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Old 04-15-2018, 07:37 PM   #1
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New F53 harsh ride Koni/original shock

Just bought a new Vista LX 30 T winny on a 18k chassis. Picked it up in S.Cal ( Montclair) and headed for Puerto Penasco, below Gila Bend Az for 11 days. Ride was very loose. Almost got seasick with the back and forth sideways sway. But I didn, t notice that the ride was really, really harsh. Just normal bad on bad stretches. On leaving I headed for Redlands Truck and RV and had Koni FSD,s installed along with a Safety Plus. Tried to get the CHF done there but thats another story, not in their interest but good people anyway. They weighed the coach. 11450 Rear- 12k axel. 5950 Front 7k axel. They reccomended 70 lbs tire pressure front ant and 80 rear. All sounded good. Headed home to N. Cal. Handling much improved. No more constant back and forth sway. I figured when I got home I would do the CHF and even better handling. Problem was the ride home was extremely harsh with pounding we had never experienced in a gas rig and this is our 4th. Could hardly bear the ride. In thinking back we did not remember the first leg of the trip near as bad of a ride. Could the Koni,s be the culprit? My previous experience was Koni,s improved the ride. My theory is the original shocks are valved so very weakly to provide a tolerable ride thus all the sway and lack of control. Would the the original weak valved shocks be better for an improved ride with other improvements such a the CHF, Safety Plus, Sumo shocks etc? The sway and control could be controlled and maybe the ride not so horrible . Just wondering? Thanks- John
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:12 PM   #2
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It is possible they " over shocked" it. Valving needs to be matched to load as you still need suspension movement or you end up with extreme harshness. If you run over a bump / roughness in the road and feel distinct impacts as front then rear axles hit that would be my first guess. Side to side sway can be helped with bigger stabilizer bars. Good luck.
I am a little curios as to why you are already so close to your GVWR.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:26 AM   #3
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John,

We have a 2014 WBGO 30T so the chassis and weights will be the same. I do not like to just guess at things before dealing with the facts that we do know. Use the facts you have then any MODS (changes) performed to determine what or why the ride seems harsher.

Since you've had 4 other gas units I'd trust your judgement and or gut feeling.

STEP #1
Tire pressures is easy and cheap to adjust. Yes it can cause a very harsh ride but we run 82 both front and rear. It is also the pressure recommended by WBGO on the sticker inside the MH. When we first got the unit I tried various pressure setting and eventually came back to 82.

My educated guess is it's not tire pressure causing the harsh ride. However the tire pressure needs to be set so you know it is not the issue. When the tire pressure is closer to what every one else with this size unit uses then it's not something that should be in the ride and handling equation.

Why would they recommend 70 lbs in the front??? That is probably at the bottom end of the amount of pressure for that tire. In all of my postings and reading in this forum I can't ever remember any RV using 70 LBS front or rear unless it's using a 16" tire.

Most all Class A units use the 19.5" tire until you get up into the 34' and longer units then they use the 22.5" tires. We had a 1999 Newmar 34' MH and it came with the 19.5" tires. Most of them start using the 22.5" tires in that range length. WHY??? It gives a better ride.

WHY did they recommend 80 in the rear? You have 4 tires so there's no reason to recommend pressures 10 lbs higher than the fronts. With 4 tires the extra weight is spread out. I'm not real sure they really know what they are doing. That's just a guess. They may be nice folks but even nice folks don't always do what makes sense.

STEP #2
There are many, many RV users on these forums who have been very satisfied with the KONI shock. As cfowler55 suggested it might be a KONI shock that is set up to harsh. You have to sort through some facts as your next step. Here's what I do!!!

Get the KONI shock number either off the work order or the shock itself and contact either KONI directly or a place like, "Shock Warehouse" so see if either can determine the valving used on that shock and determine if it is the correct shock for your weight unit.

It is always recommended to only change one thing at a time to you can more correctly evaluate what is happening.

As far as the SWAY control getting new SB (Stabilizer Bars) will work but that's a lot of $$$$$ when you can do the CHF and achieve the same or similar results. You did say you will do the CHF since you are at home.

You'll need good verification to ask the original KONI installer to do anything about the $$$$ they charged to install what may be the incorrect shock.

Do the two steps outlined above and get back to us.

Just thought of another idea. You could remove either both rear or front shocks and drive the RV. It really won't hurt anything to do this and you will know for sure if the shocks are causing the ride harshness. Yes you need to be reasonable when you do this but you're just removing one set of spring dampening shocks. Many folks drive around with shocks that are completely worn out and no accidents occur. They just have little dampening or sway control
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:17 AM   #4
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Tejay- The dealer had the tires set at 72 when I got it and i raised it to 82 for the first part of my trip. The guy at Redlands saw the front weight at under 6k on a 7k axel and probably thought a few pounds less might help the ride. It didn,t and I agree the tires need to be at specs.
As far as the shocks I will check but Koni FSD,s I think are the same. I,m sure Redlands will tell me they are the stock , correct Koni for the rig. I had them on my previous WH rig and they helped with handling and a smoother ride.
I did test drive this rig on the freeway and instantly I could feel the sway and rocking. I didn,t notice the pounding ride but it was a short ride and maybe we didn,t hit a bad stretch? I was sure the sway could be fixed and a lot of it already is. I wish I could say the same for the pounding.
We like the smaller rig and the v-10 and 6 speed is a surprising pleasure. Not as much downshifting as the GM 5 speed. Better mileage and and maybe a little peppier too. But its hard for me to believe that all the Ford f53,s ride as bad as mine but may be they do. Perception? Expectation? Hope I can improve the ride just enough to be able to live with it. Sad to have to say something like that for what we all pay for these things.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:35 PM   #5
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John,

I sure wouldn't throw in the towel just yet. We have the similar if not the same unit and my Sister and I drove back from Houston (600 miles) and had 35 to 40 MPH winds mostly from the rear but often from the side and I had absolutely no issues with ride or SWAY control.

Maybe a call to KONI with the correct numbers would maybe shed some light on the rough ride. Maybe they'd offer to swap what they think is correct for what was installed. Offer to pay the shipping.

I don't care what a dealer says. The number on the shock will tell the shock company how they are configured and the ride you should expect. Most of the techs don't know squat about the things they install. They respond and react to how their customers report back on a fix. That's OK but it still needs clarification and facts from a good source. Take my word for that or not.

You can get a good or decent ride on the F-53 chassis.

There are roads here in the US that are so bad nothing rides well on them. Then there are roads that are just fine. We had some good and bad going to and from Houston. Do the two steps outlined above and get back to us. There are few states can correctly work the transitions from road to overpasses. It's possible because I've driven across some that were perfect.

Eastern roads are the worst. To much TRUCK traffic and so many roads under and over the expressways.

Got to go for now but please let me know what you find out.
Thanks,
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:53 PM   #6
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I'm assuming that you have Goodyear tires on the 30T, if so, they do have a minimum pressure which I believe is 80 PSI. Winnie puts a sticker on the wall next to the drivers seat with the required pressures. Ours is 82 PSI all around.

Our 2017 chassis has Sachs shocks on it not Koni. The ride is somewhat rough, it really depends on the road surface.

David
2017 SunStar 30T
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattcook View Post
Just bought a new Vista LX 30 T winny on a 18k chassis. Picked it up in S.Cal ( Montclair) and headed for Puerto Penasco, below Gila Bend Az for 11 days. Ride was very loose. Almost got seasick with the back and forth sideways sway. But I didn, t notice that the ride was really, really harsh. Just normal bad on bad stretches. On leaving I headed for Redlands Truck and RV and had Koni FSD,s installed along with a Safety Plus. Tried to get the CHF done there but thats another story, not in their interest but good people anyway. They weighed the coach. 11450 Rear- 12k axel. 5950 Front 7k axel. They reccomended 70 lbs tire pressure front ant and 80 rear. All sounded good. Headed home to N. Cal. Handling much improved. No more constant back and forth sway. I figured when I got home I would do the CHF and even better handling. Problem was the ride home was extremely harsh with pounding we had never experienced in a gas rig and this is our 4th. Could hardly bear the ride. In thinking back we did not remember the first leg of the trip near as bad of a ride. Could the Koni,s be the culprit? My previous experience was Koni,s improved the ride. My theory is the original shocks are valved so very weakly to provide a tolerable ride thus all the sway and lack of control. Would the the original weak valved shocks be better for an improved ride with other improvements such a the CHF, Safety Plus, Sumo shocks etc? The sway and control could be controlled and maybe the ride not so horrible . Just wondering? Thanks- John


I put the Konis on as a replacement for the stock bilsteins. I also noticed a much harsher ride (22k chassis). I can feel every road crack and the bridge expansion joints kill me. I did see an improvement in the sway however. Through research I found that the Koni shocks work on a different principle than the Bilsteins, which to me explained the stiffness of the shocks. If I had it to do over I would have purchased the Bilsteins.

I recently upgraded to the poly bushings from skuterdude and also added a front steering stabilizer. My sway has gotten worse in the process and I donít know the reason yet. On a recent trip I was being blown all over the highway by semi trucks. I love this motorhome but if I canít get the ride straightened out I might start looking for a diesel with air ride.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:43 PM   #8
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jpspaz,

You didn't mention if you did the CHF??? It makes no sense that you have less SWAY control after the shock install.

Even if the ride is harsher with the new stiffer shocks they have to or at least should also limit the SWAY. Every time the RV sways from wind or dips the shocks have to compress and then expand. Something is not adding up.
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:46 PM   #9
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I did not do the chf, yet. I had better sway control after the shock install last year. I just did the sway bar bushings and steering stabilizer and it is really squirrelly on the interstate. I am not sure why. I assume it has more to do with the bushings that the stabilizer but I did them both at the same time.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:13 PM   #10
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I did the CHF front and rear today and went out for a ride. Like everyone else has said its a very big change. I would say its probably more an improvement than even adding the Koni.s and the safety plus. Coach rides very nice now. As far as the rough ride goes I stayed on pretty good roads so no problems. That ride on 99 from Bakersfield to Sacramento really jarred the heck out of us though. I guess its good roads good ride and bad roads bad ride. Still not really sure if the Koni,s are rougher riding than the originals or not. I do know the originals were about as mild and soft as a shock can be and provided no sway control at all. I have to believe Ford uses a mild shock like that to try and soften the ride some. I wish I would have done the CHF first so I could evaluate the ride and handling with the old shocks but I suspect on really bad roads they wouldn,t be any better.
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Old 04-24-2018, 04:53 PM   #11
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Read everything on these forums for days now. Since adding the CHF the sway and handling problems I had, have largely vanished. Performance is better now than my last WH-22. But not the ride. Decided to try and get some more weight on the front axle and just see. Emptied rear water tank. Moved most all items to front bins. Needed more though. Sine my 30 T has a pass thru just behind the front axle I thought what could I add there thats cheap and easy. Went to Costco and for $25 bought 7 flats of water. 45lbs each. Slid five right behind front axle in pass thru and one each in the front of most forward side bins. This along with all my other stuff I figure put me within 400-500 lbs of max on front axel. Kept tires at 82. Got underneath and noticed some slight arc in springs and a little seperation between the two springs also. Hopefully some deflection. Went out with wife for a 45 mile drive in country on the very same awful road I had just came home on from my maiden trip. First time the front end felt like there was actually a real suspension there and not a solid piece of metal. First thing we noticed was a lot less noise. Also no violent jarring and shaking. Still a rough road but totally different than before. Every bit as good a ride as my WH and probably better because of better sway and track control. I think the shocks are working better as well. Makes me wonder how many of us have tried to add improvements to get a better ride when the problem was not any bend in those front springs. Now I,m not sure how practical it is to carry around 300 plus pounds in water along with everything else as far forward as possible but for now its what it is.
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:50 AM   #12
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jpspaz,

Trying to make sense concerning the changes and how it changes the ride is at best very difficult. Here's what are known FACTS not guesses but real FACTS with the MODS that we do to improve the F-53 ride and handling.

1. Every RV will react differently or not exactly the same when any of these MODS or adjustments (tire pressures or different tires) are added or employed.

2. The CHF will improve the chassis SWAY control significantly.

3. If polyurethane bushings are either added or the stock bushings (2011 and older) replaced with polyurethane bushings this will improve the SB's ability to more effectively hold the SB in position and therefore it will improve the SWAY control even more. If installed correctly and the only MOD new bushings can not make the SWAY worse.

4. SHOCKS This week I'm going to try and get some answers about shocks. I'm going to deal only with three shocks: STOCK Bilstein, Aftermarket Bilstein and KONI"S. Some have changed stock shocks with fewer than 10,000 miles. Lets assume that the shocks were installed correctly and are still functioning as designed based on the low miles. If you decide to upgrade your stock shocks then you are getting a more accurate evaluation between shock brands.

If your RV has say 30,000 + miles then it's possible that the stock is somewhat worn and therefore your evaluation will be between a worn shock and a new one so it's not an evaluation of a different designed or valved shock. Any NEW shock replacing worn shocks will always show significant improvements in the ride and handling. WHY?? You the owner did not notice the reduction in SWAY and RIDE because it happened very gradually. You installed NEW and got the WOW effect. Very common!!

I have read several or even many reports stating that the KONI shocks were much better than the stock Bilstein and that was from those who changed shocks with less than 10,000 miles on the stock Bilsteins. We did that and I have stated before that I didn't experience any WOW!!! effect.

I have heard that the aftermarket Bilsteins are valved different from the stock Bilsteins provided to Ford for the initial built at the plant. That is very possible because they may be designed to give the chassis a softer ride. A softer riding shock also decreases the SWAY control. We know that manufacturers will install a softer better riding tire for new vehicles. We are all impressed with a nice riding vehicle unless you are buying a Ferrari.

I will try to determine if the previous information is correct.

Here's another shock concern. We order shocks by giving our year, make and model. A shock is sold to us and we assume it's correct. Few really know exactly how it is designed or what the ride will be until it's installed.

With the F-53 gas chassis we have at least 5 or 6 different weight classes ranging from 16,000 and up to 26,000. I really don't know if a parts store handles a specific shock for each weight class or if they sell one shock for 2 or 3 weight classes. Maybe I have the 18,000 chassis and the same shocks is sold for the 22,000 chassis.

We know the SB diameters are different but they are not different for all weight classes. One example is this. The front SB diameter is 38.50-mm and the rear is 36.25-mm. Why is the heavier rear smaller than the front????

If we are trying to achieve the best ride possible we don't really know which shock is needed. Or if we will get the best riding RV if we rely on the parts person. It would be nice to find an adjustable shock. They are available maybe not for the F-53.

pattcook,
You are the second poster who has added weight to the front to determine if or how it effects the ride. I have not heard fro the other poster but I will ask him. He added weght to the front axle and I think it was in the 250# range.

Maybe we are looking at the next attempt to improve the ride and handling of these F-53 chassis.

Thanks for all the inputs.
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Old 04-25-2018, 08:21 AM   #13
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That highway 99 is very rough. When we went south on I-5 we decided to take 99 to Bakersfield out of Sacramento. Wrong! Busier and road was harsh. On the way back, as soon as I could get over to I-5, I took it. Much better road. Since that trip I installed new Konis on the front. Seems to be better so far, especially the Bang from bridges. I'm thinking I need to replace the rear ones also.
Hmm. Brain storm here. I wonder if I put a good Bilstein on the rear if I can compare the BANG effect. Something to think about.
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Old 04-25-2018, 08:21 AM   #14
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To Te Jay As always I got great advise from you as per our Phone Conversation 2 Days ago I did order the new Bistein 24-234511 Heavy Duty {B6} for Ford F 53 Chassis I orderd from Shock Warehouse great people to talk to I did ask him about different weight classes he told me thy are the shocks to use from 18000--26000lbs he say,d thy sell a lot of Bilsteins for the F 53 Chassis ,Shocks will be shipped today I will install them Road test and get back to you. Road test will be old Bilstein {36545 miles on Coach }then after install with new Bilstein

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