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 > P30 Suspension Overhaul

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Son of Norway

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Posted: 03/30/19 03:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello. The front end of my HR is sagging and I can't use my front levelers because they can't fully extend. So I am thinking of some kind of overhaul. I bought some new airbags to install. I also looked at some new coil springs. I find heavy-duty springs for sale that supposedly don't need airbags. But I wonder if they would make the ride too stiff. Maybe I would be better off with OEM-type springs so I could adjust the ride with the airbags. I don't really have any knowledge about this so I would appreciate any advice or experience. Thank you.


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wolfe10

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Posted: 03/30/19 03:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Robert Henderson (Grants Pass, OR) probably has the best site for upgrading your P30. With actual front axle weights (when loaded as you travel) he has springs calibrated for that weight.

https://supersteerparts.com/shop/motorhome/class-a/gm-chevy-chasis-p30-32/


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moisheh

North America

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Posted: 03/30/19 06:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The p30 chassis is a bad item.Weak suspension. Bad auto park brake. Parts are getting hard to find and can be pricey. I am a gm guy but not the p30.Do not install air bags. Get the aftermarket coils. It is not inusual to spend $5000 on the front end and handling add ond.

Moisheh

fulltimin

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Posted: 03/30/19 08:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can only speak from my experience. I have a 1983 Chevy P30 based Pace Arrow that is 27 feet long, and uses 16" tires.

When I bought it, I did not know it had both front and rear air bags. Driving down the interstate, that thing was all over the road when a truck would pass us. Eventually I discovered the rear air bags.

Putting about 70 lbs of air in them made a big difference, but it still was not great. Eventually I found that it also had front air bags.

Putting about 40 lbs in them, along with the 70 lbs in the rear, and it was like driving a completely different motor home.

When trucks passed us, no longer did I have to adjust the steering to keep the coach going straight down the road.

The only add on equipment are the front and rear air bags, and also the shock type steering stabilizer. I am not sure how much the steering stabilizer helps, as it has been on for a long time, so I probably should replace it.

Overall, I am happy with the way it handles, and that I can raise and lower the coach by just adjusting the air pressure.

I haven't found parts to be overly expensive, as I shop around for parts instead of just buying the first one that I find.

rockauto.com has been great for a lot of parts that I have bought for it.


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Stim

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Posted: 03/30/19 08:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

moisheh wrote:

The p30 chassis is a bad item.Weak suspension. Bad auto park brake. Parts are getting hard to find and can be pricey. I am a gm guy but not the p30.Do not install air bags. Get the aftermarket coils. It is not inusual to spend $5000 on the front end and handling add ond.

Moisheh

WHAT a totally ridiculous statement!
If you replaced EVERYTHING on the front suspension including the tires and rims it would cost no where near 5 grand!
Not that you would ever need to!
I had a 1989 Southwind 30'er and I replaced the worn out air bags and it rode and handled fantastic afterwards!
With air bags you can adjust for weight in rear overhang. Try that with new springs- no options.

olfarmer

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Posted: 04/01/19 08:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I put in the Super Steer front springs and so far, I think it rides better and drives better. I have not had it on a trip yet but just with a couple test drives it seems much better! I did have the front end aligned after I put the new springs in. Weigh the MH and front axle and order what they recommend. It also sets level now. It used to sag in the front even with the air bags at maximum pressure.

* This post was edited 04/01/19 09:08am by olfarmer *


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dougrainer

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Posted: 04/01/19 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most People do not realize the front coil spring air bags on the CHEVY P-30 chassis are Chevy installed and are REQUIRED to be functional and aired up to get the front suspension to track and ride correctly. As to heavier aftermarket front Coil springs. That may be a replacement instead of using the Air bags. As someone who has ACTUALLY driven hundreds of P-30 chassis from 1979 to the early 90's, the Chevy factory set up is fantastic. The handling is just like a car. Do NOT confuse the P-30 with the suspension on the Workhorse chassis in handling. Doug

wvabeer

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Posted: 04/01/19 01:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Son of Norway wrote:

Hello. The front end of my HR is sagging and I can't use my front levelers because they can't fully extend. So I am thinking of some kind of overhaul. I bought some new airbags to install. I also looked at some new coil springs. I find heavy-duty springs for sale that supposedly don't need airbags. But I wonder if .they would make the ride too stiff. Maybe I would be better off with OEM-type springs so I could adjust the ride with the airbags. I don't really have any knowledge about this so I would appreciate any advice or experience. Thank you.
I replaced the air bags in my 92 p30 and aired them up, it drove much better. They are a bear to get in there but they will squeeze in. Do what you bought first you may be suprised


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Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 04/01/19 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think for 27ft MH's the bag replacement is fine. The OP's MH is much heavier The coil springs do wear out after many miles of driving and you will lose ride height that new bags will not compensate for. I replaced my front left bag(which is not hard to do) and with it fully inflated it would not return the ride height to spec. I eventually had to replace the coil springs with the super steer coils from Henderson. I had about 50k miles on it at the time. It rode much better and gave me the proper ride height. I now have over 120K and the ride height is still good. If have zero ride height now the bags will not give you another 2.5 ins of ride height. Just measure the distance between the bottom of the upper cross member and the lower A arm and you should have between 2 - 3 in gap depending on which P-30 chassis you have. Henderson will give you the exact spec height based on the weight of your front axle and the proper coil to match.

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