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Old 10-13-2009, 07:13 AM   #1
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1983 31' Airstream310
Leslie , Michigan
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310 Leans to one side

OK, I've got the driveline fixed, the new wheels installed and I'm ready to work on the rest of it. It's parked on a pretty level concrete pad. I was looking at the front the other day and it looked like it was leaning toward the passenger side. Just ignored it. Later I looked again and got a tape measure and measured from the bottom of each wheel well to the pad. It does lean 1" both front and back from each side. The passenger side is an inch lower than the drivers side. Now I had owned a GMC for 23 years and it had separate adjustments for all 4 corners.

Where do I start on the 310? I think the rear air bags have only one leveling valve, or are there two? Maybe the rear being off makes the front off??? Any suggestions??

Thanks

Gary
Leslie, MI
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:37 AM   #2
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Cactus Hug , Arizona
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It could be either the coil springs on the front and/or the rear air bags. I had mine replaced few years ago and aligned at a Peterbuilt truck shop.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:27 AM   #3
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1993 21' Sovereign
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I think you have the fridge and generator on the passenger side of that coach. Other than the a/c, which is centered, they are the heaviest single items. If replacing front springs and rear air bags doesn't correct the list, I've had to shim the springs on some SOB motor homes to make them sit level. I hope you won't have to do that, because it's something of a PITA.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:44 AM   #4
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You could rename the rig...I-lean
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:21 AM   #5
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1983 31' Airstream310
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That air bag system has caused me more grief than anything in the coach: the last time I did them, they ripped out the entire assembly and replaced them with the same type of levelers that the big rigs have. They work fine. Normal side to side can vary 1/4" or so. The ideal height for the bags is 10" measured from the top of the air bag support beam to the bottom of the main frame chassis rail.
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
choctaw , Oklahoma
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10 1/2" (9 1/2-10 3/4) is want the (34.5) book says. When I got mine, the rear airbag spring supports would hit the frame rails on the slightest bump. After giving lots of money to the 'frame shop' I read the book and started adjusting the rear levelers. At 10 1/2" the tag axle was almost off the ground. I ended up at 9 1/2".
The rear airbags are plumbed together, so if the MH is on an angle, there will be a difference.
Check the front air bags. If one is low she'll lean.
mel
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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1983 31' Airstream310
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The 310s have front coil springs; most folk get sucked into the aftermarket "bags" that only put off the inevitable replacement of the coils and re-alignment of the whole coach.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:36 PM   #8
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1984 31' Airstream310
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yep, my 310 leans also...but i'm due to have the coils checked
also my compessor in the rear never has worked so i have to manually air up the valve every 200 miles or so...very annoying
has anyone out there replaced the compressor? and with what..any good upgrades?
in the manual it says to drain the rear valve of condensation every so often..there seems to be quite a bit dripping, and it's not coming from anywhere else..anyone know why
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryContrary View Post
yep, my 310 leans also...but i'm due to have the coils checked
also my compessor in the rear never has worked so i have to manually air up the valve every 200 miles or so...very annoying
has anyone out there replaced the compressor? and with what..any good upgrades?
in the manual it says to drain the rear valve of condensation every so often..there seems to be quite a bit dripping, and it's not coming from anywhere else..anyone know why
Mary,

I know Mike is not a fan of the front airbag suspension however for myself I like the ride that the airbags provide. I went through the effort to replace them and glad I did. I'm of the opinion that the front of the 310 needs a larger anti-roll bar to make the ride better. I haven't had the time to look for a larger one as yet and the budget hasn't allowed for it anyway. One of these days I do hope to find a replacement though.

AS for the rear air compressor there are several people on the forum that have replaced their compressor with one from Harbor Freight that puts out 150 psi and seems to be a fairly robust unit. I've bought one of these as a replacement for our compressor but our original unit is still working. One of my winter projects is to replace the original and save it as a backup. I'd rather replace the compressor sitting at home rather than on the side of the road.

Part of the problem with the setup for the rear compressor is the way Airstream wired them. They pulled power from the front fuse block and ran to small of a wire back to the compressor. On ours the wire connector melted where it plugs into the fuse block. I did some rewiring that solved that problem. Do a search for rear compressor and you should find a lot of info on the subject.

Hope this helps!

Brad
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:59 AM   #10
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I may of not explained myself correctly, which is par for me. What I meant to say was the front bags are often sold to correct the coil spring sag; I even had gauges for mine and could not correct the lean until the coils were replaced. I have not noticed any difference in the ride since I put new coils on, but my tire wear is nill now.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:14 PM   #11
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1984 28' Funeral Coach
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Back in 2007 I replaced my compressor...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenCoombe View Post
I just pushed the Buy It Now button on a Viar 380C on eBay for $149.00 delivered.

It'll fit in the space and is not a big draw power wise.

Does anyone know how high our tanks are rated?

I was laying under the bus yesterday at the Goodyear dealer in Concord NC answering questions about the coach and when I checked the pressure I was already up to 145 psi.

I'll be back up in the air midweek.
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:36 AM   #12
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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The forums carries a thread about replacing air suspension, as does the Barthmobile website...as I understand, the airbags make driving and suspension more comfortable, but should not affect driving...the springs are designed for that...you might lose some tire time, but not an appreciable amount...mike
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
I may of not explained myself correctly, which is par for me. What I meant to say was the front bags are often sold to correct the coil spring sag; I even had gauges for mine and could not correct the lean until the coils were replaced. I have not noticed any difference in the ride since I put new coils on, but my tire wear is nill now.
Mike, thanks for the clarification.

What we found on our 310 (with 454 which is lighter than the diesel version, right?) without the airbags the front seemed to "bounce" a lot when going over dips and bumps in the road. Even with new shocks installed there was still some bounce. The front end seemed to sit level side to side without the bags and seemed to be about the right height in front. So I went ahead and replaced the front air bags that were bad and that did improve the ride a fair amount. I still don't like the sway or leaning when making a quicker than normal turn so if I can locate a larger diameter anti-sway bar I will install it.

In the mean time we'll live with what we got. The next time the bags fail I might re-evaluate and replace the springs with uprated units but hopefully that will be a few years down the road .

Brad
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