polyair bellows

Submitted: Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:20
ThreadID: 32636 Views:4115 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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I would be interested to hear people's experience with polyair bellows. We are planning a trip across the Simpson later in the year in our Cruiser cab chassis (79 series). It is used as a work vehicle throughout the year, and has suffered from carrying weight on a daily basis.
Would like to know how they perform over extended periods of use, and whether they are subject to catching small stones etc.
Or maybe you have found a better alternative to improving the suspension.
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Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:46

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:46

If you are talking about the air bags that go inside the coils, then I would say go for it. I have had them on three vehicles in a row and they work well and reliably. I have just recently sprung a leak in one so I will soon work out how good their lifetime warranty is if it is a bag problem (it has only done 260000km). Not that I'm complaining about getting those miles out of any suspension.
However if you are talking about replacing the springs with full air suspension (bellows) then I won't comment on these as I have no experience here.

Cheers Trevor.
AnswerID: 165574

Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:48

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:48
I have polyair's in the rear springs and I think they are great when you load the old rig up
AnswerID: 165576

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:23

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:23

I am looking at the same thing.
They are nothing like the orange polyair that go into coil springs.
They are a rubber bellow that don't have a spring around them and are used to help carry a heavy load on a leaf sprung vehicle.
They can go from 5psi up to 100psi and go between the top of the axle and the chassis rail.
Cost is around the $500 mark, I have not got a set as yet but looking into it.

AnswerID: 165592

Follow Up By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 15:42

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 15:42
Sounds like the air suspension bellows you see on the back of trucks rather than the 'polyair' type air bags mounted in the coil for assistance with load.

Bit of a science with the truck bellows, getting the right travel and load rating.
They usually have an internal bump stop too, which limits travel.
FollowupID: 420466

Reply By: Gu_Patrol - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 16:10

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 16:10
Why not get new springs or if you got leaf springs get them reset,
AnswerID: 165606

Reply By: Marc - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 20:42

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 20:42
see the polyair wedsite. they even have prices for each model
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AnswerID: 165665

Reply By: TroopyTracker - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 20:45

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 20:45
I have the bellows you speak of, and spoke to other on here re them before purchase. Basically they work well. Do a search and you'll find some more info. Actually good for 1100kgs EACH! Totally different to the red ones. I think they improved the ride a little too. Not much change out of $700 I seem to remember. Firestone make them also. Little dearer.
AnswerID: 165667

Reply By: goveroo - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 21:19

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 21:19
Thanks all for your replies.
The ones we have looked at are around $700 plus fitting. Not sure whether it would be worth the money or whether we'd be better off to reset springs and add an extra full length helper for around $400 for the rear leaf springs.
We're going to 4wd show this weekend, so we'll see what's on offer there too before making a decision.

AnswerID: 165674

Follow Up By: kesh - Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 09:59

Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 09:59
Have had the polyair bellows holding up the rear of a '97 L/C trayback for over 6 yrs.
With only 40 psi a 1t. payload becomes easy. Never had a problem, when not carrying a load simply let them down to 20psi for back to normal ride. You cant do this with the extra leaf.
Very easy to fit (DIY) They are installed on all Troopy ambulances in NSW.
Have my full recommendation.


FollowupID: 420654

Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 17:38

Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 17:38
Yes a good friend has a set of the Firestone equivelant air bags & can not speak highly enough of them. With 45 psi they carry his Trayon camper with ease then drops the air preasure when running around the farm empty. They don't appear to hinder wheel travel at all & the quality is excellant (not a problem in 5 years)
If you are going to carry extra weight all the time, redo the springs. If you are going to vary your load, tow trailers etc then go the air bags.
Cheers Craig.......
FollowupID: 420702

Reply By: Rob Ackland - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 13:53

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 13:53
Have been using polyair in Prado 90 for four years and 120 for one year with no problems and plenty of hard work. Six Simpson crossings, Hay River and plenty of training, Flinders Ranges and South East/Beachport sand. Not sure of correct pressures when used directly with leaf springs but the most common mistake when used with coils is that:
1. You need to pump them up before loading the car then releasing pressure to level the load, front to rear as well as side to side. In this scenario I never go beyond 30 psi and generally drop to around 15-17 psi with the car loaded to 3,200 kgs

2. Most people I have met who have complained about poor ride quaility mistakenly believe that you should run them (in coils remember) at >30 psi. This pressure makes them rock hard and prone to breaking along with other suspension bits
3. When car is unloaded I run around 8 psi to keep them inflated and to prevent rubbing and crimping by the coils.

Overall they are worth the effort and around $400 is about right fitted

AnswerID: 166155

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