air suspension

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:14
ThreadID: 134333 Views:3608 Replies:13 FollowUps:7
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hi

I need to install a set of rear air bag suspension in a 2012 Hilux. has anyone got some recommendations for what for brand to get and what supplier?
Thanks
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:53

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:53
Go to the MR. Airbag man site...he seems to be the best...polyair or Firestone...
AnswerID: 608768

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:08

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:08
Hi Brendan,

I think you should research the pitfalls of using airbag suspension on Utes.
Many stories of bent or cracked chassis rails from using this suspension aid.

Have a look at Aussie SuperSprings.They can be self installed in half hour or so and do work to stiffen suspension when towing.
Available in (from memory) 3 different load capacities.
I have a pair of 450kg SuperSprings on the Colorado and am very happy with them. When not loaded the suspension is close to standard, although when I fitted mine, I measured a 40mm height gain when using the bottom hole mount option.
Can be purchased from TJM Superstores.

Aussie SuperSprings
Bill


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AnswerID: 608770

Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:45

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:45
Brendan
From my experience air bags will cause heart break. As Bill has said the Super Springs are the best option.
Duncan
AnswerID: 608772

Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 18:28

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 18:28
I agree with the above - airbags are one of the many mods I have on my Hilux, and I wouldn't waste the money again.
The risk of stressing/damaging the vehicle is widely known, and you can get better results with a quality suspension upgrade to suit your load.
I've not had a chassis issue, but that's basically because I keep the bag pressure low to non-existent.
The engineer who did my GVM upgrade confirms the above views.
Save your money for a good after market suspension set-up.
Cheers
Wildmax
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AnswerID: 608775

Reply By: splits - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 19:40

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 19:40
Can you tell us why you need air bags?
AnswerID: 608777

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 22:06

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 22:06
I concur with the others - I'd never again fit airbags to a leaf spring ute. Too many dramas with bent chassis and they also reduce articulation significantly. Spend a bit more money on appropriate replacement springs.
AnswerID: 608780

Follow Up By: splits - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 22:52

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 22:52
"Spend a bit more money on appropriate replacement springs."

That may not solve the problem here Phil. Heavier springs will support weight directly above them. The axle may be overloaded but the springs can't help that.

If the excess load is back past the axle, the springs are useless. If you push the rear end of the car down hard enough and far enough it will pivot on the axle and lift the front wheels off the ground. If you tried that the chassis would most likely bend while you watched it..

You could install the heaviest spring or air bags on the market and then push the back way down and the car will still pivot on the chassis and lift the front.

That is why chassis break and will continue to break as long as owners think new springs will fix their sagging rear suspension. It is the heavy material sitting well back on the end of a lever i.e the distance between the axle and the end of the car or tow ball that does the damage when the car is travelling on any road surface that causes it to rise and fall rapidly

The end of the chassis is constantly lifting the material up quickly or catching it when it falls resulting in it flexing up and down outside its design limits.
.
The only thing that will give any support to the far end of the car is a weight distributing hitch but you must be towing something to use one and they can damage the car, the tow bar or themselves if the angle between the car and trailer gets too high. This rules them out on rough bush tracks.

If anyone disagrees then please tell me how you support the far end of the chassis without putting a coil spring between the chassis and the road.
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FollowupID: 878527

Follow Up By: Crackles - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 17:41

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 17:41
Splits there are 2 main reasons why upgraded springs are better than adding coils.
Coils place the weight on a section of chassis that is not built to take it where as upgraded springs put that pressure on the spring mounts. (Where it should be)
Quality upgraded leaf springs have a larger number of thinner leaves with a greater camber which are not as harsh as stock springs nor do they bottom out as often so transfer less shock through to the chassis.
That said it's the overall weight & where it's positioned that causes problems. Suspension upgrades should not be seen as a fix for overloading rather to improve the ride, ground clearance & wheel travel.
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FollowupID: 878549

Follow Up By: splits - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 14:50

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 14:50
"Quality upgraded leaf springs have a larger number of thinner leaves with a greater camber which are not as harsh as stock springs nor do they bottom out as often so transfer less shock through to the chassis."

The only problem there is the stock springs are designed to be flat or very close to it when fully and correctly loaded. That is to induce a certain amount of roll understeer into the suspension which assists in stability in corners.


"That said it's the overall weight & where it's positioned that causes problems. "

True but far too often aftermarket springs are seen as the correct way to lift a sagging rear end that has too much weight too far back behind the axle. All the springs do is compress and tilt with the chassis as the rear goes down hard and the front of the chassis is jerked up.

"Splits there are 2 main reasons why upgraded springs are better than adding coils."

I was not suggesting putting coils into the suspension. I said between the far end of the car and the road. That is not possible but it is the only way, apart from a WDH, to support the end of the car as it falls down behind the axle.

In order for owners to understand this whole thing a lot better you have to think of the difference between weight and mass. Weight is just a measure of the pull of gravity. We see it as number showing on some scales. It does not change. Mass is the amount of material in something.

If you place a 120 kg block of concrete onto 120 kg bathroom scales you will get a reading of 120 kg. That is weight. If you pick the block up about 300 mm and drop it onto the scales, it will most likely smash them beyond repair. Its weight is still 120 kg but the material in it built up momentum when it fell and hit the scales very hard as they bought it to a sudden stop.

That is what happened to all the cars that have bent their chassis, axle housings or whatever. They were ok while in the garage at home but the situation changed dramatically when they were put into motion.

If you load a car incorrectly and have to resort to aftermarket parts to solve the problem, there will always be a question mark hanging over its reliability. Many get away with it but many don't.
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FollowupID: 878589

Reply By: Member - 8111COLIN - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 17:53

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 17:53
i AGREE .
Airbags should be banned , having had a panel shop for 30 years , all i ever saw was bent and broken Chassis from these useless things . not to mention the damage i have seen on cars on trips , people stuck in the middle of nowhere with the back of the car dragging on the road .

Buy yourself proper suspension , Springs and shockers , that's how the car should be sprung , it could cost you more than a set of air bags if you go that way .

Colin

AnswerID: 608806

Reply By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 18:10

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 18:10
Agree with Crackles. Leaf springs have two anchor points to the chassis and the back anchor point is much further towards the rear than a coil spring. This greatly reduces the weight behind the spring anchor point. Having gone from a coil sprung Land Cruiser to a D-Max, the ride when loaded has improved greatly. If you are going to carry a load you need leaf springs. Some of these new generation utes with coils at the back maybe ok for light duties and ride nicely on the highway, but as a workhorse they are as useless a tits on a bull. My D-Max has a steel tray and slide-on camper weighing 1 tonne. I have had leaf springs tailored for a 800kg constant load and it rides beautifully. Even when I take the camper off the ride is somewhat harsh but its not to bad, and certainly bearable.
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AnswerID: 608808

Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 19:37

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 19:37
Poly air make good bags mine lasted for 9 ys, Boss air bellows are good 2 of my neighbours have them and I replaced my rear coils with them but that's a different set up, I tried 2 sets of air bag mans blue bags in 2005 and they kept failing at the base of the valves after 1 days driving at 29psi so I hope they have improved over the yrs.

As I've mentioned in another thread there is nothing wrong with using air assist bags if used correctly and for the right application they have been around for over 60 yrs. There has been a lot of trouble with the people who miss use them of late and not the product themselves. You need to figure out what you are going to use them for if it's for supporting the occasional light load to keep the vehicle level no problem but if you are carrying heavy loads or mounting tool boxes or towing a lot then a spring upgrade may be the better option. I have 2 neighbours that have boss air bellows on their BT50's but only carry lighter loads occasionally approx up to a few hundred kg's and are empty most of the time one also tows a box trailer sometimes the other has a camper trailer and fits a canopy to his tray but it's approx 200kg and like most people should do they try to load their vehicles towards the front to spread the load when possible.
AnswerID: 608813

Reply By: Member - 8111COLIN - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 21:06

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 21:06
i disagree
An extra leaf or a booster leaf would be better than any air bag .
They spread the load evenly , an air bag's preasure is directly above the air bag mounting .
with coils at the rear buy stronger coils to suit the load with a suitable shocker
AnswerID: 608818

Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 23:07

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 23:07
That's why you need to figure out what set up suits you best a spring upgrade or air bag assist and don't over load them. They are designed to assist or share the load and not take the full or most of the load by themselves that's where people mostly go wrong and then the easy way out is to blame the air bags heaven forbid should the driver be responsible or get blamed for creating their own problem due to lack of applying simple common sense
.
So to be truthful it's a bit of a story. I have the correct springs and shocks that suit my twin cab GQ I fitted them about 3 yrs ago Tough Dog adjustables, TJM 2" extra heavy duty springs up front and 2" heavy duty at the rear they have worked fine and are still fine. I also put the old poly airs back in the previous owner had fitted I used them for carting the occasional heavy load of rocks etc but about 2 yrs after the suspension upgrade 1 poly air split they were 9 yrs old so I took them out.
Since then I permanently fitted a canopy, batteries, 60ltr water tank etc etc and because I planned ahead what I was going to do with the vehicle which is set it up for touring I had already fitted the springs to suit my future mods they supported the extra gear fine. So then I got an idea that I would like to try air bellows in the rear after helping my neighbour fit some to the rear of his BT50 happy with them they work well nothing wrong with trying something that's been used in cars, 4WD's, trucks etc successfully for yrs. Still have the coils in the shed If I want to change them back. While these are not the best pics to go off my vehicle is still sitting slightly higher in the rear with extras fitted. Also the rear axel is closer to the centre of the tray than most twin cabs and the spare wheel which weighs 35 kg, I'll be running 2 soon it's not hanging off the rear creating another problem like lots of people have done without thinking first about load placement I would never hang spares off the rear of any factory build twin cab on the market and expect it to be ok.
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FollowupID: 878562

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 21:21

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 21:21
That is a very sensible set-up Batts!!!

Lengthen the chassis AND having the tyres up behind the cab!!! 10 out of 10.

Very similar proportions to my Chevy. I have air bellows (100psi rated) in the Chevy, but only because they were on it when I bought it. I don't run more than about 5 psi in them.

Roachie
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FollowupID: 878599

Follow Up By: Batt's - Saturday, Feb 25, 2017 at 19:28

Saturday, Feb 25, 2017 at 19:28
Thanks Roachie the batteries, water tank are in front of the axel as well try to only put lighter stuff behind it and the canopy being alloy only weighs 120 kg empty. My bellows are 150 psi rated and tested to something like 750 psi I run around 80 psi.
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FollowupID: 878633

Reply By: maurice b - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 23:46

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 23:46
Interesting reading about air bags, mainly on leaf sprung vehicles
http://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php?threads/air-bags-dont-go-there.9759/
AnswerID: 608820

Reply By: Member - 8111COLIN - Friday, Feb 24, 2017 at 13:59

Friday, Feb 24, 2017 at 13:59
You won't ever convince me , ive seen too many disasters due to air bags, or assistance from air bags , over 15 just in my repair shop alone , most writen off , some repairable at a huge cost .


someone is making strengthening parts for ute chassis due to damage caused by air bags .

Truck Air bags are totally different to car air bags and so is a truck chassis , it's been designed for air bags in the first place Totally different set up altogether .

AnswerID: 608861

Reply By: chris a - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 18:48

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 at 18:48
Good day I have a Toyota work mate tray back single cab 2007 80000 km
tow cap 2300 kg I tow a1200 kg van and I Carry a lot in the tray
It is a grate truck but it too hard a ride starting to get a bad back
Is their any thing I can do to soften the ride
thanks guys
AnswerID: 609024

Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Mar 09, 2017 at 00:15

Thursday, Mar 09, 2017 at 00:15
If you have factory springs you can change them to a better quality spring like O.M.E. their usually sold through ARB and getting shocks to match will also make a difference. You just need to talk to them and explain what you're after.


You can also find out about parabolic springs they have been around for a while so they have had time to get them right. If you do a search you may find a company near you that deals with them. http://www.westraliasprings.com.au/category/4wd_parabolic_suspension/23
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FollowupID: 879136

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