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Source engineering ride enhancement kit


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Has anyone installed source engineering ride enhancement kit on there rr8r or rr8s chassis ?

It has front & rear sway bar custom tuned Bilstein shocks , steering stabilizer is it worth the money what's the pros and cons  thank you

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Ihad the kit installed on my 2003 Endeavor 40, made a huge difference when getting hit with sudden cross winds and when 18 wheelers pass.

also stopped the porposing. i am sure the original shocks were worn out. also had the steering stabilizer install and the same time. only down side is the cost, but well worth it.

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I thought those kits were specifically for the 4 bag coaches. However, I would strongly suggest putting that money towards installing a Watts Link on the front along with a set of Cross-Bars for the rear. You will find that you won't ever need anything else in keeping your coach driving straight down the highway.

https://monacowatts.com/

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I have a 2007 Monaco Knight 40ft. They day I drove it home from the dealership 3 hrs away, I was exhausted and confused. I really thought a diesel motorhome would be smooth comfortable ride-sunprise! That was the same day I found iRV2 forums and began to read other's stories of the same problems i found. I purchased the Source engineering rr8r package including shocks, sway bars front and back and steering stabilizer. I also installed the rear X bars and the front Watt's linkage. These kits made a huge difference. The porpoising is controlled now, much improvement when in windy conditions and with 18 wheelers passing. I still need to replace the steering box from a Shepherds to the TRW and then consider the Watt's linkage for the rear. The install is doable by yourself if your a shade tree mechanic type. Monaco should have installed these items as original equipment.

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3 hours ago, Dr4Film said:

I thought those kits were specifically for the 4 bag coaches. However, I would strongly suggest putting that money towards installing a Watts Link on the front along with a set of Cross-Bars for the rear. You will find that you won't ever need anything else in keeping your coach driving straight down the highway.

https://monacowatts.com/

I have 07 40 Knight and would highly second the recommendation for front watts link and rear cross bars first stage. We did that and it completely transformed handling. We are now considering either shocks and or the rear watts link. I might just be getting spoiled and wanting for car like handling out of coach

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I was on the fence between the two systems, source and watts. 
 

Went with Watts. Rear cross, front link and just off the shelf Bilstiens. Huge improvements with semis going by. Locked in the road so much more. 

Big improvement. The TRW box is by far the biggest improvement.  But I had to figure out that it will never drive like a vehicle with Rack steering, It never will. 
 

Also, I’ve had to learn, no matter what, I need to consider pulling over when the wind starts to kick up, say 30+ mph. 
 

There is zero that can be bolted on that can keep a piece of plywood going against the wind, so same with my coach. It’s just physics. And know my limitations. 

Edited by JDCrow
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I have a 2007 40-ft Holiday Rambler Ambassador RR8R Chassis. When I purchased it it was almost impossible to drive it 65 mph and stay on the road. It was manageable at 55 mph. I purchased and personally installed the Source Engineering Kit. This consisted of the front and rear sway bars, tuned Bilstein (8) shocks and steering stabilizer. 😳 It made a significant difference. I could drive with one hand and on a perfect day could take it up to 80 mph (this was only to test this system, I don’t drive that fast) with no porpoising. I don’t have the TRW Steering Box so there is some play in the steering. I like it like this because the sweet mph spot is 70 mph (I drive between 65 & 70 mph). I know if I change to a TRW Steering Box I would be going faster, I rather not (safety & fuel milage). The Shepherds Steering Box helps to drive slower.  For me this was a well worth expense. I agree with Blacknight that Monaco should have installed this system at the factory. 

Edited by MrAmbassador
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I want to reinforce what Richard said. I have a 2004 Windsor and like most, I was worn out after a trip of 3-4 hours. I have the TRW steering which was adjusted in Quartzsite. I could tell a significant improvement on the drive home. Later, again at Quartzsite, Mike Hughes installed the front Watts. This also improved the driving but much greater improvement than the steering adjustment. A few months later I drove to Mike's house and had the rear X-Bars installed. This seemed to tie all the improvements together for a MUCH improved driving experience. I would do it all again. 

My rear shocks were worn out so I had Koni's installed, I already had Koni's on the front. I'm sure they helped but I didn't notice any improvement in actual driving except that the porposing is now much more controlled.

 

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My experience with my RR8R chassis (and my first ever driving of a MH) was that with no additional suspension upgrades it was a monster! every bridge crossing or dip or groove in the road or car and especially trucks coming by was a test in driving skill (with a slightly loose steering box).  

First thing I changed were the shocks, all 8 with standard "magnum" Monroes, it drove better on the way to the tire shop.  Drove a little better with all new tires and a trip across the scales and tire pressure adjustment, but still had the feeling I was driving a shipping container connected to a chassis with rubber bands with a mind of it's own.

I installed just the front swaybar (the rear was not available at the time (mid May)), BIG improvement, more stable on the highway, less lean, felt more "connected" but still would go left or right with bumps and dips (always a thrill to head a new unknown direction while you are bouncing up and down).

Next came the front watts link and rear crossbars..... this past month I drove from near Memphis TN to Denver and then across I-70 to Salt Lake... lots of rough roads, dips, construction lane shifts with changes in road surface, huge dips and bridge crossings, trucks passing, etc and it drives straight... the coach is steady, and my steering input is only to guide it down the road, not to try to keep it on the road.

My personal opinion is that with a properly built suspension a coach should go straight and steady and the driver should only direct it, the driver should not have to keep the coach going straight.  Coming across Kansas even the winds were not much of a bother.... 

I believe the watts link in the front and the crossbars in the back "stabilized" the H frame so it does not "pivot" (causing steering input in relationship to the rest of the coach).  This was the biggest help, and the swaybar in the front reduces and controls the tilt side to side in the front.  Having a especially precise and tight steering box is not needed if the coach is stable on the road (it's a lot easier to stand on a solid platform than on a ball)

I'm still considering adding the rear swaybar and rear watts link..... and maybe higher dollar shocks in the front, but I'm not going to replace my steering box, I'm not driving a NASCAR or INDY car... 

I think I added the minimum that these chassis' need to be safe, without the watts link and crossbars these chassis are just plain squirrely...unsafe at any speed over about 55mph.

 

 

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Probably should stay on the porch, but these discussions confuse me. I did have a Beaver Patriot on a Magnum 8 bag chassis for several years that handled well but do not know if it is basically the same as a RR8. Yes it porpoised, but still went straight and handled strong crosswinds well…was not tiring to drive.

I’m pretty sure the only difference in a  RR8 and S10 chassis is the tag axle. Having put 110+K miles on S10 rigs that handle great…yes, I still put in 750+ mile days getting from GA to CO. How can 2 tires 44” behind the drive solve all of these handling problems?

Our first S10 still has the original shocks at 90K miles and this one at 65K miles. Fortunately both have the TRW box although I had to stop and adjust the Nav’s after the first couple hundred miles as it had 2” of slop even with a stabilizer at 42K miles.

Adding a steering stabilizer that is not adjustable on the fly is a waste of money from my experience. I removed the S-T-+ previous owner installed because it made driving tiring in anything other than perfect conditions… no crosswinds and very little crown in the road. You can read more here on how I made it adjustable: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/making-a-safe-t-plus-adjustable-451209.html

With the stabilizer adjusted for the current conditions, I can turn loose of the steering wheel for 15+ seconds before needing to nudge the wheel slightly to keep it center in the lane. This includes going across a bridge with rough approaches that cause some porpoising.

I would add restrictors in the airlines before adding sway bars to a 8 bag chassis. I’ve wondered if having 2 ride height valves on the front axle would help the leaning some complain about but I do not have this issue and I love curvy roads … the reason I bought another S10 chassis rig,

Time to go back to the porch.

Edited by Ivylog
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Scott, I have looked into the Watts and Crossbar systems and have realized that this setup and the Source Engineering setup serve two different purposes. The Watts and Cross Bars primarily stabilize a lose H frame. When this is accomplished the Coach should track straight. The Source Engineering set up stabilizes the Coach frame to the H frames which eventually provides the contact to the road (tires). I had to go back to my Mechanical Engineering school days to identify that the H frame has multiple Degrees of Freedom that need to be managed. To accomplish this, theoretically you need both of these system. In my opinion Ken and Steve have the best setup. I will be installing the Watts and Crossbars on my Coach after I tackle the Guardian Plates on my slides. The Source Engineering setup will do for now. 

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22 minutes ago, MrAmbassador said:

Scott, I have looked into the Watts and Crossbar systems and have realized that this setup and the Source Engineering setup serve two different purposes. The Watts and Cross Bars primarily stabilize a lose H frame. When this is accomplished the Coach should track straight. The Source Engineering set up stabilizes the Coach frame to the H frames which eventually provides the contact to the road (tires). I had to go back to my Mechanical Engineering school days to identify that the H frame has multiple Degrees of Freedom that need to be managed. To accomplish this, theoretically you need both of these system. In my opinion Ken and Steve have the best setup. I will be installing the Watts and Crossbars on my Coach after I tackle the Guardian Plates on my slides. The Source Engineering setup will do for now. 

You are absolutely right about the “Freedom” of movement, great way to describe it. 
 

The bags just have the ability to really go 360 and the excuse for a pan hard doesn’t do squat on the chassis 

On the Guardian plates, easy. Sounds like you are more than capable. In my mod thread I posted pics of my plate install. And I’m a novice 

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2 hours ago, MrAmbassador said:

Scott, I have looked into the Watts and Crossbar systems and have realized that this setup and the Source Engineering setup serve two different purposes. The Watts and Cross Bars primarily stabilize a lose H frame. When this is accomplished the Coach should track straight. The Source Engineering set up stabilizes the Coach frame to the H frames which eventually provides the contact to the road (tires). I had to go back to my Mechanical Engineering school days to identify that the H frame has multiple Degrees of Freedom that need to be managed. To accomplish this, theoretically you need both of these system. In my opinion Ken and Steve have the best setup. I will be installing the Watts and Crossbars on my Coach after I tackle the Guardian Plates on my slides. The Source Engineering setup will do for now. 

The Guardian Plates are so fun to look at once installed. Love the strength, fit, wear pattern, and the folks at the company are quite helpful. Post pics!

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