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Old 02-09-2020, 09:47 AM   #1
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Default 94' Pleasure Way Suspension Upgrade

Hi,

I've recently joined this forum to try and find reliable information for doing a 94' Pleasure Way suspension upgrade. It is a 94 Dodge B350 5.9L V8 that already has a newly rebuilt transmission and differential, so I'm thinking that I should go the distance and give the suspension a full rebuild. The vehicle has close to 250,000 miles and seems to be fairly stable, but the back end is slumping a little. Maybe that isn't really a big deal, but with the mileage and age of vehicle, I'm hoping that it will substantially improve stability, but I'm having difficulty determining what the best options are. I'm planning on either towing a trailer or mounting a small scooter on the back. Either way, though, I need the help and advice that only comes with experience. I also feel that the brakes are a little under classed for the weight of the vehicle, are there any options for beefing these up? I would appreciate any useful information, either first hand knowledge or just pointing me to a reliable resource. Thanks in advance.

Bob
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:34 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Bob!


As someone who owns a Chevy Express-based class b wiithout experience of upgrading a suspension, I can't offer advice. However, there are a lot of Dodge owners here.

Good luck.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:59 PM   #3
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Bob,

You should join the Facebook group Older Model Pleasureways. There are a bunch of resources there for just your issues.
If you have a large rear overhang beyond the back axle, do not try to mount some sort of heavy bike carrier on the hitch. Go the trailer route. It’ll be much more safer and you won’t have the teeter totter effect of lifting your front steering wheels off the ground and losing steering control.
Sumo Springs, Bilstein or Munro’s heavy duty Shock’s are all possibilities but I’m not sure on exact models. There are some documents for help and advice over there that you will find helpful.
We also have dedicated Pleasure Way groups on Facebook and on groups.io for PW owners.
Good luck to you.
Cheers,
BL
06 Plateau TS
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:47 PM   #4
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New springs, new shocks, and install air bags for load adjustments (left/right, up/down) with air valve, or on board compressor.
Newer tires would also be good.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:26 PM   #5
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Also make sure you have the right tires. Michelin’s are good, but make sure what you get are load range E to handle the load with stiff sidewalls for support.
PW provided Firestone Ride Rite helper springs which were an option on your year PW. I believe they are still available, but harder to locate nowadays.
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:31 PM   #6
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I have a 97 Dodge 3500 LTV Freedom that has the same issues. I can am not be able to find anything currently made for these 1 ton vans (3500s) & the dealers/websites mainly list items for pickups not vans and do not know the interchange between the two. Mine has air bags but no overloads. It sits so low without the bags inflated that if I had a flat tire on the rear, i could not get (crawl) under there to put a jack under the axle. And a bumper jack is out of the question as the metal bumper has a fiberglass outer overlay.

I have not yet found anyone who has the same issues, however numerous suggestions form non Dodge LTV owners. I also would like to tow a small boat.

I am leaning toward removing the rear leaf springs, having them re-arched and installing a couple of added leaves as overloads.

I don't like the idea of using the air bags as overloads or adjustments for that much height, as if one of them failed on a curve, things could be disastrous.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:19 PM   #7
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I'd start with new springs from a spring shop if you cant find new already built. Ask around at any truck parts supply house.
Rearched springs dont last very long as they tend to sag relatively soon.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:46 PM   #8
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We have a 1999 LTV Freedom and a 1993 Roadtrek Versatile. The Ltv has 5 leafs on each side and is under sprung with the Firestone bags making up for the rest. The Roadtrek has 7 leafs on each side and no bags. It feels great to me. I have Bilstein shocks on the LTV and heavy duty Gabriel shocks on the Roadtrek.
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:53 AM   #9
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Default Thanks for the comments

Boy, time flies, I just checked back in and saw all these post. Thanks for the input, everyone. All of the comments have been helpful, even if they just point out what should be obvious. For instance, mounting a bike on an long over-hang rear end will obviously be much more unstable than a trailer. So what was I thinking? Guess I just had to look at it from that particular perspective before it really sank in. It's kinda scary if you don't catch it, though, but then that is the reason for making the post. Thanks.

If I do choose to put a bike on a trailer, a rigid mounted one wheeler is kind of tempting. The primary reason being that backing up requires no special skills. I don't mean an inline trailer assembly that towed from the hitch, but instead, it is mounted to the ends of the bumper for horizontal stabilization. This might be a too limited in size, though. I'm not sure that what I'm thinking is really out there.

I bought my beast about 9 or 10 years ago, but I just happened to talk to the 2nd owner a day ago. I didn't realize how much work he did to raise the carriage already. I knew that it had over sized tires, but that required him to beef up the front coils to 4000 lbs. I don't know what kind of jump that was, but he then did an add-a-leaf and added a sway bar to stabilize it. He did all this to maximize his clearance, so that's what I've been driving all this time. The sad part of it is that he bought another Class B, then had two different incidents because it was too low. Consequently, he then sold it and bought another Pleasure Way. Certainly, it would seem that he is my best resource, but that is hard to tap into if I don't know what questions I should be asking.

He suggested that I replace the front coils/shocks with the same specifications, but then add air bags to stabilize them. He said that the spring leafs could be tightened, but didn't know how far they could safely go. I know that there is another inch or so thread left, which seems to be room enough to tighten them, but for reason that are still unclear, when I previously tried to get the shop to do the work, it became a song and dance. It's a local business and they have always stood by their work, so I don't want to change that unless necessary.

Well, I think that I'm closing in on the idea of air bags. That would probably remove a lot of my guess work. I'm not requiring anything fancy, just reliable, maintenance free, and reasonably priced. That's probably the problem, though.
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Old 02-20-2020, 03:50 PM   #10
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Why don't you consider calling Super Steer in Grants Pass, Oregon. They are a great resource. Call them, it's just a phone call.., you might be interested in getting their opinion.

https://www.hendersonslineup.com/supersteer-products
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