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Old 04-26-2003, 11:23 AM   #15
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I got my Bilsteins, and they look to be a bit too tall for my chassis. On Bilsteins site it says BE3-2645 are for 1985 and later P30 chassis and the other no. is for the earlier than 85. Hopefully I will work it out, the shocks sure do look fine.


P30/P32/P3500 73-01 HDSD B46-1173 (what I need)
85-01 BE3-2645

well at least I fixed my shower leak this week!
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Old 04-29-2003, 12:03 AM   #16
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Alan I am pretty sure the B46-1173 is proper for your year P30 chassis. This is the heavy duty version and should help compensate for the lack of helper springs. Being gas shocks they naturally extend to the full position, perhaps that's why they look longer? The BE3-2645 are the softer dampened versions. I got a great deal on my two Bilstein front shocks and the two steering dampeners, $84 total including my shipping for essentially new shocks. Now to order my 2 rears, about $75 each + shipping. BTW, The seller is still selling these on ebay. Alan and I where the guinea pigs and we got are shocks so it is probably safe to order from this seller.
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Old 04-29-2003, 11:12 AM   #17
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You are right, the seller is trading out the ones I got for the correct model # from his stock. If it all goes well I have to say I would recommend his services, and the prices are great.
I hope to get a steering stabilizer from him later on.
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:43 PM   #18
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still selling Bilsteins on ebay

Just bought a dampner for 27 and 2 front shocks for 27 plus about 19 for shipping... totalling 73 bucks.....quick ship and clean as a whistle....this is the same guy on ebay others have had good luck with and I have no complaints....jem
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:00 AM   #19
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Shock Absorbers

I also purchased the shock absorbers on ebay. I wonder how these compare to the original shocks that came with the motorhome when new. According to the service manual, Airstream removes the original shocks, that came with the chassis, at the factory and replaces them with a double action shock. The new shock is surrounded with a coil spring that is adjustable. The spring is set in a no load position. In other words, as the motorhome is sitting still, there is no force on the spring either up or down. Has anyone been able to determine a difference in handling or ride between the original and those from ebay?
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:05 AM   #20
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I got mine from shox.com

I found the price to be very competitive.

I can also say first hand the the Bilsteins are fantasitc shocks. I installed them on the Impala SS (my tow vehicle) and do they make a HUGE difference to the factory ones!

I highly recommend getting the stiffer shocks since they do not float as much.

Eric
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:14 AM   #21
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the ride with the Bilsteins is tight, but not harsh. The steering damper is the same, it is tighter steering but not noticeably harder to steer.
I am pleased with the upgrade- and also my old shocks seemed to be the originals, so they were long due for replacement.
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Old 08-13-2003, 11:06 AM   #22
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I bought the ebay bilsteins and they

are excellant. They are very firm. I've bought bilsteins for other cars, and they were strif, but not like these! Looks to be an excellant upgrade.

regards,

Mike
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Old 10-08-2003, 08:28 PM   #23
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What about tags?

I wanted to revive this post to ask about tag shocks and the coil over add on springs for the front Bilsteins.

I put on a Bilstein steering stablizer and it made a huge difference in road handling. The old one was so worn it might as well have been removed. Also ordered front take offs from ebay and should be here tomorrow. I was reviewing this post in prep to install the fronts. I have the bolt on coil overs springs on mine now. I understand from Dennis that they don't fit the Bilsteins. So...I can just run without them? Is there an adapter for these?

Next on the list are the rears and tags. Any 325/345/360 owners out there with part numbers for the tag shocks? Mine seem to be mounted horizontally.
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Old 10-09-2003, 06:24 AM   #24
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Tag Shocks

I was unable to find a cross reference for the tag shocks. They are available from Inland for around 30 bucks a pop. However....

They are interchangeable from side to side (no "up" or "down" preference), which indicates to me that they are concentric in their manufacture (no low side or high side mount), and should therefore work in just about any mounting position. I bring this up because I wonder if there are other shocks that would work, but have not certified for "airstream" specs.

Just a thought.

I believe the shocks that were on the tag axels on my 345 were original when I replaced them earlier this year, and, unlike the 4 primary shocks, really did not indicate a lot of wear. They held constant pressure during extension and compression, and did not exhibit any "loose spots", particularly in the area of the extension where you would expect maximum wear.

I replaced them primarily for confidence, especially since I had the replacements at hand. Was this confidence factor worth 60 bucks? Probably, especially since the originals were almost 20 years old.

On the port (driver's) side, the air suspension level control will have to be removed in order to remove the tag axel shock. There was no interference with the starboard level control.

With the removal and handling of the port level control, the port air bag WILL dump air. Be sure to have the frame and main axel are properly supported by jackstands, and anticipate some weight transfer when handling the level control.
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:23 AM   #25
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What a difference

Installed the two "take-off" bilsteins up front and I can't believe the difference! No more side to side rocking when transitioning the incline off of my street onto the level main road. No more bouncing over bridges on the highway!

Checked the rears and was amazed to see that the starboard side is broken off at the mount. So....Iím buying new rears and figuring out how to repair the mount.

Dennis...thanks for the tag info. Might as well replace everything for the "peace of mind" factor.
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:52 AM   #26
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Shock Mount Broken

Steve:

You didn't say whether it was the top or bottom mount that was broken.

If it's the top; don't let anyone weld on the web of the frame member. The frames are high tensile steel, and fractures could be introduced by welding without stress relief. A more practical way to mount the shock would be to;

1. Locate an "adapter" that would fit a predrilled hole, or,

2. Install a scab plate with reinforced mounting. These are mounted to the frame with high strength bolts or rivets.

IMHO, the latter would be the way to go.

Something had to cause the shock mount to fail, you might want to find a truck repair center that has the means to run a vibration analysis on your frame and running gear after you get it repaired.
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Old 10-18-2003, 09:11 AM   #27
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Broken Shock

Dennis,
Crawled under there last night to take a better look. Its broken at the top mount (starboard side). The mount itself is rivited to the frame and is fine. Looks like the mounting bolt broke off. The left shock has the same aged "patina" is the right so I'm sure this is worthless too.

I'm trying to find supporting evidence for the failure. There does not seem to be any noticable damage to the top of the axle and the sway bars look fine on top so there does not seem to be a "smoking gun". I'm sure it happened years ago based on the rust on the shock. Can't imagine what cause this unless it was a cheapo shock or a defect plus age (both shocks are very rusty)...maybe even just a loose mounting bolt that eventually broke off?

I'll try and post a picture and solicite some opinions and advice on this failure.

Stopped at CW on my way through Nashville and they didn't have Bilsteins in stock for the rear. May just drop $50 on napa shocks today just as a temporary fix.

I have a number of small vibrations here and there so once I get the basics repaired I will take your advice and get her over to a good truck shop for alignments, driveline balancing and high speed tire balancing.

Every little thing I fix makes her run and ride better and better. Went down and back to MS this week with no overheating, no problems with the heater hoses and a smoother ride (At least up front).

Some day I may actually have everything fixed!
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Old 10-19-2003, 09:21 AM   #28
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you can order the bilsten shocks from camping world or as in other post . wouldnt wast the time installing anything else. bilsteins sure has made a difference in my coach. i also installed the wheel balancers that camping world sells cleaned up a lot of vibrations. the pans dont rattel any more. lol
al
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