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Old 07-15-2003, 12:25 PM   #15
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On my trip home this week I had trouble with the air bag compressor. INital start up it would run and fill the bags fine. Then if the bags needed a top up it would not start, but in trying to start would allow some air out of the system. This allowed the bags to slooooooooly deflate. If I removed the fuse that connects the pump to the ignition and wait 30 min. the pump will restart fine every time. It will fill and then go into the lockup again and again.

In order to keep the bags as full as possible I just inserted and removed the fuse at each stop, or when the tail felt droopy.

This leaves me with a few questions.

What is the system pressure supposed to be when the compressor cuts off?

Will new airbags firm up the ride in the rear, it seems a bit bouncy?

Where do I get an inline check valve that will back up the one in the compressor? This may be the real issue, a stuck check valve.

Thanks
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Old 07-15-2003, 01:17 PM   #16
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brett
you need a check valve between the holding tank and compressor. sounds like yours isnt working. the compressor will bleed the air down on the line and will start up easier if the pressure is 0 or some low figure. i put one on the line at the compressor didnt want to drop the tank. as the check valve is on the fitting at the tank. i got mine at a company here that makes pressure hoses and lines. he also has an assortment of what ever in fittings. $16 it is a bit larger than the one on the tank. but it is half the price that airstream charges. might check fleet pride.
lol
al
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:49 PM   #17
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Brett said:
This leaves me with a few questions.

What is the system pressure supposed to be when the compressor cuts off?

~100psi, it should start @ ~80psi

Will new airbags firm up the ride in the rear, it seems a bit bouncy?

if it is very bouncy the pressure is too low, new bags will not fix that. The nature of the airride is that soft bouncy feeling

Where do I get an inline check valve that will back up the one in the compressor? This may be the real issue, a stuck check valve.

Inland sells them. specs are here:
http://www.generant.com/icvspec.htm

The pressure that reaches the air bags is also determined by the leveling valves (there should be two on your model). I.e. your system pressure could be 100psi, but only 90 psi gets to the air bags. Once more weight is added to the coach the leveling valves would allow more pressure to reach the airbags.

Placement of the inline check valve must be considered carefully. There are two good places and one bad one.
The bad one would be :
compressor-pressure switch-check valve.
The reason for this is that the pressure switch would drop below 80psi and tell the compressor to turn on. BUT, with the check valve right there in line, the system pressure would not have dropped that low and the compressor would only engage for a few seconds (just like you describe)
first good place:
right at the compressor but before the pressure switch:
compressor-inline check valve-pressure switch.
This allows the pressure switch to be activated by the actual system pressure AND the check valve would prevent leak back into the compressor.
second good place (my preference):
compressor-pressure switch-tank-check valve.
This configuration allows you to work on the air components all the way to the tank without loosing pressure to the airbags. (But your compressor must not have any internal leak back or else it will turn on constantly)
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Old 09-04-2003, 06:16 PM   #18
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Finally got them!

This is what they look like new!
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Old 09-07-2003, 10:36 AM   #19
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Swapped them today. Here is a side by side comparison.
And I wonder why the rear end seemed a bit bouncy
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Old 09-07-2003, 10:39 AM   #20
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This is the one I worried about for 3300 miles, can you guess why?

That is the nylon cord that is free and wavy. It should be encased in the rubber exterior of the bag.
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Old 09-14-2003, 01:46 PM   #21
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Airbags

Hey Brett,
my Excella 28" 79 airbags look like your old ones, so I'm thinking of replacing them. Have you had a chance to go for a drive, and do you notice a change in ride feel?
I'm also wondering where you got them, and what was the model number and price?
Thanks, Sebastian
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Old 09-14-2003, 01:56 PM   #22
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Sebastian,

I took it on a short trip around the block. I can feel a difference, it seems firmer. The main difrence is from inside. Before if I jumped up and down in the rear of the coach I would get a one to two inch bounce. Now it is like a half inch.

The bags may be spefic to your rear suspension. but I used the Firestone W01-358-5405. This is a heavy truck part number.

I purchased them from Fleetpride. www.fleetpride.com

The bags were quoted at 130+, that was while they were out of stock. After this latest production run they came in at 141.00 each.
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Old 09-14-2003, 02:23 PM   #23
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Air Bags

Thanks Brett,
one more question if you remember... when I look at my airbags pumped to 80 psi (truck stop told me not to go over 80 untill I replaced them), there is about five inches of the metal showing on the bottom. It seems that in order to get the right ride height, that is about where they need to be as well, but the metal beam that they attach to si pointing down a bit. I'm just wondering if I also need to loosen it from the axle, and lign it up again? Is there any way that you could take a photo with them installed?

Thanks again, Sebastian
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Old 09-14-2003, 03:41 PM   #24
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Sebastian,

I can take a picture for you, but I don't think you want to try what you describe. I looked at the exploded parts diagram and I do not think that you can do as you describe to adjust the lift height. When I have mine inflated to the factory cut off point I have 1 1/2 to 2 inches of the bell showing. The bell is what the bag rests on. If you have 5 inches of bell showing, how high off the ground is the rear bumper?


Here is the info from Inland RV on this issue:

Classic Airstream Motorhome and the Argosy Motorhome height's are not measured from the bumper. They are measured at the air bag itself.
From Serial number 9622 and back (81 and back), the ride height from the top of the air bag plate to the bottom of the dish, is 8 3/4 inches.
From serial number 9623 and up (1982 & up), the dimension is 10 1/2 inches.


I would suspect that a PO set the MH up to the post 82 settings base don the 5 inches of bell showing. That or the air bags you have are not the correct ones. Just me guessing though.
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Old 09-14-2003, 04:57 PM   #25
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at ~95psi my bags are 10 1/2 " with 2 1/2 " metal showing.
I could not ride @ 8 3/4"
Sebastian, the slight slant seems to be normal.
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Old 09-14-2003, 05:16 PM   #26
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Peter- I noticed your air bags are rigt next to the wheel, mine are more center- located on the rear axle.. Also no matter how much I pump I don't get more than about 6 inches of height from the top to the bottom of the dish.
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Old 09-16-2003, 05:17 PM   #27
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Peter,

I finally got to measure today. I wanted to get the new compressor installed so I could give a true reading.

I also have 10 1/2 inches from top to bottom plate. I have 2 1/2 or so of the bell showing too. Sounds like the suspension is the same.

Alan.

If you are filling from the gas station or at home you need to have the leveling valves/selinoids (sp) powered up. They allow air in and out based on the linkage that connects to the lower rail. I know you have a power problem regarding the compressor. If you have no power to the valves or compressor you will get no additional air in the bags. This is based on the drawings I have. Using my wiring as a guide. I have a yellow wire that is attached to the power feed that comes from the ignition switch. If the valves have no power I do not think they will dump or fill the bags. The relay in the grey box that is mounted to the compressor just turns on and off the compressor, the draw from a bad compressor could be what is blowing fuses. If you remove the small nut that holds the cover on you will see the screws. You could disconnect the compressor(remove the wire from under the right had screw on the left hand set) and at the least the valves would work as designed. This would require you to have the key on for the bags to fill/dump.
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Old 09-16-2003, 06:50 PM   #28
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Thank you Brett for measuring yours.
We can now reasonably assume that the earlier coaches were supposed to run @ 10 1/2 " and the later ones with the bags in a different location (on top of a cross beam) at 8 3/4.
The later models do not have the two solenoid valves, nor do they have two leveling valves just one in the center.
The earlier set-up allows side to side leveling and also isolates the airbags via the two solenoid valves with the ignition off.
Makes me wonder why they did the change, since the side to side leveling seems to be a valuable option.
Reading some posts about deflating air bags when using levelers, also makes me think that not using the solenoid valves in the later coaches was not a smart move.
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