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Old 02-17-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
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Bumpy,Do Air Shocks Help?

We have had the bus for 7 years now,use it for trips to beach or visit relatives.
It is a bumpy ride was wondering if anything actuall helps or is it waste of money?

Also it has skoke rims on it,so one person said you can't stop the bumping with those.

Thanks ,shortstuff
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:55 AM   #2
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Re: Bumpy,Do Air Shocks Help?

Hi and thanks for info,yes 'skoke'was a typo or brain fog,lol.

I don't know what they call these rims but they are spoke like instead of the regular kind.

So are you saying air shocks would help control the bounceing while traveling or not?
They are expensive so we would'nt want to buy them if they don't work .

1991 Thomas body,International 7.3 diesel.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:17 PM   #3
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Re: Bumpy,Do Air Shocks Help?

Air shocks are a band-aid in my humble opinion. You need to first figure out the source of your bumpy ride. Shocks or, more accurately, dampers, slow down the action of suspension. The springs, on the other hand, do the job of absorbing the suspension loads. Air shocks try to combine the function by combining an "air spring" with the damper. They allow for a very small amount or variability in the system, but tend to hide other issues.

A rough ride is being caused by one of two very different issues. The first is a suspension that is sprung too stiff. Since spring deflection is defined as force * spring coefficient, a higher spring coefficient will require a higher force to deflect meaning a harsher ride. Simple enough, right?

On the other side of things is a suspension that has relaxed. Springs do not generally appreciable change spring rate over time, but their static position can relax. With an arched leaf spring that means less arch which means being closer to the bump stops. Bump stops are the end of travel...any suspension beyond that is in the flex of your tire sidewalls and your arse. I suspect this the problem you are having. Adding air shocks will allow you to increase the effective spring rate of the suspension which means it will require more force to get to the point of hitting the bump stops which might lessen the sudden harshness, but doesn't really change the force your body feels. This is the band aid I was talking about. Your real problem is relaxed springs or even broken springs with a lessor spring rate than stock and that problem will still exist with air shocks as a band aid.

Now there is more that goes into suspension design like frequency, wheelbase, etc, but that can all be summed up as a bus is going to ride like a bus. I would suggest you verify that your ride height is not less than an equivalent bus (maybe someone here can help you out) and that there are no defects with your springs like broken leafs.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:58 AM   #4
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Re: Bumpy,Do Air Shocks Help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
Air shocks are a band-aid in my humble opinion. You need to first figure out the source of your bumpy ride. Shocks or, more accurately, dampers, slow down the action of suspension. The springs, on the other hand, do the job of absorbing the suspension loads. Air shocks try to combine the function by combining an "air spring" with the damper. They allow for a very small amount or variability in the system, but tend to hide other issues.

A rough ride is being caused by one of two very different issues. The first is a suspension that is sprung too stiff. Since spring deflection is defined as force * spring coefficient, a higher spring coefficient will require a higher force to deflect meaning a harsher ride. Simple enough, right?

On the other side of things is a suspension that has relaxed. Springs do not generally appreciable change spring rate over time, but their static position can relax. With an arched leaf spring that means less arch which means being closer to the bump stops. Bump stops are the end of travel...any suspension beyond that is in the flex of your tire sidewalls and your arse. I suspect this the problem you are having. Adding air shocks will allow you to increase the effective spring rate of the suspension which means it will require more force to get to the point of hitting the bump stops which might lessen the sudden harshness, but doesn't really change the force your body feels. This is the band aid I was talking about. Your real problem is relaxed springs or even broken springs with a lessor spring rate than stock and that problem will still exist with air shocks as a band aid.

Now there is more that goes into suspension design like frequency, wheelbase, etc, but that can all be summed up as a bus is going to ride like a bus. I would suggest you verify that your ride height is not less than an equivalent bus (maybe someone here can help you out) and that there are no defects with your springs like broken leafs.

Thanks for answer,I pretty much decided to live with it.We don't go on long rides anyway ,who can afford it now.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: Bumpy,Do Air Shocks Help?

A common cause of a harsh ride in converted buses is simply the fact that the original spring rate was designed to accommodate much more weight than a stripped out unit with fewer than 72 passengers on board adds up to. Calculated at a max of 250# per rider, that's an 18,000# load. Most conversions wind up at a fraction of that and the ride is subsequently very stiff. A lot of folks wind up removing leafs and adding air bags (not to be confused with "air shocks). Air bags are adequate sans springs but combinations with lighter springs can be dialed in quite well to accommodate altered gross weights and balances.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: Bumpy,Do Air Shocks Help?

We had the bumpy problem with the old Class C. Actually if was more like a pounding problem. Every time I hit a seam in the highway or a bump in the road the whole RV shook, rattled and basically felt like it was going to fall apart. And the dog & cat sure thought so as well. Do you have any idea how many seams in the road there are on I-75 going thru Atlanta? Also the poor old RV would sway badly on curves and turns. We parked in in a driveways and David spent about 2 hours on each side to install these airbags. They worked great. We had put some sort of spring separator thingy (little metal clips) on the springs but the leaf springs & coil springs were so flattened out that the RV was sitting directly on the wheel base.the clips thingys did no good at all (and it's why I "noticed" every seam in the interstate). The airbags on the other had were FANTASTIC! They still are. We put the air bags in and put about 55LBS of air in them and took the RV from Cordele GA to Panama City FL using back roads all the way. Before the air bags I couldn't get the RV over 30 mph because I would be shaken to death. Afterwards, speed wasn't a problem, nor were curves, turns or bumps on the road. We would let air out of the bag (or add air) to help lever the Class C too. The Class C was on a GMC G3500 Vandura chassis. It says custom fit but the whole thing looked pretty generic to us. I had looked online in the past and the manufacturer numbers applied to several widely ranging vehicles that it would fit. I think JC Whitney now sells the parts separately where we bought ours as an all inclusive kit.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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Re: Bumpy,Do Air Shocks Help?

I had a similar problem that I finally adressed this year. The bearings and bushing links on our stabilizer bar needed to be replaced. What would happen is the bar would slam up against the frame anytime there was a bump in the road. (so imagine a long horiziontal bar with two c shaped bearings on each side by each tire. the c shaped bearings go around the horizontal bar but there is suppose to be a pad to stop the c bearing from slamming against the frame. I finally got that and a kit along with bushing links (looks like mini shocks under the c shaped bearing. Needless to say when I drove it out of the shop after dropping $350 it felt like a much smoother ride. I didn't need to do it, but having done it, I think it will be more enjoyable for me and my fellow passengers this fall.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:30 PM   #8
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Re: Bumpy,Do Air Shocks Help?

Now you'll be able to turn on a dime and give nine cents change.
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