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Old 02-05-2019, 10:13 PM   #1
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New Koni's and Centramatics

Inspired by Dutch Star Don, I installed new Koni's and Centramatics all the way around my 2014 Dutch Star (6 shocks, 6 Centramatics). Took our first long drive today, both on 2 lane curvy roads and 4 lane freeway. I am amazed at the improvement. Coach has 45k miles on it and rides better than new.

Hardest part was getting the original front shocks off. The whole shock would spin as I was trying to remove the nut. Ended up putting a large pipe wrench on the shock body to hold it in place and then the nut unscrewed easily. Just took me awhile to figure that out, so hope this will help others.

Took me a bit of effort over 2 days to finish the whole project, but well worth it.

DDMO
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:31 AM   #2
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Yup, I have both on our coach and agree, it is amazing the difference they make.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:24 AM   #3
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For those doing their own work. The upper (outer) shock body on the Sachs shocks is welded to the stud. A large pair of Channelocks or even a strap wrench can be used to hold the shock body while loosening the upper nut. If you have strong hands, you can even hold it with your hand, if using an air tool.

On the new Konis, the outer shock body is not welded to the body. Holding the body will not help. Instead, the Konis have a hole in the top of the stud that is there for installation. It takes an allen wrench. I don't recall if it's SAE or Metric. You simply insert the allen wrench, let it swing against the frame while tightening the nut with an open end wrench. Once the allen wedges against the frame you can more easily tighten with the wrench.

If you decide to do the rear shocks yourself, they're more difficult. They're mounted between the frame and the tires, not inside the frame rails. I did them with the duals on and they were extremely difficult to access. I will be installing Centramatics and Konis on the rear in the near future and will just pull the duals. It's really much simpler and need to be done to put the Centramatics on.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:16 PM   #4
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Dutch Star Don.

You are spot with the additional detail. When putting on the a New Koniís, I needed the Allen and open end wrench to install. Did not know this before I started. But once the Koni body started spinning, I found I needed the Allen wrench to assist.

With the rear shocks, I needed to use a bottle jack to raise the rear axle up about 1/2 more inch to meet the fully extended Koni shock. After that, pretty easy with the tires off.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:51 AM   #5
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Ok, Iíll bite....How do you get the tires/wheels off/on the coach at hundreds of foot-pounds of torque and 100ís of pounds of weight?
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:14 AM   #6
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I use a torque multiplier like this one. https://www.amazon.com/HOMCOM-E8-000.../dp/B00G3NA6C0 to break bolts then electric socket wrench to finish it off.

Then use a 5 foot crow/banging bar and helper (wife) to get tires off/on. After practicing and figuring out the placement and leverage points on the first tire removal, the rest were pretty easy.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:19 AM   #7
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I wouldn't do it on the road, but have done it at home. I have a 12 ton Harbor Freight air/hydraulic bottle jack that slides right under the rear suspension. I also have a Harbor Freight 3/4" breaker bar and socket set (all inexpensive and fine for occasional use). I put a piece of pipe over the breaker bar and break the lugs loose, which is about 3/4 of a turn. Once loose, I use my air gun to remove the lugs. The tires are "rocked" off of the hub, not lifted, and rolled to one side.

Should everyone do this.....No. I was a mechanic in my younger days and have a pretty extensive set of tools. I also like doing the work, even though this is getting tougher as I get older. I worked at a tire store through High School and the owner was a crook, cheating many people by charging them for work that wasn't done. This left a bad taste in my mouth and I trust very few shops.

Lastly, it's very difficult to find a local shop that will do things like pull wheels, install Centramatics and shocks. They typically don't have the space, want to keep the coach overnight and often have poorly trained people doing non technical jobs like pulling wheels and changing shocks.

Do I look forward to doing this.....not really, it makes my back hurt thing about it. But then, I think about the money saved and I don't aggravate myself worrying about a shop, doing something that will damage my coach.
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