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Old 05-06-2021, 05:31 PM   #1
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5th Wheel Suspension - This May Be Bad?

New to me project. PO says he upgraded the springs to get more lift, and he's less than 1000 miles on this setup. I am inspecting the bearings and brakes and saw the way the springs are riding against the center piece, and can't help but wonder if there's any suspension travel at all. Looks like it's all bound up, to me.

Any ideas? Do I need shorter springs? Can I get a smaller center pivot piece (don't know the proper name) and have it work? I'm a little stumped. Don't want to throw big money at this, if possible. Got it for a song...

Edit: brakes and wheel bearings are good, new tires installed today....
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:05 PM   #2
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Sure looks like those spring are too long and need to be replaced. I don’t think there is any other workaround.
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:13 PM   #3
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The shackles need to be flipped.

The springs should be under the center triangle.
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:33 PM   #4
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Chargerman - Arrgh! I was afraid of that. Springs aren't terribly expensive, but it'll take a few weeks for them to get here.

Twinboat - is that a viable option? Will the suspension work with the springs under the center triangle? That would be awesome!
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
The shackles need to be flipped.

The springs should be under the center triangle.
Agree. Springs are gonna break this way. More lift? Not this way!!!
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:02 PM   #6
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Sorry but flipping the shackles is not a correct position for them. They currently installed correctly with springs that are too long. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-06-2021, 07:13 PM   #7
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Sorry but flipping the shackles is not a correct position for them. They currently installed correctly with springs that are too long. Attachment 327478
Virtually all the diagrams and photos I'm seeing online show this configuration. Flipping the shackles doesn't seem right, especially with the center pviot being as long/deep/high as it is. If it was flatter/shallower I might think flipping the shackles would work. I will, however, give it a try and see how it looks.
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Old 05-07-2021, 05:23 AM   #8
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I think flipping them will add a lot more stress to the frame bracket when side loads are encountered. If the design was not intended for the shackles to run in the position you are contemplating I sure wouldn’t be the one to run the beta test. Taking the cheap short term route ends up being a lot more expensive in the long term in many cases. Springs are not expensive.
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Old 05-07-2021, 06:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bueller View Post
Chargerman - Arrgh! I was afraid of that. Springs aren't terribly expensive, but it'll take a few weeks for them to get here.

Twinboat - is that a viable option? Will the suspension work with the springs under the center triangle? That would be awesome!
Check around for a trailer parts shop. I just bought 4 new springs and there weren't any in stock online or at the RV places. One RV place said to contact a local trailer shop and BOOM!, 4 in stock. $66 each.

The first set I bought were too long because I measured eye-to-eye with a load on the spring. Guess what? They looked like your picture. I then bought the correct length and everything looks good.
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Old 05-07-2021, 06:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
New to me project. PO says he upgraded the springs to get more lift, and he's less than 1000 miles on this setup. I am inspecting the bearings and brakes and saw the way the springs are riding against the center piece, and can't help but wonder if there's any suspension travel at all. Looks like it's all bound up, to me.
RV folks do some really dumb tricks like the PO did to the new to you trailer. Installing spring packs or just the top leaf too long or changing the length of the equalizer bar to gain chassis height was just one of them....and even after supplying them with "do not do this" emails or 1-800 calls from axle mfg service techs.

Anyways I sure wouldn't make any long trips and stay off rough roads till the suspension is fixed back to OEM specs. Good luck.... its not a easy job if you don't have the right equipment.
BTDT more than a few times when I was on the road with non rv trailers.
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JIMNLIN View Post
RV folks do some really dumb tricks like the PO did to the new to you trailer. Installing spring packs or just the top leaf too long or changing the length of the equalizer bar to gain chassis height was just one of them....and even after supplying them with "do not do this" emails or 1-800 calls from axle mfg service techs.

Anyways I sure wouldn't make any long trips and stay off rough roads till the suspension is fixed back to OEM specs. Good luck.... its not a easy job if you don't have the right equipment.
BTDT more than a few times when I was on the road with non rv trailers.


If you really want a good suspension look at comfort ride slipper spring set up about a grand . If you add their shock kit another 500 . Works great .
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:50 AM   #12
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It looks to me like if you added 4 new spring hanger right in front of the existing hanger and move the mounting point out on just the ends you would be fine and easy fix. you would be changing your axle center line by about 3~4" wider apart, would that work for your fender and wheel well?
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Old 05-08-2021, 06:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bueller View Post
New to me project. PO says he upgraded the springs to get more lift, and he's less than 1000 miles on this setup. I am inspecting the bearings and brakes and saw the way the springs are riding against the center piece, and can't help but wonder if there's any suspension travel at all. Looks like it's all bound up, to me.

Any ideas? Do I need shorter springs? Can I get a smaller center pivot piece (don't know the proper name) and have it work? I'm a little stumped. Don't want to throw big money at this, if possible. Got it for a song...

Edit: brakes and wheel bearings are good, new tires installed today....
X2 with Chargerman
It’s pretty clear the springs are to long from all the illustrations I have reviewed
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Springs are cheap compared to other upgrades. Sorry you inherited this from PO.
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Old 05-08-2021, 07:10 AM   #14
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Like others have said springs too long, and i know you want to keep costs down, i'm that guy too, but springs would be a small investment, and while you are at it a shock absorbing center link like morryde CRE 3000 or some other brand. that will improve the ride, when i added the morryde SRE 4000 to my 5th it raised me about an inch.
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