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Old 06-30-2003, 10:49 AM   #1
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When should the rear airbags be replaced?

Any thoughts when the rear air bags should be replaced?
1988 345 with 66,000 miles. They look brittle where they make the 180 degree turn up. At the moment I am trouble shooting the system as they quit inflating this week.
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Old 06-30-2003, 10:53 AM   #2
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when they dont hold air would be the time i would replace. or if the look so bad that they are close to poping. sounds like it is time. lol
al
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Old 06-30-2003, 01:17 PM   #3
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I am in the process of needing to do the same thing. My understanding is the Airbags are still being made. The only hurdle is the fact that the Airbags are currrently being produced, there are none in stock nationwide. If I can I will get the numbers posted so you can order new ones, later today.

If you need any of the part numbers let me know, I have a copy of the original book.
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Old 06-30-2003, 02:37 PM   #4
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I sure would appreciate any information on which ones to get and where to get them. Can you suggest where I can get the instructions on doing the change out. Are there any tricks or problems I should know about. I hate learning everything the hard way.
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Old 06-30-2003, 05:50 PM   #5
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if my memory hasnt failed . on the top of the bags is two nuts and the air line and on the bottom is a long bolt that has to be removed. and they should slide out . of course you need to jack and block the frame up so it dont fall on you. lol
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Old 06-30-2003, 05:57 PM   #6
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forgot to mention take one out and take it to fleet pride or any heavy duty truck parts center. they are made by firestone and the part number is on the bag. fleet pride has the inventory for all their stores on line and if they have the part in tim buck tu they ship to the store that request it or they can order from firestone. if you buy from a airstream dealer you might plan to part with some extra bucks. lol
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Old 07-01-2003, 10:16 AM   #7
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The 1978 Argosy 28 MH we just purchased came with all original documentation. Included is the booklet from Firestone with all the part numbers.

I called Firestone Industrial Products at 800-888-0650. They confirmed that my part number is correct for a 1977 P30 chassis. Additionally, they gave me an alternate part number for the same item that might be available through heavy duty truck support.

The part numbers are (original part number listed first):

W21-760-5405
W01-358-5405

Good Luck!
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Old 07-01-2003, 11:46 AM   #8
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Here is the skinny.

The bags will not be available from Firestone until 7/15/03 or later. They are in a production run now, and that is a estimate on a ship date.

Cost is 131.41 each from Fleetpride.

There is a bag that could be used if you were in a jam, but it has a 2 inch shorter overall height. It is made by Goodyear and is Fleetpride # 5328. I would not reccomend it as a permenant replacement due to the fact that it will more than likely have to be at 100% inflation to get the coach near to normal ride height. But is you are in a jam something is better than nothing.

Fleet Pride home page

There is a store locator link with all of the stores nationwide and 800 #s to call each one.
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Old 07-01-2003, 01:35 PM   #9
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Thanks guys for all your input.
I can not figure out why the bags did not inflate Saturday. After connecting my own air compressor to the system and removing the coach compressor the system pumped up just fine. When I put the coach air compressor back on line the pressure continued to hold up. Maybe a relief valve hung up somewhere. The bags looked good when they were inflated vs deflated. Guess I will wait a while longer before replacing them.
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Old 07-01-2003, 06:24 PM   #10
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you probably had a stuck check valve. dont know why they wouldn t pump us unless your compressor is shot. would think it would pump up and then leak down . or the leveling valve was stuck open would more likeliy the problem.lol
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Old 07-02-2003, 07:26 AM   #11
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I did have one side of the coach jacked up with the tires off the ground in the rear. Maybe that caused the leveling valve to have an issue for awhile. Where is that valve by the way?
My system had approx 80 pounds in it but the dash indicator was on the border between red and green. Where is the 9 inch measurement supposed to be taken to determine if the bags are at proper height?
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Old 07-02-2003, 09:23 AM   #12
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The leveling valves are mounted either on the frame behind the air bags, or you may only have one in the rear center. Depends on model year. Just follow the funny rod that is behind the bags to the valve on the frame.

If you had the rear tire off the ground, but the jacking point was the frame, the hanging axle would cause the valve to dump air. I do not know if it is necessary to have the key on for the dump valve to open or not.

I have been told the actual inch measurement is at the bottom of the rear bumper while on level ground. Some years were different, so the 9 inches may be right, or could be wrong.
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Old 07-02-2003, 09:33 AM   #13
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just a quick question. i have a 76 argosy should u have an air pump on the unit? i have to air valves on the back bumper. should thier be any for the front. if so where?


thanks
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Old 07-02-2003, 09:35 AM   #14
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Matt,

The 76 model did not come with factory air bags at all. Many owners add the front inner coil types and some will add "helper" ones in the rear to smooth out the ride. If you have fittings in the rear that would make me think you have rear aftermarket ones. If they were installed up front sometimes they put a fitting in the grill. Others just have the valve sticking out of the bottom of the front coil spring.
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Old 07-15-2003, 11:25 AM   #15
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On my trip home this week I had trouble with the air bag compressor. INital start up it would run and fill the bags fine. Then if the bags needed a top up it would not start, but in trying to start would allow some air out of the system. This allowed the bags to slooooooooly deflate. If I removed the fuse that connects the pump to the ignition and wait 30 min. the pump will restart fine every time. It will fill and then go into the lockup again and again.

In order to keep the bags as full as possible I just inserted and removed the fuse at each stop, or when the tail felt droopy.

This leaves me with a few questions.

What is the system pressure supposed to be when the compressor cuts off?

Will new airbags firm up the ride in the rear, it seems a bit bouncy?

Where do I get an inline check valve that will back up the one in the compressor? This may be the real issue, a stuck check valve.

Thanks
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:17 PM   #16
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you need a check valve between the holding tank and compressor. sounds like yours isnt working. the compressor will bleed the air down on the line and will start up easier if the pressure is 0 or some low figure. i put one on the line at the compressor didnt want to drop the tank. as the check valve is on the fitting at the tank. i got mine at a company here that makes pressure hoses and lines. he also has an assortment of what ever in fittings. $16 it is a bit larger than the one on the tank. but it is half the price that airstream charges. might check fleet pride.
lol
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Old 07-15-2003, 08:49 PM   #17
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Brett said:
This leaves me with a few questions.

What is the system pressure supposed to be when the compressor cuts off?

~100psi, it should start @ ~80psi

Will new airbags firm up the ride in the rear, it seems a bit bouncy?

if it is very bouncy the pressure is too low, new bags will not fix that. The nature of the airride is that soft bouncy feeling

Where do I get an inline check valve that will back up the one in the compressor? This may be the real issue, a stuck check valve.

Inland sells them. specs are here:
http://www.generant.com/icvspec.htm

The pressure that reaches the air bags is also determined by the leveling valves (there should be two on your model). I.e. your system pressure could be 100psi, but only 90 psi gets to the air bags. Once more weight is added to the coach the leveling valves would allow more pressure to reach the airbags.

Placement of the inline check valve must be considered carefully. There are two good places and one bad one.
The bad one would be :
compressor-pressure switch-check valve.
The reason for this is that the pressure switch would drop below 80psi and tell the compressor to turn on. BUT, with the check valve right there in line, the system pressure would not have dropped that low and the compressor would only engage for a few seconds (just like you describe)
first good place:
right at the compressor but before the pressure switch:
compressor-inline check valve-pressure switch.
This allows the pressure switch to be activated by the actual system pressure AND the check valve would prevent leak back into the compressor.
second good place (my preference):
compressor-pressure switch-tank-check valve.
This configuration allows you to work on the air components all the way to the tank without loosing pressure to the airbags. (But your compressor must not have any internal leak back or else it will turn on constantly)
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Old 09-04-2003, 05:16 PM   #18
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Finally got them!

This is what they look like new!
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Old 09-07-2003, 09:36 AM   #19
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Swapped them today. Here is a side by side comparison.
And I wonder why the rear end seemed a bit bouncy
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Old 09-07-2003, 09:39 AM   #20
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This is the one I worried about for 3300 miles, can you guess why?

That is the nylon cord that is free and wavy. It should be encased in the rubber exterior of the bag.
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