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Old 02-07-2011, 03:52 PM   #1
tonycamacho
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RV Shock Cross Reference

Well I was under the Monty today basically getting it ready for our trip back to "North of the Border". While I was greasing wet bolts and checking torque on bolts I found that I had a broken shock. Living in Mexico RV parts are just not available so to get a temporary replacement I would have to cross reference the shock to an auto or light truck useage. Does anyone know if the shocks used on the Montanas also have an automobile application and what make and year auto would they fit or apply to?

Thanks Tony
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:33 PM   #2
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They are probably heavier duty than most car shocks. They have to support about 3,000 to 3,500 lbs per wheel, but since they only dampen and not support the weight I would have no clue what to use. Maybe a call to Keystone to find out. This would be good knowing this can be found out easily.

In what way is it broken? Hopefully the mounts are okay. Maybe if you removed it you might find an identifying label or stamp on it.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:59 PM   #3
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I would take the shock to a NAPA or some such automotive parts store. They are pretty good at cross referencing things.
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:42 AM   #4
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Already removed it, the attaching stud was broken off one end. The only markings "Made In China" and numbers that no one in Puerto Vallarta can cross reference. NAPA is not in PV and all auto part places want the make/year to a car. I did find a Monroe number that is suppose to be the aftermarket shock for travel and 5th wheel trailers and I will try that number today to see if they are available in Mexico.

Thanks to all,

Tony
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:10 AM   #5
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What I have found is about the something you have looked at it's a (Monroe® Gas-Magnum® RV shock). Here is a site that tells a little about the shock http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=118460. I have found the Monroe at Amazon. I wouldn't think traveling with a missing shock that big of a deal? If ordered shouldn't take more thing five days to reach you. Would like to know what you find out about a different shocks.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:03 AM   #6
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I went 2 years and maybe 15,000 miles, I think, with a shock not attached. It wasn't broken or anything, just not bolted on. However, that tire also was the one that wore unevenly, so I guess they are needed!!
The shocks are very small, so I don't think they are too heavy duty or such.
But I wouldn't worry about driving a few hundred miles with no shock.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:12 AM   #7
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Since most 5th wheels I've seen don't even come with shocks (including my High Country) it doesn't seem like it would be such a bad thing to do without temporarily.
Maybe the Montana suspension is set up differently and therefore more reliant on the shocks?
I wouldn't mind retrofitting mine with shocks...seems like it would only help smooth out the ride to have the springs dampened by some shock absorbers.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:10 AM   #8
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I have read that many fifth wheels do not require shocks and many of them do not have them and with some suspension modifications they are not only needed, but it's recommended they be removed; do they impact the suspension upgrade?

But since they are somewhat conditional, I'd keep them on. Even with most basic suspensions being interconnected and one shock being in place, a second shock has to help, especially with the post about the one tire showing uneveness compared to the other tire with the shock.

Tony, I just checked my shocks and the Made in China shocks are under it (two per side). The number markings on the shock are 052 003 06 and right under it are F05 06 21. Are these the same as yours? I'm gonna call all the stores in my area (NAPA, SuperTrakAUTO, Autozone, PEPBoys. etc.) and see if they can help. If I find anything I'll let you.

There are also some RV stores in my area and I'll try them too.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:32 AM   #9
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I think I figured it out.... the shock is distributed as a part by Dexter axle, the suspension supplier for Montanas. They sell a shock replacement kit by the pair for $78.08 (plus tax & shipping?). Here's the website. Hopefully they ship outside the U.S.

http://dexteraxle.com/inc/sdetail/38983

Here's their posted phone numbers: (260) 636-5311 or (260) 636-2195

My impression is that they provide the shocks in pairs per axle so they are replaced evenly. I tried calling the local auto parts and they are equally as baffled around here. Good luck.

On edit: Note these shocks have a compressed size of 7.5 inches and an extended length of 13". The shock posted in a link posted above does not have the same travel distance so I'm not sure it would be a suitable replacement.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:15 PM   #10
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It would be a good idea to remove both shocks and not travel with just one if that is what you have to do.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:11 PM   #11
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OK guys here is the update and some info if you find yourself in the same pickle barrel. I was able to find that the replacement aftermarkets are Monroe Gas Magnums #555001. The compressed length is 7.875" and the extended length is 11.875, same as the China shocks. The compress length is important because even with jacking the trailer up to extend the springs you'll never get them in if they were any longer. Remember I am in Mexico but I did finally find a source for the Monroe’s here, they wanted for me to pay the $90 shipping from LA, $100 customs fees here and $60 bucks per shock. So after the "price shock" wore off I returned to my "Man Cave and RV storage" pulled out the welding machine, a stud out of my junk drawer and steel collar. By submerging the shock in a bucket of water, exposing only the area I was welding on, I welded the stud and collar to the top of the broken shock. This will get me back to Tucson where I can get a whole set of four for $23 apiece. Again thanks to all in the MOC. Wife and I will be departing Puerto Vallarta again mid-March and heading to Ocala Florida where we will do our first Work Camping job. Hope to meet some members enroute.

Tony & Ann
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:29 AM   #12
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Glad to hear all will be well Tony. Nice to see your info was the same has mine as I'll be installing new Monroe shock to go along with the new tire purchase on the 2955RL. The best price I could find was around $30 who are you using for your source?
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:34 AM   #13
tonycamacho
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I used a price I found on Amazon.com. I just went back to that page and noticed the price is now up $30.02 per shock. I guess I missed out on a good buy but no matter what price I pay in the USA it will be alot less that I will pay here in Mexico. I just put new tires on my 2005 2955RL last June while in Texas. Bought the Firestone Transforce LT, price was good at $150 apiece and I really like them. Looking forward to putting lots of miles on them this year.

Tony
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:22 AM   #14
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Well there you have it.... Amazon probably raised the price when they found out so many people were looking in to it. They saw a profit opportunity and WHAM! You didn't buy it at the low price so next time you look it's higher. It's happened to me. I thought I saw something I needed at a specific (low) price and then when I eventually went back because I was price comparing, the price is now higher at Amazon. And all this time I thought it was me (maybe it still is), but odd how someone just claims they thought they saw it. Oh well, that's another topic.

Regarding the welding you are doing, do you know what caused the shock absorber to break and at that point? Is there a chance it could break again? I hope it holds up to get you on your way until you can address it properly.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:50 PM   #15
tonycamacho
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HI Art, I was a USN Navy Damage Controlman, Ship Fitter ( HP welder) and second class diver when I retired. My impression is that the Chinese’s shock failed because the stud could not hold up to the stress. It broke at the point where the stud was weld attached to a collar at the end of the shock. Bottom line "just a Chinese piss bore product”. Regarding my fix, I will say that the shock will wear out before my weld fails. With that said, I will still replace all the Chinese shocks when I get back to the USA.

Tony
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:07 PM   #16
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That makes plenty of sense to me and I'm only a retired 33 year career computer systems test engineer. (How many test engineers does it take to change a lightbulb. None, we just reported the room was dark.)

I have seen a shock seize and that caused the post to bust right through the holding bracket because the piston part of the shock was frozen solid and had no give. These shocks are at an ugly angle to the suspension which probably doesn't help matters, so I hope the shock holds up until you get them replaced. Even $30 a piece sounds like a good price to me.

Best of luck on your trip! May this be your only problem.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:09 PM   #17
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Tony put the Monroe 555001 Gas-Magnum on the camper this week paid $32.99 @ Amazon. All I could till there maybe 1/4 to 3/8 difference between the two, old to new shocks. I wasn't sure how tight to squeeze the two rubber -pieces- together so I sent an e-mail two Monroe and was told 8 to 10 foot pound torque or to squeeze to where the washer and rubber are the same diameter. Have a safe trip back to the states!

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