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Old 06-23-2002, 11:00 AM   #1
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Front airbags

Fred,

I stole and idea from you, or maybe I should say from Jellybean III. At Mystic springs I was intrigued by your front airbag setup with one fill valve. I had two fittings to fill my front airbags. I could not get them filled evenly with my 120V compressor. So I pulled out all of the black hard brittle tubing and replaced it with what is pictured below. Now when I fill and check the air pressure I have one spot to do it and the bags are evenly inflated low or high. I do not think having them share air is an issue but I welcome any advice.
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Old 06-23-2002, 12:56 PM   #2
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Air suspension system

We used to own an ole GMC front wheel drive RV. It had rear air bags. I found that the best material to use for all fuel. oil and air systems is DOT air brake nylon line. The fittings used are nearly the same as copper compression fittings with a special fitting for the ends. This material is nearly impervious to anything............ except hi heat. On our old rig, the air gages were at the dash and under the hood. Air could be checked and added at several places.
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Old 06-23-2002, 02:57 PM   #3
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That is what I took out due to it getting brittle and cracking. I had to add air to the bags at the bags. No fun. The orange stuff in the picture is 1/4inch ID air hose, it is rated at 300 psi and 85 degrees C. The orange covering is supposed to be able to take oil etc.
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Old 06-23-2002, 04:19 PM   #4
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Air bag central fill

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Originally posted by thenewkid64
That is what I took out due to it getting brittle and cracking. I had to add air to the bags at the bags. No fun. The orange stuff in the picture is 1/4inch ID air hose, it is rated at 300 psi and 85 degrees C. The orange covering is supposed to be able to take oil etc.
My 1981 Excella motorhome had no front airbags. I ordered a pair from Camping World along with the central fill line kit. (link) http://www.campingworld.com/browse/s...90&skunum=4946
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Old 06-23-2002, 04:37 PM   #5
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I'm glad you got something out of Mystic Springs! Monique and I were talking about how valuable it was to make the trip. We guessed that you and Peter were the only two that didn't learn something! Time to start planning for Mystic 2 in April of 2003!!!!

My driver's side bag is still bad. I looked underneath to see if I could replace them. I will never be a mechanic type. The entire job is $130 at Camping World for both. I thought about having the existing Air-Lift bag replaced under warrenty. I still have the previous owners receipt. I could not see the top of the coil spring to see where to install the top piece.
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Old 06-23-2002, 05:18 PM   #6
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Fred, since our gathering at Mystic Springs, I have seen exactly zero Airstream Motorhomes on the road or elsewhere. I believe having the opportunity to see and feel all the different models, was a great learning experience for everyone.
One of the most overlooked details concerning the front airbags is the direct relation of front end alignment and pressure in the bags.
Any front end alignment should always be done with properly inflated air bags.

Dienst1: If you add airbags, your front end may have to be realigned.
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Old 06-23-2002, 05:33 PM   #7
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Front air bags

Peter,

I've also added lower rate front springs (the previous owner liked a hard ride), a Super Steer Bell Crank and a Steer Safe Stabilizer. The front end alignment is definitely impacted.

Dick
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Old 06-23-2002, 06:54 PM   #8
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OT

Dick, I have been following your story since you bought your MH and I am truly amazed at the amount of work you are having done to your 1981. By now, you must be getting anxious to get your hand on it?
Are you keeping the original diesel motor?
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Old 06-23-2002, 07:38 PM   #9
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Re: OT

Peter,

I'm a "Diesel hugger" and spent a lot of time looking for the combination that I bought. My car is also a Diesel (Olds Cutlass Ciera with the 4.3 L Diesel, also designed by Isuzu). I may or may not have a turbocharger installed depending on my driving experience. It already has a US Gear underdrive which helps with the low end.

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Old 06-24-2002, 10:14 PM   #10
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Smile 310 Repower

Another option for a 82 310 Turbo is a 5.9 Cummins with the 518 Chrysler automatic trans. It is a neat swap and makes a lot of power. We have done two of these in the last year and a half and they really work. Joe
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Old 06-25-2002, 09:31 AM   #11
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Cummins

What $$$$ are we looking at for that swap?
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Old 06-26-2002, 07:05 AM   #12
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Re: Cummins

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What $$$$ are we looking at for that swap?
Hello
The parts cost was about 3500 dollars for the power train and parts from a 96 Dodge pickup. If you need details on this swap drop me a line and I can share some thoughts with you.
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Old 04-20-2003, 05:38 PM   #13
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Okay, I did stop by Camping World while in Orlando. After the initial excitement, I put back all the WANT things and bought something I NEEDED (the air Lift bags). With your encouragement, I am going to atempt this myself. One question.

Is it allright to use the front leveling jacks to lift up the front?

I did read the installation instructions about making sure the brakes are on and the unit is blocked.
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Old 04-20-2003, 05:57 PM   #14
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Fred,

I have heard of stories where they have used the front jacks to lift the front. I would not use them for permanent support, just get the weight off the springs and then use jackstands that are up to the task to actually support the weight and rest the coach partally on the jack stands. You do not want the coach to be fully supported by any one type of support.

Just my .02 worth
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