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Old 01-25-2004, 05:40 PM   #15
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Oh sure - it make perfect sense now! I think Brett said in his first post - check valve. Then Jeff then zamboni. I even read another post by you stating the very same thing!

But did I listen and go there first? NOOOOOO. Instead I tore apart my air system and put it back together again!

I usually call this a "tail pipe inspection" when other people do it. I would joke that if a car stops running you don't run around the back and look up the tail pipe to see what's wrong.

Well - I'm getting better on this whole RV thing but I guess I have to understand it myself before I can fix it.

At least I know how the air system works. What did PeterH say about working on these old birds: "It's a state of mind"?

The good news is that my trip was postponed due to this ice storm so I have another couple of days to repair/replace the valve.

Thanks to all for the help and support (and patience). I'm hopeful I can WD-40 my way out of this one.
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Old 01-25-2004, 07:21 PM   #16
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Old 01-25-2004, 09:14 PM   #17
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Steven,
I am printing off this post for future reference and putting in binder. How much trouble would it be after you have gone thru your 86 345 MH air system to draw out a schematic of the lines, compressor, check, accumulator, etc. and post? Unless there is a schematic that already exists!!! Thanks, Jim
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Old 01-25-2004, 09:55 PM   #18
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Big trucks (Freightliner, Peterbuilt, K/W, etc.) use similar valves on their air systems, I'd try a truck parts vendor...
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Old 01-26-2004, 08:48 AM   #19
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I got some parts from Grainger suppley for mine. They had most in stock and cheap.
My valves did clean up when I sprayed WD-40 through it also.

Now a question--since I have the manual input on my bags now, where would I put a gauge to check the air level?
Putting it after the valve wouldn't do it as the check valve is inline after that. I get a reading of zero at the input valve with the bags looking pretty full. I can live without the gauge but it would be nice to have one.
I am leaving the compressor out of the loop for now.
Too many other things to upgrade.
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Old 01-26-2004, 09:05 AM   #20
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Alan,
I didn't think of Grainger. I'll try them too.

On your gauge. Mine has a line running out from the moisture tab (bottom of the accumulator tank) out to a bracket on the pass side frame right between the drive and tag axles. (It's easy on the 345 since the tank is located right there as well. It may be different on you 280)

It's terminated with a schrader valve so it's easy to blow out moisture and to take a reading whenever I check the tire pressures.

Seems like all you would need is a line of air hose, the right connectors, a schrader valve and and angle braket to mount something like this.
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Old 01-26-2004, 09:33 AM   #21
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When I have cjecked the pressure at the moisture valve on the bottom of the tank it reads zero too. I will try to use the line off that tank though and see what happens.

If I can get a reading on a tire gauge, maybe I can install a permanent one there. The tank is still in the circuit although the compressor is out.
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Old 01-26-2004, 10:44 AM   #22
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Alan,
The Grainger suggestion was right on time! Got a brass inline check valve with a teflon poppet rated to 250 psi for $6.87.

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2004, 10:51 AM   #23
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ALANSD

Alan:

Use a little caution here. It is not outside the realm of possibility that your schrader valve is plugged with rust.

Best way to deal with it (IMHO) is to make SURE the volume tank is empty, back out the schrader and bottom fitting, and inject some air into the tank from your Storage Bin air access valve. This would ensure you have a free path.

While the schrader fitting is out you could reroute with some tubing to a much more convenient location as Steven suggested.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-26-2004, 01:55 PM   #24
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any reason I should keep the tank in the setup? I have replaced the compressor with an input valve- (schrader)
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Old 01-26-2004, 02:32 PM   #25
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Absolutely, keep the tank!

As the suspension "works", inflating and deflating the bags as necessary, the Volume Tank will offer a "cushion" to store a certain amount of cubic feet of air so you would not have to add air to the bags as ofter.

Even if you have the outlets of the air bags capped off (not allowing any automatic adjustments of the air pressure in the bag), the larger volume of air in the tank (and in the overall air suspension) would allow for a more constant (and reliable) pressure to the bags.

If my bags totally deflate, the leaf springs are knocking against the frame, so it is imperative that the bags have a good source of pressurized air.

Alan, I speak only from 345 suspension experience, and I don't know how much of that is transferable to other suspension designs. I sure don't want to mislead you if your bag suspension reacts differently than mine.
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Old 01-26-2004, 08:29 PM   #26
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It Worked!

Brett, Jeff, zamboni, Dennis, Ray - I promise to listen next time:

The replacement check valve was the ticket. Trip to Grainger at lunch, five minutes to install and she holds air.

Actually, I think a good cleaning would have done it but I noticed a hairline crack in the body of the old valve. Just a matter of time before it dumped air in an "unplanned fashion"

I would highly recommend sticking to the service interval recommendations and blowing out the air/moisture from the tank at every oil change. I would also recommend removing and cleaning the check valve yearly. And...keep an extra valve in the toolbox. $10 part vs new tag axles - Yikes!
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