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Old 06-06-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Speedway , Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 421
Rear air bag replacement

Everyone,
I have read everything I can find on our forum for replacing my rear air bags on our '86 345. I have the new proper bags.
I'm replacing mine due to age and visual condition. My coach is approaching 200,000 miles.
The big question is how to get to the upper bolts and air fittings. Is it best to remove the Gray tank for access?
I'm hoping someone has the hot set-up.
Thanks, Rob
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:30 PM   #2
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1997 30' Excella
1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robfike View Post
Everyone,
I have read everything I can find on our forum for replacing my rear air bags on our '86 345. I have the new proper bags.
I'm replacing mine due to age and visual condition. My coach is approaching 200,000 miles.
The big question is how to get to the upper bolts and air fittings. Is it best to remove the Gray tank for access?
I'm hoping someone has the hot set-up.
Thanks, Rob
Hi Rob,
I am sure you read the description of my struggles replacing the bags on my old 87 345
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f159...ml#post1208853
No easy way about it and no, I would NOT remove the gray tank. Just have to be patient with the bolts and have the right size ratchet to get it up in there,. Getting rid of the dirt prior to will make your life a lot easier, alone for the reason of keeping the dirt out of the bolts and threads.
Depending on your airbag system, you may have a single line going to each bag or a T fitting. If its a single line you can remove it from the top, if its a T fitting, the only way I could figure to get it off was by 1 person putting a wrench on the fitting after the 2 mounting bolts were removed and the other person rotating the entire bag to loosen it. This can of course only be accomplished after the bag dropped down enough to slide the wrench on the fitting. Installation is the same just make sure you put plenty of white plumbers tape on the tread of the air fitting.
And DO NOT use your leveling system to raise the vehicle enough to work under there. Drive it up on some wooden planks instead.
Good luck and let us know how it worked for you.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Speedway , Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 421
All,
After looking at this job from every angle, I decided to attack it from above.
Yesterday I cut two 5"x14" access holes in the floor. Good thing I did, the bolts were so tight and rusty that I would have never gotten them out any other way.
Had to make cheater bars for my ratchets.
Old bags are out and new ones ready to go in. I will post pictures and description of the job when I get it done.
Rob
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:18 AM   #4
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2005 25' International CCD
Leesburg , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robfike View Post
All,
After looking at this job from every angle, I decided to attack it from above.
Yesterday I cut two 5"x14" access holes in the floor. Good thing I did, the bolts were so tight and rusty that I would have never gotten them out any other way.
Had to make cheater bars for my ratchets.
Old bags are out and new ones ready to go in. I will post pictures and description of the job when I get it done.
Rob
Looking forward to the write up Rob. My new bags have sat behind the passenger seat for a while now.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:46 PM   #5
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Speedway , Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 421
OK guys,
Here are pictures of my project. This is really no big deal coming from the top.
1. Drill a small locator hole with the drill bit just next to the frame forward of the air bag support. I had my wife inside to watch where the drill came up. I only drilled through the floor, then pushed the bit up further so she could see the bump. This will give you something to relate below to above.
2. I cut my carpet across the isle and under the bathroom door. This gave me access to the floor.
3. Measure 2" aft of the pilot hole and mark the rear 5"x14" hole. Next measure 2" forward of the pilot hole for the second access hole. You will need them both.
4. Using a Jig saw, cut your access holes through the floor. You will cut through the aluminum under the wood too. The forward hole is not quite 5"x14". More like 4"x14". You will feel the frame with the saw.
5. Once you have access, remove all the dirt and crap that will be on the air bag support.
6. With bags inflated, put jack stands under the frame of the coach. Also place a piece of 2"x4" between the aft end of the leaf spring and the frame. The coach will really set on the wood once the bags are deflated.
7. Now you can remove the plastic plumbing to the bags, the top bolts and the lower bolts. Pulling the bags out one at a time from underneath.
8. I switched from the original fittings to the new DOT quick fittings. Best part of the job. I put a strait pipe thread to 1/4" quick fitting on the bag. Then the quick "T" after the bag was in place.
9. Air the bags up and check for leaks with soapy water. I had none.
10. I cut steel plates to cover the access holes in the floor and screwed the cut-out piece to the underside of each plate.
It's been over a week since it was aired up and has only lost about 10psi.
Mine used to go flat in 3-4 days.
I will try to upload all 9 pictures.
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:56 AM   #6
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1975 29' Ambassador
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Grefrath/ Germany , NRW
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 202
tag axle, motormount and airbags

Dear all,
we are still busy with restoring our baby to his formal beauty. not an easy job in Germany.....!
My truckshop told me, the airbags need replacement, because they show signs of crack AND the first replacement is done badly, they touch the chassis and scratch. While i can get the GM parts here easy, even if expensive, the Airstream specific parts are hard to get.

Also the wheel bearings from the tag axle are worn.
where can i get the Airstream specific airbags with gauge to dash control???
All i can get here is standard Firestone, no conection to the dashcontrol.
Where can i get the wheelbearings, or what is the EXACT size and/or brand?
Maybe you know the partnumber????
Thank you for a quick reply, our "Bangles" is blokking the workshop....!
so, we need:
-airbags rear
-wheel bearings tag axle
-motormount P30 with 454 V8 gas engine, TH 400 tranny.
Thank you!!!!!
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:35 AM   #7
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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I would suggest Andy at Inland RV in California. He has been working with the tag axle issue and apparently has some solutions for it. From what I understand it is generally out of production and parts are hard to get. I think he would be the best place to start.

Inland RV Center - The Nations Leading Expert in Airstream Innovations

You may wish to contact him directly via email or phone. I know he will be very helpful. He is the owner of the business.
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:24 AM   #8
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1997 30' Excella
1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,375
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roquefort View Post
Dear all,
we are still busy with restoring our baby to his formal beauty. not an easy job in Germany.....!
My truckshop told me, the airbags need replacement, because they show signs of crack AND the first replacement is done badly, they touch the chassis and scratch. While i can get the GM parts here easy, even if expensive, the Airstream specific parts are hard to get.

Also the wheel bearings from the tag axle are worn.
where can i get the Airstream specific airbags with gauge to dash control???
All i can get here is standard Firestone, no conection to the dashcontrol.
Where can i get the wheelbearings, or what is the EXACT size and/or brand?
Maybe you know the partnumber????
Thank you for a quick reply, our "Bangles" is blokking the workshop....!
so, we need:
-airbags rear
-wheel bearings tag axle
-motormount P30 with 454 V8 gas engine, TH 400 tranny.
Thank you!!!!!

airbags, check if they are the right size for your 345:
W01-358-5412, Firestone Reversible Sleeve Air Spring, Firestone Air Bag 5412 - TruckSpring.com

Motormounts:
match yours on Ebay
Motor Mount Kit for Chevy 250 454 Engine 1968 1999 Set of 2 | eBay

Wheel bearings:
read number on old wheel bearings and match

TH400:
JEGS Performance Products 60310, JEGS Performance Transmissions | JEGS Performance Products
call customer service at Jegs.com and match yours
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:48 AM   #9
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1991 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 236
Air bag replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robfike View Post
Everyone,
I have read everything I can find on our forum for replacing my rear air bags on our '86 345. I have the new proper bags.
I'm replacing mine due to age and visual condition. My coach is approaching 200,000 miles.
The big question is how to get to the upper bolts and air fittings. Is it best to remove the Gray tank for access?
I'm hoping someone has the hot set-up.
Thanks, Rob
Rob..can you tell me where you sourced the replacement air bags. I have a 350LE and think they may be the same as your '86 345 ?
Thanks Chris
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:01 AM   #10
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Posts: 798
Always a good idea to put some Never Seize on the bolts as it might help in removing them the next time around.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by graysailor View Post
Always a good idea to put some Never Seize on the bolts as it might help in removing them the next time around.

Unless it is otherwise recommended, I'd consider FEL-PRO Grey Bolt Prep in that application.
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