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Old 04-01-2005, 10:40 AM   #1
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SHOCKing question......

Let me start of saying I am not a mechanic and I have never played one on TV

I got my new Gabriel shocks in the other day. I assumed they would be extended and that I would have to compress them during the install to fit on the mounting bolts.

But they are in the compressed state so they would have to be pulled apart to mount. I tried pulling them and couldn't really do it. I didn't try really hard though. So how does this work?

I know its a dumb question but I had to ask....
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:48 AM   #2
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Tim,
I replaced mine a couple years ago. Just pull them apart to the correct length and mount 'em. They are gas and designed to work somewhat horizontally. The trick is to get the bolts off without breaking them. Several soakings with liquid wrench and some beers in-between will help.
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:55 AM   #3
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All the gas filled shocks I've seen have a nylon strap and are shipped in the compressed condition. If yours are not gas filled, they are probably just stuck in the compressed condition and will pull apart with a little arm power.

If they are gas shocks, be sure the nylon strap is cut. I like to use iron wire to hold them partially compressed during installation.
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:14 AM   #4
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I tend to over think stuff so I don't break something. So I'm usually more annoying than harmful ;-)

Just use more arm power and less brain power ;-)



Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2005, 01:49 PM   #5
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I would like to know where I can get the replacement shocks?
Mine would have to be about the same as Tim's. Our trailers are not that far apart in age.
I know Inland carries them but I recently changed my opinion about the company.
Are there any other choices out there?
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Old 04-01-2005, 01:56 PM   #6
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Hey Lou,

Monroe and Napa both make a shock that many have used as direct replacements to the originals. Quick search on here should reveal part numbers, plus the folks who used 'em.
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coriolis1
Hey Lou,

Monroe and Napa both make a shock that many have used as direct replacements to the originals. Quick search on here should reveal part numbers, plus the folks who used 'em.
Thanks, Dave!
By the way, YOU ROCK!
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:11 PM   #8
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Yes there are alternatives!

I did not buy from Inland because of the dealings I have had in the past.

I purchased my shocks from oasisrv.com for about $34 each. They shipped them quickly and charged less than $10 shipping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
I would like to know where I can get the replacement shocks?
Mine would have to be about the same as Tim's. Our trailers are not that far apart in age.
I know Inland carries them but I recently changed my opinion about the company.
Are there any other choices out there?
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:41 PM   #9
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Delco was supplying shocks in '67. Here's the thread where I posted part numbers.

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Old 04-01-2005, 08:59 PM   #10
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I've had good luck with C&G Trailer. Website is www.CGTrailer.com.

They have been recommended to me by many during my travels.
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLB21
I've had good luck with C&G Trailer. Website is www.CGTrailer.com.

They have been recommended to me by many during my travels.
My parents had their Airstream serviced, repaired and maintained by C&G for years with no complaints. I don't live in SOCAL anymore but I always stop buy when I'm there. Friendly honest people.
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Old 04-02-2005, 12:12 AM   #12
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I would recommend against using gas shocks on an Airstream trailer.
They are usually too stiff for the application on these trailers. The bracketry is not designed to support this kind of gas charged shock.
The Torsion axles benefit from a passive, hydraulic shock that merely dampens the movement of the torsion arm. Most gas shocks have a substantial pre-load, which in my opinion would not be beneficial in an Airstream suspension.
I tried Napa for their shocks, and was told that they only sell gas shocks now. Besides, their prices are just slightly less than the shocks from Airstream.
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Old 04-02-2005, 03:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW
Delco was supplying shocks in '67. Here's the thread where I posted part numbers.
Hmm, the link appears to have gone bad.

Let's try that again:
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=12716

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Old 04-02-2005, 10:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
I would recommend against using gas shocks on an Airstream trailer.
They are usually too stiff for the application on these trailers. The bracketry is not designed to support this kind of gas charged shock.
The Torsion axles benefit from a passive, hydraulic shock that merely dampens the movement of the torsion arm. Most gas shocks have a substantial pre-load, which in my opinion would not be beneficial in an Airstream suspension.
I tried Napa for their shocks, and was told that they only sell gas shocks now. Besides, their prices are just slightly less than the shocks from Airstream.
Uwe,

I thought the Gabrielís WERE gas. I know they are supposedly "Special" but I always questioned how "special" they really were since the part number crossed over to NAPA. The Gabrielís are readily available from any Airstream dealer so I never bothered to chase down the other brands.

Another note on installation, I had to bend the bracket to get the buggers off but it pounded right back and doesnít appear to have weakened the bracket.
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:49 AM   #15
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I called Airstream Tech Support today and got the cross reference for my shock abosorbers on the Minuet. It is the same "Airstream" shock absorber that sells for $35 each "elsewhere".
It is a Gabriel shock. The number is: 0220003. This is the number that Airstream gave me. They said that the shock can be ordered from almost any auto parts store.
Pep Boys has ordered them for me. They are $20 each! Pretty good deal for the same exact shock!
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Old 04-05-2005, 11:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 Overlander
Uwe,

I thought the Gabrielís WERE gas. I know they are supposedly "Special" but I always questioned how "special" they really were since the part number crossed over to NAPA. The Gabrielís are readily available from any Airstream dealer so I never bothered to chase down the other brands.

Another note on installation, I had to bend the bracket to get the buggers off but it pounded right back and doesnít appear to have weakened the bracket.
I suppose the bracket would be fine, even if it's bent back and forth a few times over the life of the trailer.
I went to a Napa store to check out their shocks, and they were substantially stiffer with a slight pre-load than new Airstream originals by Gabriel. The Gabriels are rather soft, merely dampening the vertical wheel movements, but without adding much stiffness to the ride. I doubt that there's even a breath of gas in there - sounds like 100% Hydraulic shock action. My logic tells me that that's the best solution for the Airstream torsion suspension.
Either way, I doubt that shocks are that big of an issue, as rubber torsion suspension is self damping to begin with. Nevertheless, not being a mechanical engineer, I'll go witht eh flow and put Airstream shocks on my 1963 Overlander, as I did on my 1971 Tradewind.
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Old 04-06-2005, 06:08 AM   #17
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Question When to replace shocks

1. I'm curious as when to replace shocks if there is no physical evidence of leakage, damage, or other deterioration?

2. At first glance, it appears that there is not sufficent room to replace the shocks because the mounting studs are opposed to each other. So when the axle is unsprung is there sufficient room to install the shock or does the axle need to partically dropped?

Thank for the replies.
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:19 PM   #18
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I finally set aside a whole day to replace my shocks. I used the info supplied here and all went well.

I used the aerokroil to get the mounting nuts off and they came off quite easily. Thanks for that tip!

Also, bending the mounting bracket to get clearance for the nut and shock to be mounted worked well.

Took me about 3 hours including cleanup to get all four done. Another project completed.

Since I had some spare time, I cleaned up my entrance step and used POR15 and blackcoat topcoat on it. Turned out nicely too.
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Old 05-15-2005, 06:42 AM   #19
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where do you get the kroil?
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Old 05-15-2005, 07:49 AM   #20
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I had never heard of kroil before... Guess I'll make a note to try some. I found some here.

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