Struts, shocks and Sumo Solos

calbiker

Well-known member
To answer your first question, I replaced my shocks and struts within the first 500 miles of purchasing the motorhome new. I doubt your shocks are shot. They were wimpy to begin with. Standard replacement shocks/struts for Sprinter 3500 are built to OEM specifications. They'll also be wimpy.

I worked with Ramsey (the co-owner of Agile Off Road) to get max damping out of Fox 2.0 shocks. Ramsey's view of larger sway bars is identical to mine. They are not needed. Unfortunately a short time later Ramsey passed. I believe it's a business decision (not technical) for Jerry (the other owner) to promote sway bars.

I had worked with another company that tunes Bilstein shocks. I was quite disappointed in Bilstein. It boggles the mind that Agile believes Bilstein struts have more damping than Koni Reds set to max damping. No way! Not even close. Koni FSD shocks have damping similar to the Reds set to min damping. FSD's don't have adequate damping for our MHs.

My older T1N chassis is not compatible with the newly developed Agile coil over struts. I can't comment on them other than noting the Bilstein struts probably don't have enough damping.
 

az7000'

Active member
To answer your first question, I replaced my shocks and struts within the first 500 miles of purchasing the motorhome new. I doubt your shocks are shot. They were wimpy to begin with. Standard replacement shocks/struts for Sprinter 3500 are built to OEM specifications. They'll also be wimpy.

I worked with Ramsey (the co-owner of Agile Off Road) to get max damping out of Fox 2.0 shocks. Ramsey's view of larger sway bars is identical to mine. They are not needed. Unfortunately a short time later Ramsey passed. I believe it's a business decision (not technical) for Jerry (the other owner) to promote sway bars.

I had worked with another company that tunes Bilstein shocks. I was quite disappointed in Bilstein. It boggles the mind that Agile believes Bilstein struts have more damping than Koni Reds set to max damping. No way! Not even close. Koni FSD shocks have damping similar to the Reds set to min damping. FSD's don't have adequate damping for our MHs.

My older T1N chassis is not compatible with the newly developed Agile coil over struts. I can't comment on them other than noting the Bilstein struts probably don't have enough damping.
Quoted for emphasis, Ramsey soloed a Baja 1000 peninsula run in a 1600 car, basically bug suspension and a 1600 motor. He was truly smarter than dirt when it came to shocks. Additionally @calbiker knows heavy sprinter suspension. I roll his setup but still have the rear airbags, the 10,000# MH works amazingly well on both dirt and highways. Although we took the Navion down the old hwy 5 on 5 or so trips the new paved highway is sweet!!!

Agile fox rears, koni reds on full damping front. Viva Baja
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
I have yet to replace my stock struts. My question is, will I need an alinement after replacing the struts?
Yes. You could roll the dice and eyeball it, but since you remove and re-establish fasteners at both end of the strut, you have a good chance of changing the geometry. Additionally, the new strut holes' locations could be slightly different - mass produced variation.
 

az7000'

Active member
Yes recommended, I'm 6K into my set up but haven't had it realigned, It was 3K miles before I knew I was supposed too, I noticed no change in alignment from before to after...

My $0.02
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
Bigb, Full disclosure: 2104 View Profile; Sumo Solo (standard) rubber baby buggy bumpers front and rear OEM struts front; OEM anti-roll bar, rear; Koni FSD shocks, rear. The issue here is the high and rearward center of gravity which creates a 'teeter-totter' effect creating the adverse rolling about the long axis of the RV. My goal over several thousands of miles 'testing and evaluating' was to improve the 'jounce', or compression control, on the shocks. The Sumos offer progressive compression damping with in a couple inches of travel (Sprinters only have inches of vertical travel!! in the suspension). The FSD's offer 'adaptive' compression control. "Proper" tire pressure is very important as the flex in the sidewall of the tire has to absorb a lot of the upward travel of the suspension. Too much pressure = hard tire = transmission of jounce to the shocks. Set the TP pressure no higher than the placard on the door sill.... 61psi on ours but I usually run about 58psi F &R. As it drives, under all conditions steering is neutral. Not much oversteer or understeer in corners at speed. Wind and passing trucks always create a 'push' due to the size, shape and wind loadings on the front, rear and sides of an RV. However, the RV always returns back to it's original track without 'sawing' the steering wheel. Of course, common sense must prevail. If you are encountering 30-40 mph, or more crosswinds, speed reduction (to reduce the wind loading) is always the preventive measure. Maybe just park it.....

I'd go with the FSD. They are now under Koni's Special Active Shock Absorber technology. Koni Special Active Shocks They are the 'poor' man's equivalent of an electronically adjustable or magnetic adjustable shock. The manually adjustable Konis are a 'set and forget'.... or set and re-adjust ... technology that is decades old. The FSD is fairly modern technology, maybe about 10 years now, that was created for Mercedes - McLaren Formula One cars that required an continuously 'adjustable' shock that would fit into a very small place and be light weight.

The Fox shocks are 'bespoke' shocks. Nothing wrong with 'custom' designed shocks but they remain a basic shock. Like a suit... tailor made for you. Koni FSD are continuously 'adjusting' damping based on the Frequency Selective Damping technology internal to the shock. They are 'install and forget' and will self adjust the damping based on the frequency and speed of the compression in the shock. I installed them sometime ago on our View Profile. The only minor issue is that it 'appears' that if they sit for several weeks (like in an RV) and if the weather is coolish, they may take several miles of highway driving to 'warm up'. They work of course but work better once they 'remember' what they are supposed to be doing. Maybe it is the viscosity of the oil or it maybe that after several weeks the oil drains down and has to be pumped back up to the top of the shock. It is not a big deal. Just something I've noticed. And, it might be just me. Koni FSD 8805-1056 for RVs is what I have. Note they are old school, Koni brick red color.

Koni FSD 8805-1056
 
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Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
You should not have to 're-align' after changing out the rear shocks. The front are struts and you might need to verify that the alignment is correct because you have to 'shift' a lot of components to swap out the old shocks. Unless you are really, really, obsessive compulsive and carefully 'index' each part you take apart and reassemble exactly as you found it. Maybe Dennis has a 'hack' on how he does it....
 

az7000'

Active member

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
Cal, you are good man! Not this year.... for sure.... but thanks for the great offer!!!

Merry Christmas Dude!!!
 

calbiker

Well-known member
I as well am very sorry of Old Crows passing. He had been an active forum member for a long time. I've enjoyed reading his posts.

We'll have to meet up in the Great Beyond.

Cal
 

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