polyair vs firestone for 105 series cruiser

Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 12:31
ThreadID: 130226 Views:5642 Replies:13 FollowUps:6
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Hey guys just after people experiences with either polyair or firestone airbags. Im being told by different people different things! Have been told firestone have better quality airlines and thicker bag and polyair have better fittings? Anymore have alot of experience with them???
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Reply By: catmandoo - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 12:48

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 12:48
Hi Matth j

I have had Polyairs on my 97 LWB Patrol for 8 years and have not had a problem with them. I tow a 24 ft caravan and find them ideal for supporting the rear end in conjunction with suitable suspension.

Had no leaks, punctures or any other type of failure of the air bags.

AnswerID: 590127

Reply By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 12:52

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 12:52
We have the Firestone bas on our 100 series. We broke a shockie in the middle of the badly cut up Simpson and the bags did and excellent job keeping us stable for the rest of the desert and then a 100 - 110 KPH drive home to Canberra.

AnswerID: 590128

Reply By: Member -Ted (Vic) - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 12:53

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 12:53
Hi Mat

I have the Firestone(spring helpers) in my cruiser been all over OZ without any trouble. I think with the polyairs you have to drill out the top of the spring mount to fit the hoses, the firestone ones I have you dont need to drill. I bought mine from here http://www.truckspring.com/. I have the ones for a 2" lift, they work well.
AnswerID: 590129

Reply By: maurice b - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 13:37

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 13:37
I dont know about the Firestone bags ,however on my 105 series i have used the polyair. My first set did 225000 km 85% would have been remote travel with GVM around 3.6T .I replaced them this year before we went up to the Simpson Geocentre and Geosurveys Hill Have never had a damaged one in all the trackless desert trips i have done .The originals are still in usable condition but have signs of indentations where the coils sat.You need the correct size to suit your coil length .I also use HD Kings linear coils this way if i damage a bag that side will have a minimum drop although i carry a spare bag .Be aware if you damage a bag its easy to damage the shock as your bump stops are removed to fit the airbags . In my set up with the GVM upgrade i use the kings rear KTRR70HD which are 70mm lift / up to 500kg Front KTFR69HD and on the above trip i had 16psi, max is 30psi .These springs are not suited for a stock Vehicle . From memory Firestone bags have higher inflation pressure.
AnswerID: 590133

Reply By: matth j - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 18:29

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 18:29
Thanks everybody for the replies seems they are bloody reliable! I think either will do the trick appreciate it :)
AnswerID: 590150

Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 18:29

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 18:29
Hi Matth j

I have fire stones on my 105 and have never had a drama.

Been on since new - mainly to level ride when I have the trailer on. I also have the Kevlar wraps which allow me to inflate to much higher pressures if needed but also protect against stakes and rubbing etc.


AnswerID: 590151

Reply By: Member - 8111COLIN - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 18:48

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 18:48
I wouldn't put air bags on my wheel barrow let alone my car .
they are a band aid solution for bad suspension .
I have seen so many problems with these , bent chassis most of all on quite a few 4x4s .
I have repaired chassis that have had air bags a few times, being a panel shop owner for 28 years , they stop the suspension from doing their work properly by transferring the weight directly virticle into the arch of the chassis , the weight behind the bag hinges from that point .
I've seen cracked chassis and some bent so badly that the vehicle was a total loss .

I think that you would be better off buying a good brand aftermarket springs and shock absorbers .


AnswerID: 590152

Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 18:52

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 18:52
I agree with that I tried Polyairs and wasnt very happy so bought a set so King Progressive springs. Were much better and gave the normal ride when running empty and still kept it level when loaded Only cost $180 which was cheaper than the airbags.
FollowupID: 858152

Follow Up By: wholehog - Wednesday, Sep 09, 2015 at 19:49

Wednesday, Sep 09, 2015 at 19:49
I agree Colin, airbags are a false cheap option for tightwads to cheap and uneducated to buy the springs and shocks for the job.

Plenty of google evidence of their use and failures.
FollowupID: 858193

Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 15:31

Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 15:31
I thought the 105 ser was coil sprung so transferring weight and cracking or bending the chassis shouldn't be an issue so fitting air bags should be fine if used correctly. But it may create a problem removing the bump stops.
FollowupID: 858402

Reply By: maurice b - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 21:06

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 21:06
Progressive springs are suitable for medium loaded vehicles. As this forum is about Explor most 100/105 owners would have the 180l lone ranger aux fitted or carry lots of gerrys, fill this up and your rear drops 25/30mm with progressive coils not to mention all your other equipment. I agree that air bags a famous for bending chassis on the 4cyl dual cabs if overloaded and loaded incorrectly With the weight i carry on remote trips since i purchased my 105 in 2002 my chassis is still straight . Please read this thread about leaf spring airbagshttp://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php?threads/air-bags-dont-go-there.9759/
AnswerID: 590158

Reply By: Member - 8111COLIN - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 21:30

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 21:30
That's a good link there , I have seen a Toyota Prado coil sprung rear with firestone air bags with a kinked chassis and bent body .
And a Nissan Patrol as well .

I admit most are leaf sprung that have either bent or broken, the worst I have seen is a Mitsubishi Triton duel cab snapped in half , and another one bent so bad that the tail shaft was grinding it's way into the gear box due to the chassis shortened from the bend.

AnswerID: 590160

Reply By: matth j - Wednesday, Sep 09, 2015 at 15:03

Wednesday, Sep 09, 2015 at 15:03
I think im am just going to put a heavier coil in the back i just didnt want the harsh ride around town! I have a very good quality ICON monotube setup which should keep it pretty comfy, in the near future the rear bar will definetely help thanks guys
AnswerID: 590184

Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Wednesday, Sep 09, 2015 at 21:45

Wednesday, Sep 09, 2015 at 21:45
I have a different opinion on the plastic/synthetic or what ever they are bags. I've had 2 sets a long time ago on an early Range Rover. The first set lasted for a few years and served well but eventually one developed a leak around the top fitting so they came off the car. During that time they did actually save me once when a spring broke and I rode along with the collapsed spring for about 200km without knowing it. That side was just slightly lower. The 2nd set though gave me doubts about durability. They were bought a few years later and only lasted just over a year. The failure was complete in that both bags went brittle and literally crumbled to pieces around the same time. Complaints to the maker failed and they claimed that there was no problem with the bags even though they declined to have some pieces sent to them as well as being out of the warranty period. They also put the blame back on me that I must not have kept at least the minimum pressure in them. Was never any problem for me with the earlier set.
The way they crumbled was similar to what I've seen with some synthetic soled shoes where with age they can crumble to pieces and got me wondering if these air bags have a shelf life and should be sold ASAP after production and be fitted and in regular use. Anyway, with the ute's that I have these days I would never consider them on them and prefer to get the springs right. I'm not saying that these type of air bags are rubbish, and from the responses here there's people that have had a long life out of the, it's just that my experience doesn't give me faith in them any more.
My experiences in swapping coils springs on the rear did teach me how long it can take to do it and maybe a possibility is to have 2 sets of rear coils and change them over when required for a trip. With a bit a practice it became well within a 2 hour job. There's enough people who swap to different rims & tyres for remote trips and changing coils wasn't real difficult. When the coil broke on my RR I did the change over in a fuel stop car park by myself as I had added the spring compressor's as a last minute thought before the trip. Even though they weren't totally adequate the locally sourced springs did get me home.
FollowupID: 858194

Reply By: Member - Iain H1 - Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 12:02

Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 12:02
I had the same problem I did an enormous amount of research and all came back with, DO NOT FIT AIRBAGS. I then fitted a helper spring called "Super Springs", they are fantastic. They share the load but only at the original spring points on the ute, they are only engaged when the load is applied which means when I dont have the camper on board my Ute drives as normal,.They come in three ratings, 330kg, 600kg and Mine Spec.They are about $600 fitted and are they only way to go in my experience.
AnswerID: 590212

Follow Up By: Member - 8111COLIN - Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 17:59

Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 17:59
That's another good fix as opposed to air bags.
Just one more point ,when I looked at some cars with air bags the owner thought they were great and worked well only to find that the chassis was bending without them actually realising , caught the problem early however still needed repairing .
Iv'e thrown away 3 sets from cars that iv'e repaired , it makes me angry that they actually sell this garbage, they ruin cars .
FollowupID: 858229

Reply By: maurice b - Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 22:36

Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 at 22:36
Getting back to the original post about the question on 105 series airbags , Most of the replies can be scary for an owner to fit airbags to a coil sprang vehicle when in fact the possibilities of chassis bent is much lower than on a leaf sprung vehicle as the pivot point isnt altered . I believe this is why the 30psi max pressure meaning its not over inflated on the polyair enables it to be squashed without damaging the chassis providing common sense is used in the weight you carry and how you load it .All heavy items should be from rear axle forward and this is why i have never fitted a replacement dual wheel carrier as it would add 195kg over the rear The negative posts here on air bags and im not being critical are written about leaf sprung vehicles excluding colins post about the patrol and prado . You only have to look at the rear overhang on some of the dual cabs to see how easy it is to load most of the weight behind the axle include trailer ball weight that has bent many dual cab chassis in a short section of rough roads, mainly Tritons

AnswerID: 590234

Follow Up By: Member - 8111COLIN - Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 22:43

Friday, Sep 11, 2015 at 22:43
Air bags in coil sprung vehicles can cause absolutely no damage at all if there isn't any or at least some minimal load however if the common sense factor comes into it and you have the vehicle packed to the brim and whack a trailer or a caravan on the back as well , who goes and weighs their vehicle to see if all is safe ? not many .
Common sense would have you think that the car is strong enough to carry the weight and that I have even more common sense to put air bags on just to make sure everything is right .
That's the story I heard from the person that had the bent chassis on the Prado .
The distance on an after market rated coil sprung vehicle from the chassis to the bump stop is huge , so you can load up the car , caravan on the back go over rough roads , humps bumps etc and the chance of bottoming out are remote , then put an air bag up the centre of the spring , pump it up to level out the vehicle and what you have is a hinging point for a bend , they become one big bump stop .
When it comes to suspension , people think they are doing the right thing and are conned into such things as airbags as a supplement suspension aid , that's common sense for someone who doesn't know the ramifications .
I have dual wheel carriers on my 78 series Troop Carrier however I do have an after market spring that can carry the load , my car doesn't bottom out because my springs dampen the the weight over bumps and the shock absorbers absorb the shock obviously , there fore the weight is distributed evenly from one end of the leaves to the other .
Same goes for coils , let the spring do it's job , manufacturers never put air bags on cars with springs .
I think that the person who started this post does have common sense for asking in the first place and has written that he is not going to fit them , a really sensible person .


FollowupID: 858265

Reply By: Batt's - Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 14:40

Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 14:40
My polyairs lasted 9yrs in my stretched twin cab GQ which is a good run for an inexpensive quality product I would recommend using them. Make sure you have the correct spring rates in you vehicle before fitting them and use them as recommended by the manufacturer. I have carried up to 730kg directly on the back of my ute and they handled it fine I can put a few hundred kg on my ute without needing to use them because I have fitted heavy duty springs to cope with day to day use and only use the bags for extra loads.
AnswerID: 590388

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