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Old 11-10-2019, 04:17 PM   #1
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Navion Suspension Upgrades

I have been reading many posts about upgrading suspension components on the MB 3500 Sprinter chassis. Most of these include upgrading to a Helwig sway bar and Sumo Springs (front and back). Although my 2019 Winnebago Navion drives and rides well, I thought maybe it could be better. After some deliberation – can I do the installs myself and the cost of components, I decided to go for it. I watched several videos on the upgrade procedure and got to work (big thanks to Grandpa Ron and his cellophane trick for the front Sumo's!!! ). The Helwig was a bit more than an hour install and I let a few explicatives fly during the process. The Sumo’s could not have been any easier to install and both front and rear took less than an hour. Side note – it really helped having a leveling system to lift the coach, so no jack required in my case. Moment of truth, the test drive. WOW, what a difference!!! It is really hard to describe, but the cost of parts ($550) and two plus hours to install was well worth it. The test drive included a run on the interstate with a 20 mph cross wind, semi’s passing and a crappy road… much much much better driving experience!!! Night and day.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark103 View Post
I have been reading many posts about upgrading suspension components on the MB 3500 Sprinter chassis. Most of these include upgrading to a Helwig sway bar and Sumo Springs (front and back). Although my 2019 Winnebago Navion drives and rides well, I thought maybe it could be better. After some deliberation – can I do the installs myself and the cost of components, I decided to go for it. I watched several videos on the upgrade procedure and got to work (big thanks to Grandpa Ron and his cellophane trick for the front Sumo's!!! ). The Helwig was a bit more than an hour install and I let a few explicatives fly during the process. The Sumo’s could not have been any easier to install and both front and rear took less than an hour. Side note – it really helped having a leveling system to lift the coach, so no jack required in my case. Moment of truth, the test drive. WOW, what a difference!!! It is really hard to describe, but the cost of parts ($550) and two plus hours to install was well worth it. The test drive included a run on the interstate with a 20 mph cross wind, semi’s passing and a crappy road… much much much better driving experience!!! Night and day.
Have been toying with the idea of adding Sumo Springs to my 2017 chassis to try to mitigate a bit of the curb roll it exhibits on occasion. Have you noticed an improvement in that, or were you even trying to solve that issue?
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
Have been toying with the idea of adding Sumo Springs to my 2017 chassis to try to mitigate a bit of the curb roll it exhibits on occasion. Have you noticed an improvement in that, or were you even trying to solve that issue?
Yes, this upgrade definitely helps. I think the combination of the heavier Helwig bar and the rear Sumo's make the difference. Accelerating on a curved interstate on ramp not a problem now where before I would white knuckle it a bit.. very little side to side motion now
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:56 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments. I may get around to doing the Sumo conversion. Just watched an e-Trailer vid doing the rear install and it looks pretty simple for the rear springs. Were the fronts the same? Pry out the bump stops and push the Sumos into the same mounts?
Looking for an excuse to DIY it. If it can also be done easily.
(what was the Grandpa Ron cellophane trick? I googled it but came up empty)

EDIT: Never mind. I found it.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
Thanks for the comments. I may get around to doing the Sumo conversion. Just watched an e-Trailer vid doing the rear install and it looks pretty simple for the rear springs. Were the fronts the same? Pry out the bump stops and push the Sumos into the same mounts?
Looking for an excuse to DIY it. If it can also be done easily.
(what was the Grandpa Ron cellophane trick? I googled it but came up empty)

EDIT: Never mind. I found it.
It was really easy for me to do since I have leveling jacks and used those to lift the coach.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:49 PM   #6
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That would make it easy. Leveling jacks.
I had a nice Harbor Freight racing jack, 3 tons, but sold it at a garage sale last summer.

Oh well, jacks are relatively cheap, or I could pay someone an hours labor to do it. The Sumo installs do look very easy.
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Old 11-15-2019, 02:57 PM   #7
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I did all four Sumo myself. The front and rear were about the same effort. Just make sure know where the jack points are for the chassis.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:56 PM   #8
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I did all four Sumo myself. The front and rear were about the same effort. Just make sure know where the jack points are for the chassis.
Watched a vid on the installs. The fronts looked like there was no lifting involved, just turned the front wheels to the stops on both sides to gain access to the securing nuts/bolts. The rears did require a lift to fit the Sumos in place, as they're in contact with the frame full time. Or am I wrong?
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:26 PM   #9
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Watched a vid on the installs. The fronts looked like there was no lifting involved, just turned the front wheels to the stops on both sides to gain access to the securing nuts/bolts. The rears did require a lift to fit the Sumos in place, as they're in contact with the frame full time. Or am I wrong?


Lift the rear. Block it. Take off the bump stops, slide the sumo in. On mine I replaced with the heavy rear sprinter sumo and I had to use a large screwdriver to increase the slot size. I then used a hammer to decrease to make sure it would not fall out. I tried soap before. My lighter ones were easer. Fronts are unbolt the bump stop then bolt in, no lift needed.

I do like the heavy sumo in the rear, the light ones up front. plus Helwig, Fox Shocks. I had an alinement when new. My tires have 6+mm after 26k plus.
My Mercedes dealer gave me a 19 sprinter 2500 while mine was getting its second service B. My 15 View G rides better, steers better. Do not like the electric steering on the 2500
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:07 AM   #10
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Lift the rear. Block it. Take off the bump stops, slide the sumo in. On mine I replaced with the heavy rear sprinter sumo and I had to use a large screwdriver to increase the slot size. I then used a hammer to decrease to make sure it would not fall out. I tried soap before. My lighter ones were easer. Fronts are unbolt the bump stop then bolt in, no lift needed.

I do like the heavy sumo in the rear, the light ones up front. plus Helwig, Fox Shocks. I had an alinement when new. My tires have 6+mm after 26k plus.
My Mercedes dealer gave me a 19 sprinter 2500 while mine was getting its second service B. My 15 View G rides better, steers better. Do not like the electric steering on the 2500
I was looking at the heavier rear ones, too. How much difference in size were the "inserts" between the heavier ones and the medium support ones? We talking 1/8ths of an inch or more? I'd rather get something that fits exactly in the existing stops mounts. Did you try multiple weight supports of the rears?
Sorry for the extra questions. I'm thinking of getting them, but haven't decided what level of firmness I want yet. I'll probably go light up front, and try to mitigate the curb roll by stiffening up the rears. Or not.
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Old 11-16-2019, 05:05 PM   #11
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I installed the lighter ones first. After two years I wanted the rear to stay higher with the weight of my at close to the limit. The install was not hard on both. It on the heavy was helped when I opened the slot. You may not need to? As far as firmness my View rides very well with the heavy and Fox Shocks.

Sprinters like ours have the need for Alinement, Fox Shocks by Aligle off-road, and Hellwig sway bar and Sumo Springs and tire pressure.
Each helps. My heavy View G runs 58 psi Rear and 54 front. The shocks reduce the roll at slow speed when you leave a drivewa. They also stop porpoise effect. Hellwig decrease lean in a curve and the truck passing roll. Also helps with low speed roll. Sumo add to the roll decrease but are a spring and help the rear maintain the correct height, this helps with steering as a lowered rear will make steering difficult. The front Sumo help with increase spring as Mercedes have a light suspension.

I added each change over time. This helped me with a good base. I recommend doing this.
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Old 11-16-2019, 05:49 PM   #12
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Thanks for the follow ups.
My 24V's general handling and ride are fine as is, for me. I've driven bigger and smaller, and I find the Sprinter based unit to be the best overall, it's less affected by big rig bow wash than the Roadtrek, and it steers better and rides softer than the Sunstar. I'd just like a little help with the exaggerated curb roll, entering/exiting different level driveways, parking lots, and whatever else makes it do that left-right thing.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:06 PM   #13
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Sumos made a believer out of me

Quote:
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Thanks for the follow ups.
My 24V's general handling and ride are fine as is, for me. I've driven bigger and smaller, and I find the Sprinter based unit to be the best overall, it's less affected by big rig bow wash than the Roadtrek, and it steers better and rides softer than the Sunstar. I'd just like a little help with the exaggerated curb roll, entering/exiting different level driveways, parking lots, and whatever else makes it do that left-right thing.
I echo the other posts about Sumos to minimize curb roll, it is a fairly cheap fix to stop having to slow to a stop to prevent the diving the stock Sprinter suspension typically does.
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Old 11-17-2019, 08:55 PM   #14
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I added the heavy Sumos and Helwig some time ago and it made for much better handling especially the fronts... As mentioned, less nose diving- more progressive stiffness than the stock bumpstops.
Went with the heavier Sumos because we run at max weight including the 2 ebikes on the tail.
Still playing with tire pressures, now at 59 lbs and may drop the fronts to 57.
The Sumos were ez-pz to install. Had help with the Helwig. Regards, Mike
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