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Donvel front axle spring application


chief916
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Anybody have any experience in installing the donvel airsprings on an older truck?  Just want to know how critical the measurements need to be.  Everything looks good and simple until you get down under the truck but it's difficult to get measurements when on your back and in a tight spot.  I think I got what Robin at Donvel needs to build the suspension but worried they might not fit or fit to loosely.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Lance...have not forgotten about you and the steer axle bags.  Been bad weather, lots of rain, cold and waiting on the proper tools to install the Donvel bags.  Hopefully will have everything needed by this time next week.  When I do .. I'll post you pix of the project.

Thanks

Ben

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11 hours ago, chief916 said:

Lance...have not forgotten about you and the steer axle bags.  Been bad weather, lots of rain, cold and waiting on the proper tools to install the Donvel bags.  Hopefully will have everything needed by this time next week.  When I do .. I'll post you pix of the project.

Thanks

Ben

Thanks for keeping me in the loop.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎3‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 9:52 PM, Lance A Lott said:

Thanks for keeping me in the loop.

Ok...got the front axle bags drilled and bolted in.  Recommend a mag drill to drill holes if you can get it where it needs to be....I used carbide and cobolt tipped bites very slow process.  Thank God it was only 4 holes.  Once I got everything bolted up, plumbing the air was simple.  The kit comes with everything needed to plumb in the air.  Routed the airline through the firewall and tapped into the airline for my trailer dump switch.  Red line is supply and yellow out to the bags.  Pumped bags up to 40psi and let it sit for 24 hrs.  Still pumped the next day...no leaks.  Took it out and drove about 10-15 miles or so.  Keep in mind that this was all bob tail.  The TH  is in the shop for maintenance so I wont be able to report performance on the bags until I'm hitched up and maintenance is complete.  I  do feel a difference in the handling but not sure what I'm supposed to feel due to the fact that its bobtailed.  Once I get the TH back I should have a better feel on how the bags perform.  

I am gonna attempt to load some pix of the install so you may...or may not get to see the product installed.  I'm not to swift when it comes to copying pix but will try my best.

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I honestly think much of the poor ride quality is the lack of quality of shocks available these days. KYBs used to make a great monotube, has transitioned to twin tubes that are now made in the USA.......Re-badged Monroe?

Roadkings are priced on the high side but more importantly.......the bad reviews on lifespan and poor customer service.

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12 hours ago, CrazyCooter said:

I honestly think much of the poor ride quality is the lack of quality of shocks available these days. KYBs used to make a great monotube, has transitioned to twin tubes that are now made in the USA.......Re-badged Monroe?

Roadkings are priced on the high side but more importantly.......the bad reviews on lifespan and poor customer service.

Which shocks do you use on your rig?  I have a unknown on my rig.  They we're on there when I bought the truck.  They are all painted black and I can't make out any numbers.  Tried to get them changed out this past summer when we RON'd at the Iowa 80 truck stop and they didn't have any clue and they even called out to another vender but unfortunately their computer was down.  So we pressed on to Sturgis and ended up having to have my thermostats replaced over in Bel Fourch.  Completely forgot about the shocks by that time.  I have them on my list before summer.

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57 minutes ago, chief916 said:

Which shocks do you use on your rig?  I have a unknown on my rig.  They we're on there when I bought the truck.  They are all painted black and I can't make out any numbers.  Tried to get them changed out this past summer when we RON'd at the Iowa 80 truck stop and they didn't have any clue and they even called out to another vender but unfortunately their computer was down.  So we pressed on to Sturgis and ended up having to have my thermostats replaced over in Bel Fourch.  Completely forgot about the shocks by that time.  I have them on my list before summer.

I selected KYB based on the reputation from installing them the past 25 years in the chassis business, but they have been discontinuing a lot of "GasAdjust" part numbers for older vehicles. It's been tough when I had pet part numbers that I used for certain custom applications like trailers and pickups hauling campers.

I can tell the fronts for sure don't have enough compression or rebound to control the axle movement under any condition other than smooth road. Desert whoops like found in socal hwy 95 allow near bottoming and the rebound from the spring compression can make thing s especially rowdy as the fuel tanks near empty.

We're actually considering moving into a MH at this point so I think the build/experimentation will be on hold till we figure out where were going.

Edited by CrazyCooter
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23 hours ago, CrazyCooter said:

I selected KYB based on the reputation from installing them the past 25 years in the chassis business, but they have been discontinuing a lot of "GasAdjust" part numbers for older vehicles. It's been tough when I had pet part numbers that I used for certain custom applications like trailers and pickups hauling campers.

I can tell the fronts for sure don't have enough compression or rebound to control the axle movement under any condition other than smooth road. Desert whoops like found in socal hwy 95 allow near bottoming and the rebound from the spring compression can make thing s especially rowdy as the fuel tanks near empty.

We're actually considering moving into a MH at this point so I think the build/experimentation will be on hold till we figure out where were going.

Crazy Cooter thanks for info on the KYB's.  What I take away from your post is that they no longer have the shocks that I would need...gas adjust.  I will continue to keep looking. Who knows...might find what I need.  Best of luck on the MH.  We toy with the idea of a MH but there's to many cons to deal with.... maybe we'll get serious about it.  For the time being I'm still having a romance with the Volvo .

 Ben

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I would have a look at their online application guide: KYB Catalog and see what they have for your application. I used to install a lot of the GasAdjust shocks on HDT's and MH's back in the day so I know they used to have a decent line up. Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones to still have availability.

 

Yes, all of these vehicles have their pros and cons. Not a single one does everything puuurfect!

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