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Old 06-29-2005, 01:24 PM   #1
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Boy, am I pumped!

My airbags had deflated recently, and I figured there must be a leak.
I finally got around to pulling off the reserve tank to check it and the line. Well the leak was not hard to miss! It was on the back side against the compartment wall where you could not see it from the front. When I would pump air in, the sound of the compressor drowned out the sound of the steady leak. Yikes!

I removed the tank, moved my input schrader valve to the line end and "whoila" ( obviously I don't speak french) it worked. The bags are pumped up to the best level in my 4 years of ownership. Can't wait to cruise out next week to the mountains.
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Old 06-29-2005, 01:32 PM   #2
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How hard was it to do. I'm still learning the in's and out's of my MH airbags. I have a small switch at the compressor to activate it. However one day I was parked in yard and flipped the switch the compressor came on but it appeared that the rear came down a little instead of inflating. I try not to mess with it too much, it makes me nervous to think of blowing something up.
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Old 06-29-2005, 07:29 PM   #3
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my compressor was shot and a new one not in the budget.
I pulled it out, and replaced the input with a schrader valve (brass) and fitting I bought. Worked well and the bags went up and stayed up a year or more, although not perfectly, as I did not realize the tank was leaking.
It was slow at first, then well you see it above. If you work on the air bags at all, put some sturdy jack stands under the rear frame so if it does drop, it will not be a problem. Mine had no air in the bags, so there was no drop at all when I disconnected the lines.. If the bags hold air well, the manual valve is an easy rig. I would like to someday return to the auto fill compressor and tank, but figure on only a $200-300 investment, and yet I have other things I would rather pay for first.
Do a search as there are threads posted with info on the bag height, bumper height, the type of compressors, etc.
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Old 06-30-2005, 08:04 AM   #4
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Great fix and good information. I'll file it away for future reference.
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Old 06-30-2005, 08:23 AM   #5
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Alan,
YIKES! I wonder if you could fit something like this (http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/pro...mId=1613506055) in there.
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Old 06-30-2005, 12:33 PM   #6
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nice Steve but no room for that in my little back bin. Storage is always an issue with our rigs, well maybe not a 345
I have seen some nive smaller tanks used on hot car set ups. Think if I don't go back to the compressor the tank will make any difference? It would be an easy retro fit.
By the way seeing the rear end of my coach riding up high where it belongs is awesome.
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Old 06-30-2005, 12:43 PM   #7
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Not sure. It sounds like your's is setup very different than mine. The tags on the 325/345 have leveler valves that release air or move it from one side to the other and help adjust ride height. All of this works with the compressor under the bed and the rather large air tank in between the tags. It's definately a system with a lot of stuff to break.

Lately, I've been helping a buddy with his 22' Winnie and his rear bags are just simply plumbed out to schrader valves on each rear fender well for checking/filling. No tank, nothing. Seems pretty simple and I like simple.

Not sure what the tank does for you without the leveling valves. Maybe someone with more knowledge on the single axle models can chime in. Maybe something like a nailing tank, two smaller cylinders. Seems like if you knew the dimensions and specifications of the old tank someone like Grainger could get you pretty close for not a lot of money.

Good to hear you're back up a ride height. I know that the speed on the 345 is severely limited if there is no air in the suspension....as you could break or bend the tag axles.
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Old 06-30-2005, 05:53 PM   #8
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the leveling valves are there on mine...I see the rods and connections to a valve in the air line. Since they have not been working...as the compressor has been out for many years, I guess I will stick with the system as it is now, like the Winnie's. My front bags of course are already like that, two schraders mounted under the hood for easy access.
Mine in the rear is inside the cabinet at the rear where the electric shore power hook up is located. Easy also to get to for pumping.
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Old 07-02-2005, 01:56 PM   #9
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I suspect that my pressure switch / pressure release valve is bad. The coach has a very weird manual (alligator clip) connection in the fuse box to run the compressor. I pumped up the bags today until the leveler linkage was at dead level...I didn't want to overfill the bags and have something go pop so quit there. My ride height is at 34.25" from the ground to the bottom of the wheel lip molding on both sides.

An initial look at the plumbing shows me a schrader valve on the bottom of the tank but no petcock where I would expect to see it to drain moisture from the system.

BTW I have the original drawings of the system from American Carrier Equipment (ACE) if anyone needs a look at a schematic...dated 1-29-90. And the air bag layout on the axle dated 1-25-93.

As the passenger side bag was down I'm going to be looking for a leak. Haven't seen air ride since a lifetime ago driving truck... any ideas...!!?? Where do your leveler arms sit when your compressor shuts off?
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Old 07-03-2005, 11:40 AM   #10
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as I have no compressor , I can't offer any ideas for that.
In earlier posts it was mentioned that the actual height of the air bag from bottom of the cone was 10" or more when fully inflated?
Is that true for an 82? Mine seem to be way up now, but still only maybe 8" from top to bottom.
Its great to be able to inflate them with a little outside air compressor now.
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Old 07-03-2005, 01:44 PM   #11
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Alan, how much air presure are you keeping in your bags? I'm waiting for an answer from ACE as to who they have in SC/NC to take a look at the system for me. My driver side bag is starting to disintigrate...and that's the one that holds air. Would like to have a working, automatic system if at all possible.
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Old 07-03-2005, 06:45 PM   #12
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I am guessing I have 100 pounds or so. Front takes 55 each side, and can easily be read by a gauge on the valve. The rear has a check valve in the system so i can't gauge it. However as i understand the check valve regulates the pressure and it supposed to be at 100psi.
My bag height show quite a bit of cone now, so I believe they are fully inflated, or quite close.
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Old 07-07-2005, 09:07 PM   #13
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Well today I spent the morning in Columbia SC at the local ACS service facility known as Industrial Alignment and Fruehauf. Nice folks who actually had the proper airbags in stock to replace my aged and leaking bags.

The drive side held air but was dry rotted to the point of pilling. The passenger side was leaking slowly. Yesterday morning I desided to let the compressor run and low and behold it actually shut off when it was happy with the air pressure.

Service manager and I held our breath today as it labored some time to fully charge the system but here I am $500 dollars lighter with new air ride working as expected.

The technician who did the job remarked at how solid they where attached as he had a devil of a job breaking the old/original units off. Seemed the gas tank didn't make his job any easier.

The bus goes to DonMar RV tomorrow and I head to the Western NC mountains for what may be the last road trip in the old Champion coach. DonMar will be installing the new Air V 15k a/c unit!! I can't wait to get some A/C in the coach. IT's been hot and humid here in SC the past week or two.

It's an ongoing saga!
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Old 07-08-2005, 08:49 AM   #14
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sounds like fun though. Its rewarding to see it come together.
I took my AS for a spin with the wife and one son in the back to check out the ride with bags full. They gave the thumbs up....smooth over the bumps and ruts, and no visible bouncing in the rear. I swear the whole thing seems to handle better also.
Used to be, on the hiway you could bounce out of the bed if laying back there.
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