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Old 01-06-2015, 12:43 PM   #1
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Default Freightliner FLD 120

Hello, new to this forum, any feed back would be greatly appreciated! I'm currently looking at a 1989 Freightliner FLD 120 for a toterhome conversion.
I test drove this tractor the other day and she runs beautifully (cummins 350) shifts beautifully, brakes are a little touchy but I guess that's to be expected without any load? I would buy this truck tomorrow (3,000) but the suspension is so stiff I thought I was going to loose my fillings! The dash on the truck looked like it was going to shake loose as well, stiff ride I can deal with to a point but bounce and shake is another story. First thing I would do is replace the shocks, tractor has 550,000 on it but I don't know if this is just an inherent problem with this model or if it is something I can remedy???

Anyone who has experience with this or suggestions on how to smooth out the ride, please let me know. Thank you, Eric
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:34 PM   #2
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Now you know why they are called "FreightShakers"! Actually, the ride is because of the springs. You may want to pass until you find one with air ride on it. Your kidneys will thank you along with anyone who rides with you. You are right though, with no weight they pound pretty hard.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:23 PM   #3
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Default Air ride

Yeah, I've heard the "Freightshaker" description before but certainly there must be a modification or aftermarket air ride system available for these trucks? Seems a shame to pass on such a great running rig, and at a purchase price of 3,000, might have enough room to throw a couple g's into suspension. Thanks for your response, may try this question in the conversion forum, seems a more active discussion area?
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:34 AM   #4
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Are you thinking about putting a living quarters box on it with a deck on the back for a goose neck or 5th wheel hitch? That's commonly what "toter" means. Or are you just going to use it to haul a 5th wheel camper? If you're planning to build living quarters on it make sure you do a ton of homework. Even with the extremely low purchase price of that truck, you might be ahead buying one already built.

Shocks won't make it ride any smoother I don't think.
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:06 AM   #5
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Default toterhome

Yes the plan is to put a box, modest living quarters on the back with 5th wheel and or pintle hitch for toy hauler, flatbed, and even 5th wheel RV. My understanding, at least here in Oregon, possibly Florida, is registration and insurance is much more affordable if it can be registered as an RV. If someone out there knows different please advise. The "toterhome" in the end is really just a tow vehicle, but still needs to be commfortable enough to drive across country (Oregon-Florida)
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:02 AM   #6
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Most class 8 trucks are way more comfortable than say a pick up for traveling. They are designed and built for traveling, but with the springs on there it is going to ride rougher. If you are able to find an air ride to replace the springs you would like the ride much better and so would everything in the box. Air ride would be my first upgrade if it were me.
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:35 PM   #7
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Make darn sure the truck itself is dependable and in excellent mechanical condition before you start on any conversion. I can guarantee you will spend far more time and money on the conversion than on the chassis, so if you start with a old worn out chassis, you will end up with an old worn out toterhome that isn't worth anything, no matter how nice of a box you build on it. If you are not 100% certain of your chassis, upgrade now. Once you start welding stuff together it is way too late. For myself, I am beginning to wish I had gone straight to a class 8 truck instead of a medium duty, and I just don't want to do all the work over again now.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:51 PM   #8
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Default Fl 120

What year is the truck? The reason I ask is 550K is extremely low miles for a $3000 truck. And very low for a truck that is very old. I would think buying an air ride for a Freightliner would not be that expensive. Getting it installed, not so much. But if you are thinking of a stretch that would be the time to do that.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:29 PM   #9
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Default Cabmate

OK, thank you all for your feed back, very much appreciated! I've done some research and have found some pretty good reviews on the cab-mate air system by Link. My particular application is just 735. for cab air ride, can also be purchased for your box or sleeper so is not to bolt directly to the frame. In addition a good pair of shocks and reducing tire air pressure may help as well. This truck does run, drive and brake very well, I think over time I will be able to get the ride to a tolerable level on mediocre roads and on nicely paved highway's a non issue, anyone know of any nicely paved highway's? Anyway, I will keep you posted of my progress, it will be slow but steady, pictures asap. Here is a link to link

linkmfg.com/products/cabmate/

mdt.volvospeed.com/reviews/airride_cab.html
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:31 PM   #10
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The cab suspension looks to be about the least expensive way to get a truck riding better. I would also think you would need an air ride hitch to keep from beating your trailer to pieces too.
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