right now is very good. Like I said, it drives straight and true, does not wander, and unless the road is rough basically glides on air. It seems to settle down very quickly after driving over a large bump or break in the road. I have driven my coach for +10 hrs straight and am not at all tired or wore out.

I would be interested to know if there was a way to test the shocks.
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:03 PM   #13
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VanWill
Thanks for the lengthy but useful reply. I was hoping to have a response that wouldn't lead me to believe I might be crazy for not thinking I'd have to change my shocks.

The ride on my coach right now is very good. Like I said, it drives straight and true, does not wander, and unless the road is rough basically glides on air. It seems to settle down very quickly after driving over a large bump or break in the road. I have driven my coach for +10 hrs straight and am not at all tired or wore out.

I would be interested to know if there was a way to test the shocks.
James. I can tell you the Monroe shocks I took off my neptune at about 13,000 miles were useless. I could pull them apart with just my 2 hands and they would stay apart. They wouldn't even pull back together. Remember mines on the rr4r chassis but it would porpoise up and down after hitting a good bump. The new shocks really did stop the porpoising.

Chad
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:37 PM   #14
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The Monroe shocks I took off at 25,000 miles could be pushed completely down with two fingers and took an average of two minutes to rebound.

This indicates that they were doing noting but adding weight to the coach!!!

Replaced with Bilstiens. Could really tell the difference on Interstates with bad expansion joints and over rail road tracks.
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