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  #1  
Old 10-29-2018, 11:56 AM
DickWells's Avatar
DickWells DickWells is offline
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Default Just for what it's worth, if you own a Kodiak, etc.

Been with the Seneca for --- growing on 2 years, now. Don't know where the time went, but: thought I'd post on the few things I've learned, and some of the things I've done to it.

Learned right away that we'd made a pretty fair deal on the rig. The Seneca is, indeed, a fairly high-end, heavy duty Class C. Lots of room, and cargo capacity, and in some ways, therein lies a problem.

It's very easy to overload the thing. The basement would hold enough junk to double the carrying capacity.

The handling, as delivered is abominable! Made it all the way from Brownsville, Tx, to Rainier, Or. and on to Vermont in 017 without any mods done to the suspension, but it wasn't from lack of wanting them (mods). Since then, I've installed Air Ride bags in the rear, a rear track bar, Sumo Springs in front, a front track bar, a Road Master steering stabilizer, and a big-ole 1 and 5/8" sway bar in front. (Jayco chose to eliminate that option on the Seneca) The handling is vastly improved, but not up to what I would call even "good". BTW, I did take it to a good truck suspension specialist, back in 017, before I did any of the mods.

Still to come, is a new set of shocks, all around, and an additional sway-bar in the rear to help the wimpy one that's now mounted ahead of the rear axle. From what I've read, these last two things should eliminate most of the remaining handling issues.

That brings up a question. Or, two. I'd be interested to know what Y'all think about Bilstein, vs. Koni, shocks, or, do DP people have another brand that they prefer? Secondly, since I found out at the alignment shop that my Kodiak has a little over 2.5 deg. of positive caster, and that shop wanted me to try the above mods, first, before I went to more caster, and, that they didn't recommend more than 4 degrees, what's the consensus on that issue?
I've always thought that good tracking was contingent upon the most positive caster permissible. So, in the case of the Kodiak, is more than 4 deg. advisable, and if so, how much more?

Given what I've already done, the only thing that I can experiment with, are the air-bag pressure, and tire pressure. I haven't done a lot, but I think I've proven that 60 psi in the bags gives better control than 50, but that's about as far as I've gone.

Meanwhile, we're enjoying the heck out of this thing, and it's even more like a home away from home than anything we've had before. Having a nice little workshop/garage, with a cute little fun-to-drive run-about in it, right behind us all the time is just frosting on the cake.
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2008 Jaco Seneca 35' motor home (Kodiak 5500 chassis). Pulling 18' Wells Cargo enclosed trailer, with 2016 Miata in it.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:41 PM
CoyleJR CoyleJR is offline
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Default Real soft suspension

You are correct about how they handle. I purchased a 2006 Kodiak 5500, Four Winds, Dutchman (35') this year and it is a real hand full to drive. We just returned from four months on the road and before we do any more traveling I am going to do some suspension mods. I don't have time now but I will email you soon for your thoughts about what to modify first and where to buy the parts. Thanks for the information Dick.

John
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*2006 Chevy, 3500, 4X4, DRW, (LBZ) D/A, CC, LT, 252K Miles, 19.5" Wheels, Mag Hytec Transmission Pan and Differential Cover, SS Grill Guard, Racor 2 micron aux fuel filter, 100 Gallon Aux Fuel Tank, using Edge Evolution, Predator Diablosport, Kennedy ECM tune, Fitch Fuel Catalyst.

*2006 Four Winds, Dutchman, 36', RV, D/A, 5500 Kodiak.
*1993 Harley Davidson, Turbo charged, Springer Softail.
*2007 Pontiac Solstice.
*2005 Jeep, Liberty, CRD (diesel).
*Full-timing in USA, see America first.

BUY AMERICAN or CANADIAN, NOTHING from CHINA .
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:57 AM
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DickWells DickWells is offline
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Default

Welcome to the club, John.

Has the rear end been changed to the 19, 000 lb unit? The 08's all came with it from the factory, a I understand it, and a lot of the earlier one's were changed as well. Rear springs were up-graded,too.

That Solstice caught my eye. Gave spme thought to that while looking at Miatas, back in 016. The only downer for having a Miata, is that it's nt made in the good-ole USA.

Stay in touch.
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2008 Jaco Seneca 35' motor home (Kodiak 5500 chassis). Pulling 18' Wells Cargo enclosed trailer, with 2016 Miata in it.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:27 PM
CoyleJR CoyleJR is offline
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Default What part should I buy first.

Dick I am about to start throwing money at the suspension problems on my C5500 Kodiak. What parts do you feel will get me the most improvement for my dollar? It is currently 100% stock.

Thanks
John
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*2006 Chevy, 3500, 4X4, DRW, (LBZ) D/A, CC, LT, 252K Miles, 19.5" Wheels, Mag Hytec Transmission Pan and Differential Cover, SS Grill Guard, Racor 2 micron aux fuel filter, 100 Gallon Aux Fuel Tank, using Edge Evolution, Predator Diablosport, Kennedy ECM tune, Fitch Fuel Catalyst.

*2006 Four Winds, Dutchman, 36', RV, D/A, 5500 Kodiak.
*1993 Harley Davidson, Turbo charged, Springer Softail.
*2007 Pontiac Solstice.
*2005 Jeep, Liberty, CRD (diesel).
*Full-timing in USA, see America first.

BUY AMERICAN or CANADIAN, NOTHING from CHINA .
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:50 AM
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DickWells DickWells is offline
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Sorry, John, haven't been on here for a while. Hope I'm not too late.

I'd start with everything I mentioned in my first post, with the exception of the rear bags, though, I'd keep them in mind if you still get bottoming of the springs in the rear. I'd go with Koni, or, Bilstein shocks at the first opportunity, as that is one thing I'm still waiting on. Fact is, that's a good question I've been meaning to ask on-line, including TDP. Bilstein, or Koni? Anyone with experience please click on TDP and give us your preferences.

Another item that I want to try, is an additional sway bar in back. The stock one is puny, compared with my new 1.625 diameter one in front.

Since I installed almost everything in my unit, with the exception of the Roadmaster ST stabilizer, before I moved it out of our Summer parking spot, I have little feeling for which gave the most noticeable change. The SS made things feel a little more solid, but didn't feel like a startling improvement. My feeling, right now, is that a set of new shocks, all around, will give another noticeable improvement. Meanwhile, I can't help but feel that a boost in positive castor will give an improvement in straight-line tracking.

It won't be cheep. Don't know if I mentioned it before, but I think I'm somewhere north of $3ooo.oo. The pain has subsided, and I hardly notice it, any more. Bout ready to dig in for another 2- 3 grand.

Keep in touch and let us know your progress. Anything I haven't covered, just ask, and I'll do my best.
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