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Old 04-23-2004, 01:31 AM   #15
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Talking Starting problems

Dennis, There is a fusible link on top of the engine leading to a round terminal post. My '84 MH 310 had this fusible link break due to age and heat embrittlement, foreman at the 3 monkeys in Ca spliced the fusible link and got me going. It failed to start about 6 starts later. I too crawled under to jumper the starter. It continued to repeat this 6 starts 1 no start/jump start cycle. Two weeks later and 1000 miles later, I told my wife "I hope it starts because it is raining and I dont want to crawl under again". You guessed it, the power of suggestion, it did not start. Suddenly it dawned on me that the mech was working on the fusible link--pulled the doghouse wiggled the fusible link and it started. Used this technique once more on the way home. Replaced the fusible link when I got home still going great 8 years later. Do not just reconnect this fusible link wire as it is still brittle and will break again.

Ernie
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:04 AM   #16
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Front Air Bag Changeout

Last night I installed the Driver's Side Front Air Bag. I purchased a pair of Air Lifts from PPL ($90, as opposed to Camping World's $67). I will not say how much PPL quoted for the labor for the change out, only that they said their shop was booked solid for 3 days, and their price for labor reflected a sellers market.

Many thanks to Ray Clay, who described his change out below.

From the Camping World Web Site

QUOTE
Hints to a fast install (Front Air Lift Bags - Chevy P-3X) - May 11, 2003
Ray Clay from Coon Rapids, MN

Removal 1: Drill out valve while you have 20-40psi in the bags and before you lift the vehicle fully. SAFETY NOTE: The vehicle will lower during the drilling out of the valves. 2: Raise the vehicle until there is no pressure on the springs. 3: With a serrated knife about 14 inches long cut ¾ of the way around the air bags at each opening between the springs. 4: With the airbag now being more like a long rubber corkscrew than a bag, spray the rubber down with soapy water. Lock onto the airbag with a pair of vise grips and twist the bag through the lower hole. 5: If your old airbags have clips on the top holding the top protector in place, cut completely through the top of the bag. Flip the top over after removing the rest of the airbag and cut the clip off with a pair of wire cutters. Installation Helpful hints not listed in the instructions. The string doesn’t work well to hold the airbag tight. Use wide hose clamps to squeeze the bag down to the size of the hole. Be careful not to let the clamp dig into the sides by using three clamps in conjunction. Remove each clamp just before it would enter the lower hole. Use soapy water and twist the bag slowly into the hole. To place the lower protector, inflate the airbag so that it will resume its “bag like” shape. Let any air out after the shape is reformed and push up through the lower hole using the back side of a screwdriver onto the airbag to allow the lower protector to be slid through the lower gap of the springs. The whole process only took my wife and I, 45 minutes after we had figured out this process. Figuring out the whole process took 90 minutes. END QUOTE

Mutilating the old bag with the knife certainly helped in removal, spent about 45 minutes getting the old bag out (learning curve), did not fully cut the top off, it all came out the bottom hole. I could not get the "twist and screw" thing to work, pried the old bag out with a 12" pinch bar.

I did not have clamps of sufficient size to compress the new bag as Ray suggested above, so I tried the "tie with a string" trick as suggested in the installation instructions.......and failed miserably. All close by parts stores were closed by the time I yielded to common sense and gave up for the night, I lost about a half hour by attempting to follow the Air Lift instructions.....space forward to next day.

After purchasing three 3" hose clamps, the new bag was in place with about a half hour's effort. Not a bad cost vs. time payback when compared to what PPL quoted me for installation. Also take into account that my hands had been abused by several days of pulling wrenches installing a prelube system and a secondary absolute flow finite filter on the Xilver Xeppelin.....gripping strength significantly compromised.....it's a b*tch to get old --- definitely needed some of Granny's Patented Rheumatiz Medicine these past few nights.

Hope to shod the 345 with Centramatics all the way around this week.
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Old 04-28-2004, 08:43 AM   #17
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Dennis,
I'm getting ready to attempt this myself in the near future. I really appreciate the practical advice from Ray Clay and yourself. Gaining knowledge in information that takes what could easily be a long and frustating process down to a single Saturday afternoon is one of the things that I love about this forum. - Thanks!
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Old 05-12-2004, 08:58 AM   #18
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It Works!

Dennis,
Thanks for finding and posting Mr. Clay's procedure. I replaced both front bags last night using this method and it really wasn't that bad. I think both bags took me about 2 1/2 hours. The spiral cut really made getting out the old bags pretty easy.

Love this forum!
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:45 PM   #19
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My experience replacing front airbags

First, I had the misfortune of not having the Truck jacks and jack-stands required to get the rig up off the ground high enough to get the front wheels fully in the air. I managed to get-er-dun, but in my opinion, one really needs to get the front springs fully extended for this job.

Removal of the old front bags was the easiest part of the job for me.
I used an AC-powered dremel type roto-tool made by Ryobi to rip into the old bags.
An earlier post recommended using a serrated knife to cut the old air-bags up. My experience using the roto-tool was superior to using a knife by a long-shot. The roto-bit that I used is the same as is used to cut drywall. I suggest that you pretend that the old bag is someone you have the greatest animosity for, then disrespect it, rip into it, stab it and defile it with no mercy until it is shredded to the degree that you can grab the pieces with a pliers or channel locks and rip the thing out through the sides of the spring. (Which takes a bit of pull-power.)

To install the new bags:
I used two different sizes of radiator hose clamps to compress the bags to an installable size.
I folded the bag as per the instruction sheet, then tightened three 4" hoseclamps to the max to maintain the fold. then I used (3) 2-1/2" hose clamps to further compress the bags so they would fit into the ridiculously small holes at the bottom of the spring-control-arm.
I can’t imagine how much harder this would have been if there was slippery dishwashing liquid all over my hands and or the bags themselves. I really needed a good grip on those bags to muscle them up through those holes. It was not easy.
I un-tightened the hose clamps while the clamps were inside the spring.
I used a battery powered screwdriver for the clamp tightening & un-tightening.

I was unsuccessful in getting the provided black plastic air-bag seats installed due to the lack of clearance on the top and bottom of the bags. (probably because my rig was not jacked all the way up and my springs were not fully extended.) I assumed that not installing the seats would limit the life-span of the bags, but I was unwilling to further work the issue by that point.

At the end of the job my hands were hamburger.
And I for once was kicking myself for not hiring Camping World to do the work for me. They quoted a most reasonable rate: parts plus 80.00 labor.

By the way I purchased the bags at Jeg’s for only 10.00 less than Campin wurld.

Best of luck to you all.
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:56 PM   #20
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I had the same experience cutting out the old airbags, and stuffing the new ones in that incredibly small hole in the bottom. I can't imagine doing it without the springs fully extended.

Someone mentioned that it was much easier to remove the spring from the suspension to do this job. I don't know how to disassemble the parts neccessary, but it has to be easier than the way I/we did it.
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Old 07-14-2006, 08:07 PM   #21
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for everything else...
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Old 07-17-2006, 07:29 PM   #22
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I had a blown bag when I purchsed my unit, and replaced them with new Airlift bags. I put them at 55psi, and I don't really notice any differance... What pressure are you guys using? ...and what kind of differance do you feel?
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:09 PM   #23
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Troy, I think my Airlifts were rated for 1000 pounds at 90 psi. It's very noticable when they are not inflated.
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:03 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outofcontrol
I had the same experience cutting out the old airbags, and stuffing the new ones in that incredibly small hole in the bottom. I can't imagine doing it without the springs fully extended.

Someone mentioned that it was much easier to remove the spring from the suspension to do this job. I don't know how to disassemble the parts neccessary, but it has to be easier than the way I/we did it.
I dropped my springs to replace the bags. You need to pop the lower ball joint. The big thing is to ensure you supplort the control arm with a jack to control the string. I can't imagine stuffing that bag thru that hole!
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:46 AM   #25
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I have had the luck to replace my front air bags twice. I paid a shop the first time and they dropped the springs to do it. I also had to add the cost of a front end alingment to the tab.

The second time, I read the instructions on this forum and it worked like a charm. The way I got the inserts in the bottom was to use the jack to push up the bag. I used a plastic handle off of a toilot auger to pry up the bag. The handle had a hole in it that fit over the schrader valve. Once in half way, a little prying with a wide blade screwdriver and in it went. No front end alingment needed this time.

I also added an Air Lift Dual Command pressure gauge to the system. I ran a new air line to the front and put in a tee. One line went to the inside needle of the gauge to tell me the rear pressure, the other line went to the front needle and the front bags. I can add or bleed air to the front bags with the switch.

My hope is that by knowing the pressure in the system I will not go off "deflated" and ruin another set of bags.

Steve
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