Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
July 28, 2014, 09:25:40 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an E-Mag Subscription: You can zoom in to make the text larger and easier to read.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Shock Absorbers  (Read 4786 times)
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4529

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« on: January 30, 2009, 04:19:05 PM »

In a recent post about radial arm bushings, replacing shocks was mentioned.  That post has caused me to look at an area that I had ignored.  The good news is that the radial arm plates appear to be centered, so there is no serious immediate problem.  On the downside, some have obvious cranking around the edges, so it should be watched and tended to at some point.  My question thought, was how do you evaluate the condition of the shock absorbers (other than getting King Kong to rock the bumpers).
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
JohnEd
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4571




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 05:05:36 PM »

Lin,

Find a nice cooperating SPEED BUMP in a large parking lot.  Hitting it square, just ease over it and evaluate the depth of the "jounce" or rebound bounce.  There should be nothing about it that suggests anything hitting or slamming.  You will have to try different speeds to find that harmonic where you get the most movement.  Hitting it at 15 mph should not result in any violence IF the shocks are good.

Are there any places in your travels where there is a dip in the road and the bus seems to really crash thru it if you hit the dip a a certain speed?  If so, bad shocks.  Bad!  Sit!  Stay!

People used to get off Greyhounds running the desert because they were "sea sick" from the fore and aft rocking.  Some had a YAW movement that was even worse.  This was due to bad shocks on air ride suspension.

So there is my 2 cents worth for testing hi speed and low speed performance.  I would pay a lot more for Bilstiens if they were available for my vehicle and they are usually competitively priced.  I have replaced new $700 per pair "coil over shocks" with Bils and the improvement was dramatic. Please understand that my lifetime of experience is exclusive of trucks and buses.

YMMV and HTH,

John
Logged

"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla
JackConrad
Orange Blossom Special II
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4446


73' MC-8 8V71/HT740 Southwest Florida


WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 05:32:17 PM »

When I did a visual inspection of our shocks, I could see where 2 were leaking (oil stain on shocks), so we replaced all on the assumption that if some were leaking, the others were not far behind.  We did notice a difference in the ride after repalcing the shocks.  Jack
Logged

Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
Arcadia, Florida, When we are home
http://s682.photobucket.com/albums/vv186/OBS-JC/
John316
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3212

MCI 1995 DL3, DD S60, Allison B500.




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 05:47:53 PM »

We just replaced all of ours. Only because we were sure that they were pretty old, and we were rebuilding the whole undercarriage anyways. (I have WhileI'mAtIt-syndrome Grin Cheesy Grin) The ride has greatly improved since.

God bless,

John
Logged

MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4529

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 06:01:45 PM »

John,

I once replaced shocks on an old motorhome with Bilstiens.  I merely suspected that the shocks were bad.  The difference was immediately noticeable.  I suppose that going that route would be an improvement even if the old shocks are holding.  Replacing the steering column with the one I got from Tom Y really improved the handling.  I even put off deciding about changing over to integral power steering until I get used to the new feel.  But I would love to have it drive more like a Caddy.  If shocks and bushings would put me closer to that, I am definitely tempted.  I thought that other companies like Grabriel now made comparable gas shocks.  Is that wrong?
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
Sojourner
Jesus Love You!
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 894


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 07:46:59 PM »

On automobile is simple to check for active working shock...just push down each corner and watch how it stabilize as well look leaks and damage ends.

However, a large bus is too difficult due to two or more shocks at the rear and a large mass of body weight to get it to rebound by one man. But with 3 or more men to get it to rebound. It it rebound easily mean worn or dry (leaked) shock.

A bus driver that been his life job would know the difference between new buses to the older ones with many miles for shock performance.

I know nothing about this brand but it look like a well design shock with 3/4 inch rod and 2 5/15 inch dia piston and pressurize with nitrogen.
Road King Shock for Class 8 truck and Large Motorhome

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald

Logged

http://dalesdesigns.net/names.htm
Ps 28 Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him
VanTare
Guest

« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 08:16:19 PM »

Lin bilsten doesn't make a shock for the heavy duty trucks and buses Koni does for over 100 bucks each but when replaceing ours on the trucks and trailers we use the Gabriel or Monroe they are as good as the 100.00 Koni's and cost 45.00 for the adjustable Monroe or Gabriel gas shock a plus for you Auto Zone sells by special order 

David
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 10:01:34 AM by VanTare » Logged
JohnEd
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4571




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 09:26:57 PM »

Lin,

When comparing "TOP of the line" shocks they all are close in price.  I happily spend an extra $10 or 20 per corner and go with Bils.  Nothing succeeds like success and the Bils have always been not only a success for me but a spectacular success.  YMMV!

Considering that Bils are not made for our buses it seems a moot point.  Between Gab and Monroe I would not hesitate to go with Gabriel.  Koni is a superior product to Gab or Monroe and they used to come with a lifetime guarantee that they honored speedily and without hassle.  My Bils out performed Rancho 9000 nitrogen adjustables without a doubt.  $40 seems almost too good a price but I think Gab has a pretty good warranty as well.  If I had the money I would go with the Koni's but I wouldn't worry about Gabs if they are spec'd for the bus.  Like many here have said "i felt some improvement" and then "you could REALLY tell the difference immediately". 

Oh, by the way....Koni's used to never wear out but they did start to leak.  Mfr free replacement on warranty every couple years....sweet!  Used to be made in Holland to German standards and European just couldn't ever seem to master the art of seal making from durable materials.  Much has changed since then, I am sure.

Good luck on this and let us all know what you learned and how well it works out.  Don't forget to do my test so you will have something like a performance baseline to compare.  Before i put Bils on my Ranger I had to creep over speed bumps and Wifey would not ride in my spiffy little truck.  I put the Bils on and i drive thru the parking lot with impunity and hit all the bumps at 25 mph.  Driving off a curb is a cream puff experience.  Oh, and Wifey wants to learn to drive the Ranger.  Always a down side , Right?


Logged

"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4529

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2009, 09:56:03 PM »

I'm going to do a little more research.  I even might speak to Luke and see if he has an opinion on the subject.  I really want to do something that improves handling noticeably, not one that is just okay.  I will scope out some speed bump test sights.  Right now, I go over such things pretty slowly.  I have not clocked it, but I think that a 15 mph speed bump, basically the top of first gear, would shake us up quite a bit.  I remember being impressed with the Bilstein and would trust them if they make the right one.  Once in that old motorhome, a bolt broke and ripped the grommet out of the Bilstein shock.  They Fedex'd me one immediately.  I was pretty happy about it.  I did put adjustable Gabriels on my last bus.  I do not remember noticing a lot of improvement, but, to be fair, I was driving it only once in a while at that time so could not do a fair comparison.  I had also added a steering stabilizer at the same time further clouding the issue.
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
WEC4104
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 779





Ignore
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2009, 04:01:23 AM »

When I first purchased my 4104, I noticed certain stretches on highway would set up a fore-aft rocking that I called porpoise-ing.  Some areas were bad enough that I had to adjust my road speed to help damp out the harmonic frequency.  Otherwise, I get the "Yee Haw, Ride 'em Cowboy!" remarks from the passengers.

I suspected the shocks and decided to replace the front ones first (an easy DIY with no jacking involved.)   I wanted to go with a quality shock, and looked at both Bilstein and Koni. I eventually selected the Konis because their model was adjustable, and the Bilsteins were not. 

I initially installed the Konis set to their middle firmness setting. After a little driving, I decided to set them a little stiffer. (One tick below their firmmest setting).   That turned out to be perfect.   Porpoise-ing was corrected, and still a very nice feel to the ride.... so much so that I have never felt the need to do the rear shocks.

If you can find a Bilstein model that fits your coach, they make a great product too.  I just think the adjustability allows you to fine tune the ride you want.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 04:03:45 AM by WEC4104 » Logged

If you're going to be dumb, you gotta be tough.
VanTare
Guest

« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2009, 06:55:45 AM »

fellows use what ever shocks you choose but my 45 footer has just plain shocks made by Gabriel nothing fancy has a great ride I was telling you about other shocks you can buy that don't cost you the farm to buy.John we do pay around 45.00 for the Gabriel SXL adjustable shock  Auto Zone may charge 50.00 I don't know .it is your bus your cash buy what you like or feel comfortable with.John what good does it do to pay for a lifetime warranty on a product that most people drive 10,000 or less miles a year.To test one remove it if you can move it up and down with little effort it is bad  


David
someone turn the heat on here in Tampa
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 10:05:11 AM by VanTare » Logged
TomC
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6674





Ignore
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2009, 09:11:08 AM »

What's strange about my AMGeneral transit is that it uses the same shock in front as in the back.  Personally- I've used the Koni shocks on my truck, and they work great.  For a more relaxed ride, the gas shocks will be the ones.  Good Luck, TomC
Logged

Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
WEC4104
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 779





Ignore
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2009, 11:10:45 AM »

It has been a few years, but I seem to recall that Koni spec'd the same shock model for the front and rear of my 4104.  However, in the back there are two shocks at each corner instead of one. After completing the front axel and having corrected my ride problem, I had a hard time justifying spending twice as much to do the rear axel when I was happy with the ride.
Logged

If you're going to be dumb, you gotta be tough.
Sojourner
Jesus Love You!
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 894


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2009, 02:10:12 PM »

Has anyone look in this site? Anyone ever try their shock absorber?

Road King Shock for Class 8 truck and Large Motorhome

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald
Logged

http://dalesdesigns.net/names.htm
Ps 28 Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4529

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2009, 02:17:10 PM »

Gerald,

I saw that you posted that site yesterday.  I do not know anything about them but was going to call them Monday and see what they have.  I have also heard that Tokico puts out quality shocks, but I don't know if they have them for my application, or what the cost and warranty are like.
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!