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Old 09-04-2012, 10:09 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckles View Post
Just a quick note on fitting front ones.....

Put the new bag in the oven for about 5-10 minutes - with the valve out of course.

When warm squeeze the bag down as far as it will go, and fit cable ties at selected intervals. When all air is out fit the dust cover back on the valve stem to prevent air re-entering the bag. DO NOT fit the valve at this stage.

As a precursor, run a wire brush (prefarably on an electric drill) around the hole in the lower wishbone plate to polish up the surface. This will not only help insertion but will prevent rusty bits damaging the bag. Grease liberally.

While still warm, and with some light grease/washing up liquid on the bag, fed the air spring bag up through the hole in the lower wishbone plate, cutting off the ties as you go.

Done...

It takes me about 20-30 minutes from cutting out old, to inflating new. On a 310 with new heavy electric kid leather seats .... inflate to 60 psi for a firm ride and 55 psi for a comfort ride.

Hope this helps!
Reading Chuckles response above is one of those pivotal points in life where the light bulb goes off and you wonder...why didn't I think of that?

Heating in the oven is an absolutely brilliant idea

Brad
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:16 PM   #58
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Update on availability of W01-358-5412

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH-87MH View Post
Thanks for the schematics.
I tried to order the W01-358-5412 and checked on the W01-358-5311 (both have the internal bumper stop) from several online places and they are back ordered for 3-4 weeks (end of Sept 2012). What a bummer if you on the road trying to get one replaced. I guess this is how the wrong Airbags get installed, like it is the case in my 345. The clearance bellow to the frame on the side is 1/8"
Sept 10 2012 Trucksprings.com has received the W01-358-5412 from Firestone and is shipping them.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:03 PM   #59
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Received the W01-358-5412 rear airbags today and now I am confused.
My current bags have 1 mounting screw at the bottom and 2 at the top.
the 5412 have 2 mounting screws and one center thread recessed a couple of inches that seems to serve the purpose of keeping the bags together. Can that single center thread be the only bottom mount??
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:20 PM   #60
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Peter,

Here is a picture of a new airbag I found in one of the storage compartments of the 345 I'm dismantling. It appears to be the same as what you have. It did't have the the aluminum pedastal, just the bag portion.

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Brad
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:13 AM   #61
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Just found a picture Keyair posted some time ago of his Airbag set-up and it shows just the center thread being used for the bottom mounting and none of the other 2 mounting threads. Kinda odd, but I guess thats how its supposed to work.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:31 PM   #62
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One 1\2-13 all tread stud in the bottom, double nut. Lock tite on the end that goes into the bag. 2 3/8-16 bolts on the top. I have the same bags. I can send you an instruction help guide if you would like.
Boy can you get a great shot with the tank down!
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:41 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmadmaxman View Post
One 1\2-13 all tread stud in the bottom, double nut. Lock tite on the end that goes into the bag. 2 3/8-16 bolts on the top. I have the same bags. I can send you an instruction help guide if you would like.
Boy can you get a great shot with the tank down!

Yes, thanks, the guide would be awesome. Still curious to see how to use double nuts inside that mounting frame...
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:32 PM   #64
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Guide

Nick you have mail, but could not get the whole guide on there. Here is the guide that I made years ago. Sorry that there is no photos on this. I will work on that.


If there is still a sticker tag in the center of the lower carrier facing towards the rear, your in luck for making sure that you will get the right parts from ACE. If you still have that tag in place, record the number with your other information for your coach. This is a link to American Carrier Equipment in California. American Carrier Equipment - American Carrier Equipment, Inc. Home Not much of a web site for them. To get information and ordering parts, best way is to call:


Paul Toelke
info@trailer1.com
Production Engineer
American Carrier Equipment, Inc.
2285 E. Date Ave., Fresno, CA. 93706
1-800-344-2174; 559/442-1500


If you are going to work on this unit, For $2.00 or so BUY THE SERVICE MANUAL!!!
Also they are called American Carrier Systems ACS.
My unit is 8015 and is superseded by Model 8050 (same components)
Here is a shot of the location of the Serial number tag:


Here will be some of the components that we will be working with:
You can purchase all that is needed from ACE, manuals and parts, but I purchased the Firestone bags from Truck Suspension, Bilstein Shocks, Firestone Air Bags, Timbren, Leaf Springs - TruckSpring.com


The Firestone air bag number from Truckspring.com: W01-358-5412
ACE Part number: 8003-011


One of the problems I have seen in other forums is that some people have listed the wrong air bags for people to get. The bags needed for our rigs have an internal stop to keep you up if for some reason you loose air. Also while setting, the system as it looses air will rest on these internal stops.


With this system on the P30 chassis, it has a system built into it that will keep the rear from wagging. If the Transverse Rod Bushing and Straddle pin get worn, you could have a wag!


You can replace these without taking down the spring beam. I removed mine so that I could check all the bolts, clean and paint.


I have seen some of the spring beams broken, and would place a bet that someone has drove the rig with out good air bags or no air in the bags. When Airstream place this unit on our rigs, they cut off the back side of the springs leaving them almost like a steel bar for a suspension with out the air bags not working. Airstream recommends that we not go over 40 mph if the air bag system is not working right (no air etc.). So keep your air bag system working properly or you will have many other problems that you don't want.


Here is some replacement part numbers from ACE:


4 needed of 7572-102 Transverse Rod Bushing
2 needed of 5506-001 Straddle Pin
2 needed of 8003-011 Air Spring or (Firestone Bag as talked about earlier)




All bolts should be OK. If you want to replace bolts and nuts, replace with only the recommended Grade of bolt. Most American Standard bolt markings on the head are as listed: 3 marks will be a Grade 5 bolt, and 6, Grade 8.


Here is a shot of the Transverse Rod when bags are down, and when they are to height.


Notice how the air bags are also inflated. First is with 40 lbs. of air, they start picking up the coach at 70 lbs. The Height Control Valve shuts off air supply to the bags just under 80 lbs.


I think that Airstream recommends to only travel at 40 mph (as talked about earlier) if not inflated to operating pressure. My compressor is set up kick in at just under 80 Lbs and out at 90 lbs. I have tried to hit 100 lbs, but the compressor don't like it.


As you see in the photo the pins and yellow neoprene bushings with steel washers backing them. Paul told me if the washers are loose from the bushings, they should be replaced.


Before replacing anything on this carriage, you will need to block up the axle to the frame. Measure the height while the bags are inflated, (if they are working) then cut a block or crib 2x4 or 2x6's to allow all the pressure to be removed from the air bag carrier. You can also use some heavy jack stands to place under the frame to the floor for extra protection.


To remove the spring beam, first place a jack under and about the center, and make sure all pressure is off the unit. Remove the linkage to the air valve, using two 7/16" wrenches. You will be removing bolts out the bottom for the air bags 3/4" socket, bolts for the pins holding in the straddle pins 5/8" wrench and socket, and the end bolts of the spring beam to the shackle 3/4" wrench and socket. The all tread rod going into the air bags might come out completely, that will be OK, but there are two nuts on the end of the all thread up inside the spring beam. It would be OK to remove all the bolts for the straddle pins.


The bolts in the shackles, could interfere with the tire. Mine just made it past them with a little force. Remember this spring beam is heavy and you do not want it dropping on you, BE CAREFULL!


After you have the spring beam down, you can first remove the air fittings on the top of the air bags. There will be two 3/8" bolts on each side of the air fitting holding the air bag. Using a 9/16 box end or short ratchet, remove the air bags from the top frame. Do not damage the air fittings.


If not removing the spring beam, remove the air bag bolts and the bolts holding in the straddle pins. If the all thread rod stays in the air bag, after you remove the top bolts and air fittings, you will be able to move the bag to clear the threaded rod.


The bushings in the transverse rod should come right out. If the metal backing plates were loose, they are already off. You will see the new ones are molded on. The bushings will come right out of the transverse rod and new ones will go right back in. You will see the pins look worn at where they contact the bushings. Good rule of thumb is while your are at it, don't skimp, replace both pins and bushings.




After replacing the bushings you will be able to bolt the transverse rod, bushings and pins right back in place.


Replace air bags in reverse order you took them out. When connecting the air fittings, make sure that you keep the fittings clean and check for leaks.


The top bolts of the air bags, oiled 20 ft. lbs. ( I could not get a torque wrench on the bolt heads just as tight as I could with my Craftsman 9/16 box end wrench.


Bottom all thread rod: Use Loctite No. 271 on the end that goes into the Piston (bottom bag mount).
On bottom of all thread rod going through spring beam, first 1/2" SAE flat washer
Then 2, 1/2-13 NC Hex nuts on each rod. Torque the first nut to 55 ft. Lbs. Oiled.
Place second nut on and do not exceed the same torque.


If you have taken down the spring beam, the shackle bolts will torque to 130 ft. lbs. Oiled.
Straddle Pin bolts, torque to 55 ft. lbs. Oiled


Air System


The new air valve used: Lear Siegler Inc. Neway Division 90054007 or 90054387


My system is tight enough so that it will keep the coach up and not drop below 70 psi for a week plus. I would say if your system does not do at least that, you need to chase down your air leaks. If you do not find an external leak, the check valve for the compressor could be the problem. If it drops down in a days time, I would say it is a must that you find your leak!


Height adjustment for the air bag, top to bottom of bag will be 10 5/8"


For the air valve, there is only one used on this system. Two with the Henschen CMA tag axle and mounted at the tag axle and controls each bag independent, but uses one air system. You can do small adjustments to the height with the adjustment on the valve. The OEM set up had the mount for the rod pointing down. That really hurts if you catch that bracket while servicing under there. I re-welded the bracket and shortened the rod to make more clearance while under the rear of the coach. With the Henschen system, it is more complicated, and I have not done one.


Here are some of the things to look for on the air valve.


To adjust the height you will loosen the "adjusting lock nut". Be careful and make small adjustments. The valve when working properly, will have about a 5 second delay, so make sure that you take your time. Make sure that you have plenty of air and that your compressor is working properly. You must have 70 lbs of air plus!


From ACE:
When the external actuating lever moves to the intake position (up), the intake valve opens and supply air passes through to the air springs. When the external actuating are move to the exhaust position (down), the exhaust valve opens to allow excess air to pass from the air springs to the atmosphere.
A check valve in the intake fitting prevents pressure loss from the air springs if the high pressure air supply is interrupted. the valve has a five second time delay to prevent unnecessary actuation while the vehicle is negotiating uneven terrain at operating speeds and also has a 3/8" dead zone at the actuating lever end to eliminate "hunt and seek" action.




Like I said at the first of this, BUY THE SERVICE MANUAL from ACE. You can not go wrong if you do your on work. ACS or ACE what ever you want to say, was great to work with and was glad to answer any questions that I had. Do not hesitate to give Paul a call with your problems.


Please PM me if you have any questions about this DIY, I will be glad to help anyway that I can.


God Bless, and good luck!
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:31 PM   #65
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Great write up Chris. I have changed the bushings on mine with no problems. Not a difficult job at all. ACE did suggest I carefully check the traverse rod for wear and replace if necessary. The other thing I would add is somewhere around '81-'82 there was a change in the ride height dimension. My '82 280 is set at 8-1/2" I tried the 10-5/8" but the traverse rod was at a steep angle and the bags were severely extended. I believe it uses a different air bag also. I reset to 8-1/2" and all is good.

As I have said before it is a very simple system that works well.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:31 AM   #66
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Just what I was hoping for, thank you Chris!!
They have done vast improvement on the Air ride system over the years.
This is what it looked like in 79
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:04 AM   #67
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Your are right in the improvement's over the years. The years before Thor Industries, they needed something, but just did an add on. With the complete system, this allowed much more room aft of the rear axle, much smoother ride, and paved the way for the tag axle addition. I think that Henschen did the chassis work for Airstream. My thinking on this is on some information that was on my fuel tank when I took it down.

Looks like it wast shipped to Henschen.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:23 PM   #68
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Reading through this thread brings up a question I've been wanting to ask for quite some time. My 1974 20' Argosy mh doesn't have an air ride suspension. However from the 345 that I've been dismantling I will have a complete rear air suspension system available. My thought has been to remove the springs and balance of suspension from the Argosy and attempt to install the air ride suspension from the 345.

Granted I have not yet done any measuring to see if any of the components are even close to fitting so this may be way more work that it is worth. I know there are after market air bag suspensions that mount to the side of the frame that cost around $300 or so and are a bolt one item. I even installed one such system on an old Coachmen 20' motorhome we had years ago.

So the question is would it be worth it in terms of time and effort (and $) to try and install the 1986 345 air ride system on the 74 Argosy?

Thanks,

Brad
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:42 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler
Reading through this thread brings up a question I've been wanting to ask for quite some time. My 1974 20' Argosy mh doesn't have an air ride suspension. However from the 345 that I've been dismantling I will have a complete rear air suspension system available. My thought has been to remove the springs and balance of suspension from the Argosy and attempt to install the air ride suspension from the 345.

Granted I have not yet done any measuring to see if any of the components are even close to fitting so this may be way more work that it is worth. I know there are after market air bag suspensions that mount to the side of the frame that cost around $300 or so and are a bolt one item. I even installed one such system on an old Coachmen 20' motorhome we had years ago.

So the question is would it be worth it in terms of time and effort (and $) to try and install the 1986 345 air ride system on the 74 Argosy?

Thanks,

Brad
I think that would be awesome as long as the springs from the 345 aren't too stiff...I think that would provide a much better ride then putting on helper air bags.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:06 PM   #70
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I think that would be awesome as long as the springs from the 345 aren't too stiff...I think that would provide a much better ride then putting on helper air bags.
This is where I get a little confused (ok, maybe a lot confused!)

The arrangement of the air ride springs, i.e. one end cut off, leads me to think that the spring really doesn't have much to do with overall ride quality. To me the springs seem to me more like connecting rods to hold the axle in the correct fore/aft alignment and for the axle to have something to connect to.

I say this because of the air ride arrangement is very similar to the rear axle arrangement for a Triumph Spitfire. The Spitfire axle is a swing axle arrangement where the outer end of the axle is connected to to a rod that runs forward to a body/frame mount. The axles are connected to a diff in the center with a traverse spring providing suspension. The air bags on the 345 act like the traverse spring and the leaf springs on the 345 act like the tie rods on the Spitfire. I might be over simplifying this but I don't know.

Maybe the worst case is I could cut the Argosy axles like the 345 which means I have the same springs with an air ride suspension thrown in.

Brad
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