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How To Test Your Suspension. Does It Need Heavy Duty This & That?

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Ron Dittmer

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    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
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  • PurchDate: June 2007
  • Model: 2350 Ford
  • ModelYear: 2007
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  • Location: Illinois
With so much discussion on heavy duty stabilizer bars & shock absorbers, many people ask me if it's a good idea to invest in them.  There is a simple test you and your spouse can perform together to "help" determine if your rig would benefit.  Of coarse this is a layman's test.  It is best to get a professional opinion, but this should reveal much, especially if your problem is severe.

1) First make sure your rig is parked on a flat surface and not parked so close to a tree, a garage door opening, or other obstacle such that a rocking rig could bump into it.

2) You and your spouse stand inside the rig on the floor, feet spread apart as your floor plan allows, positioned over the rear axle, and face the windshield.  Rock yourselves in unison side to side and try your best to get your rig to rock.

3) Repeat the process standing as close to the front axle as possible.

So what happened?

If you both failed in rocking the rig, if you two just couldn't make it happen rhythmically, then you are in good shape.

If you were able to get the rig-a-rocking into a good rhythmic pattern, then you surely could benefit from upgraded stabilizer bars and shock absorbers.

On a "good" suspension, what happens is that instead of the rig rocking & leaning side to side, it moves more vertically instead.  The vertical movement is difficult to maintain because the pair of shocks kick in good and cancel out that movement.  It feels like the rig is in a vat of molasses.

On a rig that "Needs Help", you will be able to get a rhythmic lean side to side fairly quickly and it may continue shortly after you stop.

There will always be some leaning and vertical motion regardless.  The real question here is how much is okay, and how much is not.  It is near impossible to describe on a forum.  If you can rock the rig side to side fairly well with only a little vertical movement, then you could benefit from a heavy duty stabilizer bar for the axle you are testing.  If you can rhythmically get any motion, then your shock absorbers should be looked at.

Have fun with it and get your neighbors talking.  :)

For the record, when we test our rig equipped with front & rear heavy duty stabilizer bars and four Koni-RV shocks, we get the "molasses" feeling.

A You Tube video would be real handy right about now.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 05:26:13 pm by ron.dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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TomHanlon

Re: How To Test Your Suspension. Does It Need Heavy Duty This & That?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2015, 06:25:56 am »
If this rig is a rocking, don't come a knocking.
 roflol   roflol   roflol