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Old 01-18-2021, 09:07 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 33.1
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THOR #21278
2021 Thor ACE 33.1 - Fitment Issues (Sumo Springs and Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer)

This post is NOT meant to bash both Sumo Springs and Roadmaster. They are both great manufacturers. The reason why i purchased their products from Etrailer (also great company). This is a heads up to those wo are thinking of ordering the same products.

We have a 2021 Thor Ace 33.1. I have read in this forum (and others) that the 2021 Ford F53 chasis have some upgraded parts for the motorhome usage (regardless of the end user RV manufacturer. Mainly, a new V8 engine and a beefier (upgraded) front suspension.

Last December, I ordered from Etrailer the following parts:

1. SSF-170-40-2 - Sumo Springs Rebel Custom Helper Springs - 2 Piece - Front Axle (I know the Part Number Showed 2008-2017. I emailed Sumo Springs and Etrailer BEFORE I ordered the part. Both companies confirmed THIS part number FIT my 2021 F53 Thor ACE)

2. RM-RBK22-RSSA - Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer with Mounting Brackets for Class A Motor Homes

To save money on installation labor cost, I spent another $700 in various impact wrences and tools (which I am glad I did as I would have ended up paying the mechanics home service fee to go to my place just to find out the 2 parts don't fit and cannot be installed).

So, here is what I found out. I called Etrailer tech support. They will research and get back to me tomorrow.

1. SSF-170-40-2 - First thing I noticed was that the "bump stop" on my 2021 looked different from the one on Etrailers video installation tutorial (2020 F53 chasis). Mine is longer and cone shaped (see picture). The 2020 is more like a straight barrel.

Now... here is where I have First issue (I am glad I did not remove the factory bump stop right away). On the tutorial videos from Etrailer (2020 and 2018 F53), the "nut" that holds the bolt of the Bump Stop is "easily accesible" from the TOP of the frame. In my 2021, the "nut" cannot be accessed from the TOP or REAR of the frame as the "nut" is inside the FRAME (which is a hollow rectangular shape), with a peep hole from the outside of the FRAME.

Second issue, The "Bottom Mounting Plate" DO NOT fit flush (tad short). If you look the the FRONT Picture, the "Front notch" should sit in the Leaf Spring. If you look at the REAR, it does NOT even drop to sit flushed (it looked SHORTER).

I called Etrailer and they will call me back.



FRONT View


REAR View


Factory Bump Stop



2. RM-RBK22-RSSA - Sorry but no pictures. But here are the issues. I think the 2021 Tie Rod Diameter is "bigger" the the previous year models.

Tie Rod Bracket - The "contour" of the bracket DOES Not sit flushed with the Tie Rod.

U-Bolt - The inside diameter is TIGHT (smaller) than the Tie Rod. I tried to "tap" the U-Bolt bit to make it sit. It went in, BUT the shape of the U-Bolt DOES NOT sit flushed on to the Tie Rod (will not even SIT).


I am hoping that Etrailer can find out from both Sumo Springs and Roadmaster if they have a "NEWER" version of these 2 products (at least some parts) to "Properly Fit the 2021 F53 based motorhomes".
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Old 01-18-2021, 09:49 PM   #2
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THOR #20289
Yes, every time there is a significant change to a chassis suspension like occurred in 2021 for the F53 chassis, these things happen. That is why I am not doing anything to my new 2021 Axis other than an alignment for at least a year to let this stuff wash out.

I suspect you will have to send both parts back and wait for a new design for the 2021 chassis.

David
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:20 PM   #3
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Put some miles on your tires after alignment and see if things get better
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
Yes, every time there is a significant change to a chassis suspension like occurred in 2021 for the F53 chassis, these things happen. That is why I am not doing anything to my new 2021 Axis other than an alignment for at least a year to let this stuff wash out.
I suspect you will have to send both parts back and wait for a new design for the 2021 chassis.David
I agree: this is an unfortunate side-effect of OEM suspension upgrades...
The aftermarket has to catch up!
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:41 PM   #5
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What's that saying about never buying the first model year of a new vehicle? And double that for aftermarket parts that fit the previous model, but the aftermarket manufacturers paid no attention to the changes on the new model and just kept specing the same parts as for the old model. They may be good manufacturers, but that's just laziness on their part. We knew these changes were occurring 2 years ago.
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:53 PM   #6
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Many aftermarket companies do free work for letting them prototype on your vehicle.
Sometimes you just call and ask, and they're glad to have use of your vehicle.
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Old 01-19-2021, 02:49 AM   #7
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Our rig now have approx. 3,250 miles. I have driven it 3x (about 1,800 miles, short trips). I inflate my tires 82 PSI all around. Drives straight on straight and flat road. Only issues I have are "off centered" steering wheel and that "sway" each time big trucks passes by. The same for strong gust of winds. I have decided on FRONT Sumo Springs and Roadmaster Steering stabilizer first. I am hoping that will help with the "sway" issue. The off centered steering wheel, I know that can be corrected WHEN I do the wheel alignment.

Now.... when I called to make my wheel alignment appointment at a reputable wheel alignment shop near my place (they did a great job on our previous Class C), the Shop Manager told me to have the Sumo Springs and Steering Stabilizer installed FIRST, before he do my alignment.

That is the reason why I purchased the 2 parts mentioned in my post and the reason why I tried to install them first.

I guess i will wait for Etrailer tech to call me back to find out if BOTH Sumo Springs and Roadmaster have a NEW VERSION for the 2021 F53.

Question for the members here: How about the Removal of the OEM Bump Stop and Installation on the TOP Sumo Spring issue (accessibility). If I remove the bolt from the OEM Bump Stop? How do I re-install and re-tighten the Bolt and Nut to install the Top Sumo Spring (in the scenario that the fitment issue of the BOTTOM part is resolved)....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh.vines@att.net View Post
Put some miles on your tires after alignment and see if things get better
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ador View Post
Our rig now have approx. 3,250 miles. I have driven it 3x (about 1,800 miles, short trips). I inflate my tires 82 PSI all around. Drives straight on straight and flat road. Only issues I have are "off centered" steering wheel and that "sway" each time big trucks passes by. The same for strong gust of winds. I have decided on FRONT Sumo Springs and Roadmaster Steering stabilizer first. I am hoping that will help with the "sway" issue. The off centered steering wheel, I know that can be corrected WHEN I do the wheel alignment.

Now.... when I called to make my wheel alignment appointment at a reputable wheel alignment shop near my place (they did a great job on our previous Class C), the Shop Manager told me to have the Sumo Springs and Steering Stabilizer installed FIRST, before he do my alignment.

That is the reason why I purchased the 2 parts mentioned in my post and the reason why I tried to install them first.

I guess i will wait for Etrailer tech to call me back to find out if BOTH Sumo Springs and Roadmaster have a NEW VERSION for the 2021 F53.

Question for the members here: How about the Removal of the OEM Bump Stop and Installation on the TOP Sumo Spring issue (accessibility). If I remove the bolt from the OEM Bump Stop? How do I re-install and re-tighten the Bolt and Nut to install the Top Sumo Spring (in the scenario that the fitment issue of the BOTTOM part is resolved)....
I have / had very similar intentions. We did Safe T Plus stabilizer right away. 10k miles later firmly into year 2 we just ordered the Sumo Springs (Front & Rear) Actually received the Rear springs today. I am using my year 2 savings for NOT by Extended Warranty to pay for these Springs.

I got estimates from several places to help confirm the part number. I had a Seller offer me a price off ebay that I was considering; but when I told them the specs on my coach they told me it would NOT fit They had to be wrong because everyone else confirmed the part number. Seller then said, they were not an authorized Sumo Springs dealer and they used another catalog not made by Mfg to confirm fit

I walked from that Seller. I likely will not have the new Sumos installed until mid February; but I am anxious to see the difference.
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
What's that saying about never buying the first model year of a new vehicle?
I call it the bleeding edge.
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:34 PM   #10
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
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THOR #7035
Quote:
Originally Posted by ador View Post
Question for the members here: How about the Removal of the OEM Bump Stop and Installation on the TOP Sumo Spring issue (accessibility). If I remove the bolt from the OEM Bump Stop? How do I re-install and re-tighten the Bolt and Nut to install the Top Sumo Spring (in the scenario that the fitment issue of the BOTTOM part is resolved)....
Assuming the bump stop has the integrated nut and you have a blind bolt to screw it to:

Many aftermarket kits for hitches, baseplates, running boards, etc include wire bolt installers that is basically a long stiff wire that you fish from an accessible frame hole to the bolt hole. On the end the wire is formed into a spiral that the bolt screws into. I believe Etrailer sells them separately:



https://www.etrailer.com/Tools/Curt/C58400.html

Make sure you get the correct size one for your bolt.
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:16 PM   #11
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I wonder if your chassis is earlier than 2021. I have 2019 ACE 32.1, when I took it to Ford they said the chassis was 2018. Ford guy says he sees a lot of this, sometimes 2 years older. He said they order multiple chassis & depending on sales they might sit on the lot for over a year.
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:26 PM   #12
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Thanks for the responses and suggestions folks. I ended up sending back those 2 parts to Etrailer. I will wait for those aftermarket manufacturers to come up with a NEWER version of their products (and installation instructions) that would fit the 2021 ACE models.
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