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Old 09-27-2019, 01:59 PM   #1
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Replacing front shocks on Ventana

I've talked to several Newmar Dutch Star owners who have experienced a better ride in their coach after changing the original front shocks with Koni brand shocks. A couple of significant differences between the Dutch Star and Ventana models is that the Ventana has a solid axle and the Dutch Star has independent front suspension, and some Dutch Stars have larger tires in the front (depending on the year and model), where Ventanas have the same size all around.

I found several threads that talked about how to do it on a Dutch Star, but could not find any specific threads that were specific to the Ventana. Would new and better shocks improve our ride, given that we will still have a solid axle and smaller tires?
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Old 09-27-2019, 02:07 PM   #2
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I replaced mine with Konis last spring. Did not feel a discernible difference.
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Old 09-27-2019, 03:45 PM   #3
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Koni makes three shocks that will fit the Newmar coaches. The Koni RED, Koni FSD and Koni EVO. The Koni RED, was one of their first generation shocks, followed by the Koni FSD and then the Koni EVO, that came out a couple of years ago. The EVO was designed for independent front suspension (IFS).

I always found the ride was improved with the Koni FSD's. When I bought my 2014 Dutch Star with IFS, I replaced all six shocks. The Koni FSD's went on the rear and the ONLY shock available for the front was the Koni RED, which is adjustable. I couldn't find any discernible difference in the Koni RED. I was disappointed because I was such a Koni fan. A couple of years later, they finally came out with a shock designed just for IFS, the EVO. I installed the EVO and got the improvement I was looking for.

The EVO on the fronts did the following......they took away that short chop you get that causes the front shades to jump up and down. They also took a lot of those big road bumps and eliminated them. I could hear them, but wasn't feeling them.

So.............If you can get the Koni FSD's for the solid axle, go for it. If only the RED is available, I would pass. The FSD's will still make the rear of the coach handle better and smoother.
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Old 09-27-2019, 05:38 PM   #4
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Source engineering in Eugene Oregon makes some great custom shocks. Put them on my last Ventana and made a world of difference. Will probably go to them for my new Ventana.


http://sourcerv.com/custom_shocks

Here is a link.
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Old 09-27-2019, 06:10 PM   #5
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Source Engineering Shocks are Bilsteins.
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodosgood View Post
I've talked to several Newmar Dutch Star owners who have experienced a better ride in their coach after changing the original front shocks with Koni brand shocks. A couple of significant differences between the Dutch Star and Ventana models is that the Ventana has a solid axle and the Dutch Star has independent front suspension, and some Dutch Stars have larger tires in the front (depending on the year and model), where Ventanas have the same size all around.

I found several threads that talked about how to do it on a Dutch Star, but could not find any specific threads that were specific to the Ventana. Would new and better shocks improve our ride, given that we will still have a solid axle and smaller tires?
Eric,

My first question to you is what do you think is wrong with your ride / front shocks? You hear of a "better ride" but that's a different coach. I believe the ride in the VTDP is outstanding and the Sachs shocks are great shocks. I recently had Koni FSD's installed because I was having a problem. It felt like the front was bottoming out and going over bumps the front end was not coming back to where it should as soon as it should. I figured I'd give Koni's a try since we hear so much about them in other coaches so I had FSD's installed. It looks simple but I prefer not to get injured in the process, lose an eye, etc. so I paid my local FL shop to do it. It's only a 10 minute per shock job for them most likely, after removing the wheel if they do so, but I found out with a higher than expected bill (around $270) with my supplied shocks bought online that they start their labor clock from the time they leave to go retrieve the coach from parking which is not close until they return back. So 90% of the labor time is transit vs. work sadly. But I digress.

The FSD's give no different ride than the Sachs. The problem I had is solved and I then figured hmmm, is this covered under warranty. YES - your shocks are under warranty so if you're having any issues with your ride, have it looked at and it may be covered under warranty. I'm working with FL and FCCC now to get warranty coverage for the situation as when I asked for the old shocks back they said they were shot, they didn't extend on their own like they should, supposedly.

So again, ask yourself what's wrong with your ride or are you just wanting to try something different. FSD's will not change your ride, only your wallet
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Old 09-28-2019, 03:37 PM   #7
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Exactly.
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Old 09-28-2019, 03:50 PM   #8
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Just to be clear, changing shocks is not just about how they rebound. There are more subtle things that are affected, like short chop or chatter and leaning in the turns.

No offense, but some just aren't as sensitive to how a coach rides. Not that they can't feel it, it just doesn't bother them, or is important to them.
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Old 09-28-2019, 08:20 PM   #9
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DSD, Yes source engineering uses a bilstien shock that is made to their specification. Thatís why they have their name embossed on each shock. The dampening and rebound are adjusted to the specific application. Take a look at their video.

My 37XX Ventana would nose dive at stops, wallow in turns, and bottomed out a lot. The new shocks helped greatly.

I am shock agnostic and donít care who the manufacturer is as long as there is an improvement. I am not a ďkonaheadĒ but if I ever try their shocks and they work then I would use them too.

OP asked for experience in replacing VTDP shocks, and since I had real experience, well there ya go.
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Old 09-28-2019, 10:27 PM   #10
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I wasn't questioning your experience or their quality, just stating that they use Bilstein shocks. I've bought several items from Jim at Source over the years. They first started using Bilsteins to try and correct the harsh ride on the Roadmaster R4R chassis that was miserable riding. They came up with a kit for the R4R that came with a ping tank, new air bags and tuned Bilsteins.

I'm not a Konihead as you infer, just prefer one over the other on DP's. If you had READ what I wrote, I stated the shocks that Koni provides for many of the straight axle coaches, (Koni Red) did nothing to improve ride. Glad the Bilsteins helped your issue. If you were to look back over my posts over the years, you would see that I always recommend Bilsteins for gas coaches, they just work better.
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:45 PM   #11
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DSD, no offense meant, none taken. Forum posts never do seem to convey meaning well.

I am only wanted to highlight the OPs specific question and provide an answer to his specific question. Yes I was kind of sarcastic about answers that I thought missed the mark. Humor to some here and bad taste to others. Sometimes an OP will ask why the sky is blue and they will get every answer as to why the oceans are deep. Drives me crazy.

OP: see DSD and I agree. Give source a call. Maybe they will have something for you. Maybe it will be a set of Koniís then everyone will be . Sorry DSD I couldnít help myself .
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:48 PM   #12
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No problem.....Jim at Source is such a good guy to work with. He and his employees are old Monaco techs. They've bene making some specialty products for the RV market. I bought an air bag valve kit that allows you to separately lift the rear of the Freightliner chassis about 3.5". I used it to clear my driveway at home.
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:23 PM   #13
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Yep DSD. I bought raise kit on your recommendation for my last coach. Worked great.
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyinWP View Post
I replaced mine with Konis last spring. Did not feel a discernible difference.
Which KONI did you replaced with?

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