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Old 07-02-2012, 07:44 PM   #15
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Were they factory fitted? The Tincrumpet 82 and Dans is not equipped. I think they are both 82 280's
Mine has the bags now Vinnie. If you look at the max weight rating on the front axle you will find the empty coach is right there. Add a driver, passenger and some food and gear and you need the air bags. I think Airstream installed them but as they went bad people just pulled them out and forgot about it. You can put in newer heavy springs but air will ride smoother. That's why all the big coaches and buses ride on air. Tire pressure also has a big affect on ride quality. The 8x19.5 inflated to 90 or 100 psi will carry a lot more then what the coach weighs. Go to the tire manufacturer's web site and search for the pressure/load capacity chart. Then weigh your coach and fill your tires to the proper pressure. My Airstream manual calls for 60 psi in the front and 55 psi in the rear. Next remember you are sitting up front over the front axle. The distance you travel up and down over a bump feels like a lot more then in a car where you are between the axles and that up and down travel is reduced. Also buy some new driver and passenger chairs made with some good high resilience foam. Remember these coaches are built on "truck" frames that were designed 35 years ago. We did 16,000 miles last year in 4 months and didn't have any problems with ride comfort or handling. Mine doesn't ride or handle like a new Mercedes but I don't expect it to.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:37 PM   #16
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Ok.. so there was definately no evidence on Tincrumpets that airbags were ever there. Somebody did a good job removing all that stuff. It would make sense that its necessary and I can see how it affects the ride quality. Without the bags I think the bump stops were only about 1/2 inche from the subframe.

Vinnie
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:19 PM   #17
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My 1990 345LE has front bags and I keep them at 55psi.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:08 PM   #18
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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Ok.. so there was definately no evidence on Tincrumpets that airbags were ever there. Somebody did a good job removing all that stuff. It would make sense that its necessary and I can see how it affects the ride quality. Without the bags I think the bump stops were only about 1/2 inche from the subframe.

Vinnie
You are right Vinnie, on the air-lift kit the hose mounting clips all use existing bolts, no need to drill holes. And yes that is probably the biggest shortcoming of the suspension, the short travel. Like I said it's a 35 years old truck design. In spite of everything it takes me down the highway in reasonable comfort and does everything is was designed to do.

Yes 345bill I run my air bags at 55 psi as the factory manual states.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:20 PM   #19
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BTW, the airbags inside the front coil springs on my 310, and my friends 280 had a caped off valve to fill them, like a car tire. There was no hose to them, and no compressor, but some people added those so they didn't have to crawl under to add air. I checked mine about once a year, and now and then had to add air, but not often.

Again, I am virtually positive that they were standard on all P 30's. I think, but not absolutely sure that my '78 Argosy 24' MH had them.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:00 AM   #20
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A number of months after getting my 89 (about 7 years ago) after my 77GMC, thought that the ride was the pits. Long story short, replaced one of the rear airbag levelers and tried without luck to find a air fill for the alleged front air bags. Couldn't find them because there wern't any! Had new bags with shrader valves installed, keep them at 55lbs and the ride is pretty good. Ride got even better after changing from Michellin to Goodyear G670's. In all ride is good now.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:49 AM   #21
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Not a pretty or good pic, but here is the drivers side front suspension...
You can see the blue airbag inside the spring and the position of the bumpstop... not sure how many psi was in the airspring.
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:59 AM   #22
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Happy Birthday America! Thank you to all of you nice guys for responding to my thread. All of your input was very helpful Ok so here's what we've found;

No airbags in the front. So I purchased from Summit Racing an Airlift 1000 kit part number 81560 for 89 bucks. Not a bad price. Free shipping too. Seems to be the only kit available for this year and chassis. It will be here tomorrow.

Bumpstops. What bumpstops! Thay may have been there at one time but not no more. Got those at Napa yesterday for 9 buck each.

Our shock absorbers are Bilsteins in front and back. Just got those last year.

The steering stabilizer is Monroe. Had a Bilstein but blew out after only 2 years. Probably because of the lack of in the suspension.

The tires were running on are probably not the best. Pathfinder Radial HSR E rated load range F. These were on when we bought her (Sammie) 4 1/2 years ago. Tires are on the spring 2013 list. We've looked and still not sure on the Michelins or Good Year.

Hubby is going under the rear to check airbag pressure today. It's been a few years. Tomorrow He's jacking it up in the frontend to install the bumpstops and airbag kit. I will let you all know how that went. We have been focusing on so many other issues like top end motor rebuild with new Edelbrock intake manifold with more pulling torque, rebuilt carb, rebuild transmition, rebuilt onan, new furnace after repairing the old one for 2 years, new power converter, omg! The list is so long! I'm going to take some pictures of the inside today for all of you to see. Look in my gallery for them. She is original with all cabinets and layout but super clean with all new fabric and carpet. Hope you like her. Were taking her out this weekend to the White Mountain National Forest for some fun. I can't wait to see if it made a difference!
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:27 AM   #23
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You should have a compressor to keep the rear airbags filled. There should be some "plumbing and hardware" to keep the ride height at the correct level in the rear. The compressor will likely be in a small compartment in the passenger rear of the motor home, inside.
Now, your load range F tires should NOT have a maximum inflation of 65, it should be more like 95-105, in that range. Inflate the front tires to 60, the rears to 75, and see how that works. Having the tires underinflated will cause handling problems, as well as generate more sidewall heat.
Last, the age of the tires will make a big difference in ride. If the tires are 5 years old or more, they should be replaced. As tires age, the rubber in them hardens, and will cause the tires to stiffen, and the ride to be rougher. I recently changed out the 6 year old tires on my tow vehicle for some fresh new ones. The difference in ride was dramatic. It went from flattening my soda and sloshing my coffee out of its cup while driving, to smooth and steady.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:05 PM   #24
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Good job Moonflower!
Another loved Classic I am pleased to see!
Lets see some pics!
I bet hubby is SOOO pleased we helped him get all this work!

The bumpstops are the thing, and the fact they were missing is a huge red flag.
Cant wait for your report!

Its my understanding that not all of the smaller Classics have a compressor for the rear bags. I know that any with the tag axle did. The others have rear air bags for weight and load leveling, and have an external line for filling with a compressor.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:51 PM   #25
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The 82' I worked on didn't have airbags on the front either. When did front airbags start on these?

Vinnie
My 82' 280 has airbags and it is like night and day between no air and 55 pounds.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:29 PM   #26
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.....
Tomorrow He's jacking it up in the frontend to install the bumpstops and airbag kit. I will let you all know how that went.....
Best of luck with the front airbags, they are a bear to remove and install without removing the springs, but I have done it a couple of times.
Get him a pot of real hot water and to stick the bags in before compressing them with a couple of hose clamps to force them through the small opening on the bottom....
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:59 PM   #27
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Best of luck with the front airbags, they are a bear to remove and install without removing the springs, but I have done it a couple of times.
Get him a pot of real hot water and to stick the bags in before compressing them with a couple of hose clamps to force them through the small opening on the bottom....
When I put mine in I removed the valve core and used some hand cleaner for lube. Grab the ends and twist like you are wringing out a towel. Get the end started and kind of screw them in. I was prepared for a battle but was surprised how easy they went in, only took a couple of minutes each.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:20 PM   #28
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I replaced the front springs with a higher weight rated set, replaced the bump stops, and the air bags. The book calls for an aftermarket spring-over gas shock on front that that the PO replaced w/o the spring-over.
With the bigger springs, bump stops, bags, it did soften the ride up and not as many frame bangs! Also raised the front bumper about 1 3/4 inches, which meant I had to raise the rear air ride some too. It has sat on those over weighted spring for 26 years and spring do loss their spring over time.
Also, the weight of the water in the fresh water tank in the rear reduces the weight on the front axle.
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