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Old 02-28-2008, 02:32 PM   #15
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I have a chevy avalanche...when I connect the hitch the auto leveling pump engages and levels out the truck. How does this effect the towability of the AS and TV and the weight distributing hitch. Any insight? Thanks, Randy
You can install a "in line" switch to disable the compressor.

If you do that, you should also install a "air pressure gauge" to monitor the air pressure, to make sure that the air bags or air shocks are at minimum pressure.

That would also require a "bleed off valve," so that the air pressure can be reduced to the minimum.

If you do the above three items, your tow vehcile air ride system will not interfer with the load equalizing hitch.

If you do not wish to do all three, then don't bother with any of them.

Andy
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:46 PM   #16
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hi arm4...

and welcome to the a/s world of mixed up information, fables, lies and videotape!

there are multiple formats of 'autolevel' and they don't all function alike...

you'll need to sort out EXACTLY how the system on your rolling snownrock slide works.

this might require input for one of the company engineers (or a lavanche specific forum)

regardless, then take your rig to a SCALE and record weights for f/r tv axles with the system active...

and with/without spring bars tensioned.

richL tows with a different brand of autolevel and has covered some of the issues in threads here OR in his web-log

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f292...lub-29241.html

Tour of America

he's also weighed the combo a few times and seems satisfied with using w/d AND auto-level for 10s of thousands of miles.

like so many 6 sided issues here folks can get BURIED in debris and need to know how 2 dig our own breathing hole...

in case of an avalanche...

cheers
2air'

lastly YOUR auto level system was designed and built sometime during the current century?

so be careful with dated advice about disabling the system or adding pressure gauges, that ARE ALREADY built in to it...

monkey-ing around with MODERN on board suspension systems, may void the warranty coverage...

might certainly lead to unstable handling changes, or lead to some deadly accident while driving.
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:48 PM   #17
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I need to amend my response. While I believe it is correct for vehicles with steel springs and air shocks, the GM system is in fact an "air ride" as someone else noted. There are no separate springs.

The best way to set up the hitch in this case would be to take the whole works to a scale to determine how much tension is really needed. Basically, you would be looking for front and rear axle loading to be relatively equal, and within GAWR limits. Consider that this is not a stiffly sprung pickup, which might be OK with more weight on the rear axle.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:08 PM   #18
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I was going to stay out of this, but, I believe Albertf and 2air have gotten this back on track.
No-one on the GM side of the shop could tell me what the standard suspension is for this truck. (They're Buick guys). A quick check on Alldata found at least two types of rear suspension.
You've got to find out what you've got, check the owners manual to see if there's any set up procedure and, if not available, call GM customer service to see if they have any input.
My Ford has air suspension, no metal springs. They call for measuring ride height front and rear on the TV. Turn off the air. Set the WD bars until the ride is within 1/2 inch of the original measurement. Turn the air back on.
This works just fine pulling the GT.

Just thinkin' off the top of my head,
Tom.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:48 PM   #19
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The Facts Ma'am, Just The Facts

Just purchased an 06 Burb with Autoride, the only way to know for sure

is a trip to the scales.

Here's what I know....:: Delphi Media Room :: Delphi's Autoride(TM) Helps Make General Motors Vehicles 'Safe & Secure'

Rear air controlled SHOCKS, not springs.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:23 PM   #20
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I can envision problems that might occur with a TV load-levelling system and a weight-distributing hitch - but I sure would like to see an authoritaritive presentation of the dynamics involved. I'm sure that I'm not the only one! Now, if someone can just find a source-----
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:38 PM   #21
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Some more autoride info


AutoRide is actually 2 separate systems, depending on whether a 1500 or 2500. On the 1500 models, AutoRide uses an onboard compressor with air shocks to help level the rear when under a load. There are procedures in the owners manual for hitching with a weight distributing (WD) hitch on Suburbans that have the AutoRide option. The compressor can be a few hundred $$ to repair if it goes out.

On the 2500 models, AutoRide is a real-time damping (RTD) system, controlled by a separate ride control computer (RCC). Special shocks are used with a ferrous fluid that changes viscosity when an electric current is applied. There is a ride height sensor at each wheel that measures suspension travel, in turn providing input to the RCC that varies the current sent to each shock to stiffen/soften them as needed to optimize the ride. This happens something on the order of 100 times per second. Note that NO leveling function is provided by AutoRide on the 2500.

The AutoRide on the 2500 Suburbans is optional with the 6.0L but was a "mandatory" option with the 8.1L, so ALL 2500 Suburbans with the 8.1L will have AutoRide.
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:22 PM   #22
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Hello Everyone. I am considering the purchase of a new AS, so I've been trying to figure out exactly what my truck has on it (a 2004 Avalanche Z66). I can't seem to figure it out even by talking to the guys in the dealerships. When I first bought the truck I noticed a reference to air ride suspension and checked it out. I left with the impression that early Avalanches had true air ride suspensions with air bags and compressors. Mine, on the other hand only had special rear shocks that leveled out after a bit of driving. They were part of the Z66 Premium-Ride Suspension package. More recently, by acquiring a copy of the build sheet for the truck, I found out it has the Z82 trailering suspension to go with the HD trailering package. I now assume that the Premium Ride shocks were replaced by the HD suspension components, but the dealer can't tell me if that's the case. I've e-mailed chevy about it, but no response so far. Any idea how I can sort this out? I'd like to know exactly what I have to work with before I buy the trailer.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:31 PM   #23
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Thanks for all of the imput. When the dealer set up the system the key was off in the TV. Both the TV and the AS were level with final adjustment. When I turn on the ignition the auto level runs for just a moment. On my next adventure I will pull the fuse and see what the result is. Great idea HowieE. Again thanks to all.
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:04 PM   #24
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We tow a 25FB with an '05 2500 Suburban with Quadrasteer. All Quadrasteer Suburbans are 2500's and have Autoride. We have almost 30,000 miles with this TT/TV combo. We have never noticed any illeffect from the Autoride.
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:25 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arm4
I have a chevy avalanche...when I connect the hitch the auto leveling pump engages and levels out the truck. How does this effect the towability of the AS and TV and the weight distributing hitch. Any insight? Thanks, Randy
Based on a 10 year plus study by the old insurance division of Airstream, (2/3) two thirds of all loss of control accidents, were caused by tow vehicle rear end modifications.

That list included, amoung other things, air shocks improperly inflated, air bags improperly inflated, Monroe load levelers, overload springs, and automatic inflation systems.

The automatic inflation system is about the # 1 killer of the purpose of a load equalizing hitch.

It destroys the proper shifting of weight.

Unfortuantely, just because the trailer and tow vehicle are level, is no sign of proper load eqauliziation.

Andy
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:23 PM   #26
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Re-read

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS
Some more autoride info


AutoRide is actually 2 separate systems, depending on whether a 1500 or 2500. On the 1500 models, AutoRide uses an onboard compressor with air shocks to help level the rear when under a load. There are procedures in the owners manual for hitching with a weight distributing (WD) hitch on Suburbans that have the AutoRide option. The compressor can be a few hundred $$ to repair if it goes out.

On the 2500 models, AutoRide is a real-time damping (RTD) system, controlled by a separate ride control computer (RCC). Special shocks are used with a ferrous fluid that changes viscosity when an electric current is applied. There is a ride height sensor at each wheel that measures suspension travel, in turn providing input to the RCC that varies the current sent to each shock to stiffen/soften them as needed to optimize the ride. This happens something on the order of 100 times per second. Note that NO leveling function is provided by AutoRide on the 2500.

The AutoRide on the 2500 Suburbans is optional with the 6.0L but was a "mandatory" option with the 8.1L, so ALL 2500 Suburbans with the 8.1L will have AutoRide.
NOTE: AUTORIDE DOES NOT= AIR RIDE

MY 06 2500 BURB HAS AUTORIDE BUT NO AIR RIDE
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:16 AM   #27
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From GM owners manual;

Level Control
Automatic Level Control
The automatic level control rear suspension is available
on C/K 1500 vehicles and comes as a part of the
Autoride™ suspension, if equipped.
This type of level control is fully automatic and will
provide a better leveled riding position as well as better
handling under a variety of passenger and loading
conditions. An air compressor connected to the rear
shocks will raise or lower the rear of the vehicle
to maintain proper vehicle height. The system is
activated when the ignition key is turned to RUN and
will automatically adjust vehicle height thereafter.
The system may exhaust (lower vehicle height) for
up to ten minutes after the ignition key has been turned
off. You may hear the air compressor operating when
the height is being adjusted.
If a self-equalizing hitch is being used, it is
recommended to allow the shocks to inflate, thereby
leveling the vehicle prior to adjusting the hitch.
Autoride™
If equipped, the Autoride™ feature will provide a
superior vehicle ride and handling under a variety of
passenger and loading conditions.
The system is fully automatic and uses a computer
controller to continuously monitor vehicle speed, wheel
to body position, lift/dive and steering position of the
vehicle. The controller then sends signals to each shock
absorber to independently adjust the damping level to
provide the optimum vehicle ride.
Autoride™ also interacts with the tow/haul switch that,
when engaged, will provide additional control of the
shock absorbers. This additional control results in better
ride and handling characteristics when the vehicle is
loaded or towing a trailer. See
Tow/Haul Mode Light on
page 3-54
for more information.

4-64
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:36 AM   #28
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Self-Adjusting Level Control option on TV

As I am researching how to properly adjust my Draw-Tite WD hitch (and considering purchase of additional cam arm/Reese from Hitch-It), I found this thread.

After purchasing my new TV (2000 YukonXL), I spent hours trying to set the hitch. I couldn't seem to get anything to work out right - levelness of rig, front/rear loading, etc. I got frustrated and just left it as best as I could - expecting to readdress it later. Later is moving forward. After reading Andy’s Towing Myths article, I realize I need to move this to parallel priority of getting new TV tires.

So, I noticed BillTex’s entry here on the auto-leveling concern. I retrieved my owner’s manual for the YXL as it has the original window sticker tucked inside. The sticker shows “Self-Leveling Rear Shocks” under standard equipment, no Autoride option. The owner’s manual shows three options:
· Level Control (If Equipped)
o Self-Adjusting --- available on C/K 1500 vehicles and is available with the premium smooth ride suspension package
o Automatic Level Control --- available on C/K 1500 vehicles and part of the Autoride suspension
· Autoride (If Equuipped)
My local GMC dealer verified the build for my VIN has “premium smooth ride suspension with level control, manual, self-adjusting” and no Autoride.

Below is an excerpt from my owner’s manual regarding the unique adjustment for setting equalizing hitches with Self-Adjusting Level Control. My instructions for Automatic Level Control and Autoride are the same as BillTex posted. I’m posting the details below for the third option (of hydraulic shocks) for others, if interested. From page 2-33:
Level Control (If Equipped)
Self-Adjusting
The self-adjusting rear suspension is available on C/K 1500 vehicles and is available with the premium smooth ride suspension package.
This type of level control will provide a leveled riding position as well as improved handling under a variety of passenger and loading conditions. A hydraulic pump inside each rear shock absorber raises the rear of the vehicle to the proper height, based on inputs from the road surface, while the vehicle is being driven. It takes approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) of driving for the leveling to complete, depending on the road surface conditions.
If the loaded vehicle is not moved for approximately twelve hours, the leveling system may bleed down to a lower height. This can be especially apparent is a trailer is left attached to a parked vehicle for long periods of time. The vehicle must be driven to re-level the vehicle.
If a self-equalizing hitch is being used, the vehicle should be driven approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) with the trailer prior to adjusting (leveling) the hitch.
I don’t think I traveled over a mile to where I worked on setting my hitch. And I drove there with the WD hitch/bars engaged. I only recently noticed a high pitched sound from my TV when hooking up --and started to wonder if there is some auto-level device on it! Do you think that the sound I’m hearing is the hydraulic pump in my shocks? I only notice it when I’m hooked to the trailer at the start of my trip. Don’t recall hearing it as I’m unhitching at a CG site…

I guess I need to verify both the rear shocks are operating correctly. Would measuring the wheel well heights at rear and comparing them (left-to-right) be evidence enough?

According to another truck forum, I’ll need to replace them with, “a very high pres. self leveling shock that is about the size of a small tree trunk. If you have this option you can only go back with these units. They are supplied to GM by Sachs and are very, very expensive.” Great, over $300 each at http://www.partsgeek.com/mmparts/shock_absorber/gmc/yukon_xl_1500.html

I called Hitch-It (authorized dealer for DrawTite/Reese) and they verified that I can purchase the dual cams to add to my existing hitch. They also sell the DrawTite round bars in 600, 800 and 1200 lbs. I think I have 800’s. After reading Andy’s Towing Myths article, I wonder if I am okay. He suggested 750 for ˝ ton that is not overloaded. Guess the CAT scales will tell!

OH – I found a good presentation for installing and adjusting dual cam hitch on this website: http://store.drawtite.com/wedi.html -- click on Link for tips on installing a
weight distribution setup



Laura – who intended this to be shorter but the details just got away from me.
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