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Old 03-22-2010, 01:00 PM   #1
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Glad I choose Koni

We bought a new, unused 2007 Gulf Stream 39 ft Sun Voyager on a W24 Workhorse last fall at an RV show. Everything we were told and read said it had Bielsteins on it, which were supposed to be very good. BUT - I was disappointed to see BLACK shocks, and not the yellow of Bielstein's when I looked under i.

It handled "OK". No porpoising. But it was like boat going down the road. And every bump was like a hammer hitting the coach, and every curve / turn scared me. The lean or roll was considerable and scarry, so I adjusted my driving mostly by slowing down. Figuring I had the inexpensive Monroes (black) I decided toreplace the shocks.

So after much research, I decided to get Koni FSD shocks. And, if that helped some but was not enough for the roll problem, save some money for a sway bar next year (or aftermarket airbags - not sure which of those is best).

Anyway, last Saturday installed the Konis. First surprise was taking off Bielsteins. They were yellow under the black paint. Second surprise was it only took one hour. I did have a friend help which cut the time way down, and we had a killer half inch impact. NOTE guys - there are impacts with different torque ratings. This one was 550 ft lbs.

Last surprise - don't believe I need a sway bar. The Koni's ride is smoother going down the road but somehow they provide less cabin rocking about. And I can take a turn now without the top falling over. I'm sure a sway bar will improve that further - or - the aftermarket air bags, but I definitely got my money's worth from the Koni's if only in the "relaxation" factor I gained sitting behind the wheel.

Take care all and good luck.
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:54 AM   #2
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johndandcaren...thanks for an informative post! Members now know that they may have Yellow Billsteins -but they could be painted.. AND that is doesn't matter what color they are .. Koni FSDs are still outperforming them!
On a side note... I want to let our members here know that two of our sponsors, Redlands Truck & RV and Brazel's RV Performance, install Koni FSDs !
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:54 AM   #3
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I had the same experience when replacing the Bilstiens with the FSDs. Much smother ride and I can take corners faster. Taking the old shocks off was not as easy. The top bolt on one front shock was stripped. The compression lock on the nut was too tight and was very hard to get off, that also stripped the bolt. Got new one at hardware store. Rear shocks were difficult to get off without an impact wrench so I just too it to a shop. By then I was frustrated by the bad bolt.

But I do love the ride.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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Convince Me! I like a firm ride, no proposing, no sway, not mushing around. I have a trac bar in the back, Davis TruTrac & Safe T Plus on the front. Can Koni deliver a better ride?
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:39 PM   #5
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I have 4 Bilstein shocks on my 35' F53, 20,500 chassis National RV and they ride & rv handles great. I wonder why some of you are having problems?
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Old 03-25-2010, 04:13 PM   #6
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OP reply

I'm OP.
To Fred and Bonnie, a good point. Perhaps if I had made the changes you did and had not changed shocks, the improvements would also have been positive. When researching options by reading post, its clear there are varied opinions, perhaps because ALL improvements are helping, and there are a lot of combinations. Sway bars, traction bars, air bags, shocks, safety steer - whatever. Guess they all help. One fact that is indisputable, the Koni's do deliver an "improvement".

To two slides, my W24 is close to overload, that is its GVWR is 24k and its sitting empty at 22k per scales. Perhaps National did a better job either with total loading, or weight distribution. I understand they are a very good mfgr, and perhaps designer as well. Glad you have a good rig.

One question: Why is it that when someone makes a positive statement here, others see that as an opportunity to launch into an attack. I don't need to "convince" anyone, and I believe many owners have problems. Glad you two do not - but please consider giving those of us who do some courtesy.
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:02 PM   #7
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The Koni shocks improved the ride on my UFO so much that I recommend them to everyone. With the factory Bilstein's the "porpoiseing" was horrible. The Koni's eliminated the porpoiseing without making the ride harsh.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wthomas1 View Post
The Koni shocks improved the ride on my UFO so much that I recommend them to everyone. With the factory Bilstein's the "porpoiseing" was horrible. The Koni's eliminated the porpoiseing without making the ride harsh.
Glad you admitted the UFO ride is not all what it was cracked-up to be. I test drove one a couple of years back. I got down right unnerved when I went over a 45 rail crossing and it felt like the front end fell out from under the coach.

Yes, Koni's would definitely helped.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:27 PM   #9
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Even with the Bilstein's, the UFO ride is far superior to my previous RV on the W24 chassis.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:17 AM   #10
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I will try to convince others that the FSDs are better than the factory Bilsteins on our W20 chassis. A good comparison would be to compare shocks on a sports car with those on a touring car like a Cadillac. We test drove a Saturn Sky. It was very fun to drive and held the road very well. But would I like to take it on a long trip? NO. The suspension was harsh, it was designed that way. That is how the Bilsteins ride. Now take the FSDs, the ride is more like a touring car. It is soft most of the time but it still handles corners in a very safe manner.

The FSDs give when there is a fast upward force, such as a pothole. But they automatically adjust to slow movement and become stiff, like in a turn.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:50 PM   #11
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I'm not from MO, but spending $1,000.00 to eliminate a hard pothole just doesn't make sence, unless you constantly drive on terrible roads. Even with all the complaints of lousy CA roads, there are only a couple that would have made the purchase worth it.

I think the only way I would consider this purchase would be a 30 day trial, with the guarantee of reinstalling the original shock type if not satisified. JMTCW.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:02 PM   #12
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Keith at Redlands Truck and RV Performance guaranteed me that I would be satisfied with the Koni's. I am so satisfied that I recommend them to every RVer who drives on California roads. I consider it the best money spent on my RV to date.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:12 PM   #13
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i didn't know 4 koni's went up to $1,000.00
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:36 PM   #14
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I paid $895 including installation.
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