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Old 05-01-2014, 11:49 AM   #1
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How do you know {premium shock name} are better?

Last weekend I spent a lot of time under my coach replacing my fuel pump and subsequently found that one of my rear shocks was leaking fluid. Guess what's getting replaced next?

I've been reading posts that says Konis are better than Bilsteins and Bilsteins are better than Konis. I've read a couple that said Monroes are better than Bilsteins.

About the only thing that I could find that most, if not all, agree upon are that Road King shocks are the A#1 best shock on the market. Unfortunately, they are well outside my financial reach.

Here's my question. How do you know {shock name} is better than {shock name}? People don't replace shocks until the old ones are worn-out. At that point a set of OEM shocks would perform better than worn-out premium shocks. Has anyone actually tested brand new shocks from one manufacturer against brand new set from another manufacturer?
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:59 AM   #2
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If it makes you feel any better, Road King shocks wouldn't do anything for your coach because of the weight and chassis. I don't think they even make, or would make, shocks for your chassis.

As far as the others, it would be a toss up. There is no real way to find what is best for your chassis without installing each manufacturer and than go for a drive with each one. That could get expensive
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:10 PM   #3
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My past coach, FW Excursion 39P, had Bilsteins in good condition. I had the funds at that time to add aftermarket Super Steer products, bell crank, MCD devices to the air suspension, and purchased Koni's. What was a true white knuckle experience in high crosswinds was eliminated! Now was it the shocks? Don't know? Perhaps the combination of all? Present coach with OEM Bilsteins and a tag ride pretty nice. When the time comes I'm going the Koni route, FWIW.
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:32 PM   #4
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I replaced my factory Bilstein's at 5000 miles with Koni's. The improvement was so dramatic I couldn't believe it. Maybe my Bilstein's were worn out from the factory?
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:30 PM   #5
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All I can state is with my Spartan Chassis Koni's improved the very harsh ride I had on the front.
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:33 PM   #6
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I changed out the Monroe's on mine with Koni FSD shocks. I thought I had a new M/H it drives/handles so much better!!
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UFO Pilot View Post
I replaced my factory Bilstein's at 5000 miles with Koni's. The improvement was so dramatic I couldn't believe it. Maybe my Bilstein's were worn out from the factory?

I too installed Koni shocks on my 1997 Eagle and they are wonderful!

UFO Pilot - just curious what is your make/ model of chassis & coach?


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Old 05-01-2014, 02:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd956jd956 View Post
I too installed Koni shocks on my 1997 Eagle and they are wonderful!

UFO Pilot - just curious what is your make/ model of chassis & coach?


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Old 05-01-2014, 03:23 PM   #9
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As with many things, when you eliminate the very best and the very worst, most of what remains in the great middle class are of similar quality but different characteristics. Any shocks you install will combine their own particular behavior with the weight and suspension and personality of your own coach and chassis, not to mention your own driving style. Therefore it is very hard to say one is better than another for your purposes.

I put Konis on my DS last fall, primarily because I got the impression from several forum posts here and elsewhere that Bilsteins on DutchStar/Freightliner often yielded a rather stiff ride. I'm sure this is not a universal result, but that was my takeaway from the research I did. In my case, I'm happy with the Konis, but I may well have been just as happy with Bilsteins.

Unfortunately, the only way close to reliable is to find someone with a '99 Winnebago Chieftain 33 on an F53 who installed Konis, and another who installed Bilsteins. Theoretically, that eliminates all variables except driving style.

Bottom line though, is that whichever you choose, you'll probably be happy with them. Good Luck!!
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:58 PM   #10
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I replaced the original equipment shocks on my '87 Bounder and my '99 Winnebago with Bilstein shocks and that was an improvement in both cases, by a wide margin. On my present coach I replaced the stock Bilstein shocks with Koni's and that was also a significant improvement. I know on the Alpine Forum there are quite a few that have installed the Road Kings and really like.

I do believe you get improvement in performance with more money.
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:43 PM   #11
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Well last weekend I replaced the factory shocks on my 96 Bounder 34P with Bilstein Comfort shocks and was so disgusted by the harsh ride I dug the old ones out of the trash and reinstalled them and ordered the Koni FSD for the front (not really sure what to do about the back as they don't make FSD for the rear of mine) I plan to put them on tomorrow and I will update with the difference.
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:50 PM   #12
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This thread sounds like a Koni commercial. Well, I'm gonna have to jump on the bandwagon too.

We were getting horrible porpoising at bridge and concrete expansion joints. We also had some wondering with crosswinds and semi passings. On went the Koni FSDs, exit the porpoising and cut some of the wondering issue. The installation of a rear trac bar took care of the rest. The Konis are 4 years old now and still doing their job.
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:57 PM   #13
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There is no way to compare an old shock to a new one. So you have shocks with 20,000 miles on them and install the latest and greatest shock. Sure it will be better than the old one. But there is no way to say that KYB is better than Monroe, or that Koni is better than KYB, or that any of them are better than Bilstein.

Any new shock will be better that the old one you took off.
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:41 AM   #14
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I don't know if the Koni FSD's will be that much better but my Bilsteins have approx. 20 miles on them and I took them off and put the original ones back on while I ordered the Koni fronts. If anyone is looking for some very gently used Bilsteins for a Ford F53 V8 chassis I have some.
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