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Old 12-03-2020, 03:08 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 29.4
State: Florida
Posts: 10
THOR #20257
F53 suspension upgrades

Looking for a Central Florida business that can provide good recommendations and perform such upgrades to my ACE 29.4. We live in The Villages, Fl. Greatly appreciate any input.
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:05 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Damon Daybreak
State: New Mexico
Posts: 181
THOR #19133
First thing I would suggest is the CHF, Cheap Handling Fix. you can find it referenced Here

It's fairly easy if you have the tools, and if not, shouldn't take a mechanic more than an hour to do it. The CHF helps with body roll, makes the coach more stable over bumps and thru dips and turns. Basically, it stiffens up the anti roll bar.
Sorry, I can't help you with a shop in your area.
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:32 PM   #3
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Alignment
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:46 AM   #4
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Newmar Bay Star Sport 300
State: Alabama
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THOR #6826
Alignment
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:02 AM   #5
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Brand: Entegra
Model: Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 4,821
THOR #1469
First things, before spending one cent on suspension upgrades.
  1. Load the coach for travel and take it across a CAT Scale
  2. Set the tire pressure to the tire manufacturers recommendation based on weight
  3. Get the front end aligned

After doing 1 through 3 take the rig for a ride on the interstate (at least 150 miles) and determine what it is about the handling you don't like. Then and only then can you make informed decisions on what mods you may want to make.

Bottom line, make the mods that you think are necessary not one based on what other folks thought were necessary for them.
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:26 AM   #6
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Alignment with the caster set above +5 Degrees.
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:55 AM   #7
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Interpreting F53 Caster Specification

Given: 2011 F53 Caster Spec 3.75 +/-1,75 Degrees

This specifies a range of +2.0 to +5.5 Degrees

Logical Interpretation:

+2.00 Degrees for 100% city driving
+3.75 Degrees for 50% city and 50% highway
+5.50 Degrees for 100% highway driving

NOT +3.75 for all !!!
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:59 PM   #8
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 29.4
State: Florida
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THOR #20257
F53 2017 ACE 29.4 Suspension Upgrades

Thank You so much for the excellent responses. I have the alignment report that the previous owner did and the measurements are not even close to this, so I will do an alignment. Where do I find the tire manufacturers recommendation based on my weight scale readings? When I see these recommendations I expect it will clarify whether I need to weight each corner of the motorhome or just the whole RV. I assume I would do this with the loaded car tow dolly on the hitch.
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:37 PM   #9
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Model: Hurricane 31S
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Originally Posted by wdwilcox View Post
Thank You so much for the excellent responses. I have the alignment report that the previous owner did and the measurements are not even close to this, so I will do an alignment. Where do I find the tire manufacturers recommendation based on my weight scale readings? When I see these recommendations I expect it will clarify whether I need to weight each corner of the motorhome or just the whole RV. I assume I would do this with the loaded car tow dolly on the hitch.
Remember you are working with a vehicle with straight axles front and rear that has constant rated\ leaf springs. On a typical scale table, you should not have the car and dolly attached when weighing. Try to find a scale that is in a flat area with room on the left and right side of the table. Pull on to the table with the rear wheels off the table and record the front axle weight. Pull the whole coach on the table and record the total weight. Next pull across the scale and with the front wheels off the table record the rear axle weight. If the weight table is in a flat area then you can proceed to weight the one side corner weights. It will be hard to find a place with individual wheel scales that is rated for motor homes.


I was fortunate to have a farmer near me that had a weight table for his trucks. He agreed to let me play with his weight table one Saturday. It took a while to get repeatable weights on the corners. Remember the coach must be complete level if any wheel is off the scale to record an accurate partial weight. At the end I found there was a 300 lb weight difference between the RR and LR , probably because of the outside kitchen. There was 160 lb difference between the RF and LF, probably caused by the full water tank by the front door. With a 6,000 front axle and a 12,000 rear axle, this is not enough of a difference to make an air pressure adjustment.
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Old 12-12-2020, 12:40 PM   #10
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 29.4
State: Florida
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THOR #20257
Suspension Upgrade

Just had the CHF done front and back on my 2017 Thor ACE 29.4. My RV service place charged me $95, I was having other work done as well. I could feel an immediate improvement on the feel while driving "Less Slop", much better on turns. Weigh in and tire pressure next. Thank You for all input.
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Old 12-12-2020, 01:03 PM   #11
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Mine is similar to your ACE. First, what year is yours? The new V8 F53 chassis has larger OE sway bars the prior V10 years. Mine is 2019 purchased new. Steering wheel shook at highway speeds. Had to constantly correct steering to keep in lane. Steering wheel off center to right. Terrible body sway when being passed and cornering. I did the CHF which is basically tightening the sway bars. I did only front first. But after that made such a difference I did the rear as well. Then I took it to a truck shop. Had it aligned, steering wheel straightened, and front wheels balanced. I can now drive it for several hours at a time, one handed, without feeling like I’m fighting with it. Don’t worry with Thor. They’ll tell you the wheels were balanced when it left ( I checked. No wheel weights). They’ll tell you it was properly aligned (that’s BS). All told together it took me 2 hours of my time on CHF. And $200 at truck shop. Oh, and then I added a steering stabilizer. Another $300. Installed myself. Surely you can find a decent truck shop near you to do the work.
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Old 12-12-2020, 08:11 PM   #12
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Model: Windsport 27K
State: Ohio
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Check the truck shops there in Wildwood (where 44 intersects with I75, exit 329). If they don't work on motorhomes they may be able to direct you to a shop that does. When we were there in 2019 I was told there was an RV repair shop opening in the area. We did see a large building under construction with a number of Class A's around it, just east of that area on the north side of 44. Good luck.
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Old 12-12-2020, 08:34 PM   #13
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Model: Georgetown 30x3
State: Idaho
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THOR #17441
After convincing my Ford dealer did front CHF for about $100 with oil change. It made little difference but my 2019 Georgetown 30x3 handled fine before.

Had to make clear to dealership that it used existing holes.
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:36 PM   #14
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I had my CHF done at PatRick's in Ocala, FL. You can buy the parts and they will install them, or they will get the parts if you prefer.
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MRTRV View Post
I had my CHF done at PatRick's in Ocala, FL. You can buy the parts and they will install them, or they will get the parts if you prefer.
No parts for CHF.
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Old 12-12-2020, 11:30 PM   #16
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Model: Newmar Bay Star Sport 300
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THOR #6826
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Originally Posted by IDguy View Post
No parts for CHF.


Some folks think it is better done with new, longer links to keep the geometry of the sway bar unchanged. Thus it is “cheap” as opposed to free.
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Old 12-13-2020, 12:40 AM   #17
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Connecticut
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THOR #20289
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Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
Some folks think it is better done with new, longer links to keep the geometry of the sway bar unchanged. Thus it is “cheap” as opposed to free.
Why would you want to keep the geometry unchanged. How will the handling be improved with the geometry the same. Isn't the whole point of the CHF is to tension the sway bar more by hooking up the link to a different hole.

David
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Old 12-13-2020, 01:52 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
Why would you want to keep the geometry unchanged. How will the handling be improved with the geometry the same. Isn't the whole point of the CHF is to tension the sway bar more by hooking up the link to a different hole.



David


At least on some vehicles when you move the link to the inner hole to increase the tension you also have to rotate the sway bar upward. At the new angle the links connect to the bar at a very shallow angle. If you use longer links the connection remains nearly at a right angle as in the original configuration. This lets the sway bar work more torsion more efficiently. I used hand made extenders instead of replacing the links.
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Old 12-13-2020, 02:41 AM   #19
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 25.4
State: California
Posts: 122
THOR #7440
California Highway Patrol Commercial Cop carries a portable scale that will do a wheel at a time, just wizz past one at 90 MPH and after he pulls you over just ask to use his scale, some have a sense of humor and some do not.
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Old 12-13-2020, 03:17 AM   #20
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Model: Hurricane 27K
State: Nevada
Posts: 295
THOR #970
CHF did not work if you like your teeth and back

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwilcox View Post
Looking for a Central Florida business that can provide good recommendations and perform such upgrades to my ACE 29.4. We live in The Villages, Fl. Greatly appreciate any input.
I drove my rig, similar to yours, from dealer in TX to AL, back to TX and then onward home to NV. White knuckle driving, we got caught in a bad storm a couple times. I have a background in wheels, tires, alignment, I owned a Tire and Front end shop that did everything from cars to 18 wheeler alignments, one of the first on the east coast to have a computer off the truck tire balancing machine for these types of wheel/tire combos.

Alignment a MUST! mine was off 1/4 in toe out. In 2000 miles ate the inner edge of the front tire.. I knew it was bad, shame on dealers for sending out units without this being done. I got Thor to pay for it. It is was not steerable with one hand.. Camber was fine, do not remember caster, as normally if the right side is 1/2 degree or more positive then the left you leave be. It can be adjusted by inserting shims on top the spring assembly to tile the axle. I do not know about the above recommendations, what caster does is keep you from pulling to left or right. In pre-power steering days it was set more positive.

CHF. I did it myself in a parking lot. Yes, it changed the roll, however the side effect was a stiff ride, so every little bump your front tires crossed came to your seat and steering wheel. And dash. Any imperfection in surface was felt. Even the stuff they fill in the cracks with you felt.. I undid my CHF, to much damage to the dash and my back.

Rear Trac bar -- had installed when install price went on sale. I helped. I had them do the rear CHF, and still have that. When hit with heavy crosswinds I drive fine. trucks flying by no problems.

Sumo Springs. I bought a set, and ended up the wrong size somehow, but I was able to make them work, basically a cushion to absorb big change in front end, ie, a big pothole. They are not active when driving normal so will mot help the handing.

Hours behind the wheels.. works very well.


The above combinations have worked very well for me.
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