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Gas versus Hydraulic Shocks #741736
October 18th 2018 5:23 pm
October 18th 2018 5:23 pm
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 997
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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What do you all think about this in reference to 'older' vans? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o70v71Rxsyg


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com
amazon add parts
Re: Gas versus Hydraulic Shocks [Re: nikothenomad] #741750
October 19th 2018 11:50 am
October 19th 2018 11:50 am
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 2,820
Michigan
Dyno_Dave Online content
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Dyno_Dave  Online Content
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Well, I'd say he's not wrong for the example he quotes. If you have a car with a soft 100 lb. spring, and you add another 75 lb. of rate via the shock, then that probably would be a contributor to a harsh ride.

If you have a 3/4 ton van, where you sit just about right over the front tires (shock path), then I doubt it would be all that noticeable (because it already rides like, well, a truck).

I do respect Eaton Detroit Spring as a company, so I would not discount his thoughts on the matter. I'm sure they get this complaint all the time...customer replaces spring and shocks, buys stiff shocks, then complains his new springs are bad because it rides rough.

Did your '88 come with gas chocks? My '97 did, so this would not necessarily apply to me in a "Std. replacement shock".

Actually, I worry about the opposite. The factory gas shocks on the '97 were soft. So soft in fact, that Chevy got enough complaints on them to issue a bulletin authorizing the replacement of the factory shocks with orange De Carbon shocks, as found on 4th gen. F-bodies of the era. They are still on there, and very much not available through GM anymore. I'm afraid a change to a std. Monroe or Gabriel shock will be a noticeable step backwards.

Re: Gas versus Hydraulic Shocks [Re: nikothenomad] #741753
October 19th 2018 1:14 pm
October 19th 2018 1:14 pm
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Wedgy Offline
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Hi Nicole, Happy Friday 2!

Interesting subject. I get the premise, but gas shocks are a big improvement.

I am no expert, but I will swear by Bilsteins. 4600 series.

The B250 I have is rated at 6400 pounds, and is a low budget hauler, primarily hauling around the Dogs, and running around town. I have cheap KYB's on that, not the good high pressure KYB GasaJust shocks. They are just way too soft, not near enough dampening action. New springs up front would help, not gonna happen. Good enough for what it's for. But.

If I had your camper setup on a 3/4 ton chassis, I definitely would want a shock absorber that is way more substantial. $ome stiff radial 8ply tires too! smile

I have run Bilstein's on all of my vehicles for the last 10 years exclusively. First on the infamous 2006 Dodge NASCARango. They are much better on the high profile vehicles. The B350 Xplorer benefits greatly from the increased roll resistance, and is much better in high winds, on twisty roads, and driving through storms. It's way more confident feeling for sure. Especially sliding sideways down the highway at speed. I put them on the Chevy G30 EXT as well. Well worth the money. Van On!



"Who New? Blue"
1990 Chevy G30 454
Church Van, maternity division

"Old Blue"
1988 Dodge B250

"Cabin Cruiser"
'94 Dodge B350 www.xplorermotorhome.com/
Xplorer MH model 230 230 hp MPI 360 LA Wedgy OD auto

Old vans never really die if we chose to let them live
Re: Gas versus Hydraulic Shocks [Re: nikothenomad] #741754
October 19th 2018 1:55 pm
October 19th 2018 1:55 pm
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,785
Van Diego California
frscke1 Offline
frscke1  Offline

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Van Diego California
I also run Bilstiens on both of my vans for ever, 4600 series on my 92, 5100 series on my 93 4X and have never had replace 1 of them.

They are the toughest shock Ive ever seen.

Ive had to replace 2 sets of Monroe stabilizers on my '92 cause they leak.

Even when I jumped the red van, all 9350 of it, came down on the ft driver tire. Ripped the shock mount off the frame. The shock didnt give at all, it did its job. I rewelded the mount, BEEFY this time, I ran that shock for another couple of yrs. Till my van got hit, that is when I threw a bunch of new parts at it, including a new set of 5100 Bilstien's. .... ya want my old ones I have them for spares in my 4X box. I would put them back on in a heart beat if needed.


Last edited by frscke1; October 19th 2018 5:26 pm.

SUNSHINE VANS-VAN DIEGO
ADRENALIN BY THE GALLON & CHASIN RACIN
ONE FOR THE DIRT & ONE FOR THE STREETS
'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146" WB
'92 CHEVY G30 454 BEAUVILLE EXT 146" WB
Re: Gas versus Hydraulic Shocks [Re: nikothenomad] #741768
October 20th 2018 9:51 am
October 20th 2018 9:51 am
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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nikothenomad  Offline OP
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Dyno...

"If you have a 3/4 ton van, where you sit just about right over the front tires (shock path), then I doubt it would be all that noticeable "(because it already rides like, well, a truck)."

- We notice a significant change in ride but not necessarily for the better. It is a much rougher ride with the stiffer springs and gas shocks and we feel and almost 'fall' into or onto every single tiny hole or bump. However, ride and handling are two different things and the 'float' that she used to have and the play were gone as the steering became tighter. It is as Wedgy says 'a much more confident' drive.

"Did your '88 come with gas shocks?"

- From what I know prior to the early 90's dodge vans had hydraulic shocks. Given that ours were 25 years old when we removed them it would be tough to know how she rode with her original set up.

---

Wedgy...

"I get the premise, but gas shocks are a big improvement."

- While gas shocks overall are a big improvement I have begun to wonder if this is the case in actual application. It could be said that vehicles and their components are technically designed as a unit and meant to work together as that designed unit. Introducing something different (only one or two somethings different instead of revamping the whole set up) to the mix (I would think) would have a negative impact over time.

"If I had your camper setup on a 3/4 ton chassis, I definitely would want a shock absorber that is way more substantial. $ome stiff radial 8ply tires too! "

- We typically get C rated tires because we cannot find 8 ply in 15".

Wedgy, do you find that you are going through other suspension parts (idlers, ball joints, etc.) too frequently on your xplorer?

---

Frscke...

"Bilstiens"

- We haven't looked into the Bilstiens. I'll do some reading on them. Sounds like both you and Wedgy are sold on them.


----


For now, the main reason for my question is that I am researching the possible reasons that despite putting new suspension components on the van and tightening her up we seem to be going through ball joints, idler arms and other parts more frequently than I want. It got me thinking that if generally held theory is correct increasing the stiffness of the springs and shocks would be the reason behind the abuse on the other parts. While I know we could sit around and blame cheaply / poorly made parts and locations of the manufacturing of said parts... 3-5 years on a ball joint as compared to 25 on the originals is a significant gap of performance.


Thanks for your input!


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com
Re: Gas versus Hydraulic Shocks [Re: nikothenomad] #741867
October 22nd 2018 10:05 am
October 22nd 2018 10:05 am
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USA
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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So, springs and shocks that are as close to original set up that I could find are on order and should go in soon. Although we will sacrifice handling and have more float and drift and roll I look forward to seeing the result in terms of how she handles bumps and drops and also hopefully less impact on everything else, ball joints / idler arms, etc.


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com
Re: Gas versus Hydraulic Shocks [Re: nikothenomad] #742114
October 28th 2018 7:34 am
October 28th 2018 7:34 am
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West Texas
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Wedgy Offline
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"Did your '88 come with gas shocks?" IDK, but they were rusty, and difficult to remove. LOL!

Wedgy, do you find that you are going through other suspension parts (idlers, ball joints, etc.) too frequently on your xplorer?


Thanks for your input!
[/quote]

Nicole,

The '94 B350 Xplorer is tight, and hasn't required any additional front end work, as of yet. The '88 is worn, but will align to specs, so just the new shocks on both. The Chevy needed a drivers side lower control arm, which came with a new ball joint. It was clunky, so I knew it needed something, the rest was tight. It also aligned into specs. So that's all it got, plus shocks. All 3 wear tires evenly.

The Xplorer would probably benefit from a steering stabilizer setup, but it sounds like your hightop is affected by road input more than mine. Maybe the 3/4 ton vs 1 ton suspension.

The NASCARango was knocked sideways on a Van Diego freeway, and into the center divide, at 65mph, It slid for a looong time. The Bilsteins, and decent tires, helped save my ass. Of course, primary credit is due my Co-Pilot, who we may not talk about. It certainly wasn't driving skill. shocked

The rebuild will be a welcome Home Improvement. Enjoy!!

Re: Gas versus Hydraulic Shocks [Re: nikothenomad] #742124
October 28th 2018 6:53 pm
October 28th 2018 6:53 pm
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nikothenomad Offline OP
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Thanks, wedgy.

We've never had an alignment problem with our girl and are thankful for that so hope things continue on those lines. I am curious to see how she rides and handles with the original'ish shocks and springs in her. We'll have a few months of travel to test it out and then if we don't like it for any reason we'll still have the stiffer springs and shocks (which are still good at only a few years old) and I can always mix and match to try out other set-ups and see which one we prefer. Still painting new and old parts so she'll go back together soon!


Nicole
1988 Dodge B250 5.9l 360 Ram CamperVan / 727 Tranny / Rochester Quadrajet Carb
www.nikothenomad.blogspot.com

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