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Old 03-27-2021, 05:02 AM   #1
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New to me W22 Chassis

I just purchased a 2006 Fleetwood Flair with a W22 Workhorse chassis, 37,000 miles. The VIN indicates it is a 2005 model year chassis.

Im planning on a 5000+ mile trip this summer.

I need to look at the suspension. It rides like a roller coaster. From my brief look at the chassis I think it is still wearing the original shocks.

Im not familiar with the WH chassis, is there a "standard" handling upgrade that I should consider?

The 200 mile trip home after the purchase was a workout, especially when big trucks blew by me.

The tires were replaced by Camping World when the PO purchased the coach in June 2020. How do I determine the proper inflation pressure?
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:36 AM   #2
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Congratulations on your new home on wheels.

I have a 2003 W20 which is almost the same as a W22. I put Bilstein shocks on mine and I am happy with them. Some people recommend Koni shocks. I think that both are very good. Pick your poison.

For modifications I would recommend that after you replace the shocks you go to a truck alignment shop and ask them to adjust the CASTER to +5.5° ±.5°. Do this before you do anything else. It might just be all you need!

After that drive for a few hundred miles and decide what you don't like and be able to define the symptom that bothers you. There are fixes for most of the ailments this chassis exhibits but you might not need them all.

For instance:
  • Excessive lean in the wind and when passed by truck might indicate a need for more sway bar.
  • Tail wagging when towing or when passed by large vehicles may indicate the need for track bars front or rear. Most people agree that rear track bar makes a bigger difference than front track bar.
  • Bottoming out of the suspension or a VERY rough ride might benefit from Sumo Springs. Sumo Springs may also help with excessive lean in the wind and when passing trucks. I found they had more impact when on the rear. I used the easier to install and lighter duty Sumo Springs designed for the P32 Chassis on the rear.
  • Some have objected to vague on center steering and road wander. They recommend a spring assisted steering stabilizer. Maybe setting caster as defined above will eliminate the need for the steering stabilizer.

I reiterate, get the CASTER set first. Most of us have done it LAST after spending fortune and time on the other things.
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Old 03-27-2021, 09:03 AM   #3
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I second the advice about getting the caster increased FIRST.
If you post the last 8 digits (ONLY) of the vin # that begins with “5B4”, i can check to see if there are any open recalls.
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Old 03-27-2021, 11:27 AM   #4
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5B4 53409461

Thanks
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Old 03-27-2021, 01:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcgc View Post
5B4 53409461

Thanks
That is a 2005 W-22 with 19.5" wheels. It had 2 recalls and both were completed. The Bosch caliper recall, 51101-C, was done 5/15/2016 @ 31,661 miles. The other recall replaced the dampener CLIP on 10/20/2006 @ 10,405 mi.

Since the caliper recall, WCC changed their service recommendation to replacement of the DOT 3 brake fluid every 2 years regardless of mileage. IF you don't know when that was last done, it is time to do so.
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Old 03-27-2021, 02:37 PM   #6
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+caster

Having too little caster will create a steering dead "do nothing" zone between left and right at highway speeds.

Any caster less then +5 degrees is too little for highway driving. Reducing the tire pressure to the minimum pressure required for the axel weight maximizes the caster trail of the existing caster angle.
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:57 PM   #7
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I have a 2003 Southwind 37', I have always kept my water tank full when traveling. I have found that it is very uncomfortable to drive due to the light front end wandering and porpoising. My water tank is right behind the front wheels and the added weight makes it very easy to drive. It weighs in at about 100 LB under max on the front axles and the rear axles when fully loaded for a 4 week trip. I replaced the front shocks with Koni's at my first tire change.
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Old 03-29-2021, 09:35 AM   #8
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+1 on what yeloduster and others said, though my experience is some alignment shops will look at you funny and question running such a high amount of caster. You can buy the wedges needed to do this from Brazel's.

Also, front and rear trac bars are a must imho, or passing trucks and crosswinds will take the fun out of your drive. They're not that expensive and not hard to install yourself if you have some reasonable backyard mechanical skills.

I also found the Roadmaster Reflex steering stabilizer to be a great addition, but like yeloduster says, caster change might be all you need so try that first if you can find a truck alignment shop in your area.
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:44 PM   #9
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A rear track bar will make a huge difference with “tail wag” when getting passed by semi’s. Caster changes will help too but the rear of the box is brought under control with a track bar. # 1 improvement I did on both of our Workhorse Chassis coaches.
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:37 PM   #10
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Rear trac bar first. You need to plant the rear end, otherwise you have a delayed effect to your steering input, causing you to constantly over correct. The rear trac bar will help more than anything else, as it corrects the root cause, rather than the symptoms. Front trac bar also helps, but no where near what the rear trac bar will do.

Koni FSD will improve the ride comfort.
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