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Old 04-12-2013, 11:19 AM   #1
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changing shocks on a class A

I am thinking about trying to change the front shocks on our Beaver Patriot.
I want to use the Koni's and would like to DIY to save a little $ . anyone out there that has changed theirs have any tips or advice before I tackle this job?
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDP243 View Post
I am thinking about trying to change the front shocks on our Beaver Patriot.
I want to use the Koni's and would like to DIY to save a little $ . anyone out there that has changed theirs have any tips or advice before I tackle this job?
What year and chassis?

I replaced mine recently but used Bilstein rather than Koni. Couldn't justify the extra for Koni as all the reviews I read were middling as to the difference.

Roadmaster changed the design around my year so took some research to find out what I needed.

Took best part of a day to change just the fronts mainly due to the tops being right at arms length. Mine had studs at the top which were a pain to tighten.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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get the penetrating oil and squirt for a few days..as they can be a bugger..jeff
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:42 PM   #4
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I agree. The job is not that difficult but make sure to soak the bolts for a while before you start. I went with the Konis on a 1984 Beaver. It made a big difference compared to the old tired shocks.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:47 PM   #5
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It will depend on your chassis. I changed all four on my 2001 Georgie Boy. It is on a Ford f53 chassis. I also put Bilstiens on mine. The were around $85.00 each. Only $10 shipping on a set of 4. It was not a difficult job. I did jack up the front and take off the tires. I let it back down on oak blocks for safety while I changed the shocks. I sprayed all of the bolts with PB blaster the day before. I used a 3/4 breaker bar and they came right off. The bolts are 28mm or 1 and 1/8. While you have it up on blocks it is a good time to do a grease job. On the rear I just pulled up on some blocks to give myself a little more room to work. No need to jack up the rear.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:58 PM   #6
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Changing front shocks

This is an easy job. Proper equipment plus the correct shocks make for a good job. Use your front jacks to lift the coach using jack stands to make the work area safe. Both the lower and upper bolts to secure the shocks should be quite visible and easy to access. Use an air gun to remove the bolts and to reinstall them. You will be happy with the change that new shocks provide.
Have done this, not a really big project.
Good luck,
Regards,
JimB
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:35 PM   #7
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How can you tell if you need new shocks?
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:58 PM   #8
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How can you tell if you need new shocks?
In my case, terrible ride quality. Bone-jarring every time I hit a pothole or road joint. Also, 'porpoising' - excessive bounce after hitting a ditch or bump - is a big indication.
The Monacos are notorious for the OEM Monroe shocks which are shot by 10-15k miles.
Mine still had the original Monroes at 50,000 miles.
If you want to check them manually, you will need to remove them. You can't really do the 'bounce test' on a 30,000 lb coach.
If they compress easily (or not at all), they are probably shot.
The new Bilsteins on my coach made a huge difference to the ride quality.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:07 PM   #9
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When working to cure the harsh ride after the change to the 14,600# axle I changed my front shocks 5 times. Not a real problem, just have to have the right tools
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:51 AM   #10
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Changed mine a couple of weeks back, used Monroes Gas Mags, course I have a Freightliner chassis.
As stated above, a good penetrating oil, and make sure you have some Big Sockets and wrenches. Mine were 1 1/8.
Also before you start take a good look for any objects that might interfere with the withdrawal of the bolts. Mine required the removal of the metal can that was very close to the upper mounting bolt on the drivers side. Once removed I found that it was much larger than it needed to be. It is a metal surround that covered the slide motor to keep dirt/mud away from the motor.
I redesigned it and it is now possible to remove the offending bolt without removing the can, so it will be easier next time.
Just something to think about.
BTW, love the new "Ride" with the new shocks, stopped a lot of the wallowing and tail wagging.
Happy Trails
Jim
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:31 AM   #11
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I put koni shocks on our F53 when the rig had about 1000 miles on it and the crappy Bilstein shocks that came on it. The koni shocks are a great improvement over the Bilstein shocks. Took me about 2 hours just taking my time and piddling around. I did have a impact gun which helped a bunch, and everything was new so nothing was froze up. While I did the rears I also added a rear trac bar which took another couple hours, as it was a tight fit and you have to line everything up just right, and also remove the passengers side bump stop as this was in the way for the frame mount. The bump stop bolts were froze and the impact gun just twisted them off. Didn't need them anymore anyway. The front shocks were a little harder to change, but just look it over and you can figure it out. Just take your time, one bolt at a time and put everything back to gather like it came apart, washers and all. My impact did the torquing for me so no need for a torque wrench as they have lock nuts. And you can just tell how long to hammer on them if you run a impact gun a lot like I do. I did one end at a time and used the coach jacks to lift one end then supported the frame with jack stands. Then let that end down and and used the jacks and jack stands on the other. These coaches will sit for days on end on the house jacks, but if I am going under it for this kind of service I always use jack stands just for safety and piece of mind.
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