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Old 01-22-2014, 01:30 PM   #1
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Coil springs for P30

Good day all I am new to this forum and so happy to have found a forum specific to the type of chassis.
Let me just describe my rig, itís a 1998 Triple E commander 32 feet on a P30 7.4 with a 4L80E transmission. I bought it early last year and it had 164,000km and now it has 188,000km (22,000km done on the first summer ;-)).
Not being an expert on manufacturers I understand that Triple E was more on the high end of the spectrum and price. The house portion is like new.
Cannot say the same for the chassis. I have changed a lot of parts (really a lot).
Now I am fixing all the things that bug me (parts that look too old and rusted).
My front airbag are losing pressure after a couple of hours and since they are old and the springs also I am simply going to replace it all (note that currently I changed the steering parts such has Bellcranks, tie rods etc. from Henderson)
I am always a bit more nervous about springs and how they affect handling. Again note that my rig rides very very good and wind is not pushing me around.
So should I go for the Henderson springs or go with the original with new airbags. I scaled my rig at front 2520kg (5550lb) and back 5270kg (11615LB), fully loaded (the whole family(5), water, gas tank full, baggage for 1 month etc..).
I know where and how to get Hendersonís stuff but if I decided to go with the original airbags and springs where to get them?

Thanks
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:00 PM   #2
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Nice write up... I have an opinion. After reading your write up I might decide not to upgrade from OEM to the Henderson springs. Save the money....use any balance to improve your shocks (when time comes to replace them) Shocks give you a bit more bang on ride improvement if you are already well secure that your ride is doing you right. I have a wagging tail on my MH and will be looking to add a chassis stabilizer next season to that area. Motorhome Air Suspension and RV Airbags | SD Truck Springs
I get some of my suspension goodies at this site....they had what I was looking for most of the time.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:08 PM   #3
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All 4 shocks are brand new, I changed all of that with the steering parts in the 1st week of ownership.

I also have firestone air bags in the rear.

I found out that the Henderson springs are less expensive than the original setup unless I find a good place to order
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:41 PM   #4
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I had a P30 that I bought with completely bad and flat airbags - and worn out bell cranks. Handled horribly as you can image with these very Important suspension components shot. Being 1st RV and unknowing the dealer really screwed us. The coach was outright unsafe to drive.

Had I know at the time of the option to eliminate the airbags via aftermarket front springs I may have done it, however we ran the coach several years and many miles with the airbags and keeping them aired was not a big deal either.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:32 PM   #5
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Regardless of where you get the springs and /or airbags, as an alignment tech I dislike the airbags because as the pressure changes so do the alignment angles . A set of springs that are rated for the weight will maintain a more consistent alignment. Just my opinion,
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:34 PM   #6
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I have an ASLY2000 on a 1999 chassis, the front bags were leaking, front end loose front tires feathering due to misalignment due to incorrect ride height. Replaced to bags with Henderson's springs, his bellcranks, draglink, tierod ends, Koni shocks new steers and a realignment.
Dumping the bags was the best decision for me.
The P30/32 chassis maker had no control as to how stiff the front springs should be. At some later production the OEM put in stiffer springs. The airbags were used to fudge the ride height to take into account the weight of the house.

I am extremely happy with the ride now. You can search this forum for more detail on bags/springs.

Happy Trails and welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:49 PM   #7
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As an aside: Check your VIN# to see if the chassis was built the previous year. Also you should familiarize yourself with the Auto Park feature of your coach. Does it have a yellow button and/or a foot applied park brake? The Sticky page has some important info if you have not been there.

Post #5 is an important consideration.

Steve
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:52 PM   #8
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So much info received rapidly thanks in advance.

S/N starts with 1GBLP37J5W330 says it's a 1998.

Yes it has the yellow button in the dash for the auto park.


In the first week of ownership I had the following items changed:
  • Supersteer bellcranks, Drag link and tie rod ends.
  • 4 new shocks
  • Alignment
  • New engine belt
  • All liquids were flushed and replaced (transmission, diff, engine, brake fluid, radiator.
  • 8 spark plugs and wires, all filters.
  • the 2 switches on the autopark
  • 2 stone chips in windshield
  • 2 tires
  • fix an a/c leak
That was an expensive first service

Then I crossed the US from side to side and basically destroyed my 2 manifolds in the desert and my a/c condenser.


Next big service:
  • Banks headers
  • New trinary switch and condenser
Myself I changed:
  • 2 front headlights (they are from a ford explorer)
  • all lights in front and back
  • side markers
  • the 3rd brake light
  • Changed all the engine coolant hoses and heater hose
After that I developped a tiny leak of antifreeze only when cold on the left side, that turn to:
  • 2 new head gasket
  • Re-manufactured heads
  • 8 new injectors, regulator and valve
Thus I am at the point of changing whatever seems too old and should go asap. This list includes:
  • Transmission oil lines
  • Engine oil lines
  • Front brake lines
  • and the 2 front coil springs which started this tread.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C350AMG View Post
So much info received rapidly thanks in advance.
  • and the 2 front coil springs which started this tread.
... and a partridge in a pear tree!

I have a similar list as well!
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSteer View Post
Regardless of where you get the springs and /or airbags, as an alignment tech I dislike the airbags because as the pressure changes so do the alignment angles . A set of springs that are rated for the weight will maintain a more consistent alignment. Just my opinion,
I'm with you here! Using the right springs, you won't need the airbags. They were a patch from GM right from the start.

Check out this link:
Heavy Duty Coil Truck and Van Springs | Tuftruck Super Duty Coils

Go down the page to find the P-30 chassis, and notice the listing for the spring part number 350-6560SDM shows they are for use with motor homes over 28' long.

I put a set of these in a 93 34' Holiday Rambler and they boosted that low riding front end up to where it should have been. Rode and handled great, with no hint of harshness - without the air bags.

The springs were about 135.00 delivered to my door, and the order was shipped promptly after my call.

After watching this video, I changed them myself in about 45 minutes per side. Front end was re-aligned and we were in business!



-Al
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:32 PM   #11
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The weight of my front axle is 2520kg (5550lb) and this is fully loaded.

My issue is the supersteer are for:
  • 5,400-5,900 lbs.
  • or 5,000- 5,300 lb
Knowing that some of times let's say 50% I will be close to 5200LB and the other 50% of the time at around 5500LB it kind sits me between the 2.

SuperSteer Coil Springs for Chevy/Workhorse 'P' Chassis Class A Motorhome, 5,000-5,300 lbs. Front Axle Weight
SuperSteer Coil Springs for Chevy/Workhorse 'P' Chassis Class A Motorhome, 5,400-5,900 lbs. Front Axle Weight


The other that was shown as an external link is rated at 4289LB per spring which is too strong (350-6560SDM (Rated Load Per Coil is 4289 lbs))
350-6560SDM Heavy Duty Coil Springs

I did see the video for the coil change but I have no space to do this and can only park my MH 4 hours in my driveway.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:21 AM   #12
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I was concerned about the SDM's rating as well. Mine weighed about what you're talking, obviously much less than the 8400lb SDM rating. BUT, they WERE suggesting their use on coaches over 28'. So I called them? They reassured me of their recommendation, and with that and the fact they were so reasonably priced (about the same as a pair of air bags) I ordered and installed them. They were right as far as I'm concerned. There is no hint of harshness when driving the coach with the SDM springs installed. Freeway off ramps stopped giving me that uneasy feeling when entering them a little too fast as well. FWIW, -Al
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:39 AM   #13
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Thanks again for the info.

Will need to wait for end of winter.... It's a cool -25 Celsius this am :-) and last weekend my 2 houses batteries died because of the cold !
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:53 AM   #14
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C350... the Henderson sold springs might be the perfect solution if you really are insistent on replacing the springs. I had spent several hour under the front of my MH just making inspection (after purchase). The previous owner was serious about highway use of the coach and really did a decent job of maintaining the front end. As I learned (like you) the P30 chassis is an undersized manifestation that was regularly modified to be used as an RV chassis. I put a Steer Safe kit on my front end....improved the shocks...kept the air bags...went with some better sway bar bushings... and am looking at the rear end improvements this coming season to take the wag out of that area as I turn. The Henderson Trac Bar is what captures my eye. Pricey... but noted by other P30 owners as highly effective.
I will say that you have a fine handle on getting your P30 totally road worthy. I do mine in small projects. Went with the VSHEETS solar project model. Solar is very noteable for a future upgrade. I am sure my manifolds and gasketing will need some look in a season or two...but .... little at a time is doable.
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