Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-11-2012, 08:59 PM   #15
Rivet Master
 
Smartstream's Avatar

 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,371
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Yep, I have no idea how well the springs will support the addition of the trailer load. I know it has towed in the past but no idea what.

I'll have to start checking out the area for spring shops. South of me about an hour is Somerset KY which is a hot bed for hot rodders and the like so I'm betting something can be found there.



I installed the side helper air bags on a previous 20' motorhome that we had and it did improve the ride. I know at least one other Argosy 20' owner that has them. I'll see what they think of the ride.

I've never been a big fan of carrying external gas cans. One of the trailers I will be using is an open trailer which would make extra gas cans a hassle.

Maybe I can make a real long skinny gas tank and fit it up along the frame rail

Thanks!

Brad
I suspect if your overloads made much of a difference, that you were overloaded to begin with. Many of the mohos back then didn't much payload capacity.

I'd look for a spring shop that deals with trucks rather then hot rods, remember you P-30 did start out as a truck.

Also look to I think the 70's and 80's vintage Chevy pick ups. Somewhere back in that era they had gas thanks that ran along the frame rails. I don't remember if they were inside or outside of the rail but it might be a start. I had a 82 Chevy diesel with twin tanks and it was a pain in the rear to fill because there was one fill pipe on each side of the truck. If the pump didn't have a long hose you had to turn the truck around to fill the other tank.


Good luck, Dan
Cheers, Dan
__________________

__________________
Smartstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2012, 06:35 AM   #16
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartstream View Post
I suspect if your overloads made much of a difference, that you were overloaded to begin with. Many of the mohos back then didn't much payload capacity.
Now THAT wouldn't surprise me a bit!

Quote:
I'd look for a spring shop that deals with trucks rather then hot rods, remember you P-30 did start out as a truck.
Actually Somerset has quite a lot of automotive industry related businesses. Especially compared to Richmond which has zilch

I do know of one big truck service repair shop that is between Richmond and Somerset that I'll be checking out. They've actually worked on an F350 that we had and did a good job.

Quote:
Also look to I think the 70's and 80's vintage Chevy pick ups. Somewhere back in that era they had gas thanks that ran along the frame rails. I don't remember if they were inside or outside of the rail but it might be a start. I had a 82 Chevy diesel with twin tanks and it was a pain in the rear to fill because there was one fill pipe on each side of the truck. If the pump didn't have a long hose you had to turn the truck around to fill the other tank.
I had an 81 Chevy dually pickup that had the fillers on each side of the bed and you're right that was a royal pain in the....

Looks like I'm going to shelve the rear suspension for a while and as you suggested get it running first and see where things stand at that point.

Thanks!

Brad
__________________

__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 09:27 AM   #17
4 Rivet Member
 
Jenniflow's Avatar
 
1982 34' Limited
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sausalito , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 405
Send a message via Skype™ to Jenniflow
Question Will repairing the air suspension help me carry more weight?

Great thread. I have been thinking about this stuff a lot, because I finally decided to keep my moho and take her to Baja (YAY!), after learning she wouldn't smog legally in CA and still have any power, so I am about to head 1500 miles south with no air suspension on a 1986 345 moho.

I really want to be able to take some furniture with me in the coach but I'm nervous about putting any extra weight in. I'm not towing. Would retrofitting the air suspension help me carry more weight? Or are the leaf springs, which have been checked, be adequate to an extra 500-700 pounds?

BTW, I'm figuring I'd do the trip on relatively low water in the tanks and using public facilities , mostly, and I certainly don't have to fill the gas tank every time. I'll probably remove the two barrel chairs and side table for extra room and weight allowance and I'm not carrying a full complement of household goods, clothing, etc. Not sure how much all that would have weighed.

Any thoughts on this?
Thanks!
__________________
Jenniflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 10:00 AM   #18
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,350
Jenny,

Don't make the trip without fixing the air suspension. I think you'll regret it if you do. I'm assuming your 86 345 is like the 86 345 that I dismantled which is the same as on our 84 310. If that's the case then you'll find that without the air bags you don't really have a rear suspension at all. We bought our 310 in Savannah Georgia and drove it 750 miles not knowing anything about the air suspension and how it worked. The PO filled the bank (compressor wasn't working) and the ride was great until the air ran out of the tank. At that point the leaf springs started banging against the bottom of the frame. The ride went from the best to the worst in about 2 hours.

The problem is when Airstream retrofitted the air suspension to the chassis they cut the back half of the leaf spring off. The air ride then attaches to the back portion of the leaf spring where it was cut off and that's what provides the smooth ride. With the air bags deflated the end of the cutoff spring bumps against the bottom of the frame. At a minimum it creates a rough ride, at worst it can damage things.

Even if you don't get a working compressor I would at least replace the air bags and get your pressure tank to work. That way you could stop at gas stations to fill the tank as the air is depleted. The reason the air depletes is because as the suspension moves up and down the leveling valve either fills the air bags with air or releases air to atmosphere. Once the air pressure in the tank drops below the point where the leveling valve is calling for more air the valve stays open and the tank empties.

Bottom line is I would strongly recommend you get the air suspension to work properly, you'll be happy you did!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news....

Brad
__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 12:03 PM   #19
4 Rivet Member
 
Jenniflow's Avatar
 
1982 34' Limited
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sausalito , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 405
Send a message via Skype™ to Jenniflow
Man. Well, good or bad, that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Thanks Brad!

I was hoping I could make it down to the spring place you guys mentioned in Long Beach but that's a full days drive for me. I've already driven it about 6 hours total, on various trips, and it's bumpy. I guess I'm already pushing my luck.

It would be great if I could find a good spring shop around here. They would do the suspension, right? Or do I have to go to another kind of shop? Like truck service? Or who?

Wow, this is the slippery sloppery slope of vintage maintenance.
Jenny
__________________
sent from my hipflask
Jenniflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 12:38 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,350
You can bet that it's been driven without the rear air suspension working previously. I know for sure that our's had been driven that way before we got it. You can't get very far on just one tank of air.

I'm pretty sure that having the springs beat against the frame can cause loose rivets. Our 310 had a bunch of interior rivets that were sheared off and I know that since I fixed the air suspension I haven't noticed any new rivets missing.

I would think any truck type service shop should be able to repair the suspension. If you can't find any place local just drive slow until you get it repaired. Better safe than sorry.

As they say, the price you pay to buy the motorhome is just the down payment

Good luck!

Brad
__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 12:45 PM   #21
Rivet Master
 
Smartstream's Avatar

 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,371
Call these guys. American Carrier Equipment - American Carrier Equipment, Inc. Home

This is the company that made your air suspension. They are in Fresno, a lot closer than Long Beach but they can probably recommend a shop in your area if need be.
__________________
Cheers, Dan
________________________________________


"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."
~ Margaret Thatcher ~
Smartstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 12:49 PM   #22
4 Rivet Member
 
Jenniflow's Avatar
 
1982 34' Limited
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sausalito , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 405
Send a message via Skype™ to Jenniflow
Well, I think I got lucky. A place called Stork's in Santa Rosa tells me they can order the parts now and do it Wednesday. I hope they really can. I'm actually relieved because even though I could probably have made it, this will make the difference between being able to enjoy t and really use it as against walking on eggshells every time I start the engine.

Please don't remind me right away that there are 3 million other reasons I'll have to walk on eggshells. I'm just going to live in this dreamworlds for a few days.

I still remember the first day I drove this thing and felt the ride firming up and smoothing out as the suspension charged up. It was so cooooooool.

I'll have to do the filling now!
__________________
sent from my hipflask
Jenniflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 12:51 PM   #23
4 Rivet Member
 
Jenniflow's Avatar
 
1982 34' Limited
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sausalito , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 405
Send a message via Skype™ to Jenniflow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartstream View Post
Call these guys. American Carrier Equipment - American Carrier Equipment, Inc. Home

This is the company that made your air suspension. They are in Fresno, a lot closer than Long Beach but they can probably recommend a shop in your area if need be.
Oh! I just saw this after I posted mine! I'll call them to clarify. Thanks Smartstream!
__________________
sent from my hipflask
Jenniflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2013, 12:52 PM   #24
4 Rivet Member
 
Jenniflow's Avatar
 
1982 34' Limited
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sausalito , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 405
Send a message via Skype™ to Jenniflow
Now I'm into it deep

OK, so I called American Carrier and the guy was very enthusiastic. He said, "We designed those air suspensions, they were excellent, and we still have all the parts." I didn't go into exactly HOW rusty it is under there, I found a springs specialist in Emeryville. U.S. Spring, owner's name is Brad. He crawled underneath and said "I'm not touching that."

After a lot of back and forth in which I reassured him that I knew it was a big job in the $3K range, he settled down. (Probably will be more.) So I looked at the bills I just paid for the tires and the brakes and the this and the that and I considered the fact that both AS modders who have seen this coach have said, "Hey, this is in much better shape than a lot I've seen," (not saying much, when you think about it, but still reassuring) I said, "Ok, how long?" A week, maybe more. So here I am stuck up North when I want to be down South. I told him American Carrier was ready to send him parts. I have no idea if he gives a darn.

He also told me that if it were he, he would drive it, but he would never allow anyone he cared about to drive it. So how is a person to interpret that? If it weren't for the fact that Mexico is FULL of speed-bumps (I've heard they call them sleeping policemen) speed troughs, and bad roads, I might have taken the chance, but then I might have been an idiot. I'd rather be an idiot in this direction.

He's a second-generation suspension guy, so I'm figuring it's a pretty good bet. God, I hope so!!!

Our Brad (bkahler) has mentioned a tip for getting the air compressor to work reliably, so when I find out about that, I'll see if this guy can do it, too.

And maybe this year, I WILL take the Ole Gal to Burning Man again, after all. Maybe that would be nuts, too. But then we live in a steel tugboat, we're no strangers to rust, and we already know we're nuts.
__________________
Jenniflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2013, 01:02 PM   #25
Rivet Master
 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Redwood City , California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenniflow View Post
OK, so I called American Carrier and the guy was very enthusiastic. He said, "We designed those air suspensions, they were excellent, and we still have all the parts." I didn't go into exactly HOW rusty it is under there, I found a springs specialist in Emeryville. U.S. Spring, owner's name is Brad. He crawled underneath and said "I'm not touching that."

After a lot of back and forth in which I reassured him that I knew it was a big job in the $3K range, he settled down. (Probably will be more.) So I looked at the bills I just paid for the tires and the brakes and the this and the that and I considered the fact that both AS modders who have seen this coach have said, "Hey, this is in much better shape than a lot I've seen," (not saying much, when you think about it, but still reassuring) I said, "Ok, how long?" A week, maybe more. So here I am stuck up North when I want to be down South. I told him American Carrier was ready to send him parts. I have no idea if he gives a darn.

He also told me that if it were he, he would drive it, but he would never allow anyone he cared about to drive it. So how is a person to interpret that? If it weren't for the fact that Mexico is FULL of speed-bumps (I've heard they call them sleeping policemen) speed troughs, and bad roads, I might have taken the chance, but then I might have been an idiot. I'd rather be an idiot in this direction.

He's a second-generation suspension guy, so I'm figuring it's a pretty good bet. God, I hope so!!!

Our Brad (bkahler) has mentioned a tip for getting the air compressor to work reliably, so when I find out about that, I'll see if this guy can do it, too.

And maybe this year, I WILL take the Ole Gal to Burning Man again, after all. Maybe that would be nuts, too. But then we live in a steel tugboat, we're no strangers to rust, and we already know we're nuts.
$3000!!!!!!!! What is he going to do for $3k? If you are talking about the main rear axle and air springs, its really not a complicated system and there isn't much to it. Only my opinion and opinions aren't worth much, but I think you are being ripped off.
__________________
http://projectupdraft.com/airstream

"We are free to go where we wish and to be what we are"
Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagall
dadstoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2013, 01:05 PM   #26
Rivet Master
 
Smartstream's Avatar

 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,371
Jenny I think you might have a problem with this guy. That suspension is really a pretty simple set up. I can't imagine that much wrong that would run up a $3000 tab. I suggest you take a step back take a look at what is really needed to make everything right.

Give us a step by step of what you have with some pics and maybe we can help solve the problem with minimum bucks and hassle.
__________________
Cheers, Dan
________________________________________


"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."
~ Margaret Thatcher ~
Smartstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2013, 01:24 PM   #27
4 Rivet Member
 
Jenniflow's Avatar
 
1982 34' Limited
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sausalito , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 405
Send a message via Skype™ to Jenniflow
Red face I'm not so sure this is a rip-off, with so much rust it's hard to know

I know, it's alarming. I looked at it underneath with him and he showed me the broken springs, the leaf suspension that was rusted into the frame, the whole thing is resting on the frame and, of course, there's the airbag suspension itself. I could see the kind of challenges he was talking about from looking at it with him from underneath as he chipped at various places with a screw-driver. He didn't know how much had to be replaced to get something to bolt onto it.

The people who looked at it before were mainly looking at the axles. They pointed out that it was resting on the frame, but weren't able to comment on the suspension as a system. I really should have started with an inspection of the suspension system. My bad.

I can't show you pics now because he has it and he's already started to take it apart.

So it's the main rear axle, the springs, and the whole air suspension, which I was told by someone else would alone cost $1400+ to repair even for a rube-goldberg solution that wasn't automatic, but would require a manual feed from an air compressor. It may be that he can make it automatic, or it may be that I settle for some partial solution, maybe a stronger suspension with manual air, or maybe even no air and a stronger spring suspension. Then there's whatever work at both ends to attach the parts.

This is what I've been running into, it's not the suspension work by itself, it's the customization and replacement of the rusty parts that leaf and air suspension have to attach to. I certainly question my wisdom for deciding to keep, rather than sell it.

I actually don't think I'm being ripped off. I just think I live in the Bay Area and it's more expensive here. But I could be wrong.
__________________
Jenniflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2013, 01:50 PM   #28
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawas"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 11,153
Images: 1
Question

"I was also thinking pick-up truck "Air-ride", like the set on my F-100, $250 and an afternoon = 5000 lb xtra capacity. At low pressure it improves the ride too.
All the best." Rich


Be advised gang....air bags do nothing for adding load capacity, axle and tire ratings are what limits load.

Bob
__________________

__________________
PFC.....

“After all these years the reason I continue to love Thanksgiving.....I still sit at the kids table.”
RLC

Sandra wanted to go to Cleveland on vacation,
but I’m the Husband, so we went to Cleveland.
RLC
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.