KONI FSD Shocks

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trooper

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May 11, 2006
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Has anyone tried the new KONI FSD (frequency Selective dampening) Shocks on a class A motorhome?
These are non-adjustable and are supposed to be an excellent combination of adj vs non.
 

Charles

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Here's a copy & paste of a post I made on another thread.  Hope this helps.

I put 4 Koni FSDs on the front of my 02 Dynasty to replace the OEM Bilstines and they made a HUGE difference!!!!!

After some 600 miles with them, they've made a believer out of me.  In fact, my wife and I could tell a difference the first few miles.

Our Dynasty rode somewhere between a dump truck and a Sherman tank.  We had weighed the coach (twice) and were careful to set the tire PSI per the tire load charts.  Then we had a tire road hazard and ended up changing the two front tires with Goodyear G670.  Those tires made a big difference also.

I am not particularly mechanical, but wound up changing them myself.  The air leveling system helped relieve any strain or compression on the shocks.  Took me 4 hours to get them off but less than 2 hours to install the new ones.

I visited Bilstiens web site and they had a page about "Shock Myths" and they said manufacturers spend millions of dollars to make their vehicles ride the way they do, so don't expect any different ride just by changing the shocks.  BS.  Big BS.  Triple BS.  Quadruple BS.  I've had both, and Koni FSDs walk all over the Bilstiens.  They are in no way even in the same league.

The Koni FSDs cost $150 each plus a couple bucks freight on each.  This seems like peanuts to get a multi-hundred thousand dollar coach to ride like a coach rather than a truck.
 

trooper

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May 11, 2006
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Thanks so much for your reply.My KONI FSD's are on order and hopefully will be in soon. I will keep the forum posted as to the results.I no that Im not the only one with the Ford F53 chassis that has this rough ride problem and I feel it can be corrected.
Don
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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Please inform us of the difference they make.  I have a 98 37' Pace Arrow with tag axle and the fronts are agrevatingly weakening.  I need to do something wtih them in the near future.
 

Darren G

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Central Wisconsin
Thanks for posting this info.  I wasn't sure if it was worth the extra $ to get Koni over Bilsteins, but now I think I will unless someone has something to say.

Darren
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I would have two questions for myself if faced with this decision:

Do you have any reason to believe you had a problem with the current shocks when they were new? In other words, did they absorb shocks the way they are supposed to? If they worked ok, why buy a higher priced brand/model?

How much more do the Konis cost vs Bilsteins?  If more than $40 for the set, what do you expect to gain from the extra cost?
 

hikerdogs

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If you're looking for an unbiased opinion read the latest issue of MotorHome magazine.  They test several brands of shocks on a Tiffin Pheaton 36QSH diesel pusher on a Freightliner XC raised rail 228" wheelbase chassis.  In their testing the Bilsteins were preferable to the Koni.  They both performed well at low speeds but the Bilsteins performed better at highway speeds on rough roads.  Here's a quote from the article:  "When we hit the interstate the real test began.  Within a few miles it was clear that these (Bilsteins) were significantly less harsh compared to the Konis, though they possessed similar handling and roll control.

Konis had an MSRP of $181.00 ea.  Bilsteins had an MSRP of $125.00 ea.
 

Mc2guy

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hikerdogs said:
If you're looking for an unbiased opinion read the latest issue of MotorHome magazine.  They test several brands of shocks on a Tiffin Pheaton 36QSH diesel pusher on a Freightliner XC raised rail 228" wheelbase chassis.  In their testing the Bilsteins were preferable to the Koni.  They both performed well at low speeds but the Bilsteins performed better at highway speeds on rough roads.  Here's a quote from the article:  "When we hit the interstate the real test began.  Within a few miles it was clear that these (Bilsteins) were significantly less harsh compared to the Konis, though they possessed similar handling and roll control.

Konis had an MSRP of $181.00 ea.  Bilsteins had an MSRP of $125.00 ea.

Not sure I would call MH magazine an unbiased source since their revenues come from advertisers. 

Mind you, this is also from the same issue that used a full page editorial to tell me how an RV cover is worth the investment because it will protect your RV (most here would disagree) and that is was "definitely" worth the investment because if you use Good Sam's insurance (shameless plug for major advertiser and partial owner), you can cancel liability for three months at a time coving the cost of your RV cover.

I'm not suggesting that they are wrong, they may be correct, I'm just not willing to call them unbiased. ;)  The members over at the IRV2 forums seem pretty unanimous that Koni's made a major improvement for a Ford chassis at least.  Many also sing the praises of the much cheaper Monroe RV shocks, so who knows?
 

Ron

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I agree in that also would not consider Motorhome magazine as unbiased for all the reasons mentioned.  I sure wouldn't base a decision to buy something from one of their articles.
 

Darren G

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Well I am still unsure of which direction to take.  I just bought this unit in January so I'm not sure how well it handled when new.  I had some work done and it was recommended to replace at least the rear shocks.  We plan on keeping the unit for 14 years so I just want to replace all 4 with nice riding shocks and be done with it.

I'll seek additional info from the other forums and see what else I can find out. 

Thanks for the info guys!!

Darren
 

Ron

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I would recommend replacing all shocks on your rig with Bilsteins unless you just want to spend the extra Bucks for the Koni.  Both brands make excellent shocks and personally I would not consider any other brands.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It sounds to me like you are trying to keep up with the Jones over at IRV2.  My advice: Use the Bilsteins and with the money saved, buy 4 new Bilsteins instead of two Koni's.  If you feel you need improved roll & sway control, spend your hard-earned money on an anti-sway bar. If steering is what bothers you, add a track bar (Tru-Track or Henderson).  These will give more bang for the buck than any shock.
 

Just Lou

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I like the straight talk I (we) get here on this forum. I too, read the hype on the other forums with all the comparisons of shocks, tires, sway bars, etc...  I totally discount most of it.  I think once some folks spend to a certain level, they feel obligated to plead satisfied.

My take on the subject is that if there really were a shock out there that could make my 17k lb. Bounder ride like a 30K lb DP, everyone would have it and old Bounders would be so popular that I couldn't afford one ;D ;D.  I'll settle for "bang for the buck" when I need new shocks and have more money for fuel.

On an 11 or 12 year old coach with original shocks do you really think I could tell the difference between new Koni's, Bilstein's, or Monroe's?
 

FrontrangeRVer

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Like many others have done, we ripped off the (virtually new) Bilsteens and replaced with KONI FSD's, and are VERY pleased.  Now you don't feel those annoying tar strips like we used to with those horrible hard Bilsteens!  :)

The Bilsteens hit the trash bin!  :)
 

Darren G

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It sounds to me like you are trying to keep up with the Jones over at IRV2.

LOL, I wish I had the means to even try to keep up with you guys!!  You guys have some pretty outstanding coaches.  Ours is no "coach" but it is a huge improvement over our last one!  Despite its age, we love it!!

I haven't read anything about Koni's yet over at IRV2.  Just finished tackling the 8 pages on Koni posts at rv.net.  On those posts I keep hearing how the Koni's are especially great for the Ford chassis.  I still haven't decided yet, got plenty of time as I'm probably not going to order till next month. 

The ride seems ok to me.  I havn't driven it much yet, but after replacing the tires, even on the short stint driving home it "feels" better, though it may be placebo, lol.  Honestly though, the ride home from purchase in Ohio felt pretty stiff.   

All I know is the shocks need to be replaced, and if in the process I can truly improve the ride a little, then it may be worth a little extra $ considering that we are keeping the rig at least 14 years, KOW. 

I try to do extensive research before making purchases.  About 6 years or so ago I had to replace the shocks on an Explorer I had.  I was torn between Monroe and Bilstein.  Ended up getting Monroe to save a little money and felt no difference in ride over the OEM.  I was very disappointed and wished I had gone with the Bilsteins.

The only 2 I am considering are Bilsteins and Konis.

Thanks for all the input guys!!

Darren
 

Clay L

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I replaced the OEM Monroes on my rig with Konis last Oct at 35,000 miles.
As they aged the OEM shocks had started allowing a lot of roll at low speeds -  like when you hit small potholes or dips going into campgrounds or service stations.

Workhorse started using Biltsteins after they built my motor home and the ones I have ridden in with Biltsteins had a lot harsher ride than the Monroes so I didn't want them.

In fact Workhorse would have replaced My Monroes with Biltsteins under warranty back in 2005 but I turned them down because of the harsh ride of the Bitsteins.
That's why I got the Konis.

The Koni's ride is harsher than the Monroes, but controls the roll and sway much better and does not allow the big downward excursion the Workhorse OEM shocks are famous for.

Which of the two - Konis or Bitsteins - have the harshest ride?  I can't really say. All I can say is that both are harsher than the Monroes.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Don't know about your 99, but the 96 Ford chassis I had came with Bilsteins as the OEM shocks. The recommended replacement Bilsteins were a different part number, though. Either Ford had changed their specs or the OEM shocks were something that Ford specifically requested and Bilstein was recommending something different as a replacement. My 96 did fine with the Bilsteins, but it was a stretch chassis with a tag axle too.
 

Just Lou

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How can one determine if the coach needs new front shocks?

As I recall, on a car or light truck, all you had to do was bounce on the front bumper and you could gauge the rebound(s) and tell if the shocks were bad.  That's not so easy on a large motor home chassis. 

My '97 Bounder still has the original Bilsteins at 42k miles.  I don't get excess roll or bounce.  In fact, my only complaint, and the reason I thought I might need new shocks, is the harsh ride over tar strips and road joints, yet I hear folks say that that is their big complaint about brand new bilsteins. 

What is it that I am not understanding here?
 
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