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Old 08-26-2003, 12:06 AM   #1
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Question front end bottoms out!!?

I could stand to lose a few pounds but I don't think I'm the total cause of my front end bottoming out. Here in Alaska it is rare to find a really smooth road without frost heaves, dips and the like, and usually there is no warning before I'm upon one. The thing that bothers me is that the front end will really dip, to the point of bottoming out when I hit a big dip. The bags are inflated to 50 psi, the tires are near new Michelins and inflated to 70 psi. Is there any reasonable thing I can do, besides slow down and be careful? Can I do some front end beefing up without sacrificing ride quality? I haven't been on the forums much this summer and I hope my question isn't redundant. Thanks for a great forum.
Cheers, Curtis
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Old 08-26-2003, 07:09 AM   #2
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Shocks.

Shocks job is to resist sudden movement of the axle. It's a heavy vehicle and it needs strong shocks. With the road conditions your dealing with you may want to run a little extra air to increase ride hight to give the suspension more travel and replace the shocks. If it improves but is still not enough you may want to add a second set of shocks to the front. Just be very carefull as to how you mount added shocks. You want to do it at a strong point on the suspension and you also want to because not to overwhelm the suspension. Too much shock can break things but so can bottoming out.

Another thing you might look into is in the 4x4 world they sometimes run a extended bump stop that acts like a spring to some extent and does crush down a lot.
http://www.energysuspension.com/prod3.html
About half way down that page is some long bump stops with holes in them. those are designed for trucks that tak hard landings. The stop will crush down and abosorb the impact better then the stubby bump stops. You may be able to mount a smaller set of those to help ease the bottom out.
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Old 08-26-2003, 07:41 AM   #3
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Additional Air in the bags will help, but if you do that it will change the front end alignment geometry. Not an issue as long as you decide to run X Lbs of air and have the front end realigned to go with the additional air.

I would start with new shocks before going the more air route.
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Old 08-26-2003, 09:42 AM   #4
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The front bags call fo 55 PSI.

That won't make a great difference, but it will help.

The remainder of the problem, should be the shocks. Make sure the correct shocks are installed.

Andy
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Old 08-26-2003, 10:26 AM   #5
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Bilstein

I believe that's where it's at. I just put a new set of these (HD) in my Suburban, and it's a HUGE difference. The truck feels so controlled now, it's fantastic. They cost a bit more than Gabriels or Monroes form a chain parts store, but they are well worth it.
I got mine from www.shox.com
Good luck.
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Old 08-26-2003, 10:52 AM   #6
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Re: Bilstein

Quote:
Originally posted by uwe
I believe that's where it's at. I just put a new set of these (HD) in my Suburban, and it's a HUGE difference. The truck feels so controlled now, it's fantastic. They cost a bit more than Gabriels or Monroes form a chain parts store, but they are well worth it.
I got mine from www.shox.com
Good luck.

Bilsteins ar great. My R20 Suburban was wallowing around pretty good. Real happy with the way it rides and handles with the Bilsteins. Auto Zone does offer them but most of the time they have to order them in (2-3 days).
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Old 08-26-2003, 03:57 PM   #7
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Curtis,
does that rig even have shocks?
Listen to the pros and but some bilsteins on there.
This is what you get for letting strangers check out your Airstream:
Remember when we looked at your rear airbags and noticed that someone removed all the leveling valves? So regardless of your weight you are probably always runnig at close to 100 psi on your bags. You may want to consider reducing the max psi output at the pressure switch.
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Old 08-26-2003, 04:06 PM   #8
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co-incidence or what

By sheer coincidence I was under our MH two weeks ago inspecting the belts and hoses (had to adjust the alternator belt) and noticed that I had broken the RF shock. Went to local supplier to run the #'s that were on the MH for repalcement...they were the wrong size about 2" compressed and 3" extended. I'd check the shock size and go with the Bilstien's if you can afford it...it never hurts to slow down abit and enjoy the scenery. Afterall you're not driving a trail buggy on those bumpy roads.
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Old 08-26-2003, 06:01 PM   #9
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Awesome responses.

Well, I guess I'll buy some Bilsteins! And I'll change the steering dampener while I'm at it. Zamboni, slowing down to see the scenery is a cool thing, but even while traveling 50-55 on seemingly flat pavement you can be met by a surprise frost heave that will float your teeth, or toss your toupee....Peter thanks for putting PB in orbit! No wonder I've been feeling so spaced-out lately!! Anyway, there ain't a Bilstein in the state so I'm heading to shox.com. Thanks everyone!
Curtis
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Old 08-27-2003, 11:31 AM   #10
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You might want to contact Bilstein directly. Shox.com don't have RV shocks.
Or do a search on the web for Bilstein. The make steering dampners as well.
Good luck.
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Old 08-27-2003, 12:18 PM   #11
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Found it for you. I believe your motorhome is on a Chevrolet P30 chassis, no?
Try this:
http://www.ajusa.com/cgi-bin/store/start

Good luck!
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Old 08-27-2003, 01:08 PM   #12
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there is the guy on EBAY who sells very slightly used Bilstein take-offs. I and others here have bought sets and been very satisfied with the results. My front shocks were under 50 bucks a pair.
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Old 08-27-2003, 02:47 PM   #13
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Just be sure that you get the correct shock for the application. Just because they fit the mounts does not mean that they are the right ones for the coach.
Bilstein is one of the few companies that make a special attempt to produce purpose built shocks, for each application. Very few part numbers cross over to different vehicles.
I would not at all worry about slightly used Bilsteins, since I have this brand in 2 cars that have over 200k miles on the original Bilstein shocks, and they are still functioning perfectly well.
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Old 08-28-2003, 09:08 AM   #14
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Bilsteins!

Well, I hopped on the internet and ordered Bilsteins through shox.com.
Ewe, thanks for the web site suggestion. I had ordered the shox prior to your post, but I checked with "your folks" about the part numbers and thankfully it is the same part number that shox.com is sending me. I also bought a steering dampener ($74) and the shocks cost me ($71/shock).
I might add that the website you suggested offers FREE shipping, but not to Alaska. Anyway, in my haste I may not have gotten the best deal, but the shocks are new and will be here before our big road trip to Mt. McKinley; which is a good thing because that road up there can surprise you. Thanks again everyone, this forum is great.
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