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Q. Hi. I got inspired by some great photos I saw online of school busses that were remade into motorhomes. It seems quite the bohemian achievement to have an old Blue Bird with a wood stove and a bunch of crocheted afghans.

Long story short, we bought an old bus and we need to get the mechanical stuff straightened out before adding afghans and potted plants. The suspension is shot. I know we need something beyond normal shocks. What do you suggest for people new to RVing who have entered uncharted territory?

A. We do recommend KONI RV shocks when you need the gold standard for performance and safety. Read our information about KONI here.

Koni shocks are available for most Class A and Class B RVs and motorhomes and some pickup trucks commonly used to tow campers. KONI recently introduced the EVO 99 series especially for bus and coach applications. Give us a call or use our online catalog to find what you need.

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For the Freightliner RV we recommend KONI’s FSD Gold RV Shock Freightliner Motorhome (8805 1020). They combine the benefits of performance, superior handling and comfort into one shock absorber. FSD is firm for control over large bumps and corners, but soft for comfort over expansion joints and rough roads.


While KONI is known for reducing bounce in motorhomes, their FSD shocks include a special valve that filters out vibrations before they enter the coach. The result is an incredibly smooth ride, with plenty of shock left to control pitch and sway.

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What replacement suspension parts do I need for my 2003 Lincoln LS V8 with sports package?

You can use Monroe upper mounts (904972) with KYB Excel-G 341655. The mounts are made to fit the car, not the strut, just like the OE ones. They will even work with the original Lincoln struts.

The Lincoln LS has a four-wheel sort-long arm (SLA) independent suspension, which reduces unsprung weight and keeps your tires firmly on the road. Lincoln used a patented rear setup on the LS that seats the rear springs and shock absorbers against the frame rails, using negative lift to keep the rear level. Many reviewers thought the handling dynamics were modeled on German cars on the era, and in fact the Lincoln LS handling is not unlike the Cadillac Catera of the same time period, built in Germany by Opel.

See our online catalog for more information.

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QUESTION:
I need 4 shocks for a 2003 Alpinlite 5th wheel trailer, 14,000GVW, 33ft long, 2 Dexter axles.

ANSWER:
We recommend the Monroe Trailer Retrofit Kit, for trailers that have either a leaf spring suspension or a torsion axle suspension.

Adding Monroe RV shocks reduces the bounce and wander of your trailer for improved towing capacity. Monroe RV shocks also reduce the surge caused by trailer motion feedback to the tow vehicle, for a smoother, more comfortable ride. Recommended for use with Monroe RV shock absorbers.

Easily installed without welding or special tools, this do-it-yourself kit enables modification of your trailer suspension to accomodate Monroe RV shock absorbers.

Note: one kit is required for each axle, so your tandem axle requires two kits.

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Springs Are Dangerous

Replacing a strut is not very hard with the correct tools, but it can be dangerous. Even a good  spring compressor can malfunction. Watch this video from Car and Driver:

Keep in mind your car’s springs are holding up anywhere between 500 to over a thousand pounds depending on the size of your vehicle. If a spring compressor fails when you remove them, all that energy is released. The spring will shoot out very fast and very hard.

 

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Slight Lift for 2004 F-250

Question: I have a 2004 Ford F-250 Superduty 4×4, which currently has factory suspension. Looking for spring/shock or airshocks to give my truck a  small lift in rear. What do you suggest?

Answer: Shockwarehouse carries a Rancho Add-A-Leaf spring for the 2004 F250 that will give approximately 2-3 inches of extra height in the rear, depending on the condition of your stock springs.  This part is installed alongside your factory springs.  This is a much better choice than an airshock because it doesn’t put the extra stress of holding the truck up on the shock mounts and allows the shock to do its job, which is dampening the ride rather than supporting the truck.   You can see our page for that part here:
http://www.shockwarehouse.com/site/product.cfm/id/13840/name/RS60642-Rancho-Add-A-Leaf-Spring
And all of the parts we carry for your truck are right here:
http://www.shockwarehouse.com/index.cfm?mode=results&selected_model=4001&selected_year=2004

We can also recommend Bilstein 5100 series shocks to go with your rear lift; you can see those here:
http://www.shockwarehouse.com/site/product.cfm/id/15023/name/F4-BE5-6246-H6-Bilstein-5100-Offroad-Racing-Unit

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Q.: My husband and I have been enjoying a used Toyota Tacoma mini motor home but we need new air shocks.

Would the Airlift 57113 be a good choice? Do we order two or just one?

Does this particular item require drilling? Are installation directions sent with this item?

A.: The Airlift 57113 is a kit, and includes two air springs and all the hoses, brackets, bolts and other parts to install. You only need to order one kit. The kit includes detailed instructions, and these can also be downloaded free from Airlift’s website.

The Airlift Super Duty Air Spring Kit (57113) fits Toyota mini motorhome chassis 1986-1994. Commercial trucks, ambulances and tow trucks also use Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 kits for the reliable, safe handling they provide even under heavy loads. The LoadLifter 5000 is currently eligible for a rebate.

The 57113 does require drilling, usually just a few holes in the frame to attach the upper bracket to the frame.

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What do we recommend at Shockwarehouse when TV detectives from the 1970s call us to ask about replacing their shocks?

Here you go:

Jim Rockford: 1976 Pontiac Firebird
Bilstein Heavy Duty

David Starsky and Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson: 1974 Ford Gran Torino
Monroe Sensatracs

Theo Kojak: 1973 Buick Century Regal 455
KONI STR.T (Orange)

 

The Striped Tomato

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We had a question about a 1998 Chevrolet motorhome, chassis designation P-37, coil springs with airbags in front and leaf springs in the rear, and a tag axle.

(A tag axle is a non-drive third axle positioned behind the rear drive axle of a recreational vehicle with one or two tires on each side; its chief advantage is extra carrying capacity.)

Our shocks and accessories for the P-series can be found here:

http://www.shockwarehouse.com/index.cfm?mode=results&selected_model=3833&selected_year=1998

We recommend the Bilsteins, B46-1173 / B46-1587.

 

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One more reason to keep your suspension system in good repair: your vehicle may be taking more damage from poorly maintained roads than you might realize.

Much road damage is due to time and the weather, but overweight freight trucks tear up the roads, too. A recent study by TRIP, a nonprofit research prganization in Washington, found that 28 percent of major roads in the U.S. are in “poor condition”–chiefly due to potholes and cracks.

source: eremedia.com

According to the U.S. Department of Transporation, the percentage of roads in mediocre to poor condition approaches 70% in some states.
The same USDOT report estimates dollar values of annual total extra vehicle repairs caused by bad roads, and for some states these are in the billions. It works out to anywhere from $60 to $600 per motorist per year for the costs of driving on roads in poor repair. See the state-by-state chart.

Moreover, in the U.S., the condition of roads is the biggest obstacle to self-driving car technology (we like doing our own driving here at Shockwarehouse, but still).

Bad road conditions that have been neglected for a long period of time, such as a pothole that remains open for weeks, can cause serious damage to your car; if you have damage like this, take pictures. You may be able to address a successful claim to the appropriate city or local government.

And when you need replacement shocks and struts, Shockwarehouse is here for you.

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When you pull your tires, be sure to check your brake pads as well.
Go to www.BrakePadWarehouse.com for all your needs.