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Old 12-04-2013, 05:15 PM   #1
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Need advice about rear shocks

Okay... here's the deal. My 1978 Dodge B300 chassis Class B probably has the original shocks on the rear. They have a helper spring attached to them. I bought a pair of Monroe Magnum-RV shocks to have installed.

I took the van and shocks to a mechanic who stated that they were not heavy duty enough to support the rear end of my motorhome. His reasons were that they would immediately sag and would quickly wear out or blow out under that much weight.

I opted to return the shocks and paid no labor. I didn't want to risk him somehow being RIGHT since it costs me nothing to wait a little longer. (In fact it might save me money since I can order the parts online for a lot less money).

So now what? The only shocks out there with helper spring are Gabriel Load-Carrier and they are a LOT cheaper in price... and construction by the looks of them.

The only thing heavier duty out there are Bilstein 4600 series which ALSO lacks helper springs.. but at least they ARE heavy duty rated like the Monroe Magnum-RVs are.

Those of you with Dodge 1 ton Class B's, especially older ones... what shocks have you installed and had good luck with?
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:01 PM   #2
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Shocks are shocks and springs are springs. Shocks and struts dampen movement and springs bear weight. Why make or expect shocks to do something they aren't supposed to do.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:09 PM   #3
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Shocks are shocks and springs are springs. Shocks and struts dampen movement and springs bear weight. Why make or expect shocks to do something they aren't supposed to do.
I'm not sure what the point of your post is. It seems to be pointing out very obvious things and ends with a confusing statement.

It seems to offer no advice.. just about making shocks do something they aren't supposed to do??
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
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I believe Jackfish is suggesting you install springs rated for the weight it has to support and then add appropriate shocks to dampen repeated movement. I'd start by weighing the loaded RV to find out what you need, then talk to a spring shop.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:59 PM   #5
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I believe Jackfish is suggesting you install springs rated for the weight it has to support and then add appropriate shocks to dampen repeated movement. I'd start by weighing the loaded RV to find out what you need, then talk to a spring shop.
I do appreciate people trying to help.... but I can't figure out why people who can't answer the actual question being asked on posts bother to reply. I have noticed this a lot.

I asked a pretty simple question: "What shocks have Class B owners used?"

The responses I'm getting are more along the lines of bizarre critique which really isn't very helpful.

I do admit though, I need to weight it with a full water tank which is real world weight. However, I don't have it loaded down anymore than what it was designed for.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:13 PM   #6
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I think the best and most adjustable way is to install a good heavy duty shocks and add air bags to carry the extra weight. Your rig will always ride and steer better when the rear is at least level or slightly higher than the front. This is what my Pleasure Way Class B has from the factory and rides and steers great. For shocks try EShocks.com and see what they offer for your rig. You can also Google Firestone Ride Rite air bags for info on those . Good luck !
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:25 PM   #7
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Oddly enough the rear does seem to already sit higher than the front. If looked at from the side on a level parking lot, it appears so, anyhow. It has a massive leaf spring pack so it's not sagging.

I was told one of the old shocks is leaking for sure, they didn't say both were.. I know they need replacing but I suppose the situation could be worse considering it doesn't seem overly bouncing over bumps in the rear.

I am going to replace them ASAP... probably with Monroe Magnum-RV since that SHOULD BE what it can take for it's weight load. I just won't be using a shop who has not weighed it, or even looked at the VIN tag for the GVWR... yet claims RV shocks aren't strong enough.

It came down to me not really trusting the shop... which is a major reason why I didn't have them install them anyway. Anytime a shop's mechanics make very strange claims such as RV rated shocks aren't strong enough for the smallest kind of RV there is, it makes me not trust that they know much about what they are doing.

My question still stands thought to class B owners - what rear shocks have you used and had good luck with?
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:50 PM   #8
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Holy crap!! I found what I need! Oreilly (and Amazon for $10 less) sells add-on coil spring helpers that can be bolted onto shocks. It even states "for older model vehicles". Now I need to look close at what I have and see if THOSE are bolted on.


Superior RideEFFEX™ - Shock Spring
Part # 14-1890

Detailed Description
Heavy duty load control springs for rear shock absorbers. Designed with a unique variable pitch to ensure a safe and comfortable ride regardless of load or road conditions. For older model vehicles. Up to 1250 lbs. Added weight capacity. Includes all necessary hardware and instructions.
Superior RideEFFEX™ 14-1890 - Shock Spring | O'Reilly Auto Parts

I think I need to join Amazon prime for the free 2 day shipping. What I'd save over retail prices makes it worth it. So long as I can receive the packages, that is. If at an RV park for a week and I order as soon as I get there, or something.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:52 PM   #9
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I wouldn't trust a mechanic who believes shocks should be responsible for carrying weight either. And I also wouldn't hinder the function of a perfectly good shock absorber with cheap helper springs that install over the shocks. Install the Monroe Magnum-RV shocks you already had picked out and if there is a problem with sag or the weight capacity of your rig, either replace the springs or add helper leaf springs such as these: http://www.carparts.com/details/Dodg...FcpDMgodHSAAvA
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:54 PM   #10
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The springs are rated at 1250 lbs? Is that in addition to shock capacity? Weigh the rig first, then start looking. I replaced Monroe H/D rv shocks with Bilsteins, much improved. My rear axle is about 5300 lbs.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:09 PM   #11
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The springs are rated at 1250 lbs? Is that in addition to shock capacity? Weigh the rig first, then start looking. I replaced Monroe H/D rv shocks with Bilsteins, much improved. My rear axle is about 5300 lbs.
They sell a set that adds 750 instead of 1250, that's just the one marked as "heavy duty". I am going to visit a spring shop in Tucson next week. They have a weigh scale and they work on everything there is from autos to semis. They can custom make u-bolts right on sight and everything.

I'm hoping it won't set me back too much to at least get the shocks done and fix the existing coil spring helpers for the leaf springs.

The registration says the "Unladen weight" (no people or cargo, but filled with fluids and ready to be driven) is supposed to be 6400lbs but that might just be the 1 ton Dodge van itself. I don't recall the GVWR off hand but the VIN tag on the door jamb says.

I have a Dana 60 open differential full floating rear axle. Single, not dually.

Here is what I have, all stock from 1978 most likely. Second pic gives a partial view of one of the shocks.


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Old 12-26-2013, 10:00 PM   #12
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I'm curious on how you made out? There sure a lot of leaves in your spring, wonder what a new set would cost. I'll watch for your follow up
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Old 12-27-2013, 01:09 AM   #13
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I ordered a set of Bilsteins online for really cheap (about $150 shipped for both) but I'm having to wait until next month to pay the $80 labor to put them on. I considered doing them myself but it's too cramped without raising the van any. The picture above showing a floor jack and stands was last year. I don't have them anymore. I have a bottle jack for emergency tire changes but that's all.

The leaf springs need bushings but it'll have to wait. They aren't noisy and they don't seem loose. The springs themselves seem to be decent overall for their age considering they have been doing the job without good shocks.

I have noticed that the rear does rhythmically shake with a train passes nearby due to the bad shocks. It shouldn't be doing that. So I really think the new shocks are going to help with my 'steering' issues, since the entire front end has been replaced except the coil springs.
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