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Old 07-10-2013, 06:51 PM   #29
Senior Member
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 3,784
If you want the correct shock set up you need to know how it is designed. So lets talk more about shock designs.

A shock is designed to control the compression and rebound of the leaf springs as it encounters all kinds of bumps, dips etc. Determining the exact design parameters or valving for a shock is difficult. If we choose a soft ride the coach feels mushy. If we choose stiff then we feel every crack. Most adds simply talk about how good their shocks work but don't explain the why or how it is done. Valving is used to control the fluid movement inside the shock both on compression, (hitting a bump) and rebound (the leaf spring resuming its arched shape after hitting a bump or dip) Both aspects have to be controlled to achieve good results. When you hit a dip on the left side that shock compresses but the other side expands. That expansion has to be dampened or controlled as well. I've been around cars for 50 years and for a long time I didn't think about the rebound aspect of a shock only the compression.

In reality the weight of the chassis plays some part in the designed of a shock not because the shock will controls the weight but a bump hit by a 16,000# chassis will react differently than a 24,000# chassis.

If a chassis is encountering a harsh ride hitting expansion joints in the road the compression and rebound dampening can be controlled by valving design changes. Softer compression valving reduces impact from expansion joints. Stiffer rebound valving controls cornering, braking and cross winds.

Maybe calling some tech support and asking questions about a particular shock would yield some answers as to how a shock is valved to reduce the compression and rebound of the suspension. Is it designed to be a stiff shock or is it soft. Can it control wind deflection, sway etc??

The use of air bags which work in parallel with the leaf springs will also assist in reducing ride harshness.

Unless you know how that valving is set up it is very difficult to compare one shock to another. We can use recommendations from others and that is what most of us do but that comes with its own set of problems. Within reason every coach has it's own set up and therefore we have to take that into consideration.

I think the following will go a long ways in providing a decent/good ride. The CHF will help to increase sway control. According to Ford the outter hole is used to provide a softer (mushier) control. A front and rear track rod will help with chassis twisting. Then selecting a shock that will reduce the harshness with softer valving on compression then stiffer rebound control will help with the rebound of the spring which would help with sway.


TeJay (Tim) Auto Instructor 35 yrs (4-yrs USAF) Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/ CHF/5-Star/Koni/Centramatics * Bella- Golden/Cocker mix & Louie-The cat / All Retired
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