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Old 05-19-2015, 07:36 PM   #1
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Lindsay , Ontario
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Front springs

I am thinking about replacing the front springs on our 32.5. What is the front axle weight. I tried looking for the Moog numbers and weight ratings but can't seem to find them.

Has anyone on the forums replaced their front springs if so which springs did you use. I don't want to use real heavy springs because I still want to use the front air bags
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:41 PM   #2
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champaign , Illinois
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Someone on the forums replaced their springs within the last 4 or 5 months. I searched and couldnt find it. But I remember asking them if they were going to abandon the air bags with heavier springs. (Same as I had asked you) but I cant find the thread
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:55 PM   #3
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I have been searching but can't find it ether I think the front end is rated at 5000 lbs, 2500 lbs per axle but I am not sure
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:50 PM   #4
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
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I should be heading down to the states soon to pick up our weep hole covers, do you need these?

SuperSteer Coil Springs for Chevy Worhorse P RV

Also picking up new vertical moulding for windows.

VERTICAL LIP SEAL GRAY #6010-12 MOTORHOME SLIDING WINDOW

and new moulding for around the front drivers and passenger windows.

GRAY TRIM SEAL - #6032-20FS MOTORHOME SLIDING WINDOW

Do you still need this?

WRAP REAR RS 370 CLASSIC MOTORHOME

or this?

INSERT RUB RAIL BLACK 1 1/2 (50 foot roll)

How about this?

Passenger side window frame with fixed glass

and lastly...this?

DECAL, SIDE STRIPE - BRUSHED ALUM & WOODGRAIN (PRICED PER LN. FT.)

Pity they don't make a front one of these.

Rear End Liner Motorhome Classic and Front and Rear Trailer 1983-1994

not a bad price for these...

Driver side windshield

Is this the very same grey gasket material that everyone says we can't get?

Rubber U-Gasket

I may even get this as well......

Airstream Motorhome Window Pile

Glad I'm working 10.5+ hrs a day and even worked this Monday stat holiday.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:08 PM   #5
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I don't know if this helps as it's for the 7.4l and our diesel is at least another 400lbs heavier.

http://www.airstream.com/wp-content/...f04d0b007e.pdf

shows 5000lb capacity and 2500lb each @ground

again I don't know if Airstream put an upgraded spring to compensate for the heavier engine.

The original spring page shows a number of spring rates.

http://www.supersteerparts.com/produ...is.html?page=3

Cheers
Tony
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:42 PM   #6
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I have been looking at these. It's recommended to go to a commercial scales or truck stop and weigh your front with the RV loaded the way you use it most...water, gas, propane tanks, toys, navigator in front seat...
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:43 PM   #7
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BTW, it did occur to me to weigh on the empty side, and put in the airbags for running loaded.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:04 AM   #8
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I don't think air bags are necessary on the front suspension, with a gas engine and standard coils. Period.

Is this a controversial view?
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penmaenmawr View Post
I don't think air bags are necessary on the front suspension, with a gas engine and standard coils. Period.

Is this a controversial view?
Only if you disagree with GM. The GM manual says they are used on motorhomes to increase weight capacity.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartstream View Post
Only if you disagree with GM. The GM manual says they are used on motorhomes to increase weight capacity.

But that they are always, or can be? I can only report experience. Having bought one in ignorance of the existence of air bags, and then driven about 6,000 miles before finding out about them. When I checked, they were just tattered bits of rubber, obviously gone long before I acquired it. I had driven over frost-heaved highways at speed, on logging roads, and through high speed curves, without a problem. So I never replaced them and drove for another 5 years. Then I bought the 345 and found one leaking front air bag and one that held air. I took the Schrader valve out of the good one and decided to see how the vehicle performed. 5,000 miles later, no problem: no bottoming, no wallowing, no rolling on curves.
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:55 PM   #11
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I have seen dissenting opinions along the lines of "don't mess with the original design", but our 310 has no trace of front airbags. Don't know the story behind that, but since it has some aftermarket front end components I assume that the original springs and airbags were replaced with heavier springs.
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penmaenmawr View Post
But that they are always, or can be? I can only report experience. Having bought one in ignorance of the existence of air bags, and then driven about 6,000 miles before finding out about them. When I checked, they were just tattered bits of rubber, obviously gone long before I acquired it. I had driven over frost-heaved highways at speed, on logging roads, and through high speed curves, without a problem. So I never replaced them and drove for another 5 years. Then I bought the 345 and found one leaking front air bag and one that held air. I took the Schrader valve out of the good one and decided to see how the vehicle performed. 5,000 miles later, no problem: no bottoming, no wallowing, no rolling on curves.
From the GM manual.


AIR BAG CYLINDER INSPECTION
The air bag cylinders should be inspected periodically for
signs of deterioration or damage. Air bag leaks can easily
be checked on the vehicle . Inflate with a small amount of
air conditioning freon No . 12 then locate the leak using
an air conditioning leak detector. To check for possible
leaks with the air bag removed from the vehicle, submerge
the air bag in water and check for bubbles. (Replace with
GM Part No. 367762.) Inflation pressures should be maintained
at 10 PSI minimum to avoid chafing . Under load,
40-50 PSI is recommended for a 4,300-Ib . suspension, 50
PSI for a 5,000-lb . suspension. 70 PSI is required on the
5,300-Ib suspension . 80-90 PSI is recommended for the
F44 5,500-Ib . optional 16,000-Ib . suspension. This unit
uses an Airlift HD bag Part No. 15631881 . Vendor #40-571
NOTE: Air bags are currently used on nearly all motor
homes and are proposed for use on some GSeries
(cut-away) models for 1988-89 .

My 280 has about 3" of suspension travel as indicated by Figure A3-2-1 on page 3-21 of the Chevrolet Motorhome Chassis Service Guide. About 2" into the travel it makes contact with the rubber bump stops, at 3" it is metal to metal. Perhaps you feel comfortable riding on the bump stops but many on here expressed ride and handling improvements with the installation and properly inflated air bags. You may feel differently but I'll put my trust in the GM Manual and run the air bags.
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Old 05-20-2015, 03:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waipio Rim View Post
I have seen dissenting opinions along the lines of "don't mess with the original design", but our 310 has no trace of front airbags. Don't know the story behind that, but since it has some aftermarket front end components I assume that the original springs and airbags were replaced with heavier springs.
I'm not saying that somebody hasn't developed a spring that might work but here is what GM says on the subject.

VEHICLE RIDE HEIGHT-FRONT COIL
SPRING/AIR BAG REPLACEMENT
The motor home owner should be cautioned in the use
of some after-market front coil springs currently available .
Some after-market front coil springs are merchandised as
a method to increase ride height for the motor home. To
obtain this additional ride height, manufacturers have increased
the diameter of the wire slightly and added one
extra coil. However, use of these after-market springs
should be considered very risky for the motor home owner.
GM recommends the use of only factory-approved replacement
parts for this "safety-sensitive" area of the vehicle.
Some after-market coils are physically too large for
the normally designed working area of the front coil spring
as the wheel goes through its ride travel. On crush, these
after-market springs can create a metal-to-metal "coilbound"
condition before the ride stops come into play.
(The damage created by using a metal-to- metal solid
coil

can be compared to installing a piece of well casing in
place of a spring, then raising the vehicle in the air and
dropping the vehicle to the ground.) The force of this
metal-to-metal "coil-bound" condition is transferred directly
into the potential destruction of the lower ball joints
or broken lower control arms. The addition of a spring
shim (donut-type spacer) has a similar effect of promoting
a "coil-bound" condition .
Complaints of air bag failures are also the result of these
after-market front coil springs . The springs have a tendency
to "pinch" the air bag between the coils on crush.
Front coil springs should ONLY be replaced by a qualified
service shop. Access to the front coil spring and the air
bag is gained by lowering the lower control arm .
CAUTION : USE ONLY GM APPROVED REPLACEMENT
PARTS FOR THIS SAFETY-SENSITIVE AREA
OF THE VEHICLE.
1984 to Current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GM Part No. 14054345
Prior to 1984 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GM Part No. 472222
NOTE : 1984 to current front springs (GM Part No .
14054345) can be used for 1983 and prior years
that require front spring GM Part No. 472222 .
This will raise the front of the vehicle 3/8 inch to
1/2 inch measured at the "A/BC" measurement
location shown in Figure A3-2-1 . Study Figure
A3-2-1 at the back of this section of the manual
to determine if the useful life of the front coil
springs is exhausted and replacement of the front
coil springs is necessary.

Keeping in mind what happened to Mayco a few weeks ago I will follow what GM says.
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Old 05-20-2015, 03:09 PM   #14
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By the way there is a link to the GM Manual in the sticky at the beginning of this section but I can't get the link to work. I have the manual in a pdf, if anyone would like a copy send me your email in a PM and I will be happy to send it to you.
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