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Old 04-08-2013, 02:12 PM   #1
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1992 36' Land Yacht
Grayson , Georgia
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Replacing front airbags on my '92 Land Yacht

Well, after doing some research I found that my 92 LY not only had front airbags but also needed to have them replaced.

I've heard so many mixed impressions as to how hard this job was it made me a little anxious about it. I did my research and found all the pitfalls in doing it. I was even prepared to drop the lower control arm just in case. Thankfully it went much easier then I expected. Here are some pics of what it looked like.

I first used the leveling jacks to raise the front end as high as possible. To my surprises I found that it was able to lift one front wheel completely off the ground and almost lifted both. I just needed to use my trusty 20-ton bottle jack to lift the roadside wheel just a tad to clear the ground. I then used four 6-ton jack-stands to keep it safe.

Once I pulled the wheels off I found the condition of my OEM bags to be... ummm... less then perfect:




Removing them was a piece of cake since there wasn't much left. I just used a pair of pliers to pull the pieces through the coils of the spring. I've read that if the bags are still in one piece you use a 1.5" to 1.75" hole saw with the drill bit removed to remove the bottom air fitting. You then slice the airbag (using an x-acto knife) in a spiral direction with the coils in the spring. You can then just pulled the bag out like I did. This is what I had left:

Springs now free of the old air bags:


This is what I used to replace the bags once the old ones were out:

I purchased the Firestone 4100 air bag kit for around $88 delivered during a big firestone sale.

I boiled the bags in water and used a hand held mighty-vac to pull them down as flat as possible:






I then folded the bags and used wire ties to keep them as small in diameter as possible. Once that was done I coated it with cable pull wax. I kept about a 3-inch piece of air tubing on the bottom of the bag and plugged it with the supplied plugs by pinching the tubing with pliers and then disconnecting the vacuum pump. You then just insert the supplied plugs and let go of the pliers. This kept the bags "vacuum packed".

This is the opening you have to insert them into:




I used a 2" wire brush on a drill to clean up the opening in order to help slide in the bag but it went in a lot easier then I thought it would. The opening is about 2" and the bag folds down to just about that, so once it was lubed up it slid right in to about the half way point. The bags have a seam about mid way that needs just a little coaxing to get in, but not at all difficult. I cut the wire ties as they slid down and bunched up at the hole at the mid way seam. Once cut and the seam pushed in the rest of the spring went in without much fuss. I then inserted the lower support disc first and then the upper. The directions say to do it the other way, but this way I was able to get the tubing in through the bottom support hole without having to release the vacuum. I simply slid the disc under the airbag and then coaxed the 3"s of vacuum line through the hole in the disc. After that I inserted the upper disc using needle nose pliers and pushed it up into the spring perch. After that you simply inflate the bag using the piece of air tubing and the supplied air fitting. The bag inflates and takes the shape of the spring like this:


After that you just cut the 3" air line to about 1.25", add the supplied elbow fitting, attach more air line, clamp the line to the lower control arm using the supplied tubing clamp and nut, run the air line to the front of the coach and install the air inflator fitting through a hole you drilled. Do that to both sides and you're done. The whole project only takes a couple of hours.

Sorry I didn't get more detailed pics of the collapsed and tie wrapped bag and tubing install, but my camera batteries were going dead and I didn't have any new batteries around. Hope this helps the next guy to have to do this. I'll try to get more pics of the tubing install to add to this post.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:12 PM   #2
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Congrats, I was easier than you thought it was going to be, wasn't it.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:09 AM   #3
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Nice job on the write up with pictures!
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:08 AM   #4
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Just did mine last weekend. The old ones were leaking but in better shape then the pieces you got out. To cut the old ones out was a real pain, about an hour for each side. Installing was much the same as you describe; without boiling to soften install was impossible. Hope my new ones last more then the last set a 4 years!
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:41 PM   #5
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Just took out my bags, one with slow leak and other couldn't hold any pressure, what I found was poor install, protective rubber washers were not centered on top, allowing bag to rub on coil end. Now I have to figure out how to do a better install to make sure the top washers stay in place or centered above bag. Manufacturer suggests using grease to stick them on but rubber cement might be a better glue, new bags will arrive in a week so time to research and get suggestions.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:03 PM   #6
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A dab of sikaflex might work?????

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Old 06-12-2013, 06:21 PM   #7
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I used the grease method on the upper end nothing on the lower.

Worked OK but not great
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:00 AM   #8
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I used no lube and it went in fine.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:19 PM   #9
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We just did ours recently as well. I beginning to think its a Land Yacht right of passage. Congrats!
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:35 AM   #10
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It's a P30 right of passage.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:02 AM   #11
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1992 33' Land Yacht
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It's lookin like it.
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:48 PM   #12
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Finished install, hot water and screw clamps saved the day, I was able to make the hotdog shape with screw clamps(6) removing them as it slipped in the hole at the bottom, it elongates them and no room to do anything but guide the top and bottom protectors into place. Second one went in easier due to starting the rolling up of the bag on a diagonal as the first one I didn't and the air valve at the bottom of the bag angled out the side. I would not call this an easy job, but doable for those DIY'ers that want to save hundreds of dollars. Total cost 92 delivered from Amazon. Used the airlift 1000 81560 kit even tho Amazon site says it is for rear and doesn't fit the P-30. Same color, size and MH capacity of air pressure, sold as 81560 bags only.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:29 PM   #13
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Just for reference, what air pressure are you filling your front bags to? How much in the rear bags?
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:47 AM   #14
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55 psi front
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