Originally Posted by Bluetick
Getting ready to spring for new shocks and am uncomfortable on the Koni info I've found so far so here's the deal we have a 2004 Monaco Diplomat 40' Roadmaster Frame 4 slides and an unbearable ride at times. I'm looking at
I'm not impressed with the information I've gathered and am asking for verification on the part numbers and feel Koni"s are the best out there? No time for mistakes.
Not concerned about cost we want a better ride and this will be the first part of the suspension upgrade. Some of the freeway pot holes feel like the coach is falling apart.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance
I have experience with Monroe, Bilsteins, and Koni FSD shocks on our coach and would recommend the Koni FSD. Make sure they are FSD because Koni makes several types. If your 04 is anything like my 06 all the shocks front and back will have the eyelet at the bottom and the straight shaft at the top. The top can be a bitch sometimes to get to and remove or replace the nut. A Gear Wrench can be helpful as well as Vise grips with the chain to hold the shock body from turning. On our coach the side panels on the rear will raise up exposing the top of the shocks and the air bags. Makes replacing the rears a little easier. The right front on ours can not be raised up and the left front is very difficult so I have always replaced the fronts by crawling underneath. Make sure you raise the jacks all the way up and then put blocks under them. That will keep the coach from crushing you if an air line breaks or for some reason the air bags dump rapidly.
As far as ride goes shocks don't help much but the wrong shock can make the ride much worse. Stay away from stiff shocks and use either Monroe or Koni FSD for the best ride. I have found the thing that affects the ride the most on the straight axle coach is the ride height. If the ride height is off even as little as 1/2 inch it will affect the ride. Make sure your ride height is dead on for the best ride. Make some wooden dowels to measure the ride height. The rear will be different from the front and you will need two different lengths. Hold the dowel up against the air bag checking the distance between the top and bottom plate. You must have the coach parked on a level pad to adjust the ride height.
Another very important thing when trying to achieve the best ride is the air pressure in the tires. Use only Load Range H or higher tires on your coach and get the coach weighed so you know the weight on the front and rear axle. Check the tire manufacture load chart for your tire and use the least amount of air pressure allowed for the weight on the axle. Tire shops will always put too much air in your tires. They usual put 100 PSI or the max on the side wall which is often 110 or 120 PSI. The tire will perform better if the air pressure is related to the load. Tire shops always play it safe and put the most air in the tire they can.
I have owned our coach for 13 years and have spent a lot of time and money on trying to improve the ride. The ride is the only thing I don't like about our coach. Currently I have the ride the best it has every been and can live with it. I used to have tag axle envy but not anymore. Our coach handles extremely well, even in the wind. It took years to get it there not to mention a few dollars.
PS our shocks are Front 88051016 and Rear 88051017.
Be sure to save your receipt in a safe place where you can find it years down the road. After about 75K miles our Koni's needed to be replaced. I took them off and followed Koni's instructions to send them in for warranty replacement. They tested them and sent me new shocks free of charge.