You can't test the shocks by hand, but you can by driving over regular parking lot speed bumps at normal (low) speed. If an axle bounces more than 1.5 times they need replacement." If most of your driving is on smooth highways, you will probably think you wasted money on the Koni FSD's, however if you drive on bumpy roads you will think they are great.
I put in my shocks today. 6 of them took about 30 min each.
It took a bit longer than I thought it would.
The 2 in front of the rear wheels took about 1 hour
each, because they are not easy to get at the top bolt.
Tools required are:
1 1/8" box wrench and socket with breaker bar and ratchet.
A 2' piece of 1" pipe helps to extend the breaker bar
to get the stubborn nuts broken loose.
In general the upper bolts break loose easier than
the lower ones. Most likely because they cannot install them with an impact wrench.
I had 2 nuts that I heated with a propane torch to get them to break loose.
It would have been much easier if I removed the
wheels, but I did not want to and the time lost
fooling with them would most likely have been more
that the time saved on the shocks.
In order to work correctly with
air bags the shocks need to work in both directions
equally, whereby regular shocks always have upward
pressure, the Koni FDS have no positive pressure in
This makes them far easier to
install than traditional shocks because you can easily
move them by hand to the position needed to connect
the bolts. Since the air bags are carrying the weight
of the rig, these shocks through a reducing orifice
will take the bounce out of the air bags in both up
and down direction equally.
No jack was required, just raised the airbags to max
height. I often leave it at max height while at home,
just to do maintenance and check things out. Probably
would be a good thing to block it for safety reasons.
Install the top of the shock first and it will comedown
on its own to the lower support level. Bob Pete July 2007
Starting with the front end:
• Received my Koni FSDs from Summit Racing.
• Bought 3/4" sockets and wrench from Harbor Freight per Dick Mason
• Raised the coach all the way and put in the safety blocks
• I've loosened the lug bolts using the X-12 torque multiplier (Wow it works great)
• Jacked up the front end (I found that a 20 ton bottle jack works best, a 12 ton works OK, a 6 ton wouldn't even budge one side.
• Placed safety supports under the cross beam supporting the wheels so that the front end weight is now on two jacks and two stands.
It sure is great to have all these resources available as I launch into this significant adventure. Harvey Nelson 2000 U-320, 40'
I have installed the 8 new Koni FSD shocks and here is the results.
It seems to ride a little better with out as much bouncing after a dip in the pavement, otherwise the ride is about the same. As I am not a full timer and driving it frequently, it is rather difficult to make a judgement about the ride and I have only driven it about 25 miles after the installation.
For those who said it is a lot of work, it is and it isn't. For the dedicated DIY'er with the right tools it shouldn't be very difficult. It's just a matter of removing and replacing 2 bolts for each shock. Getting to some of those bolts is the problem. If you are a large person that will make it harder. I am 6' 165 lbs. There was reference of 200 ft-lbs of torque for these bolts, they were not that tight. I could loosen all the nuts using an 18" ratchet. None had rusted threads though and I used PB blaster. The nuts are fine thread and self locking, so it takes many turns to get them off and on, and once loose they cannot be turned by hand. Lots of wrenching unless you can use a power tool. Wrench size for both the nut and bolt is 1 1/8".
I removed the rear fenders to replace those 4. I think removing the rear wheels would have worked too. The front rear upper bolts are difficult to get to. Removing and replacing the rear fenders was more work (not difficult) than the 4 shocks there. I did not remove the front fenders to change the front shocks. The right front was the easiest to get to, the tie rod and drag link make it difficult for the others.
About 4 hours for me for the front 4 as I didn't have any power tools, or a gofer to hand me the tool I forgot before I crawled under the MH. The rear shocks seemed to be the most worn out and that was where the leaky one was too. They are easier to compress by hand than the front ones. Jerry Whitaker 1996 U270 36'