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Old 07-25-2007, 10:26 AM   #1
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Silver Streak Shock Absorbers [Closed - see note at bottom of this post]

We purchased this Model 3411 Silver Streak travel trailer in May. After having an alignment done on the axles (big truck trailer repair shop; rear was off by 1/4" and there was a busted top shock absorber mount plus a broken rear spring shackle mount now re-welded. The spare showed badly worn tread on the inside) I started to look into shock absorber replacements. As you know, the technical term for these is a damper, and the previous owners attempts to keep loaded clothes hangers on the wardrobe dowels, etc, was evidence of a contiuing problem. Watching the trailer as we traveled indicated, as well, that these shocks were history.

Our trailer came out of the factory on May 24, 1983. On removing one shock (and it had NO remaining resistance to movement), this is what I found stamped on the barrel, line-by line, top-to-bottom, followed by dimensions:

Made in U.S.A.

Static: (as installed, from upper mount [centered between bushings] to center of lower ring)




It appears that the build date was May 5, 1982, consistent with the trailer build date. After some Internet searches and a call to my NAPA counter man I found no information, no cross-references. I searched the MONROE site (MAECO was the old acronym) and found no exact match in size (valving is another matter).

I called the Tech Line (as listed on the MONROE site) and the gal told me she could find no record of that part number. The closest she found was that 610- was an old FIRESTONE prefix. She transferred me to a man in Tech Support [Jay] so that we could go over the above information in conjunction with the fact that this is an 8,000-lb GVWR tandem axle trailer featuring (I believe) HADCO ENGINEERING 3.5" diameter axles (tube exterior o.d.) on 6-lug, 15" wheels. My 1983 owners manual shows all Silver Streak trailer sizes to have the same GVWR, so I believe that the other dimensions are likely consistent as well.

After some searching (MONROE won't discuss valving [citing proprietary information, unlike, say, KONI or KYB in my experience]) he recommended to me the following damper:

MONROE 555031

Upper: 1/2"-13 stud
Lower: 5/8" bolt sleeve

Compressed: 10.00"
Extended: 14.875"
Travel: 04.87"

This is spec'd for the 1997-2004 FORD E-Series Cutaway Class-C Motorhome

According to the FORD FLEET website (2008) the E-350 chassis on a 138" wheelbase has a 9,600-lb GVWR, with the front at 4,050-lbs. This is the same on the first three iterations, the final (heaviest) is at 4,600-lbs with DRW.

I purchased a single 555031 from the local AUTOZONE and have been eyeballing it this morning. As per Jay, the lower mount [eye] will need to have a new, smaller i.d. bushing pressed into place to accomodate the trailer mounting bolt. Other than this I see no interference although the "new" shock features a longer body and is overall larger in size.

I'll be ordering another [3] three shocks for the trailer, but will have to have someone with a whole lot more "umph" to compress them to fit, after installing new bushings. (And the new bushings will be rubber).

If anyone sees any problem staring at me that I have missed, I would appreciate some feedback. Thanks.

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Old 07-25-2007, 10:39 AM   #2
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It looks good to me.
I would put it all up there, look at it and then decide if it needs any modification.

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Old 07-25-2007, 10:40 AM   #3
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Why not use a 555002? It has 5/8" loops on both ends, and is closer to the length you need.

BTW, your original travel is 3.50 inches, not 4.50.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:03 AM   #4
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Boy, thanks for the quick replies and correction on travel.

The upper mount is for a stud. The MONROE conversion kit, installed, would up the price considerably. I would like to, at (hopefully) some near future point convert to a MOR-Ryde semi-independent suspension, along with some electric-over-hydraulic disc brakes. And 16" wheels so that I can move up to the MICHELIN XPS radial tire.

I made other measurements in the time-out for breakfast and a smoke; some approximate measurements:

Old shock:

6.0" (weld-to-weld) by 1.5" diameter

New shock:


8.5" by 2.0"-plus

In other words, the 555031 shock is considerably larger, it may not "look" right in comparison to the 610483 shock. Clearance, though tighter, is still at 1/2" or better.

I also bought a MONROE 32267, spec'd for the van (as is; not cutaway chassis). The external dimensions are just barely smaller (the upper stud is of a smaller diameter, although this is not relevant to mounting; the lower is the same).

Cross-referenced to that shock are:

BILSTEIN 46-1613
KYB 6413
Gabriel 63622

Any of these "might" work (I'm not going to track it down at this time), so the use of them ought to be investigated prior to purchase.

My experience with the MONROE above (a "Monro-matic") is that they are just able to do the job, and for not too awful long a time. The Gabriel is an even lesser choice, IMO.

The EDELBROCK is not a likely choice, again IMO, but the BILSTEIN would be IF a tech from that company thought it might. At this point I believe that the BILSTEIN would be a bit much in valving strength.

The MONROE Gas Magnum may also be a bit stiff. And, while any change is for the better at this point, my experience with the Gas Magnum in automobiles (1977 Chevrolet Impala Wagon with HD suspension; the G-M is spec'd for police/taxi) is that while the ride harshness is increased, the trade-off is front sway is well-worth it (steering control on lousy road surface).
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:16 PM   #5
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Found a shop to install the shocks (CAMPER CAPITOL in Garland, TX a NE suburb of Dallas; they have a great inventory of items in stock in general & lots of space to pull in and through; I have spent a fair amount of time going through stock to replace or add new items), and will then head over to DISCOUNT TIRE at the SW corner of Park Blvd and the Dallas North Tollway to install CENTRAMATIC balancers (part #300-556; BOTH "A" units; speak with Tudor [sp?] at Ft. Worth headquarters to order for a 5.5" bolt circle, 6-lug, 15" wheel), and to have the tires "Road Force" balanced. I use this particular shop for all my vehicles as the manager, Jud Brady, trains and keeps men who understand the equipment.

Granted, I should do the drum/wheel balance as Inland RV Andy recommends, but I'm out of time before a trip. May do it when again in Corpus Christi (CC SPRING; Henry Casas, Sr; had them replace wheel bearings and re-weld broken shock and spring shackle after re-aligning rear axle by 1/4"), but feel that the CENTRAMATIC will do the trick for now.

Looking forward to a trip to Colorado; we'll head north from a point west of Ft. Worth after a stop at CLAY's CB SHOP (see online) as I need the old CB/antenna in the trailer tuned up and a new mount for the truck. I used this shop as a pro driver and am happy to recommend them. Then, due north to pick up the Arkansas River in Kansas and follow it back upstream . . . .
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