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Old 09-17-2018, 05:10 PM   #1
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Austin , Texas
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1988 325 MH tag axle and more

Trying to find a local service to replace the air suspension on the drive axle and replace the dogbone and do a bit of welding on the tag axle in Austin TX.


Just took the MH to Atlas Automotive and even though their web site says they do air bag suspension work, they told me no we don't do that. They also said they could replace the dogbone but I would have to supply it and they do not do welding. So they are only doing front end alignment.



Any ideas on where to get a dogbone replacement, get someone to replace the air bag suspension and do the welding in Austin TX area?
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:38 PM   #2
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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Hey,
I did a post on replacing the airbags on my 325. Go check it out. It was super easy. I wish I were in Austin, I'd come over and do it with you. The part that keeps a shop away from the job is the unknown factor. It is really hard to get to the top bolts of the bags from the bottom of the coach. Going thru the top floor is way easier.
The tag axle I can't help you . I know you can buy just the axle without the brakes or drums. I think it's about 625.00 as opposed to 3000 from inland RV. I'm not sure you can weld on the axle , because you'll melt the rubber that is on the inside of the axle. Sorry, not to helpful, I'm afraid. Good luck. DJ
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:32 PM   #3
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Air bag replacement

Thanks DJ, but where is the link to your post replacing the airbags?
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:08 AM   #4
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Hey,
You got to go back a ways. Keep scrolling, you'll find it. I did two posts on the airbag. Replacement. It was about a year ago. I replaced the air fittings too. I posted part numbers and mfger. DJ
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:24 AM   #5
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I would ask Peter Hausmann for advice
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:35 AM   #6
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Menomonee Falls , Wisconsin
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Hey,
Go to the little search box. Type in airbag replacement I posted on May 11 2017. It's not in the thread here but is is on that page, you'll get when you search. DJ
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:06 PM   #7
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f156...nt-166708.html


And on a side note, that's my birthday on the day you posted.
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:21 PM   #8
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yea

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Originally Posted by Boom Sounds View Post
I would ask Peter Hausmann for advice

Peter is the one who told me that I need to do these things, no mention about melting the interior rubber of the tag axle at least that I remember.



I have been dealing with so many unexpected problems over the last few months after a very good friend of mine stop using the 325 as a home while her farm house was being redone. I've now put close to 3K just to keep it running well and fix a variety of other small issues. These have continued over the last few days, still sitting in East Austin close to a auto shop with RV capability waiting for front end alignment so I can pass Texas state inspection.



Still sitting there as the new cable connecting the transmission and shiftier somehow went bad and the MH could not be moved out of drive.



Perhaps in a day or two it will be resolved and I can finally get it passed state inspection and back for sale. Meanwhile the shop I have it at was tagged the night before, and suggested I move it. I'm counting on a A/S being too cool to tag.
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:31 PM   #9
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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Well,
Happy birthday belated of course.
I was thinking, you could drill a 5 inch round hole. The air bag bolt that is hard to get at, is the outside one. I had more trouble getting the air lines off than the bolts. But I got big hands and I'm 6 foot eight. That's a tight squeeze in that hallway. I needed the extra space. I think if you got the bags in, a good shop may look at your tag axle. No hidden surprises . I'm still dabbling with the idea of putting a straight axle in there. I'd make it full air ride then. They make 5000 pd straight axles for trailors. If the bearings are the same and the spindle length is compatible, I may look into it further. My tag is fine, so it's just a pondering thing right now.
The post is 325 rear airbag replacement let me know how it goes. DJ
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:09 PM   #10
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Too Cool to tag?

Apparently, my A/S MH was too cool to tag, got out with zero issues other than a huge expense in front end expensive rebuild. New brake calipers, Master brake cylinder, lower ball joints, driver side bell crank assembly, coil springs, and finally front end alignment.



Next up, state certification, back axles fixes - both balloon suspension, and crack in tag axel. Dog bone replacement - seems impossible to find - and finally generator rebuild and cab A/C fix.



That seems all for now, who knows what may fail next.



I've come a long way with this and have put a lot of money into it, still more to go.


Peter Hausmann, any ideas?
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:05 PM   #11
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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Hey,
Inland RV has the whole axle assembly for 3500. The only thing I can see that's any differant than a torsion axle for say a boat trailor, is the lack of a shock mount. We got pretty big tires, with a lot of mass weight. Seems to me a guy could mount one of those 5000 pd axle, and fab some sort of shock mount.
Don't know, just throwing out a suggestion.
What's the matter with the dog bone. Are the bushings gone in it?. I'm sure if that's the case, you could find a machine shop, that could re bush it.
I haven't taken a really close look at that part of the suspension, to give any really good advice. Glad to see you got it out with all its parts and glass in tact.
Let me know what's the issues with the dog bone, ok. DJ
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:36 PM   #12
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Try these guys for the dog bone and bushings. https://superide1.com/Parts/800%20pa...39-updated.pdf
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:17 PM   #13
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I really don't know whats exactly wrong with the dogbone, Peter H just told me it needed to be replaced, I think he said it was worn in such a way that it may have been keeping the height of the back suspension from being correct. Prior to that I only thought of a dogbone as a treat for dogs.
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:17 PM   #14
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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Hey,
The Dogbone is a panard bar. It keeps the rear axle centered. Because the rear of the springs are cut off to adapt the air bag suspension, you got to have some way to keep the rear axle from slopping side to side, but also allow the axle to move up and down, thus a very small panard bar, the bushings wear out, and then the thing kinda allows the axle to wander side to side, and your ride height will be affected because of the exsess amount of movement within the dog one. It's not much, but enough cause a wander and ride height issue. It may clunk a bit, if it gets really worn out. Check that website listed. You'll get a pretty good idea of what is is and does. It can't be that hard to do yourself. Good luck DJ
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by image360 View Post
I really don't know whats exactly wrong with the dogbone, Peter H just told me it needed to be replaced, I think he said it was worn in such a way that it may have been keeping the height of the back suspension from being correct. Prior to that I only thought of a dogbone as a treat for dogs.

Take some close up pictures and post them here, to get more opinions. Its been a couple of years since I looked at your rig and I do not remember the specifics. If you can not post pictures here, email them to me and I will post them for you.
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:12 PM   #16
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The dogbone, they call it a traverse rod, is not only a panard bar, it helps keep the air springs aligned. The spring beam can twist on the spring stirrup bolt. The top and bottom mounting surfaces of the air spring are then no longer parallel and the spring appears to bulge to the front or rear. On both of my mohos the spring beam twisted forward leaving the air springs to appear to bulge to the rear. I suspect the spring stirrups should have been mounted a little bit to the front to correct this problem.

The bushings and traverse rod are pretty easy to change. Just get the coach high enough to work under the rear end. You don't have to jack it up, driving up on blocks will work fine, you just need a little room to work. Turn the air compressor off and crack an air line to drain the air from the air springs, not just the tank. No point in having stuff under pressure while you have your body parts playing around down there. If you can, pull it apart before you order parts to determine if you need new straddle pins and traverse rod in addition to the bushings.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:05 PM   #17
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Thanks all for your help. Based on the recent heavy rains in Austin I was not able to get any pictures of the dog bone and my failure to want to drag my body under the AS.



For the dog bone I would prefer to simply replace all of it, as I simply want to make this AS as reliable as possible for a 30+ year old road one.



The one question that came up is the issue of welding a steel plate to the tag axle. Some say no do as it could compromise the interior rubber, yet other say nothing. I have no idea about this. What do you think?


What I can say is I have replaced pretty much all exterior lights with LED, including the headlights and am now working on replacing all front cab panel and engine wiring and systems that connect the engine and cab batteries. I've basically rewired this RV from entry to control systems to engine at this point. More to come, I'm committed to making this a safe and reliable RV before I sell it.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:22 AM   #18
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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Hey,
So you've gotten under the dash? I was pretty surprised at what a cheesy jod AS did with the wiring. I expected a clean loom of wires going through some sort of protective sheath. Not. Looks like they just kind of blew it together. I admire your resolve. I cleaned mine up a bit, but I'm not going to retire it. Are you going to redesign the dash? I think I'm going to do mine. A little bigger rocker switches, lift the speed/tach up to where I can see them , and I'm going to move the Gage's to the left a bit. I may add a few more too. Like diff temp,trans temp,oil temp. It's overkill, but it's nice to know what's going on underneath your coach.
I'm redoing the engine, and I took the rad in to get boiled out. My guy said it was really gunked up. I'm loosing the clutch fan, and have installed 2 14 inch puller fans on the engine side of the rad.
Oh here's something for you, when you get as far as looking at the transmission, install a heavy duty cooler. Mine is aprox 18x9x1 1/2 mounted about 3 inches in front of the rad. My trans guy said those coolers you get at the car stores are totally I inaffective when it comes to our MHs .
And my engine guy said to go to a 160 thermostat. Never thought of that.
It's kinda fun seeing the progress, it'll be more fun when you take it out, and can trust it, cause you've done all you can to bring it back to better than when it was new. We'll take care, DJ
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:09 PM   #19
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Dash

The dash is simply being redone to help stop a parasitic drain on both battery sets. The control for joining the batteries is also being replaced along with multiple other options. This also involves fixing the cab AC/Heat - current standards - and more.



I'm not changing anything other than rewires, and upgrading the switches to modern light switches and replacing anything that's rusty or needs replacement to make this safe and reliable.



Safe and reliable is my mission on this beautiful 1988 325. After multiple thousands of dollars I'm getting close.
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Old 11-29-2018, 06:01 PM   #20
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Finally!

Tomorrow may prove the proof of a long and painful $ fix. Basically the entire front end of engine and cab electronics and the systems that co-join the engine and battery systems have been completely redone. This has also included a complete update of the Cab AC/Heat systems routing and pulls.



When the work started none of this was expected, but one thing pushed another and a complete redo of the front cab wiring and connections has now been done.



New LED headlights, back lights and side too. It just keeps going on.
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