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Koni Shocks


CapnDean

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I am about to replace my factory shocks with Koni's.   (2008 Monaco Camelot 42PDQ) :  The Bilstein replacement shock is 24-187305 for all 10.   The Koni numbers are 8805-1004 for the front and 8805-1005 for the rear.  Anybody ever done this and know why?  I would think that the shocks need to be the same all around?

Secondarily:   Koni has two part numbers for these shocks....    The same number ending in SP1 is for the same shock but with a 3/4" eye on each end.  If the part number does not end in SP1, then the upper eye is 11/16" and the lower eye is 9/16".     I'm not sure which one I have and I don't  understand how Bilstein can get it right with one part number for all 10 whereas with the Koni shocks, I have to know things that I don't readily know.   

Obviously I do not wish to have to remove a shock and put it back on to make sure I order the right ones.   Has anyone been down this trail before?

 

Factory shocks are 13 years old (40K miles) and are doing the job albeit a little porpoising on a wavy road.

 

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When I had Koni shocks installed back in 2010 I had to order two different sets. One set for the rear (8805-1005 SP1) and a different set for the front ( 8805-1004 SP1) because of the way they were mounted. Plus some or all had to be returned as they ended up to be the wrong mounting ends. I don't remember exactly what it all ended up to be but some of the shock ends even had to be drilled out somewhat to get them to fit.

All I can say is good luck as there was a lot of confusion back then and there still may be today.

I ordered them from Shox.com at the time.

I had three replaced under warranty a few years ago as they were leaking which Josam's in Orlando did the swap out. They are a Koni dealer so you might want to give Barry a call at Josam's to see what he has to recommend as he probably has a lot of experience with Koni Shocks.

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I just changed the shocks on my 2004 40 PDQ. Front shocks were shorter than back. I had studs on the top of all eight. You need to confirm what you have by checking each wheel to be safe. Front should be same, and back should be same. There is limited room on the back. But I was able to do the job without taking the rear wheels off.  Another guy from this group bent a 5/16 wench to hold the top and then 3/4" ratchet wrench for the nut. I made a tool out of flat steel. In the end the tool didn't work because of rust. I used a sawzall to cut just below the washer through the rubber. That worked out well for me.

I bought them direct from Koni. I originally ordered them from "Shock Warehouse", in Florida. Two months and 3 calls they kept saying back ordered, not in stock. I contacted Koni direct and they had them on the shelf. Got them 3 days later.

Good luck

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If I were going to replace my shocks, I would go with what Source Manufacturing recommends.  Source uses a custom made shock from Bilstein available only to Source.  

Scott Zimmer, the old Roadmaster plant in Oregon manager, can advise you what to do.  Give him a call at 541-935-0308.  Won't cost you anything to inquire.

Chuck Boros

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Can't tell you which ones you need, but Monaco used both Bilstein and Monroe as OE. Bilstein claims 100,000 miles life, while the Monroes are done at 18,000. The upper bushings in the Bilsteins can fail (they are different from normal Bilstein bushings) and replacement bushings are available from Bistein for $4 each. Bilstein East 1.800.745.4636, Bilstein West 1-800.537.1085. 

 

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I replaced the rear shocks on our coach with Bilstein Comfort Drive shocks from Amazon.  They were $80.20 each and take about 10-20 min per shock to change.  They are part number 24-187321.  Our coach also uses the same Bilstein shock part number all around.  Bilstein provides a small package with a steel bushing kit for the different applications.  

Koni uses two different part numbers: 8805 1004 front, and 8805 1005 for the rear for our S series chassis.  Koni shocks are double the price of Bilstein but some owners are saying they work well on the front.  

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Here is a post I made just yesterday on this very subject over on irv2:

Ah, the third rail of motorhomes.

The biggest problem with shocks is folks expectation of what they will do.

THEY DO NOT IMPROVE HANDLING.

Shocks are incorrectly named and should be called dampers because that is what they do. THEY DO NOT ABSORB SHOCK, in fact they can transmit shock from a wheel impact to the frame depending on how they are valued. If your coach is bouncing up and down for a prolonged period after hitting something like a bridge expansion joint then you need new shocks. The Monroe shocks will work fine for this but will only last about 15K miles before they need to be replaced again. If you go to a shock that is stiff you will reduce the so called Walmart roll when entering or exiting a driveway and they can help with buffeting side wind. The problem with stiff shocks is that they will transmit more road shock to the frame and will make the ride harsh. Its a trade off.

If you have a newer coach with IFS on the front then you probably don't worry about ride on the front axle. We have a straight axle on the front and the ride can be very harsh if everything is not up to par. I have owned this coach for 13 years and have tried many things to improve the ride up front. We have tried a number of shocks. The original Monroes were shot when we purchased the coach with 12K miles on it. We replaced them with Koni FSD shocks at a significant cost but the improvement was significant. At about 75K the ride seemed to be going down hill so we sprang for the very expensive Custom Tuned Bilstein shock for the front. That was a huge mistake and I should have known it when putting them on because they were very stiff in both directions and not FSD shocks. This was just before our trip to Alaska and the roads in the Yukon would jar your teeth out. The first thing I did when we got back home was to replace the shocks with Monroe's and the ride was like heaven after the super stiff Bilstein's.

I kept the Koni FDS shocks that I had removed from the front because they have a life time warranty to the original owner. About two months ago I decided to see if Koni would actually stand behind their warranty and followed the instructions for sending the shocks back for testing. To my surprise they sent me four new shocks and all it cost me was a one way shipping charge. Even though the coach was riding about as good as I would expect, last month I decided to try the new Koni's and swapped them for the Monroe's. The ride was slightly improved over the Monroe's so based on my experience with our coach I would recommend the Koni FSD shocks. I know others will disagree but that's OK.

Just remember that shocks have absolutely no affect on straight line handling and if you are replacing shocks because your coach is wandering then you will be disappointed. In fact when the coach is traveling down a smooth road the shocks are not doing anything unless you get passed by a truck or buffeted by wind.
 

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Well Ill be a monkey's uncle.  My rear shocks are dowel and nut on the top.  The Koni's that I have been told will fit mine have eyes on each end.  Clearly the wrong shock.

I am going to have to climb under there and try to get the numbers off of the current shocks in order to get the right ones.   I am not trying to cure handling issue as my coach handles well.  The reason for changing them is that I porpoise a tad on wavy roads.

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On 12/1/2020 at 9:33 AM, Dr4Film said:

When I had Koni shocks installed back in 2010 I had to order two different sets. One set for the rear (8805-1005 SP1) and a different set for the front ( 8805-1004 SP1) because of the way they were mounted. Plus some or all had to be returned as they ended up to be the wrong mounting ends. I don't remember exactly what it all ended up to be but some of the shock ends even had to be drilled out somewhat to get them to fit.

All I can say is good luck as there was a lot of confusion back then and there still may be today.

I ordered them from Shox.com at the time.

I had three replaced under warranty a few years ago as they were leaking which Josam's in Orlando did the swap out. They are a Koni dealer so you might want to give Barry a call at Josam's to see what he has to recommend as he probably has a lot of experience with Koni Shocks.

Exactly where I am today.   My shocks have studs on the top.  Every shock seller says I have eye ends. 

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3 years back I had to replace the stock Monroe shocks on my 2009 La Palma Diesel.  At 28,000 miles they were shot.  All 4 shocks were blown and not working at all.  Wanted to use Bilstein Shocks but they don’t make a shock to fit the rear on my coach.   I ended up put Kong’s on the rear and Bilsteins on the front.  The improvement in the ride was amazing to say the least.  The steering was a huge improvement as well.  Wish I had done the replacement sooner.  

Just bought a 2007 Executive and replaced all 10 shocks at Source Eng.  Big improvement in ride and handling.  They installed Bilsteins all around.

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I think that myself, Craig French, and Bob Nodine have spent more time, money and effort on the subject of the value of different "shock ABSORBERS" than all other members of this forum COMBINED.  As Bob Nodine said, "shock absorbers" DO NOT 'ABSORB' SHOCKS".  Anyone who thinks differently is simply lacking understanding of physics and Newtonian mechanics.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A 'SHOCK ABSORBER' THAT ABSORBS SHOCKS!!!  The name "shock absorbers" is from the 1930's A-model Ford days.  Shock Absorbers were misnamed from Day One.  They should have been called "rebound dampers".  If you think that a "magic device" can prevent your tires/wheels from transmitting a road irregularity (bump) from your antique straight-axle front end design motor coach to your driver/passenger seat...then by all means, purchase it and write glowing reviews of how some “magic” shock both "smoothed" your ride and "improved" your "handling" (rebound control).  If both those things happened, it happened ONLY BETWEEN YOUR EARS!!.  Yes, I meant to be BLUNT and say that your reviews of "smoother ride" COMBINED WITH "increased rebound control" from your mega-buck shocks are bulls**t and you should do other coach owners a favor and keep those glowing IMPOSSIBLE reviews to yourself.  Yes, I understand that you spent 2-3 times for your shocks as necessary.  But don't feel like you have to justify your foolish decision to everyone else who may be thinking "magic" shocks can cure every ailment their coach has.  Is it possible for a "shock absorber" to both improve rebound control (improve "handling") and ALSO provide a "smoother" ride?  NO. NO. NO. NO.  Make your choice, folks---you either opt for improved rebound control (with accompanying harsh ride) or you choose smoother ride (less banging from tar strips and expansion joints).  There ain't no "free lunch"!!  You can't purchase a "magic" shock that "absorbs" shocks and "rides sooo smoothly".

If any "knowledgeable" person has told you that the "mushy' feeling you get from your steering wheel as you drive down a straight, smooth interstate highway can be cured by a set of "magic" shock absorbers, put up your BS antennae.  It ain't gonna happen!!  If you are even moderately technical, consider this--  "shock absorbers" can ONLY function if they are being COMPRESSED or EXTENDED.  What do you think they are doing if they are not moving at all (along a straight, smooth interstate highway)?  HELLO!  How could they POSSIBLY help your coach stop wandering when they are doing NOTHING?

As I said earlier, I’m sure I will be the object of much flaming, especially from the folks who spent mega-bucks on “miracle shocks” and are technically clueless.  But for those of you that have not made the “follow the herd” decision to purchase expensive shocks, and have technical expertise, PLEASE stop following “the herd” who are clueless.---YOU HAVE AN ANTIQUE STRAIGHT-AXLE COACH.  NOTHING IS GOING TO MAKE YOUR COACH RIDE LIKE EVEN THE MOST PRIMITIVE IFS (Independent Front Suspension) coaches.  YES, we have a good, high-end coach from TWENTY YEARS AGO.  Can it compete in ride quality with even mediocre quality IFS coaches?  NO!!  But stop thinking that if you spend mega-bucks on “shock absorbers” you will get any improvement in “real, justifiable, technically provable” results,  except between your ears.  It ain’t gonna happen.  Wanna improve your coach’s “handling”?  Fix the design flaw. Don’t apply a “Band-Aid” “snake-oil” fix.

Is there any hope?

Yes, Watts links and cross-bars will work wonders for your coach’s DRIVING experience.  But they will NOT make it ride like a Greyhound bus.

For that, you need to remove ALL your shocks…and install IFS. How do I know this?  Because I am only one of a tiny collection of folks who have TOTALLY REMOVED ALL their shocks and gone for a test ride.  Did the coach wallow a SMALL amount it curves?  YES.  Was the change from before with shocks installed major?  NO!  So, for all you folks who PAID a shop to install your new mega-bucks shocks, I’m happy if you are happy.  I’m happy that my coach rides and “handles” (ZERO wandering) as well as its design allows well.

I can offer one bit of advice concerning shocks.  My experience has proven that the price of shocks is vastly high.  In much experimentation, I have determined ONE truth—REAR shocks have a much less PERCEIVED ride “quality” than FRONT shocks.  If you want to reduce the “Walmart wobble” when you enter a curb, choose a stiff shock for your rears.  I installed a set of Bilstein REGULAR (not “comfort”) shocks on the rear of my 2000 Dynasty (non-tag).  It reduced the wobble considerably, without degrading the ride “smoothness” at all.  But what do I have in the front? Cheap, mushy, worn-out Monroes.  And I bet I never even notice the tar strips that beat your teeth out.

OK, let those who have spent their whole month’s  SS check on high-dollar shocks fire up their keyboards….

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Well put Chris and Van. So here is my two cents.

My 05 Exec was equipped with Bilstein shocks from the Factory. In 2010 when I replaced the Junk Year G670 tires I found three of the Bilsteins were leaking. At that time Koni had developed a shock for RV's, the FSD. Those members that had replaced the Bilsteins with the new Koni FSD reported a better ride quality with the FSD. I installed them on my Exec. Now the main reason that I decided on the FSD's was not so much that I might get a better ride, but because of Bilstein's Warranty and Customer Support. Bilstein has a Lifetime Warranty and when I called them about getting my leaking Bilstein's to get replacements, there answer was that the Lifetime Warranty is to the original Purchaser. Well, being as I purchased the Exec new I assumed that they should be covered, not so much. According to Bilstein the original purchaser is Monaco Corp and I did not qualify as the original purchaser, so I purchased the Koni's. Was the ride any better, maybe a slight improvement, but the ride was definitely harsher when you were on rough roads. I still believed that I had a great handling coach.

Van and I got into a discussion about the handling and his idea of adding the crossbars to the older eight bag Roadmaster chassis's and the improvement they made. Van was also working with Craig in developing and installing the Watts Link on these coaches and discovered that the Watts link also made a huge improvement in the handling of the coaches.

Van wanted to install the Watts Link on a Tag Axle Coach, so I volunteered my Exec to be the first test case. The installation of the Watts Link and the Rear Crossbars did make a huge difference the handling of my Exec.

The Secret of the great handling that Bus and Conversions RV's have is not due to shocks. These coaches all had Systems that adjusted the air pressure in the individual airbags to improve the ride.

Monaco tried the Electronic Valving in shocks and it was a complete failure. I believe Firestone was the manufacturer. There were so many issues with the system they had to be removed from the coaches.

The three most popular systems are the Hadley SLS, The Valid and the HWH Active Air. The Hadley is the oldest and Valid is new and The HWH Active Air is the high end of the systems. The Hadley System is good, the Valid is better and a lower cost alternative and the HWH is the most expensive and gives you a lot of bang for the buck. It can also be integrated into other HWH systems installed in the Coach.  All three systems control the handling, stability, driving and riding comfort of the coaches by moving air pressure around the air bags. They do it by air pressure changes to each air bags in milliseconds to stay up with road, wind and other conditions. The only limitation to the handling was the front straight axle which did limit its effectiveness. With the Advent of the IFS, the active air system became very effective in improving the ride.

I have the HWH Active Air System installed in my Foretravel. The coach rides and drives like my Ford Explorer. On the HWH screen in the cockpit I can pull up various screens to see the actual interaction of air pressure in each air bag  while driving, set ride height and ride quality I desire.. The system will actually take the steering inputs from the steering wheel and the HWH System will compensate for road crowns, crosswind and road conditions simultaneously

So, If you really want to improve your coach's handling beyond and after you have added the Watts Link and Cross Bars. HWH can install the Active Air System in your coach.

The whole debate about Shocks improving the handling, stability, driving and comfort is interesting for discussions around a campfire.

Shock valving is a Science and when you combine that with the spring rates that are necessary to make it work it gets very complicated. Racing shocks are valved for dampening and rebound and along with the correct spring rates you can dial a race car in and transfer weight to all four corners of the car for better handling for each racetrack.

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WOW   That's an earful.     Well - - Here's my situation.    I have a 2008 Monaco Camelot.  It is a tag axle and is on the Roadmaster RR10S Chassis.   I am not experiencing any handling problems.  What I did experience is a bad case of porpoising on a crappy section of interstate.   The shock absorbers on my coach at present areMpnroe brand.   Since the Coach is 12 years old and has only 40K miles on it - I am confident that the monroe's are factory and are due for replacement.  

 

 Truth is though that absent the porpoising on one trip, I wouldn't have even started worrying about the shock absorbers.

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I bought my 2012 Diplomat 43DFT with tag (RR10R) in December 2017.  This is my first diesel pusher and I had never heard of porpoising.  I think the coach had 22,000 miles on the odometer when I got it.  Well, after nearly getting bounced out of the seat a few times, I discovered that must be what is called porpoising.  
      
This spring I purchased Bilsteins and replaced all 10 of the OEM Monroe’s.  The ride difference was a night and day difference.  The Monroe’s were totally trashed.  I could easily compress them with little to no effort.  Needless to say, I’m sold on the Bilstein’s.

Dan

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