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Old 07-09-2014, 10:15 PM   #1
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Question Shocks - How to tell when?

I find it hard to tell if they are worn, the air suspension I think confuses the issue.

Hate to spend the $$ for no reason.

How can you test them for wear or worn out.

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Old 07-09-2014, 10:24 PM   #2
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I'm betting your shocks are hydraulic and not gas charged. So if no leakage then shock is still likely good. But if they are OEM there is likely a better shock available.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:35 PM   #3
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No leaks, I see they are yellow not sure if OEM
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:50 PM   #4
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:22 AM   #5
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My shocks are starting to leak so their time has come . . .
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:52 AM   #6
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when your coach keeps bouncing more than 2 times on a bump, it means your shocks have no or little damping force, time to change. mine are yellow fsd's which are at the end of life. i ordered two adjustable koni's and just arrived. the labor cost for changing out is about $300. i am trying to figure out if i could raise front so i can diy. it seems like an easy job except raising the front up.
(does any one know what kind of jack can lift front up? a pair of jack stands are needed too).
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:21 AM   #7
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have you recently had you coach on Cat scale, take the rear weight get a jack to lift that and your safe.

same on jack stands, that way you're good front or rear
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo2013 View Post
I find it hard to tell if they are worn, the air suspension I think confuses the issue.

Hate to spend the $$ for no reason.

How can you test them for wear or worn out.

Too soft shocks will result in porpoising... bouncing up and down multiple time when you hit a bump or dip.
Too hard shocks will rattle your teeth every time you hit a bump and you feel every road imperfection.
Ours were rock hard when we changed them out.
Other than ride experience, you'll need to remove them to test. Might as well swap them at that point.

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Originally Posted by CountryFit View Post
when your coach keeps bouncing more than 2 times on a bump, it means your shocks have no or little damping force, time to change. mine are yellow fsd's which are at the end of life. i ordered two adjustable koni's and just arrived. the labor cost for changing out is about $300. i am trying to figure out if i could raise front so i can diy. it seems like an easy job except raising the front up.
(does any one know what kind of jack can lift front up? a pair of jack stands are needed too).
You don't need to jack up the front to change them. The shocks don't support the weight of the vehicle. That's the job of the air springs. It is wise to at least block it in case something gives way.
I did ours in the driveway without jacking. I put the levelling jacks down just enough to prevent it dropping in case the airbags gave out.
With gas shocks, you will need to compress them to install unless you leave the shipping bands in place. I used a floor jack to push the bottom end into place.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
Too soft shocks will result in porpoising... bouncing up and down multiple time when you hit a bump or dip.
Too hard shocks will rattle your teeth every time you hit a bump and you feel every road imperfection.
Ours were rock hard when we changed them out.
Other than ride experience, you'll need to remove them to test. Might as well swap them at that point.



You don't need to jack up the front to change them. The shocks don't support the weight of the vehicle. That's the job of the air springs. It is wise to at least block it in case something gives way.
I did ours in the driveway without jacking. I put the levelling jacks down just enough to prevent it dropping in case the airbags gave out.
With gas shocks, you will need to compress them to install unless you leave the shipping bands in place. I used a floor jack to push the bottom end into place.
thanks chris! my front airbags are completely failed. it started last week the front-end came down completely and won't go up (that is another issue i need to resolve). it's so low that i am merely able to stick my head underneath it.

questions - are you using koni adjustable ones? if yes, per your experience, which setting to choose, the hardest or the second from the hardest? thank you!
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:06 AM   #10
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I fitted Bilstein Comfort Shocks. Non-adjustable. Even so, made a HUGE difference to the ride.
You sure the airbag problem is not just the ride-height valve? Without airbags, I wouldn't even drive that down the driveway.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:16 AM   #11
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I fitted Bilstein Comfort Shocks. Non-adjustable. Even so, made a HUGE difference to the ride.
You sure the airbag problem is not just the ride-height valve? Without airbags, I wouldn't even drive that down the driveway.
because the front is too low, i couldn't go underneath to check it out. when i am working on shocks, i will take a look. the best scenario is the ride-height valve, the worst is the rupture of the airbags, which is made by neway about $200 apiece. adding labor on top of it.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:21 PM   #12
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Spoke to one of the better tech support guys at Bilstein, with my mileage and no leaks the shocks are more than likely fine to about 100K.

Having said that 97-2002 (and some 2003's) used a softer shock as OEM and early replacements.

that softer shock will allow more lean and or wallow, in all since then 2002-2003 use a stiffer shock # 24-234498 in the front, if you look online this one is not spec'd for the earlier years, so if replaced with the softer version the results may not be better.

He said to leave the rears until 100K just change the fronts he expects there will be a big improvement.

ShockWarehouse $85 ea free ship.

I report back
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:50 PM   #13
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Front is easy, just turn the wheel hard over to make it easier to get at. Can do it in a tuxedo and hardly get a wrinkle in it.

Back - usually doable if you are too lazy/stubborn to take the wheels off, but only if the nuts can be undone and the bolts aren't rusted up inside the sleeves.

As far as I know "gas" shocks merely refers to them being slightly pressurised with an inert gas to reduce the foaming of the oil inside. Couple of psi at the most otherwise you wouldn't be able to collapse them when fitting. Apart from that, it is oil forcing through valves that provide the "absorbing"
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:32 PM   #14
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Front is easy, just turn the wheel hard over to make it easier to get at. Can do it in a tuxedo and hardly get a wrinkle in it.

Back - usually doable if you are too lazy/stubborn to take the wheels off, but only if the nuts can be undone and the bolts aren't rusted up inside the sleeves.

As far as I know "gas" shocks merely refers to them being slightly pressurised with an inert gas to reduce the foaming of the oil inside. Couple of psi at the most otherwise you wouldn't be able to collapse them when fitting. Apart from that, it is oil forcing through valves that provide the "absorbing"
Tony. My Bilsteins took around 100 lbs of force to compress them. I was able to compress them before installing but I just couldn't get the leverage to compress them and install the bolt while under the coach. That's why I resorted to the floor jack.

The Bilsteins came with a plastic tape wrapped end-to-end to keep them compressed. For those with an eye on both ends, the wrap could be left in place to aid installation. Mine had a stud at the top end so couldn't install them with the wrap in place.
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