Air Bags, Don't make the same mistake

Submitted: Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 23:27
ThreadID: 21343 Views:11309 Replies:12 FollowUps:24
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Recently I received some information via an Internet forum, that I could purchase Air Bags for my Landcruiser from a company in the US for half their Australian price.
Being like everyone else, if money can be saved, then you go for it.
Well I went for it, and I am sorry to say that It WASN’T the right thing to do.
It seems that the sizes of the suspension in vehicles over there differ from the sizes required over here, therefore the airbags that I received were the wrong size and wouldn’t fit my Landcruiser.
So being a Smart Ass, wasn’t so smart.
But this story does have a happy ending thanks to the Airbag Man in Brisbane. He has come to my rescue and supplied me with the correct Airbags for my vehicle.
He was extremely helpful, and a pleasure to deal with.
I would recommend that if anyone is considering purchasing Airbags for their vehicle from overseas “DON’T DO IT”.
Contact Richard at www.airbagman.com.au instead or you can Phone him on 07 3889 6556 or Fax 07 3889 6557. He will help you with everything you need and your experience dealing with him will be a pleasure.

Regards
japmel
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Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 23:33

Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 23:33
Japmel, you wouldn't be profiting by this in any way would you??

I ordered my Firestone Air Bags from www.trucksprings.com and found the service to be prompt, the instructions supplied more than adequate and they fit perfectly.

I know of several others on this forum who have had the same success with a variety of vehicles...
AnswerID: 103016

Follow Up By: japmel - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 00:12

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 00:12
Jeff M,
The answer to the first part of you question is NO. My experience has cost me more than it has saved me.
I do understand that you have had a successful encounter with the Airbags that you received, and I am pleased for you.
I would like to say that I have nothing against the company that supplied my Airbags they were good to deal with and like you, they supplied all the instructions, the problem is that for my vehicle they are the wrong Airbags, and after contacting them, they have informed me that they do not have any to fit my vehicle.
I have also been told that there are several makes of car overseas that have different spings to the cars here in Australia.
I just wanted to let people know that not all things work out for all of us, and to be aware .

Regards
japmel
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Follow Up By: Moggs - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 00:30

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 00:30
I agree - be aware - but you stated "DO NOT DO IT" Maybe you should have done some better research???

I purchased my airbags from truckspring also - 1/2 the cost of EXACTLY the same product from the Airbagman.
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Follow Up By: japmel - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 11:29

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 11:29
Moggs,
I do appoligise for my word phrasing, maybe I should have said LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 20:13

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 20:13
How much are the firestone airbags in the US? Ballpark!
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Follow Up By: Moggs - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 21:23

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 21:23
Shaker, here is my post from Post ID: 15171 (can search for the entire thread in "Archive". Should give an idea on cost

"I recently purchased a set of Air-Lift 1000 spring assists from www.TRUCKSPRING.com in Michigan USA for A$160 delivered to Melbourne. I have never heard of the Air-Lift Company name before but as it turns out they must make Polyairs. On the base of the air-bags I received is stamped "Air Lift Co. - Polyair Div." - this is identical to the markings on the Polyairs that we get over here. The kit for the Pathy was USD69.95 +USD48 freight by UPS - all up converted to AUD $160 which is about 1/2 the price you pay here for Polyairs. (quoted $500 fitted to Pathy) I chickened out and paid someone $100 to fit them - so all up cost me $260 v's $500.

Anyone thinking of fitting Polyairs - check out www.TRUCKSPRING.com - they were excellent to deal with and the delivery took about 2 weeks. Gotta love the internet :) "
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 23:43

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 23:43
Thank you!
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 17:36

Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 17:36
Hey Moggs

You were ripped off - two weeks - mine only took 8 days - either is fantastic really!!

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Moggs - Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 17:43

Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 17:43
LOL, yeah I know - they were out of stock for the ones I ordered and said it could be up to 6 weeks. They managed to get them earlier and phoned to say that they were on their way and apologised for the inconvenience. They were excellent to deal with.....once they got their "g'day mate' and 'throw a shrimp on the Barby" jokes said in extremely poor accents out of the way LOL.
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Reply By: Zapper - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 01:11

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 01:11
You sure you aren't airbagman????

I got a pair for my GQ from truckspring, under half the price of here, work fine no probs. Service was great and very prompt too
AnswerID: 103031

Follow Up By: japmel - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 01:26

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 01:26
Zapper

No I'm not Air Bag Man.
And it's good that you got the correct part.

All I'm trying to say Is there are a lot of people that are not (I know because I was one of them)

When I ordered from the overseas company I was assured that the Airbags were the right ones for my car, As you can see from the above they were not.

Regards
japmel
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Follow Up By: Moggs - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 08:04

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 08:04
japmel, how do you know there are a lot of people that didn't get the right bags - did the Airbag man tell you that LOL, or have you undertaken research???
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Follow Up By: bruce - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 09:52

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 09:52
He has exactly the same ad on the caravanning forum.....
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Follow Up By: Moggs - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 14:30

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 14:30
LOL, when will people realise that they cannot do that without someone picking it up.
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Reply By: Michael Carey - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 08:42

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 08:42
I think we should get rid of airbags. They just make us (drivers) compacent. Rip 'em out and in their place put a large, rusty metal spike. EVERYONE will be driving carefully then!! (-;
AnswerID: 103043

Follow Up By: fourstall2000 - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 08:50

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 08:50
I also purchased air bags from the US with complete satisfaction.
If you want to pay a 100% mark up in Australia good luck to you.
We others made sure what we were buying was the correct part and received great service at half the cost.
I would prefer to support the Australian companies but only at a fair profit.
Regards
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 09:20

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 09:20
Japmel,

I think this a good cautionary tale. It applies to a whole range of things (car parts, sporting gear, computer gear, GPS, cameras etc) that are cheaper on eBay or direct from OS suppliers.

Savings can be made provided you are absolutely certain that the item conforms to your expectations, you don't get ripped off by a dodgy overseas merchant, you don't get slugged a huge amount (a lot more than 10% GST) by Australian customs.

So I guess you pay the local supplier the mark up for them to have done the research and wear the risks.
AnswerID: 103049

Reply By: Member - RockyOne - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 10:24

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 10:24
I imagine local suppliers/fitters would have to source their air-bags from the US as did a couple of folk on this page.My understanding is that Firestone™ are one of the major,respected players in this field,so local suppliers would have to "mark up" the goods,or,face a hostile bank manager......Never-the -less,we thank Japmel for those words of warning,which is what forums are all about.Just trying to help each other and not trying to score points at another comrade's expence.Thanks Japmel (Sorry! No I don't even know the Air-Bag Man.But I am aware he has a good reputation in the profession field of pneumatic suspensions)
AnswerID: 103058

Reply By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 11:33

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 11:33
Hi Japmel

I gather your are talking about suspension airbags like Polyairs. I got some from truckspring which were half the Australian price and here in a week and were easily fitted. I just asked for some the same diameter as the landcruiser but about 2 inches taller and they sent them out and I fitted them without a problem and saved a packet!!

In what way were yours wrong? To tall or short or wide or narrow??

Andrew
AnswerID: 103062

Follow Up By: japmel - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 14:25

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 14:25
The Airbags that I received were to short by about 2.5"-3". I had looked into having spacers fitted with them, but the size of the spacers needed would make the airbags not fuction to their full capassity. So flaged that idea.
I thought that I had asked all the right questions and given all the right information when I ordered them, but it seems I didn't.
Regards
japmel
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 08:59

Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 08:59
I was looking through my email with the truckspring guys. I was dealing with a guy called Marc and he was very helpful and asked me to send the measurements of my ARB springs - internal diameter and height with the vehicle unloaded so that I could tell him exactly what height I wanted them to be. He then recommended a part number for me to purchase and it was ......perfection!!
Andrew
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Follow Up By: AndyMac - Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 16:42

Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 16:42
Big Kidz.....do you have the e-mail addy you were using, I have tried the one off the site and get no responses. I need some bags for my 80 Series with a 2 inch lift.

Thanks

Andy
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 17:33

Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 17:33
Hi Andy - its Andy here -well sort of

I used
truckspring@truckspring.com or
marcw@truckspring.com

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Follow Up By: AndyMac - Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 17:43

Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 17:43
Thanks very much for that mate. I will try the marc@ addy and see how I go.

All the best.

Andy
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 13:29

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 13:29
I contacted Trucksprings in the USA trying to obtain a cost and availability on the Firestone bags for my Troopy.

Bottom line was that they did not have the mounting system to suit the 78 series as this vehicle is not available in the states.
So I purchased mine from Airbag man's local Victorian agent, no problem they had the mounting brackets to suit the leaf system on the 78 series.

The moral of the story is as stated above, ensure you check that the States can supply the correct model parts.
If I had ordered say "Landcrusier" bags then I to would have ended up with the wrong bags.
I made sure that they had a full description and model details and they replied quite promptly to the negative in respect of this model.
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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 22:04

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 22:04
Hi John
How have you found them i'm still thinking about it

Richard
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 22:25

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 22:25
Hi Richard
Nice to hear from you, Long time no speak.

Yeah bags are real good stopped the saggy bum with the heavy load found no restrictions in an off road situation done quite a bit of Vic High Country tracks with some severe axle articulation no problems at all.

Increased stability both on and off road and increased departure angle clearance by lifting the rear back to level.

Relatively easy to fit did the fit up myself no problems couple of hours.
Could not get them out of the states as stated above so had to buy local.

I still have your email address, am happy to email a few photos if you want, just give me a day or two.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 23:16

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 23:16
Yes thanks John,
have you got any info on the bags etc.
The reason i'm not on much is I did'nt go to school for that long and when I did I only went to eat my lunch
can talk better than I can write

Regards
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Reply By: Grumblebum and Dragon (WA) - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 15:46

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 15:46
Remember the old saying - "P to the Eighth"

" Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents bleep Poor Performance - Perhaps"

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Reply By: GO_OFFROAD - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 17:40

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 17:40
And never complain when your local businesses go broke, and are no longer 'convenient" if they dont get local support.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 12:27

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 12:27
Local business should perhaps follow every other indsutry and stay competitave then. I know you are obviously in the industry GO_OFFROAD and this is not a direct dig at you, but I worked in the Computer industry both in retail and importing/wholesale for over 10 years and now I am in security doing a similar role. In both these industries there is very close competition, somthing that seems to be missing from the off road accessories market IMHO. Especially here in WA where price fixiing seems to be a standard practice. I support my local guys as far as paying labour goes as I think labour is a fair go as we all want to get paid for doing hard work. (I do most things myself, but if I can't or don't want to I will happily pay a full labour price). But paying twice the price just for the parts is redicuous and unfair. If the guys in Oz want to sell the gear then they have to do it at the right price. I had though about air bags for YEARS and never bit the bullet because I could not justify the rediculously expensive price. Within an hour of reading about Trucksprings.com I bought the bags online. This is a sale a local guy would have had probally three times over (my last three vehicles) if he had of been selling them at a reasonable price. So whos fault is it? The retailer/importer (whoever is keeping the price up).
So all up, its not the so much the fact that trucksprings are cheaper it's more about the fact that they are asking a price that people think the product is actually worth IMHO.
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Reply By: GazzaS (VIC) - Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 22:38

Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 22:38
Hi Japmel

had the same problem myself - nearly. Wanted to buy from the US but could not get enough details. Have a Prado 90 and this is not a model - or at least name - available in the states. So ended up buying from Airbag mans local rep. Funny thing when they arrived I could still see the original US part number on the box. Looked back on the US website and that model is for a Nissan something!!

so far work fine and found them great assistance when fully loaded. Drop them back to 5psi when running empty.

Worth pointing out though that in this case the buyer must make sure of what they are getting.

Cheers

Gazza
AnswerID: 103126

Follow Up By: jackablue - Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 08:31

Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 08:31
I think you will find that the Toyota prado is actually a lexus model over there.
link text
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Reply By: fisho64 - Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 02:34

Sunday, Mar 20, 2005 at 02:34
GEE I hope this guy IS the Airbagman, else he has inadvertantly shot him down in flames on here!!
AnswerID: 103139

Reply By: Rob! - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 12:10

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 12:10
Japmel

So what was so great about the airbagman that you praise him so much? Did he exchange the airbags you bought from the US for free or a small fee? Or did he simply take your money and sell you new airbags with a smile?

Other then giving us all of his contact details you haven't told of why he was so exceptional.

R.
AnswerID: 103271

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 12:31

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 12:31
Rob I think youve missed the point mate, it's hard yaka buying stuff from the US and then taking twice as much cash off some Ozi Battler who got himself into trouble by an honest mistake for the gear. ;-)

Personally I would have gone back to Truckspring myself and tried to sort it out with them. The freight both ways would still have been cheaper than buying them off this bloke in Oz...
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