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Old 06-01-2014, 10:03 AM   #1
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Shock Installation w/ slide out (OC)

Looking to install shocks. The rearward shock will not fit with the bracket supplied in kit because of the square shaft for the slide mech. is in the way. Has anyone performed this. I'm thining maybe welding an extension piece on the upper mount to clear the shaft. Old Coot...any thoughts ?

2013 Columbus 340 RK

Thanks.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:40 AM   #2
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I just finished that mod on a Sabre with the one inch square tubing slide obstruction you are referring to. My solution was to weld a 2 inch extension outward from the top shock mounting bracket. My intent was to center the shock upper tube (dust cover) between the tire and the square shaft. The shock is only one inch from the tire now but does not rub after driving on the fresh drunk bumps that the TN DOT just installed on I 24. Additionally I cut an egg shaped hole on the shock upper tube to ensure clearance for the square shaft to rotate. I know this opens up the shaft to more debris but the cheap China shocks won't last longway. When I get the Monroe replacements from Amazon next year (#555025) I'll cut the same hole in the upper shock tube and insert a small plastic or rubber piece to keep out the debris. I was supprised at the lack of articulation after completing the project as the shock only seems to bounce about two inches, probably due to the spring equalizer on the tandem axle set up.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:44 AM   #3
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Thanks for that info. The piece you welded on... was it just flat stock, 1/4 " or some sort of channel. I want to be sure it wont bend upward. Did it improve your handling ?
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:04 PM   #4
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I just realized you said rearward shock. Both of my drivers side shocks conflict with the slide out mechanism. Yes sir, 3/8 inch thick flat stock, about 2 inches in length. One inch welded on the top of the frame mount and the other sticking out towards the tire. I started with 3 inches long and worked my way back with a hand held cut off tool for tire clearance. Just tack weld (1 spot) then assemble the whole upper and lower mount and remount the tire with one lug nut snug to check for clearance. Split the diffenence between the tire and the square slide out tube. Actually you can mount a little closer to the square tube if you intend to modify the shock tube. Also drill the hole on a bench mounted drill press before final attachment of the upper shock mount to the frame, drilling upside down is no fun. Don't forget to final weld once all clearance issues are resolved. This was my first experience with self tapping bolts that large. Make sure NOT to drill too large a hole. I started my bolts with a 14V Dewalt Impact to get a bite then hand tighten to snug. Changing gears here... use a Hobart welding clamp or woodworkers screw clamp to get the axle u-bolts started, don't just pound 'em in with a hammer or you will damage the threads. My bolts were very long after inserting into the base plate, thought they might impact the frame so I cut two inches off of all 8 u-bolts. Put two nuts on before cutting off the excess threads, clean up with a wire wheel on the Dewalt and as you back off the two nuts the threads will be clean. I'm also a big fan of threadlocker blue (medium) on the axle bolts and red (high strength) on frame mounted bolts. Overkill, yea probably but WHAT A DIFFERENCE IN RIDE QUALITY. THANKS OC.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:15 PM   #5
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...Additionally I cut an egg shaped hole on the shock upper tube to ensure clearance for the square shaft to rotate. I know this opens up the shaft to more debris but the cheap China shocks won't last longway. When I get the Monroe replacements from Amazon next year (#555025) I'll cut the same hole in the upper shock tube and insert a small plastic or rubber piece to keep out the debris...
Wouldn't worry too much on the shock cover, race car shocks don't have covers and they cost upwards of $200+ ea and they run on dirt and are usually fully exposed and mounted upside down with the exposed shaft down by the wheel.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:07 PM   #6
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Got -er-done. Welded a piece of 1/4 " flat stock on the bottom of bracket where the square shaft interferes. I only needed an 1 1/2 in more. Plenty of space between tire and shock and enough room for shaft to rotate. The only thing I may change is the position of shocks. I mounted them so both lean in towards the middle. Not sure if they should have been mounted leaning towards front and back of trailer. Also used the impact gun on self thread bolts. They say to use a 21/64 bit. Didn't have one but the next size down is 5/16. Used some thread cutting fluid which made it a piece of cake. Thanks. No I have to wait two weeks for a run.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:32 PM   #7
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As for mounting the lower end of the shock it has to be on the shackle or equalizer end of the spring. If you install it on the fixed end of the spring you will most likely get no shock absorbing action. Glad it's working out for you. Now that we have non-chucking action on the trailer while traveling, my next mission is the Steadyfast equalizer to control movement when parked. I've just laided everything out on the ground and already I see grinding and welding mods on the paper sketch.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:36 PM   #8
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As for mounting the lower end of the shock it has to be on the shackle or equalizer end of the spring. If you install it on the fixed end of the spring you will most likely get no shock absorbing action. Glad it's working out for you. Now that we have non-chucking action on the trailer while traveling, my next mission is the Steadyfast equalizer to control movement when parked. I've just laided everything out on the ground and already I see grinding and welding mods on the paper sketch.
Not being familiar with the kit you used, I would have thought the shock would be mounted as close to the axle as possible. I mounted mine on the torsion axle right off the back of the spindle.
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:12 AM   #9
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Now that you mention it I never thought to ask Paul M if he had Torsion or Spring axles. I'm assuming springs because he mentioned "kit" and I am not aware of a torsion shock kit, but that does not mean it's not out there.

I understand the confusion when I mentioned "shackled end" of the shock, my fault. I see in the photo OC has torsion axles but my spring axles have a 6 inch square steel plate on top of the axle with large u-bolts attached. This is where the bottom end of my shock mounts via a 2 inch straight stud, real close to the axle but slightly above and off center. On the rear axle the shock leans backwards at 55 degrees, and the opposite is true on the front axle.

Here's the utube link
for the Lippert kit through Mobile Outfitters via Camping World. Amazon also has the same product.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:41 AM   #10
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Yes, I have leaf springs. The kit is the one by Mobile Outfitters (Lippert). I recall reading where it did not matter too much which way they were mounted,, I might try it the way it is for a trip, then swap to the other angle (leaning out) for the next trip. Not too big a deal. Just new holes for upper brackets. Thanks, Paul
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