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Old 03-17-2013, 06:37 AM   #1
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Would you use your M/H with busted front air springs?

While under the beast changing fluids and filters, I noticed the front air bags inside the front springs were busted, and appear to have been busted a long time. The beast drove great bringing it home 350 miles and short runs around here. Would you go ahead and go on a trip with them that way?
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:53 AM   #2
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Granted my '77 is a far cry from your '92, but I had the bags replaced on mine when I found out that they were OE from GM. I've read that no reputable shop will do suspension troubleshooting or an alignment if the bags aren't functioning. There's a number of threads on here about how to replace the bags by yourself. I bought the parts, but in the end, despite being rather handy myself, I opted to let the local heavy-truck shop do the work. It was about $200 in labor (I supplied parts) and that included an alignment after the bags were replaced. The shop ended up taking the lower suspension arm loose from the knuckle which made bag replacement much easier. I think that if I would have attempted it myself that I would have likely spent a full day's time and likely had to purchase $50 in tools that I didn't already have.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:23 AM   #3
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Are you sure you have air bags in the front springs? Mine had plastic inserts inside the front springs that looked like a shattered airbag, but there are no air lines going to them. I thought that it was an air bag at first but it wasn't. AS only installed rear TAG axle air bags on my 92 LY.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:11 AM   #4
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Yes, all of the "classic" motorhomes which are built on some variant of the GM P30 chassis had airbags inside the front springs from the factory (GM factory, not Airstream). The inflation ports, at least on mine, are installed on a body flange just inside the "hood". I would be surprised if they were still using that technology in '92, so maybe you didn't have them from the factory. If you have the service manual (chassis manual, not the Airstream manual) for your motorhome's chassis, it should tell you about the air bags and proper inflation pressure if the airbags were from the factory (GM). Perhaps someone installed aftermarket ones on yours and the inflator was at the bottom of the bag itself and didn't have lines running to a more convenient location.

I can't speak for tag axles or the suspension / airbags on them. I have no experience in that area.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:16 AM   #5
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Yes, all of the "classic" motorhomes which are built on some variant of the GM P30 chassis had airbags inside the front springs from the factory (GM factory, not Airstream). The inflation ports, at least on mine, are installed on a body flange just inside the "hood". I would be surprised if they were still using that technology in '92, so maybe you didn't have them from the factory. If you have the service manual (chassis manual, not the Airstream manual) for your motorhome's chassis, it should tell you about the air bags and proper inflation pressure if the airbags were from the factory (GM). Perhaps someone installed aftermarket ones on yours and the inflator was at the bottom of the bag itself and didn't have lines running to a more convenient location.

I can't speak for tag axles or the suspension / airbags on them. I have no experience in that area.
The front air bags, never had air lines going to them.

They were installed to reduce the front end bounce, and help with better steering control.

Airstream and Argosy motorhomes, all had rubber air bags within the front coil springs, never plastic.

They are supposed to be inflated to 55 psi, no more, no less, as per Airstream.

Traveling without them, is not a good idea.

Andy
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:42 AM   #6
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Andy, speaking of airbabs. I just ordered a in line check valve from Inland RV, to stop my rear airbabs from losing pressure. Any idea where I might locate the old one?
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:47 AM   #7
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Andy, speaking of airbabs. I just ordered a in line check valve from Inland RV, to stop my rear airbabs from losing pressure. Any idea where I might locate the old one?
It should be near the rear air bags.

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Old 03-17-2013, 03:30 PM   #8
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Darn Andy, I was hoping I would hear a few "yea I drove mine with no trouble". But I value your opinion. Now I have one more thing to do before vacation.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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I drove mine without air but before doing major repairs checked pressure in bags, 20 in one and 30 in the other, inflated to 55 pounds and major improvement in handling, postponed any improvements. Mine has the air fill tubes at the radiator, would be nice to have a gauge to see pressure but now check like tires for trips. I don't understand why you had a comfortable drive without bags, mine was awful, maybe it is the tag axles.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:51 AM   #10
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Replaced my airbags with Hendersons Super Steer springs plus other front end pieces. The bags were leaking and handling was not very good. Had to replace steer tires due to feathering wear because the alignment was off due to the bags. After the alignment, ASLY sails real nice and no bags to worry about.

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Old 03-18-2013, 11:45 AM   #11
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is.chowa: How did you decide which springs to get? Did you have the axle weighed? Thinking of doing the same with mine but don't know which set to get. Supersteer recommends weighing the axle first. Don't have a wiegh station near by me.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:52 AM   #12
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I ordered my air bags from chevy garage $140 each part#15631881
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:02 PM   #13
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I I don't get the new springs then this is what I was looking at:

Firestone Ride-Rite Front Airbags for Chevy and Workhorse P30, P32 Chassis

Any opinions on these?
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:14 PM   #14
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I I don't get the new springs then this is what I was looking at:

Firestone Ride-Rite Front Airbags for Chevy and Workhorse P30, P32 Chassis

Any opinions on these?
I wish I saw those first
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:27 PM   #15
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For those looking at purchasing a front airbag, I just ran into this deal. Don't know how long it will last.

sdtrucksprings.com

With the 15% off coupon code it puts them in at under $90 delivered. Just ordered a set for myself.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:02 PM   #16
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Is.Chowa, I also went with the SuperSteer by Henderson. I felt the same about not wanting to deal with the front airbag filling and checking. May be more money but I think it worth having the front springs matched to the weight of the MH. I also agree, great ride.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:50 AM   #17
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I would have gone the SuperSteer route but the finaces were getting in the way. I may still go that way later. I still have too many other things to spend my $$$ on.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:39 AM   #18
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Hendersons has some good videos on how to: Weighed the front corners and got the right springs. Had the mech install as I was on a timeline. At same time put in new Hendersons bell cranks and the other bits n pieces. Like the nice Blue color. Not clear as to which bags to use, read a link somewhere that synthetics are the way to go. My decision was based that the front end needed work, so at the same time springs went in.

Steve
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:55 PM   #19
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Iwish I wasn't in a hurry to get this fixed, I could haved saved 150 bucks.Now I gotta gets these in . Real soon,I may try the oven trick with zip straps. And use some Kentucky jelly.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:15 PM   #20
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Iwish I wasn't in a hurry to get this fixed, I could haved saved 150 bucks.Now I gotta gets these in . Real soon,I may try the oven trick with zip straps. And use some Kentucky jelly.
When I put mine in I took the valve stem out and twisted the bag while I squeezed the air out. I applied some waterless hand cleaner for lube and then kind of "screwed" them into the hole in the lower "A" frame. It took a only a minute or two to get in. Getting the old bags out was the real hassle. Good luck.
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