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Old 05-07-2018, 06:34 AM   #1
mrk
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Shock Absorbers

I'm the 3rd owner of a 1999 Tradewinds 7371. The previous owner replaced the shock absorbers with Bilsteins about 9 years/35,000 miles ago. The other day I noticed that both front shocks' rubber boots were broken/torn. They were fine last year when I was under the coach greasing it.

Are the broken boots a result of bottoming out of the shocks, or is it normal wear and tear due to age? How long should shocks last on a diesel pusher? Is there a way to check the shocks to see if they are still good?
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:01 PM   #2
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As long as the shocks are good, replace the boots. Check Amazon
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:15 PM   #3
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The rubber ages out just like tires. The boots are just dust covers and are cheap to replace. Those Bilsteins aren't near wore out in 35,000 miles.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:29 AM   #4
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I chatted with a retired truck driver yesterday, and it's his opinion that you can't test the shock without removing it, and if you're going to remove it (either to test it or to replace the boot), you may as well go ahead and replace it. He also says that 9 years is about all I should expect out of a set of shocks. I also found a thread on shocks in the ForeTravel forum where it was stated that a set of shocks on a diesel pusher are probably due for replacement around 40,000 miles.

Tradewinds like mine are notorious for flexing, and this sometimes pops a windshield loose. I don't know how to tell how much side-to-side rocking is normal when hitting a dip or speed bump in the road, or whether new shocks would mitigate some of this.

I'd really appreciate any feedback on this from truckers or truck service folks. My chassis is a Freightliner XC.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:50 AM   #5
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The boot condition means little or nothing in regard to the performance of the shock absorber. However, if the shocks are aged enough for the boots to deteriorate I personally think the shocks are getting near replacement. The main criteria is the performance of the shocks. Do you experience bottoming or excessive bouncing or oscillating after hitting a large bump of swell in the road? If so the shocks are needing replacement as the damping capability is gone. Since the boot is already deteriorated peel it off and inspect the silver shock rod and seal for any sign of oil leakage. If oil is present then the shock gone or not long for this world. If the shock is dry and still provides adequate damping over bumps then just replacing the dust boots (or bellows) is easy enough. If the boot has been torn and has allowed excessive dust and dirt to contaminate the seal where the shock rod enters the shock it is already shortening the life of the shock as it is.

There are some excellent new shocks on the RV market as the speed sensitive dampening technology from cars is creeping into the RV market so you will likely find a noticeable improvement in ride quality with new shocks regardless of whether the old ones are shot already so you cannot go wrong with a replacement set of shocks. Given the situation and the difficulty in properly acessing the condition of your existing parts i would go with a new set of Koni's , ease your mind and enjoy the ride.

PS. I have no stock in Koni but i swapped out a perfectly good set of Bilstein shocks on the front of our Entegra simply for the improved ride quality of the latest Koni RV shocks.
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:25 PM   #6
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Something else to think about....your shocks don't have a lot of miles, but a lot of years. Shock technology is much better since those were built. I would go with Koni FSD's on the front of your coach. If you're getting any type of chop or chatter in the cab on rough roads, the Koni's will help calm this down.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:23 AM   #7
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I have Winnebago journey 2000 diesel pusher is there a number for the Konis that would work on mine and where can i get them thanks for any help
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:24 AM   #8
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