Best Shocks! Please help.

shortshort

Dis member
My van rocks violently when I hit bumps diagonally. Almost shakes my teeth out!
You can try a stiffer rear sway bar. I did that and the konis set to max rebound and it got a lot better. You're right, it's just nuts stock. The swaybar helped a lot. Most of them come with poly bushings so you will get some squeaking. I got the one that bolts in, no drilling. Sorry, forget the name. This on my 04 2500.
 

calbiker

Well-known member
Adding a stiffer sway bar is one of the worst things you can do! The bigger the sway bar the more rocking you get.

Cal

You can try a stiffer rear sway bar. I did that and the konis set to max rebound and it got a lot better. You're right, it's just nuts stock. The swaybar helped a lot.
 

1109

New member
Do the Koni shocks give you a smoother ride than OEM. I have tried the Monroe Ses-O-trek and no differance. thanks
 

10man

New member
IMO I prefer KYB's due to the fact that when I was working as a mechanic I lost count of how many Monroe shocks & struts I had to replace under warranty. I prefer KYB or Koni.
 

shortshort

Dis member
Adding a stiffer sway bar is one of the worst things you can do! The bigger the sway bar the more rocking you get.

Cal
Maybe rocking needs to be better defined. Mine reduced the number of oscillations after hitting a speed bump at an angle. Also helps with the drifting, but that isn't why I got it.
 

calbiker

Well-known member
Adding a larger sway bar will INCREASE oscillations when going over a speed bump at an angle. You are mistaken if you believe oscillations are reduced.

Cal

Maybe rocking needs to be better defined. Mine reduced the number of oscillations after hitting a speed bump at an angle. Also helps with the drifting, but that isn't why I got it.
 

RB7

Member
I may be wrong, but I believe the Bilstein shocks spec'd for the Sprinter are double tube shocks--not the monotube shocks Bilstein is famous for. I believe they're just an average-Joe shock kinda like the oem double tube ones supplied by Sachs and offered by most other suppliers.
Bilstein's racing dept. is very willing to work with racers and the public and I'm sure would set you up with monotubes for a not-outlandish price. However I bet they would ride a bit harsher as,among other things, they usually add to the car's spring rate. To me, the KYBs are a tempting compromise shock.
P.S. Driving over speed bumps diagonally is just the opposite of what I do. You sit so far above the centers of roll (the footprint of the tire not on the bump) that your left/right motion is multiplied. Better to hit speed bumps slowly and perpendicular to the bump!
 

shortshort

Dis member
Adding a larger sway bar will INCREASE oscillations when going over a speed bump at an angle. You are mistaken if you believe oscillations are reduced.

Cal
I've done it, it works. Try it if you don't believe me. Helped as much as the konis set to max. It used to throw things off the shelves it was so bad.
 

calbiker

Well-known member
I've done it, it works. Try it if you don't believe me. Helped as much as the konis set to max. It used to throw things off the shelves it was so bad.
I've spent a lot of time testing (with an accelerometer) 3500 suspensions. The absolute worst rocking (generated from approaching a speed bump an an angle) was from someone who installed two bigger sway bars in the rear. One sway bar is mounted in front of the rear axle the other behind it.

It's a bad idea telling others a bigger sway bar will reduce rocking, when in fact the opposite occurs. Your reduced rocking is from the Koni shock.

Why don't you tell the expert who wrote this section he got it all wrong.

A negative side-effect, of connecting pairs of wheels, is that a jarring or bump to one wheel tends to also jar the opposite wheel, causing a larger impact applied across the whole width of the vehicle. If there are several potholes scattered in the road, then a vehicle will tend to rock, side-to-side, or waddle, due to the action of the bar at each pair of wheels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sway_bar

A sway bar is just a spring. When one wheel is sitting down in a pothole (or one wheel sits on top of a speed bump), the spring gets wound up. There's now a massive amount of potential energy in the sway bar. The shocks now has to work a lot harder to dissipate the spring's energy. Remove the sway bar and your rocking will be a lot less.

Of course there's other considerations for using a sway bar.

Cal
 

shortshort

Dis member
The Konis helped, but it was still pretty bad. I have a lot of weight up high. The swaybar made more of a difference than the konis. This on a 2500 with one, heavier swaybar.
 

alehorton

New member
Hi there, I did a youtube video of my replacement of the front shocks with bilstein b4s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6tMQjQvEeA I am looking into what to use for the rear. Right now Im thinking the b6s becasue the price diff is approx 20 compared to the b4s. Additionally, there are some offers online for 25 for both right and left rear shocks which are claimed to be OE specs, but I am dubious of if it is even worth the savings.
 

Garandman

Member
Do you sacrifice MPG with 60 on the rear, I'd like to try 70 or 75. When I pull into a parking lot at 5mph it rocks the whole van and feels like a roller coaster ride :rolleyes:
This is our fourth van. We had an Econoline 250, an Express 2500, a Transit Connect and a Transit 2500. We mostly hauled 3D printers, which aren't particularly heavy, but towed some very large boat trailers at times. We used Michelin LTX for the most part.

Unloaded with 60 psi rear the ride was brutal. We eventually dropped them down to 40psi front and 45-50 rear and the ride was greatly improved, mpg stayed the same, and the tires lasted many 10's of thousands of miles. Seemed to be a bit better in snow as well. Load Range D and E tires are quite stiff so you really couldn't tell from looking at them.

The Transit was annoying because the TPMS required at least 60psi even when unloaded. It went with the company I sold, so I never figured out a way to circumvent it.
 

bobinyelm

New member
I had a similar thread going, so I am repeating today's post on that thread here in case anyone is interested:
That thread is here: https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=80389&highlight=brutal+ride

Update:

I returned from my trip Seattle-Phoenix, and return.

The ride down at 50psi was brutal on California 99 due to poorly maintained roads with lots of pavement breaks, and lips. The trip back I lowered TP to 40 and that helped a tiny bit, and I took I-5 hoping it would be better. It was (a few years ago it was awful).

I did 2 things upon my return: I ordered new front struts (Bilsteins) and new tires all around. My vehicle "only" had 61,000mi on it at this point and my original Michelin LTX still had 1/2 tread left but has age checking in the sidewalls, and felt I was perhaps on borrowed time with them. They would easily have gone over 100k miles, but better safe than sorry.

I considered Konis, but at $200 ea, I hesitated. The Bilsteins were $101 ea. I've had bad experiences with KYB being really HARD so I didn't consider the, Other no-name struts at various sources at UNDER $90 a pair were tempting, but since I was trying to improve the ride, I didn't want THAT big of an experiment.

I yesterday installed the struts (much easier than I imagined, with each side taking only 30 minutes once the wheels were off), and today installed the new tires (I'd removed them, painted the wheels, and had the tires mounted and balanced) and drove the vehicle about 20 mi and thought I'd share my impressions.

First, the old Sachs shocks. As I said, they had 61,000mi on generally super smooth Interstates in the country, some local driving in WA State, and a couple of trips up I-5 over the past 5 years. The take-offs felt FINE. Still pressurized, and uniform action on compression and rebound. They "felt" like new shocks and thought I'd probably wasted my money on the new struts-they felt THAT good. Not a spot of rust on them, or a sign of oil on the top seal. Frankly I could wipe them with a damp sponge and sell them as new (the Sachs labels look like the decals were just applied, even).

The Bilsteins felt almost the same-maybe 10% stiffer at most, but good compression and rebound. But being brand new, slightly stiffer damping is to be expected I suppose.

That said, I have over an hour's driving on the new combination and the results were marked. The ride is SO much better, with no shark "crack" when transiting road irregularities, and in fact no suspension noises at all (the back wheels "thump" a bit on man-hole cover depressions, but the wheels are so far back I never was bothered by the back end anyway.

From the day I bought the vehicle new, transiting irregularities diagonally even at VERY slow speed (so the left wheels go over a bump, or speed bump, before the right ones, or vise-versa,, the occupants were thrown violently back and forth, with an unwary passenger or two hitting the side window with their heads pretty hard) . One had the feeling of being at the top of a flag pole in an earthquake (or on the flying bridge of a 30ft cabin cruiser in 3ft waves). Very (VERY) uncomfortable at best even when it was expected!

With the Bilstens, almost NONE of that. On my brief drive, I transited parking lot transitions at an angle and unconsciously braced as I have for 15 years of use in the van, but there was almost NO such tossing back and forth! And this is with the original back shocks.

Overall, I LOVE the van, perhaps for the FIRST time since buying it (though I always appreciated it's utility).

The tires. MAYBE they made all the difference? I had the new tires aired to 47psi (vs 40psi for the Michelin LTX Load E 10 ply rating), and the new tires are also Load E 10 ply, so other than more tread (full vs 1/2) I wouldn't expect THAT much improvement from the tires alone, especially since I was carrying 20% MORE inflation in the new ones for the trial.

The tires I bought were a gamble. Bought them on Amazon. Westlake SL-309, 225-75/16 same as OEM. They had really outstanding reviews by about 40 buyers so I took a chance. Amazon wanted $228 ea. for new Michelins vs. $78 ea for the Westlakes, and while I am sure the Westlakes won't last 100,000+ miles like the Michelins, I frankly don't put on the miles fast enough to USE the rummer before it goes bad.

A set of 4 Westlake tires cost $400 with mounting, balancing, and tax vs
A set of Michelin tires cost $1100 with mounting, balancing, and tax.

The Westlake tires ride and handle fine. Part of the "ride" is shocks, so I can't comment, but the handling is indistinguishable from the Michelins.

Only time will tell on the tires, I guess, though.

Bob
 
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kjg912

2006 T1N 2500
Anyone use the air-ride suspension on the rear of their T1N instead of the stock or Sumo stops? It seems to help on the heavy RV T1N but you must find the sweet spot for PSI.
 

Xames

New member
It should be noted that Bilstein (mono and dual tube options) and Koni (only mono tube but adjustable and fixed) each sell different models of shocks and struts that fit the T1N and as near as I can tell the KYN shocks available are twin tube design which seems to be generally considered inferior to mono tube designs.

The adjustable Koni's would probably be provide a hard ride if adjusted hard and a soft ride if adjusted soft.
 

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