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Old 08-10-2007, 05:50 PM   #1
Vintage Kin
 
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SILVER STREAK Suspension, Tires, Shock Absorbers, Etc.

Got ahead of myself in a thread on shocks I'll ask the moderators to delete. Had to start over from scratch on the deal, so I'll start from scratch here on this new-to-us trailer purchased in mid-May of this year.

Took the trailer from north of Houston to Dallas on the old and sidewall-cracked Carlisle bias-ply tires. Installed Hensley Arrow and took off for Corpus Christi.

An under-trailer inspection revealed the following: broken shock mount (upper on rear axle, starboard), broken spring mount (rear, also on starboard), and the spare tire showed bald tread on the inside. Assuming that this was the "best" tire when all were replaced, the others must have been quite poor. The shock absorbers were obviously old.

At CORPUS CHRISTI SPRING (Henry Casas, Sr, owner) the axles were checked for alignment and the rear was off by just over 1/4". The wheel bearings were replaced and the mounts re-welded. One shock was removed (lower bolt is 5/8"). The suspension is original (no "axle flip").

After some clean-up this is what was found stamped:

610843
MAECO
HOS5-27-82-1

This build date accords with the trailers at 5/24/83.

Dimensions:

Compressed: 8.0"
Extended: 12.25"
Travel: 4.25"
Static: about 9.50"

A long Internet search for cross-reference ensued after two shops tried to find replacements, all to no avail. I called TENNECO (parent company of MONROE and RANCHO) as "MAECO" is the old acronym for Monroe. They couldn't find this number. I worked with two techs afterwards (and lately learned my error in measurements thus this corrected thread), and went through several shock absorber purchases.

The best of these, from the aspect of capacity was the GAS MAGNUM 555031 spec'd for the front of the FORD E-350 cutaway chassis; the gross axle rating is 4,000-4,600 lbs which accords decently with the 8,000-lb GVWR of this trailer.

Here's a comparison:

The MONROE HEAVY DUTY catalog lists the 555002 shock as compatible with the axles on this trailer as part of it's Retrofit Kit. That shock measures:

Compressed: 8.59
Extended: 12.75"
Travel: 4.125"

Compression measured at 319/lbs; Rebound at 100/lbs.

The "measured" shock that would appear to fit (were I to peel back the underbelly for access to the frame to change the upper mount) is the 555001:

Compressed: 7.82"
Extended: 11.85"
Travel: 4.03"

Compression measured at 259/lbs and Rebound at 95/lbs

A better choice, IMO, would be the 555025 (all three of these are marketed as trailer shock absorbers):

Compressed: 8.59"
Extended: 13.59"
Travel: 4.90

Compression at 412/lbs; Rebound at 146/lbs

But none of these three would work due to mount differences. The 555031 performs at: Compression 630-lbs/Rebound 209-lbs.

My guess -- at this point and a dozen different shocks considered -- that these last two shocks bracket the probable range.

Due to lack of time, the following properly-sized shock absorber was used:

MONROE 911171 REFLEX truck shock absorber. The listed application is the NISSAN XTERRA 4wd. About a 3,500-lb GVW front axle, marginal, IMO, as the trailer is always at this weight, not at gross as the little truck would be.

911171

Compressed: 8.03"
Extended: 11.875"
Travel: 3.875

(No performance specs given).

I plan at some point to break off the old upper mounts and go with a 555031-size shock. For those who are not interested in modifications, then note that there are some 911171 cross-references that may work and are built better such as KYB Gas-A-Just and Bilstein Heavy Duty. Measure and call those reps.

WHEEL AND TIRE BALANCE

I considered using the method recommended by Andy of Inland RV (lug-centric) but instead opted for CENTRAMATIC WHEEL BALANCERS as they have a good reputation the past 22-years. I dealt with "Tudor" (sp?) a very nice Texas gal at their shop south of Fort Worth. As these wheels (WESTERN, Model 26) are 5.5" bolt circle, 6-bolt, 15", she advised me to use "A" unit, stock number 300-556 (4 ea).

I purchased new tires from my DISCOUNT TIRE dealer as take-outs (they can only install ST tires at the shop):

YOKOHAMA RY-215 in LT 7.00R-15, rated at 2,040-lbs (as per Silver Streak weight guidelines). This was the tire I found in the trunk and would have purchased as I wish to avoid any Goodyear tire, and have no desire for Carlisle or Maxxis. It is a commercial trailer and truck tire with a good reputation. Indeed, it balanced out (on a HUNTER GSP-9700) between 8-lbs and 22-lbs. This tire is a bit tall, but the small amount of paint wear on the underside of the wheelwell tells me that the previous owner had little problem with it. As I have replaced the shocks (and will upgrade) I expect no problem.

In fact, in a 540-mile drive after installation on a 100F day my infrared thermometer never showed above 127F on any tire (same as the new Michelins on my truck), and pressure (65-psi cold) didn't rise above 71-psi. The temperature variation was less than 5F.

And the balance of tires and balancers appear to have worked well. My wife told me she had left a one-third full short paper cup of tea in one of the little corner racks over the bed and that it had not spilled after a long day on the road. The cat was obviously less stressed than in the first few trips.

New lug nuts, heat-treated, were installed as the old ones were looking poorly, as were new steel valve stems.

I believe I felt less at the steering wheel during this trip, that is, a reduction of vibration though this may be wishful thinking.
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Old 08-11-2007, 06:27 AM   #2
Vintage Kin
 
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Forgot to add that the 911171 shock has a different sized lower eyelet bushing. I tried to find replacement bushings (NAPA) but no go. I then started to remove the bolt sleeve, but gave it up. I simply swapped the trailers stock 5/8" rough-thread Grade 5 bolts with 6" 7/16's Grade 5 of the same sort. It bolted up w/o problems.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:40 PM   #3
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When the old tires were off I painted the wheelwells with KRYLON Fusion aerosol paint in black. This is a fairly tough paint I have used with success on plastic to wood to metal with no flake-off. I did brush off the worst of the crud and used no primer (as always).

About 1,000 miles have elapsed since the above work was done. I have towed several rough highways and had to negotiate some "paved ditches" as I call those gas station entrances. Find no wear-off of the paint, so I figure springs are okay.

Temps on tires have yet to exceed 126-129F on 97F days (truck tires hotter than this). If temps in the 80's then temps are a good ten degrees lower.

New tires are great, and I am especially pleased with their performance with new shocks, balancers and the Hensley hitch. This is good towing Silver Streak despite a slightly rearward weight bias.

When I have completed working on the hitch rigging I will post numbers.
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1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 15-cpm solo, 25-cpm towing
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:36 AM   #4
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Contacted the owers of a fine Silver Streak recently to ask them about the

4WAY SHOCK ABSORBER
4 Way Suspension

brand they installed on their 1980 trailer. Below is the e-mail I received with the pertinent info:



"We bought a complete set for the trailer and the truck in July, 1990, and have our receipt for the truck for warranty purposes, they have been excellent at replacing a leaking shock for the truck.

The shocks for the truck and trailer are all the coil type. With the truck we found that with the weight of the camper, cartop boat on top, and all of the other gear that with the large 12 x 16.5 12 ply tires all around that these shocks kept the truck stable and solved our cupping problem that we were getting on the front tires along with a proper balance using a machine that balances the front tires on the truck. Very few garages have this type of machine, but it is the best balance that we have ever gotten on the truck.

Now to the trailer, we had a hard time finding a replacement shock for the trailer, and with research we found the 4-way shocks with the coil and collar adjustment. On both the truck and trailer it takes time to adjust the collar for the proper position, a little frustrating for my husband, but eventually we got it done and wrote down our measurements to keep incase we had to replace them.

The shock itself when you pull the stem up and down is not that strong, it is in the design with the coil spring and collar adjustment that makes them work.

The trailer shocks have a top stem and a bottom hole for the bolt to go through. We set the front shocks after trial and error to these measurements. The front shocks measured from the tip of the stem to the centerline of the bolt hole is 9, and the rear shocks are set to 10. We found that this was the best.

From the photos, you can see the design of the shocks, and I was able to read off of the shocks these numbers. The shock that you want is number 632092, then another number under this one is number P 8014.

After we installed these in 1990 on the trailer, we did not have any problems until 2001 when we were towing back from a summer in Utah. As we were parking our trailer at a site, we heard a noise back by the axle area and saw that one of the brackets that holds the shock was broken off. We took off the damaged shock since it had been dragging on the ground and when we got home we made the repairs on the right side.

We are not sure if it was the years of many miles on the trailer or if the shocks with the coil spring caused the stress on the bracket to break. It could be a combination of both. Anyway, we took off the tires and had a man come out with a portable welding machine to fix it. We went to a machine shop and had them make a 90 degree bracket out of 1/4 inch steel, which is 3 long on each side of the bend and 2 wide. The center line of the hole is 1- 1/8 from the edge.

A year later, the left side of one bracket broke and we had the same man come out and make the repairs, then a year later we sold the trailer.

You will see by the photos that the tip of the front shock was broken due to the bracket breaking, but also notice that the two shocks have the 9 and 10 measurements on them, and look at the bracket for additional information."


(I'm afraid I don't know how to post the pictures sent).

http://www.trailmastersuspension.com.../4Way%20SS.pdf

http://www.trailmastersuspension.com/4way/4wayspecs.htm
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1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 15-cpm solo, 25-cpm towing
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:59 PM   #5
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Below is the reply and original question asked of the USA distributor of 4Way shocks

Dear Sir:

The cylinder you questioned only comes with the stud type mounts. The only 4Way shock I offer which is close would be PN 206921. This will have a stem and eye type mount, but it will be a little longer at 14.3 fully extended and 9.05 collapsed. The cylinder number is 612074. The 632092 cylinder you queried fits the 200112 kit. 4Way shocks are generally a 50 50 shock, to assist in sway and roll control. We have limited quantities of the shocks, so some older versions may no longer be available, or may be available with a revised number.

Dale Hudson
technical support
PERFORMANCE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP
928-636-3134
9286-636-3143, fax
dhudson@p-a-g.net

-----Original Message-----
From: REDNAX
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 6:59 AM
To: tech@trailmastersuspension.com
Subject: 4Way 632092

In regards the above shock:

I have an e-mail from the owner of a travel trailer of the same type as mine who installed this shock, marked:

632092
P8014

Purchased in 1990

where the upper mount is a stud, and the lower an eyelet. The current catalog you have shows stud upper and lower. Is this correct as I would be in the market in the near future for [4] of these?

The application is a 1983 SILVER STREAK travel trailer, all aluminum, built at South El Monte, CA; with a GVWR of 8,000-lbs on a tandem axle set, or, 2,000-lbs gross at each wheel. The published dimensions will work, but I am concerned about the mount.

Can you also give me info on rebound and compression rates?

I used a similar piece as steering stabilizer on a Jeep Cherokee we had and was impressed by it.

Thanks

(sig)


I find that 9.00 collapsed is too long to fit.
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1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 15-cpm solo, 25-cpm towing
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