Air Bag Suspension

Submitted: Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 19:33
ThreadID: 103366 Views:3264 Replies:8 FollowUps:10
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Gday all, I need help. We will soon be off on our outback holiday (4wk's) but require some help. I'm looking at fitting Air Bags to the tow tug (NS Pajero) we will be towing a CUB Spacematic Camper Trailer around 1200kg loaded and towball weight of about 160kg. I have fitted Bilstein shocks all around with HD Lovell Springs 2" lift. When the Camper is hooked up and car loaded for trips the rear end does drop a bit (loose some of the lift), and as we will be travelling on corrugated roads mostly, should I fit Airbags and what type, Coil Rite or Poly Air- are they easy to self install ?
All replies gratefully received
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Reply By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 19:59

Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 19:59
I am a great believer in Air Bags as a helper to a vehicles' suspension. I only fit the Coil Rite bags though as I believe their fitting kit (air tubes and connections) is superior to the others. Their instructions say to collapse the bag and squeese it through the spring coils. I have fitted them this way but I found it easier to drop the lower control arm at the wheel end,lower it down and remove the spring. I do have a workshop and a hoist though which makes it much easier the 2nd way. The first way may be better for the home mechanic.
You may also find the need to fit some sort of weight distribution bars as well. This will depend on how much the loaded weight of the camper trailer imposts on the Pajero, especially if it lifts the front. Cheers,Bob.
AnswerID: 515194

Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 18:10

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 18:10
Thanks for your reply Toyocrusa. I don't have a problem installing bags just didn't know whether you need to drill into chassie, looked under but can't quiet see in there without dropping spring out.
Thanks
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FollowupID: 794460

Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 19:59

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 19:59
Tony. The Pajero Air Bags fit in the springs "upside down" so the air tubes come out the bottom through the control arm. The fitting kit has specially moulded spacers to fit the upper and lower shape of the spring mounts so there is no drilling. It is then a matter of running the air tubes back up the rear suspesion cradle, down each side and into the rear bumper. There is also a heat guard that attaches to the exhaust pipe. Takes about 2 hours to fit them. Bob.
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 20:40

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 20:40
Thanks Bob, that clears it up and makes the job really easy, now I've just got to get the best deal on them. I sent an email to Truck Springs in the USA as looking on their web site for bags you need to know diameter & length of bags required. Would prefer to buy in Oz. Over there they are under $100 + shipping, will wait till I get a reply and then purchase
Again Many Thanks
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Reply By: Tony B3 - Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 22:06

Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 22:06
Hi Tony Z
I fitted Poly Air to my 2002 ford courier 4by towing off road camper, very easy to fit .
We have done the lap around Aus, went on the Plenty Hwy and the gravel road out to
Wolf Creek these where the two roughest roads we went on that trip and I mean rough. And have had no problem with the Poly Air just keep an eye on them to make sure they don't vibrate loose. Heading up to Cape York from Tassie this Saturday so they will get a good workout .
Safe Travels
Tony.
AnswerID: 515207

Reply By: glids - Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 08:43

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 08:43
If you won't be leaving too soon, and if the cost of local supply is too high, consider importing Firestone air bags from Michigan Truckspring at www.truckspring.com

I think they will post direct to Oz, but if not you can get them sent via a US mailing service like goopping.

I don't mind supporting local suppliers/manufacturers, but the mark-up on some items is way over-the-top.

glids
AnswerID: 515223

Follow Up By: Kyle H - Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 12:51

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 12:51
I got Firestones delivered to my door from Michigan Truckspring Company http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=michigan%20truck%20spring&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.truckspring.com%2F&ei=Vu7tUabaGoWjiQefxoHwBQ&usg=AFQjCNEiURqbIqyWrqds5H0qRG4wwzianQ&bvm=bv.49478099,d.dGI

Took less than a week to deliver to my door and cost including posting was $160.
As you have lifted you vehicle you may need to fit spacers as the spring length will be longer than standard, TJM fitted spacers for the airbags on my 200 series when they fitted the XGS Gold 2" lift.
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:19

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:19
Thanks glids & Kyle H, I have been in touch with Michigan Trucksprings via email and they say they don't have suitable HD bags for my lifted Pajero, to fit the Lovell Springs. So I will more than likely buy local now even if it costs more, at least you can contact local company/supplier if any warranty required ?
Thanks
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FollowupID: 794553

Reply By: member - mazcan - Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 14:29

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 14:29
hi tony
are you sure the ball weight is only 160kg have you actually weighed it ????
the rear end shouldn't be sagging much at all with such a small trailer 1200kg and about ???160kg ball weight????
maybe the ball weight is far more than you think it is
cheers
AnswerID: 515242

Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 18:20

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013 at 18:20
No I haven't weighed the trailer only going on trailers plate. It's ok when we don't load the tow tug up to much on short coastal trips but when you go away outback you carry more ie: spares, food, water, fuel. Just worried about the load on the rear with constant corrugations and going over sandy tracks.
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FollowupID: 794462

Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 00:08

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 00:08
go the air bags, good call but don't rely on them for making any difference on corrugated roads as they are only a "secondary" adjustable on the run lift device for want of a better way to put it...... always reduce your tyre pressures to help with the bumps, and of course speed ... I have used air bags for years now and swear by them
Cheers and have fun
AnswerID: 515281

Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:23

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:23
Thanks Joe, I know about lowering tyre pres. and speed just trying to keep all level (tow tug & trailer)
Thanks
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FollowupID: 794554

Reply By: Member - evaredy - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 09:41

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 09:41
I think you would be much better off getting your weights sorted out first.

Once you know what is what as far as weights go then you can decide on what to do, remove some gear that's not needed, move some gear around to balance the load.
AnswerID: 515289

Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:32

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:32
evaredy, Can cut down some weight in tow tug but not much, even less in the trailer with water tank situated towards the front between wheels. The trailer is loaded the with the same gear for a week end trip or a month, we just carry less water on wk/end trips. The trailer is hard floor and we some times p/up and carry fire wood but it is placed at the rear of the trailer rack. Thanks for your help all these replies will be taken on board.
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FollowupID: 794555

Reply By: TrickyD(SA) - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:13

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:13
Go for Polyair bags and go direct to the company and they will help you out and it is much cheaper. I did a air bag in in darwin with a stone piercing it rang Poly Air and the replacement was at the c/van park within 3 days for fitting. Easy to fit but ensure your airlines are well out of the way from stones if you are going to do off road stuff. It is amazing how many stones fly up from the wheels. I found one on top of my Trax on the roof and a big rock at that.
Good luck
AnswerID: 515292

Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:41

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:41
Thanks Tricky D, have had the same problem with rocks myself on the roof, 1 the size of a tennis ball when on the Oodnadatta Track, lucky we had the rear window covered . Am looking at the HD with Kevlar sleeves as we are going to be doing a lot of dirt road/ track trips in the near future
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FollowupID: 794558

Reply By: DesF - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:04

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:04
Hi, I have had Poly Airs on the Pajero for about 10 years, loaded up for a bush camping trip add 18 lbs to bring it back to normal height, when towing the van and load in Paj ( Engel etc usually run about 15 lbs.

I find they stabilise the car as well , when going thru drains etc .

Just remove the rear springs ( disconnect the bottom of the shocker) and slip them in , I covered the hoses with con-fluted wiring cover, zipped them well. stands up to the stones well.

Got them direct from Poly Air, over night freight , they were $300 then.
Cheers Des,
AnswerID: 515335

Follow Up By: Member - Tony Z (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:36

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 19:36
Thanks DesF, good help will give them a look tonight
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FollowupID: 794557

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