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Old 07-08-2010, 10:10 PM   #1
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Cooper Landing , Alaska
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Rear Air bag Repl. '82 Excella 28' Motorhome

In searching the General Repair Forum, I could find no specific discussion of replacement of the rear air bags on a '82 Excella 28' Motorhome.

Does any one have manufacturers and their parts numbers for the bags for this specific motorhome?

Can anyone confirm that removal is, in fact, as simple as the shop manual for the motorhome makes it sound?

The shop manual procedure: remove two top bolts, one bottom bolt, disconnect air line and slide the bags out from between the top and bottom beams. I have yet to "get out and under" other than to confirm that one bag leaks profusely by using a spray bottle with hot, soapy water.

When the air bags are deflated, the motorhome rests on leaf springs. The ride is very choppy without a functional air suspension system. And the motorhome rides about two inches lower in the rear without the air suspension. But it is still usable.

The manufacturer of the air suspension system on this motorhome is American Carrier. Their website is no help in determining a replacement part number for the air bags.

One replacement air bag that is mentioned frequently in the forums for other Airstream motorhomes is a Firestone, part number W01 358 5412.

Thanks for counsel that any owner may be able to provide.

Fred Hudspeth
'78 GMC Royale - Tyler, TX
'82 Airstream Excella 28' Motorhome - Cooper Landing, Alaska
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:46 AM   #2
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
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The removal is quite simple. It is however dirty, heavy work laying on your back with all the dirt falling in your face. Get the coach up as high as you can safely so you have more room to work. Call Truck Spring at (800) 358-5311. Here is help for identafing the bags,


Step 1



The easiest and fastest way to identify Firestone air springs is by the part number stamped on the top plate. If this is not present, look for the bellows number stamped on the rubber. The bellows number is normally molded directly underneath the Firestone logo.
Enter the last four digits of the part number into the search box on our site. If you do not know the Firestone part number or bellows number, you may enter and search using other parts numbers such as: Goodyear Part Number, Goodyear Bellows Number, Triangle Part Number, Triangle Bellows Number, Manufacturers number (Hendrickson, Neway, etc.)

Step 2

Measure and compare dimensions. The cross sectional view of the Airide spring shows dimensional information in inches on uninflated diameter, maximum height, and collapsed height. Measure the bead plate diameter and molded (uninflated) diameter of the rubber bellows (please note that the molded diameter can grow slightly with years of service). Then measure from the bottom of the piston to the top of the bead plate while the part is uninflated and extended.

Step 3

Identify the top (bead plate) and bottom (piston) of the air spring. The same rubber bellows is used with many different combinations of bead plates and pistons, so be sure to check closely. Compare the bead plate and piston with the pictures from the “Cross Section View”, “Bead Plate Top View” and “Piston Bottom. You can view the images of the top plates and pistons by clicking on the “more images” button on the air spring product page. The piston can be further verified by reading the identification numbers inside the pistonand comparing these with those shown in the “Piston Bottom View”.

Notes

The bellows number (number 1T15M-6 in step 1 ) is the number of the rubber that is used on the air spring and is not the actual part number used to order an air spring. The same bellows number can be used on multiple air springs. It is very helpful in narrowing down the search, but is not the actual part number. The part number (assembly number) is a combination of the top plate, bellows and piston numbers and will typically look like W01-358-9082 is step 1.

Firestone Hardware Key





Others have used air spring no. W01-358-5311 and bellows no. 8AY1T14.
The air spring is about $140 for each side.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by xengineer View Post
In searching the General Repair Forum, I could find no specific discussion of replacement of the rear air bags on a '82 Excella 28' Motorhome.

Fred,

Dan has provided a lot of good information.

If you were searching the General Repair Forum you were looking for information in the wrong place. This is the trailer repair section. There is another area desginated for Motorhomes. If you go to the following forum Airstream Motorhome Forums - Airstream Forums and use the search feature you should get a lot of hits.

I've replaced the air bags our our 1984 310 MH and the insructions are pretty much correct however there is one very important thing to remember. The air bags are the only thing holding up the chassis. If you release the air while laying under the back of the motorhome you could be crushed.

You will need to support the rear frame of the motorhome. The higher you have it the easier its going to be to reach the top bolts as this allows the suspension to droop.

Keep us posted on how you made out.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:47 AM   #4
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Yes the change is that simple. I have not done it on a MH but I have done it on BIG TRUCKS Same thing. If you have the part # you and go to about any big truck dealer or shop that does air-suspension work and get the bag,keeping in mind that,if ya get it thru a Airstream Dealer or RV Dealer you will definitely pay thru the nose.
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:06 AM   #5
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Cooper Landing , Alaska
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To all who responded, Thanks Much!!

Noted on the Motorhome Forums vs. General Repair. I should have posted at the Classic Motorhome forum.

'Removed one of the bags today. The American Carrier System on my motorhome uses leaf springs to support the load when the airbags fail or the air suspension system is otherwise out of service. Surprisingly, removal was as simple as described in the Airstream shop manual. 'Took maybe ten minutes to remove the three bolts and the air connection.

The Firestone number on the top plate of the assembly is obliterated so will have to match using the bladder number and dimensions. I found a post at the Classic Motorhome forum that confirms Dan's lead: W01-358-5311 and bellows no. 8AY1T14.

After posting my inquiry yesterday, I found the truckspring.com site. Much useful information there, as Dan included in his post. The truckspring.com prices seem reasonable compared to the premium prices I would expect to pay, if available, at Camping World-type stores or an Airstream source.

Again, sincere thanks for all of the input...


Fred Hudspeth
'78 GMC Royale - Tyler, TX
'82 Airstream Excella 28' Motorhome - Cooper Landing, Alaska
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:51 AM   #6
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
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Originally Posted by xengineer View Post
To all who responded, Thanks Much!!

Noted on the Motorhome Forums vs. General Repair. I should have posted at the Classic Motorhome forum.

'Removed one of the bags today. The American Carrier System on my motorhome uses leaf springs to support the load when the airbags fail or the air suspension system is otherwise out of service. Surprisingly, removal was as simple as described in the Airstream shop manual. 'Took maybe ten minutes to remove the three bolts and the air connection.

The Firestone number on the top plate of the assembly is obliterated so will have to match using the bladder number and dimensions. I found a post at the Classic Motorhome forum that confirms Dan's lead: W01-358-5311 and bellows no. 8AY1T14.

After posting my inquiry yesterday, I found the truckspring.com site. Much useful information there, as Dan included in his post. The truckspring.com prices seem reasonable compared to the premium prices I would expect to pay, if available, at Camping World-type stores or an Airstream source.

Again, sincere thanks for all of the input...

Fred Hudspeth

'78 GMC Royale - Tyler, TX


'82 Airstream Excella 28' Motorhome - Cooper Landing, Alaska
Glad to be of help Fred. I first saw this thread on the portal page and didn't notice it was in the trailer repair area. I think you can notify a moderator and ask them to move it to the motorhome section.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:33 PM   #7
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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Results - Rear Air bag Repl. '82 Excella 28' Motorhome

'Ordered Firestone Part No. W01 358 5311 from SDTrucksprings.com, $241.90 for two. No shipping cost in L48. As my Airstream Mh is in Alaska for our use during summers, I paid about $51 shipping.

The removal and installation involves three fasteners and disconnection of the air tubing as described in the Airstream manual. My Airstream has the American Carrier Suspension system but is supported on heavy duty leaf springs when the air bags are deflated. The Mh is functional with deflated air bags but has about a 2" rearward rake and an understandably harsh ride.

The deflated air bag assembly readily slips out from between the bottom and top beams of the American carrier system. One caution: when reinstalling the air bag assemblies, be sure to reconnect the air lines BEFORE bolting the air bags in place. Because of limited clearance when installed, it is difficult to reconnect the air line and tighten it sufficiently to avoid air leakage. I was fortunate on the first one I installed as there was no air leakage. I connected/tightened the air line to the second one BEFORE installing it. In spite of having done so, I had(still have) a very small leak at the air line connection but does not materially impact the overall performance of the suspension system. A tubing wrench (9/16") might allow additional tightening to eliminate the air leak but I don't have one in my array of tools I have in the Mh. 'Will try to borrow one (or alternatively bring one from my L48 home next year).

Overall, except for the air line issue, an easy job...

Fred Hudspeth (AKA xengineer)
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:32 PM   #8
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Very nice! These also fit my 1987 AS 290 motor home! An easy fix. I didn't realize it at the time, but these came with a 200k mile warranty. I don't know how to go about collecting on this warranty, but I guess with enough research Firestone could give some kind of credit. I highly doubt they would send me a check!
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