New shocks, springs- What do I need? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 02-01-2007, 04:39 PM   #1
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Denise K's Avatar
Trailer: 1972 MKP Grandesse T (made in Denmark)
Posts: 103
Hello all...
I have a Mitsubishi Montero Sport. It is rated to pull 3500# and does well pulling the MKP which is around 2600#(?)
I'm going to have the shocks on the MKP replaced, I don't know what they are except old, so I'm hoping the the place I take it to will figure that out.
heres a photo though,
What I need help with is that I've been noticing that the Montero is getting a little rough over the bumps and in need of new shocks. What's the best type to get that would help with towing?
Also, I've noticed this past year, when I hook up the MKP, the back of the truck seems to tilt down a bit. I think I need new springs, but the Mitsubishi dealer said they look fine (but he didn't have anything to sell me anyway). I saw an ad somewhere for air springs or something that were meant to correct this type of issue.
Any suggestions?

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Old 02-01-2007, 05:51 PM   #2
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Pete Dumbleton's Avatar
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Hmm, there's bound to be a Mitsu Montero/Dodge Raider internet group or two out there somewhere and they will have tried a lot of stuf, albeit for off-roading, not towing (I find appalling ignorance of towing on suv/truck groups!), but they will likely know what fits.

Hard to tell from your photo, but it looks like one end of that shock has actually come loose.

I would be inclined, subject to advice from above, to just install heavy-duty shocks and see how that goes. I have found Sears to be a good place to have that kind of work done (parts plus installation) and they have reasonable guarantees.

You can revisit the topic and install air springs or mechanical overload springs (my choice) at a later date if you wish. Keep in mind that addl springs or air shocks only level the body; they don't transfer any effective weight to the front axle, they just give the appearance of doing so.

A quick look (Google is your Friend!) seems to only come up with air stuf for the Montero, separated by model years.

This Timbren kit is not adjustable but doesn't seem to interfere with shocks ('89-'99).

This Air Lift kit is adjustable and seems intended for coil springs('99-'04).

I would avoid air shocks because improper use can stress mounting points on the vehicle that weren't designed for the application.

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Old 02-01-2007, 06:31 PM   #3
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 5,000
We have two suspension issues here... truck and trailer.

First the truck:
For the springs...
If the truck sags too much when stationary, it's a matter of springs, not shocks. If the truck springs need shoring up, I like the idea of add-on air springs. Like Pete, I think it is better to avoid using the shock mounting points to carry the load of the air spring, but it can work fine. The Firestone applications list shows a Coil-Rite air bag as the appropriate fit for the rear of the Mitsubishi Montero Sport, 1999 to 2004. AS Pete said, this goes inside a coil spring, so if the list is right the Montero must have coil springs, not leaf springs. If so, this is exactly the setup (okay, a different size bag, but the same brand and design) as I use in my Sienna minivan.

There is also an Air-Lift brand of the same type of thing. The Timbren site shows both of those brands as well as their own, but the image of theirs is not of the right type of spring.

Denise, what year is the Montero? It looks like 1998 and earlier have leaf springs, and thus use a different style of air spring, as shown by Timbren's Air Lift part.

If you have any questions about the Coil-Rite product, I suggest calling their tech support line: I did and found them quite helpful.

If it is too bouncy on long bumps and rough on sharp ones in operation, that's shocks, not springs, so I agree something new and described as "heavy duty shock" is called for.

How about doing the shocks first, then deciding if the springs need help? As long as you are not considering air shocks, the shock and spring decisions are separate, and good new shocks certainly couldn't hurt.

The photo is of the trailer shocks. The top mount is on a frame bracket, but the bottom is hard to see in the photo. The suspension looks like a typical rubber torsion axle - the hub is on a short (maybe 6") arm which pivots in the end of the tube which goes across the frame. I think there is an arm going straight down from the pivot point (and hidden by the shock in the photo) to the bottom of the shock: if this is the case, then when a bump pushes the wheel up, the shock is compressed, and any shock absorber of the right size which is okay operating tilted like that will be fine (some shocks really want to be vertical).

The most likely problem finding a shock will be getting one short enough. The Monroe heavy-duty "Gas Magnum RV" shocks which I put on my Boler - the ones intended for use with the mounting kit - were the only ones from that company which were short enough to fit. They have the same mounting style as the MKP shocks, so the same ones I used might be the right choice.

Some trailer axle shocks are pulled in bumps (a reverse to the normal action), and thus should have different internal valving... that's why it matters how it is connected.
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:40 PM   #4
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Denise K's Avatar
Trailer: 1972 MKP Grandesse T (made in Denmark)
Posts: 103
Thank you both so very much!
The Mitsu is a 2001 Montero Sport.
The shock is not disconnected, the photo is deceiving.
On the car shocks, it isn't bouncy at all. Very hard jolt, especially felt in back seat.
You may be right that heavy duty shocks may be the answer here. I think I will go that route initially and see how it goes, especially since the 'tilting' issue is relatively recent.
On the trailer shocks, thank you for the suggestions and advice. I am not entirely sure they need to be replaced, but because they are the original (1972! ) I am going to go ahead with it.
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