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Old 04-15-2015, 09:06 AM   #1
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Shocks

We have a 2002 Dutch Star DP riding on a Freightliner XC chassis.

It does not take the bumps on the Interstate very well.

Even though the coach has low miles, 13,000, I was thinking perhaps the shocks, which have lived their life in storage and have gone bad.

My question, what are good shocks to consider for a DP with air bags?

Thanks,

g
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:41 AM   #2
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Most folks use either the Koni or the Bilsteins. The Koni's are a LOT more expensive! After doing a lot of research and reading a comparison done on the two, I went with the Bilsteins and have been very happy with them!
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:05 AM   #3
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Shocks may not help much. If the coach continues to bounce after a bump, they are probably bad, but they do not provide a softer ride. They are just supposed to dampen the energy from the bump. The vehicle actually rides more smoothly without shocks, but would then give a ride like walking on a trampoline.


Check your tire pressures against the actual weight of the coach. The tire charts for YOUR tires will tell you what pressure you need for your weight. The pressures on the placard from Newmar is probably for 2002 tires, and will be quite high. Newer tires will give you more accurate data on the correct pressures. This is all very important, and maybe I'm telling you something you already know.....if so, then sorry about that.


Do the tire thing first. You will be disappointed if you spend a bunch of money on shocks and find out that doesn't help.


Tom
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:21 AM   #4
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Good writeup Tom, I was about to post the same thing. Shocks technically should not be called "shock absorbers", that's the spring's job. They are dampers. My father was a mechanic most his life and he still will not call them shocks, always says dampers.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLGPE View Post
Shocks may not help much. If the coach continues to bounce after a bump, they are probably bad, but they do not provide a softer ride. They are just supposed to dampen the energy from the bump. The vehicle actually rides more smoothly without shocks, but would then give a ride like walking on a trampoline.


Check your tire pressures against the actual weight of the coach. The tire charts for YOUR tires will tell you what pressure you need for your weight. The pressures on the placard from Newmar is probably for 2002 tires, and will be quite high. Newer tires will give you more accurate data on the correct pressures. This is all very important, and maybe I'm telling you something you already know.....if so, then sorry about that.


Do the tire thing first. You will be disappointed if you spend a bunch of money on shocks and find out that doesn't help.


Tom
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
Good writeup Tom, I was about to post the same thing. Shocks technically should not be called "shock absorbers", that's the spring's job. They are dampers. My father was a mechanic most his life and he still will not call them shocks, always says dampers.
Thanks everyone - great advice!!!

My coach does not bounce after a bump - just the opposite - it is almost like riding on solid rubber tires........hence the air pressure.

I will definitely check the TP.

And thanks MSHappyCampers for the recommendation in regards to brands - looks like I may not have to buy them after all.........can you believe it - something I don't have to buy!!!!!!! Hahahahaha

Thanks again

g
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:59 PM   #6
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Not a MH, but my Ram 2500 had a front damper fail (slowly) and purge it's oil.
Ride was progressively worse so I bolted in Bilsteins today. The difference is amazing, even over the OE units when new.
Highly recommended.
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:18 PM   #7
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Shocks

When I bought my 02 DSDP three years ago it still had the original dampers (47K miles). I replaced them with Konis and saw an immediate improvement. However, as someone else said, the dampers are not the whole story. There are several bushings in the front end geometry, and if they've deteriorated you'll feel hammering on every discontinuity in the pavement. Also, your weight is a factor. I'm a full timer, and my DS runs at gross weight (31K Lbs) all the time. I carry 110 psi in the front tires, and that makes a pretty hard tire. I can feel them hit the pavement cracks pretty sharply.
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:33 AM   #8
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Again - thanks everyone for the great advice.

It goes in Wednesday to check the alignment before I put Blue OX True Center on it.

I will ask them to check bushings, it does have some knocks and rattling under the front end (I seem to remember them on the Army buses I drove many moons ago).

Have a great weekend all.

g
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:05 AM   #9
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I put a set of Koni's on mine 7 years ago (I know, it's a gasser) and the difference was huge. Particularly on bad expansion strips. The Koni's have a variable valve that on small bumps like expansion strips don't try to dampen the spring (or air bag) so they can do their thing. Other shocks will fight the springs on every bump, big or small. So those small ones hit like a hammer. And they have a lifetime warranty, so keep your receipt.
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