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Old 05-10-2019, 08:05 PM   #41
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Beautiful work!
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:23 PM   #42
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Rebuild suspension

Re photos: I noticed that sometimes when I initially post, 2 copies of a photo show up in the app, but eventually when I refresh the thread Iím view it corrects itself. I only see 1 of each photo in your posts.

Btw, I follow all the Airstream Motorhome build threads just bcs Iím so impressed what all of you are able to do IN ADDITION to all the other tasks that come along with renovating /maintaining an older Airstream.

Nice work!
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:44 PM   #43
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Thanks mayco and my3sons.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:44 PM   #44
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Menomonee Falls , Wisconsin
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Hey,
Now that looks professional. But, the calipers should be red. One, it makes the motorhome faster. Two, you'll get better mileage, because being faster, doesn't mean using more gas, three, anybody who's anybody knows, only the cool kids have red calipers. Old school guy.... I like it. We're you able to buy the springs adjusted , or did you have to "customize" them yourself. Also, did you figure out why one spring needed the shim? The bad shim in the diff was a good catch. I suspect the oil wasn't t changed often enough. Rear ends take a lot of heat. And there's very little ways to really dissipate the heat. So the oil cooks and breaks down. You saved yourself a tow on that one. I run royal purple in my vehicles duffs. Great pics. See ya Dave
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:00 PM   #45
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I thought about red, but just stayed with the Raybestos zinc plated. If they can get down there and see them, oh well!!

I had to modify the springs myself, all mine now! A big band saw for the first cut and them my cut off blades for my 4 1/2 grinder.

The carrier is tost! Carrier bearings should be tight, but the bearings and ring gear just fell off!

I put all new bearings, 4.10 gears and carrier due to the gear split on these is 4.56 up and 4.10 down. This has dropped the RPM 300+. Time will tell if this was a good choice!

The height is about right. I sure that it will drop a little after a few miles. Think the spacer was under due to have the genset, refrigerator and propane tank on the right side of the coach. I installed a new Onan 7.0 injected a couple of year ago. Much lighter the the original monster Onan 6.5. I still see a little difference from side to side, but not enough to want a spacer!
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:28 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmadmaxman View Post
The carrier is tost! Carrier bearings should be tight, but the bearings and ring gear just fell off!
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmadmaxman View Post
Found this when I took the carrier out of the housing. 98,000 miles and the one spacer shim almost gone, and others with signs of much wear on the same side!


That's unnerving, now I feel the need to go rebuild my rear end! Or at least inspect it
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:35 PM   #47
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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Hey,
Wow, the rear end going on a trip would be exxxxspensive. You certainly dodged a bullet . My guess is, at some time it was run low on oil, and overheated. Maybe a pinion seal went out. That's the only thing I can think of that would burn up bearings. Maybe run hard up a long grade and overheated the oil. That could kill the oil.. What did the oil look like? Maybe got water in it at some time. Backed her into the lake retrieving the boat.. Rearends don't normally fail, they just get loose. Weird... DJ
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:06 AM   #48
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1981 28' Airstream 280
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28 ft w/airbags?

I've gone through and popped in new rear air bags, springs and bushings in the back of my 81 Excella 280. As you probably know, it's a different set up than the longer units. Air bags are more for stabilizing than weight bearing?

Anyway, I went heavy on the new spring stack, and now it's a bit rough without a trailer following behind. I'm super stoked about the improvement in handling, though! After a few tweaks up front, new airbags and springs, bushings and all things rubber retired and replaced, the AS drives like it probably never did from the factory, I dunno?

Question: Has anyone gone with the rear airbag set up that the larger units use, on the 280? I'm tired of dumping my time, money, blood and knuckle skin (not to mention back traction after huffing those heavy parts), and ending up with less than a back breaker when the rig is light.

Thank you! I've been a part of this board for longer then I'd like to admit, with fewer projects in the DONE category then the HAVE TO GET DONE column, but the knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge here in this community is wonderful!

Propstrike
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:24 AM   #49
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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Hey
I think you got to much air pressure in your rear bags
You coach is shorter lighter and with less overhang past the axles
Try lowering your air pressure to the bags
Ride height should not be affected you can't drop it to much try going to 10 pounds less than what you got now
To decrease bag pressure. The gray box by your compresser is the pressure regulator
Take off the gray cover
That little bolt that you can loosen or tighten is the adjustment for when and how long the compresser runs to get to the regulated air pressure
Back that nut off a little if you got a gage in line you can see exactly how much pressure is going to be in the bags as you loosen that nut the compresser will cut out at less pressure thus softer ride you dont need much of a decrease to make it ride better your leveling valve will still keep the ride height the same when know bumpy roads it takes about 5 seconds for the leveling valve to start to change the ride height
With less pressure in the bags you will get a softer ride but also a little more rear end travel
That's where playing with the pressure comes in
I hope this helps you
Analogy. Road bike vs fat tired bike hard ride road bike runs 90pds fat tired bike runs 35 thus softer ride easier on my butt thus why I have a fat tired bike and my wife's complaint about her rear hurting when riding on anything less than new blacktop whereas I aim for potholes relish rutty trails and overall scoff at bumpy things
Dj
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:59 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propstrike View Post
I've gone through and popped in new rear air bags, springs and bushings in the back of my 81 Excella 280. As you probably know, it's a different set up than the longer units. Air bags are more for stabilizing than weight bearing?

Anyway, I went heavy on the new spring stack, and now it's a bit rough without a trailer following behind. I'm super stoked about the improvement in handling, though! After a few tweaks up front, new airbags and springs, bushings and all things rubber retired and replaced, the AS drives like it probably never did from the factory, I dunno?

Question: Has anyone gone with the rear airbag set up that the larger units use, on the 280? I'm tired of dumping my time, money, blood and knuckle skin (not to mention back traction after huffing those heavy parts), and ending up with less than a back breaker when the rig is light.

Thank you! I've been a part of this board for longer then I'd like to admit, with fewer projects in the DONE category then the HAVE TO GET DONE column, but the knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge here in this community is wonderful!

Propstrike
Can you post some pics of your airbag set up? Old manuals I have show three different set ups. The 24' had "assist" bags mounted between the axle and frame. The entire leaf spring was in place. Early 28' had bags mounted on a "spring extension" bracket behind the axle and under the frame. Ride height was controlled by two leveling valves, one on each side. Later 28' and longer coaches used the ACE system with the rear of leaf springs attached to a cross bar and air bags inboard of the frame rails and one leveling valve. Both of these set ups cut off the rear portion of the leaf spring. Coaches with a tag axle mounted the leveling valve on the tag. The 24' was an "assist" air bag and both 28' systems were weight bearing air springs.
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Old 06-01-2020, 01:31 PM   #51
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davejay View Post
Hey
I think you got to much air pressure in your rear bags
You coach is shorter lighter and with less overhang past the axles
Try lowering your air pressure to the bags
Ride height should not be affected you can't drop it to much try going to 10 pounds less than what you got now
To decrease bag pressure. The gray box by your compresser is the pressure regulator
Take off the gray cover
That little bolt that you can loosen or tighten is the adjustment for when and how long the compresser runs to get to the regulated air pressure
Back that nut off a little if you got a gage in line you can see exactly how much pressure is going to be in the bags as you loosen that nut the compresser will cut out at less pressure thus softer ride you dont need much of a decrease to make it ride better your leveling valve will still keep the ride height the same when know bumpy roads it takes about 5 seconds for the leveling valve to start to change the ride height
With less pressure in the bags you will get a softer ride but also a little more rear end travel
That's where playing with the pressure comes in
I hope this helps you
Analogy. Road bike vs fat tired bike hard ride road bike runs 90pds fat tired bike runs 35 thus softer ride easier on my butt thus why I have a fat tired bike and my wife's complaint about her rear hurting when riding on anything less than new blacktop whereas I aim for potholes relish rutty trails and overall scoff at bumpy things
Dj
Dave, I have to disagree with you. In our air leaf systems, the only way to control height is to vary air pressure. The leveling valve adds or releases air pressure to the bags to adjust for weight added or removed from the coach. If you lower the supply tank pressure it won't have any effect on the bag pressure unless it is too low to inflate the bags to the correct height.

To compare to your bikes you would have to change the air bags from short and fat to tall and skinny. Increasing square inch cross section carries the same weight at a lower pressure.
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:50 PM   #52
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I thought all units built by Thor had the ACE system, but good chance not all made it in the early days.

I don't know if American Carrier Equipment make this unit for the GM P30 anymore.
If you look up further in this post I have a PDF with the phone number for ACE, and give them a call to find out. Very nice people.

I would think that it would be a very hard job to do with the coach on the frame now. Henschen did the suspension and prep work on the units (motorhomes) before they placed the structure on.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:46 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmadmaxman View Post
I thought all units built by Thor had the ACE system, but good chance not all made it in the early days.

I don't know if American Carrier Equipment make this unit for the GM P30 anymore.
If you look up further in this post I have a PDF with the phone number for ACE, and give them a call to find out. Very nice people.

I would think that it would be a very hard job to do with the coach on the frame now. Henschen did the suspension and prep work on the units (motorhomes) before they placed the structure on.
This is from 79-81 manual.

Click image for larger version

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I don't know when they changed to the ACE system. They also show a add on bag for the 24' coach. That's why I wondered what system he had. With the pictured system or the ACE system changing the bushings or leaf springs shouldn't change the ride much as the air bags are carrying the load and creating the ride.

ACE still makes the system but I don't know if they can size it for the P-30. It may take some work to install but I don't think it would be as bad as creating an air suspended tag axle like I did on my 345.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:31 PM   #54
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Wow! I thought it was bad enough to cut off over 6" of the spring, but almost in half!!

The way he talks, he must have the assist bags like the argosy used!?
Thanks for sharing the drawing, had not seen that system yet.
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:28 AM   #55
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Picture worth a thousand words....

Hey guys! Thanks for the conversation. I get busy at work, and takes me a bit to return. This, and I've been improving my exhaust manifold R/R (remove and replace) time by running R/R drills. Exhaust leak required a gasket change, so on and off #1. That didn't work so now changing the manifold, on and off #2. I'll take the old manifold to the local machine shop to see if it's warped (my straight edge says no). So frustrating! New one is waiting to go up and in, when I get new gaskets this afternoon. Anyway.....

The pic and descrip from Smartstream is dead on for suspension under my AS. I guess I didn't realize how shortened the leaf springs were, from just crawling around underneath there! Now I'm not sure my money was so well spent, with heavier load springs? Anyway, I have new bags. I figured I would have to address the air compressor and leveling controls, but now I think I need to move that way up on the priority list. This thing is so needy!

Is there a better air bag control system I should be looking at upgrading to? This stuff is original, even though most of its life has been in the desert and little to no corrosion to deal with. I have no problem upgrading systems as I have to get into them! Any first hand experience or thoughts?

Thanks, Smartstream, madmax, Davejay!

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Old 06-02-2020, 11:53 AM   #56
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manual?

Smartstream:
Where's that manual from? I'm all about a tech library...

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Old 06-02-2020, 12:50 PM   #57
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The air control systems haven't changed much. As long as the pump pumps, the tank holds air and the valves let air in and out of the bags at the preset ride height you are there. If you want to soften the ride you can go to the Goodyear or Firestone sites and see if you can find an air bag that will fit with the same height and a little larger diameter. You have to make sure it doesn't hit or rub anywhere. I have never physically seen your system, only pictures, so I don't know how much room you have to work with. The larger cross section will give a better ride just like the balloon tires on a bike.

If you want to feel better get a ride in a similar size and weight SOB coach with straight leaf springs.

I have the owner and service manual on six PDFs, send me a PM with your email and I'll send them to you.
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:45 PM   #58
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I read Chris great write up about replacing the bushings on his Ace System.
its in this post

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f15...ml#post2228289
This is the first time I am dealing with replacing the Airbags in an ACE system and its been a learning curve. With bags inflated,I blocked the frame above the axle with a 4x4 to get the load of the spring beam, but I am still not sure if I can get the bags out or if I end up having to drop the entire spring beam. Anyone tackled this on a tag axle rig?
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Old 06-08-2020, 09:15 PM   #59
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I would get the rig as high as possible on jack stands. You want to get the wheels off at least on one side because with the tag there just isn't much room to work. I don't thing you need to drop the cross beam, once you free the bags the beam should swing out of the way.
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Old 06-09-2020, 01:44 PM   #60
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1994 30' Excella
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Update on the Airbag removaL ACE Model 8050 on this 92 350.
To unload the spring bar, the minimum spacer amount between frame and axle tube needed is 4 1/2 ". In my case that is about the max I can get with manually operating the leveling valve. Unfortunately, due to the added round bottom plate on the 8050 this just unload the the spring beam, but it does not allow the airbag to be removed. (Unless I would be able to unscrew to top air valve, which is unreachable ) Next pulling off the Spring beam


The company to get the parts is no longer ACE or ACS, its Superide now
559-441-1460
Bushings 7572-102 ~$14 ea
Straddle Pins 5506-001 ~23 ea
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