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Old 03-15-2013, 02:05 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
"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
I usually try to stay away from discussions of capacity. It's not unuasual to see claims that a half-ton pickup can now carry over 2000 lbs. (remember that 2000 lbs is a full ton).

However, doesn't it bother anyone that 5000 lbs is 2 tons? That's the stated capacity of a deuce-and-a half. I'm with Bob on this one.

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Old 03-15-2013, 02:06 PM   #30
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Thanks for clarifying the capacity issue, Bob, that answers an earlier question of mine.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:45 PM   #31
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The air ride suspension for the 345 was designed for the rated capacity of the coach. Without the air ride suspension the cut off end of the rear leaf springs ride on the frame which if left that way for a long time can cause a fair amount of damage.

The important thing is once the suspension is rebuilt Jenny needs to make certain she has a functioning compressor system.

Jenny, I'm still looking for that link. If I can't find it I'll make a sketch of what needs to be done and send it to you.

Good luck!

Brad
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:56 PM   #32
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Jenny, here are a few links for you to read.

Rear Air System Compressor

Air compressor

P30 fuse blocks
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:07 PM   #33
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I will add in the event the shop has a question, the springs are stock P-30 Chevy springs. They just cut several inches off the rear of the spring and hung the air bag cross member. The two air bags, leveling valve, and compressor are about the only parts of the system that wear or ever need replacement for the system to function. If you have a broken leaf in the spring I would bet that is from driving with no air in the bags. The bags, valve and compressor are all very easy to replace and not really expensive.

There is also a "dog bone" shaped stabilizing link between the bags that has 2 rubber bushings on each end that can be replaced very easily.

The rust may be ugly and should be cleaned up but it shouldn't keep the system from functioning.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:11 PM   #34
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I sure hope I don't have to do all of this right away

Great threads, Brad, thanks, I will read them carefully and share them with the guy working on the suspension if he's willing to see them.

I just hope I don't have to do all this right now and can make it to a local storage location with the old compressor. I'm starting to feel like it wouldn't make sense to pick this thing up - if it ever gets repaired - and drive it to Baja with about a month left in our time there. It would be like rushing it down just in time for hurricane season and with the way things are going I'd rather be safe than sorry. Probably store it up here, work on it some more up here and then drive it down next season.

If I didn't have a lot of other stuff I have to handle up here, I'd really be tearing my hair out with this new suspension development.

Thanks again! What an amazing forum. I wish I had time to read the whole thing!
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:15 PM   #35
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Well armed

Just saw yours, smartstream. Thanks. It's very helpful to know what's likely to be a true problem and what's just a lot of drama. I'm going in on Monday to see what's happening so far and I will be well armed with all this info!
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:18 PM   #36
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Jenny,

This diagram came out of the Airstream service manual for a 345. The only thing I would do different is replace the red #10 gauge wire with a red #8 gauge wire.

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Brad
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:19 PM   #37
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Well. It's been over a week.

After much concern and delay of plans, I've heard from the springs shop that they are putting in a full leaf suspension in the rear + an airbag with a manual feed, to add a little ease and take a little of the pressure of the leaf suspension.

We all agreed that trying to replace the existing suspension might be impossible, given the rust, but would at least be a much bigger job, for which I don't have the time right now. They spent a lot of time just trying to get the old bags off in order to make room for replacements and it was so time-consuming and difficult, we all agreed it wasn't worth it.

I suppose I could try it out and maybe modify later when I come back from Baja, but at this point, I just need to get back. On a plane.

I'm very relieved that this isn't going to keep me here until next week, and of course I'm hoping the work is good. I don't now what the bill will be yet.

Again, thanks so much for the links and the coaching. I guess we'll see pretty soon!
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:57 AM   #38
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I suppose I could try it out and maybe modify later when I come back from Baja, but at this point, I just need to get back. On a plane.
Jenny,

Definitely save all of your old hardware, especially the frame that supports the air bags. I firmly believe the system can be repaired. I'm not convinced these people really understand the reason why the air suspension system was designed the way it was.

Good luck!

Brad
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:41 AM   #39
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Keeping suspension hardware

Yes Brad, I just talked to the guy doing the work and he volunteered that he was going to return the suspension elements (I guess the ones that were salvageable) in case we wanted to change anything he did.

As I understand it, the frames are still attached to the coach, along with the old airbags.

It looks like I'll get it back this afternoon or tomorrow and I will report.

Thanks
Jenny
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:56 PM   #40
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Jenny,

One of these days you're going to have to post pictures of the suspension. I would really like to see what they are doing to get you road worthy

I really do hope it works out well for you but it just seems that Airstream wouldn't have spent all the money they did retro-fitting the motorhomes with the air suspension if it didn't make a difference.

Brad
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:07 PM   #41
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pics to come

Absolutely. When I'm not under the gun as I am now, I will take pics and post them. It's not that we didn't want to replace the original suspension, it's the time, money, and immediate hazard that led us to do what we did. Next time I would take it to American Carrier, if possible.

Right now I just need to get it into storage and get home so I can go back to work. The next chance I get, I will explore this more thoroughly. And I'll certainly post a lot more about it.

I've been away from my work for almost 3 weeks now and I'm getting quite nervous about it. I'm self-employed, but that doesn't make it any less urgent. Fortunately, this period coincided with my getting really sick and having to collect records to do our taxes which happen to be here.

Thanks for your continued vigilance!
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:37 PM   #42
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Jenny, I know what being under the gun is like and you have my sympathies!

It's a real bummer that you have to get sick to spend time with your 345

Take care,

Brad
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